The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) is a wonderful little story I absolutely love. Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the timeless French novella is about a young prince’s journey across the universe and the lessons he learn during his strange encounters with grown-ups.
But it is the hidden meanings that make it so inspiring. The Little Prince reminds us that as adults, we have forgotten to appreciate the beauty of the world, imagination and those we care about. We obsess over material possessions, appearances and statistics, failing to understand that our body is just a vessel– and it is the spirit within us that really matters.
I admit that I do forget what is essential sometimes, what with adult responsibilities and all. But when that light sparks in me again, I do my best to keep it alive. One of the easiest ways to do that is by going out there and exploring the world.
During my solo Singapore getaway, I felt like the characters in the book, searching for a well in the desert and finding ways to refresh my senses. In the spirit of the loveable little prince, how would you like to join me on this bizarre adventure in Singapore?
Start your day by savouring waffles and ice cream. Tucked along Lorong 6, Toa Payoh is The Little Prince Creamery, a thematic café dedicated to the beloved tale. Designed with white walls, simple furniture and adorable illustrations, the sketchbook-style setting resembles a page in a book and gives off a childlike vibe. By the window, you can find several translated copies of The Little Prince. Nothing spectacular food-wise, but it’s a good place to chill with friends over dessert.
Take the MRT to Bugis Station and make your way through Bugis Street, a popular shopping destination. As you weave through the crowd and world goes on at its dizzying speed, perhaps you may start to reflect on this solo journey (“It is lonely when you’re among people too,” said the snake).
Nearby, there is the MINT Museum of Toys on Seah Street. Steeped in childhood nostalgia, it holds a huge collection of antique toys, from dolls to teddy bears, matchbox cars, posters and board games, across four exhibition levels. Entry costs $15 for adults and$7.50 for children.
Towards the evening, head to Gardens by the Bay. The waterside park features surreal supertrees, lakes, an indoor waterfall with elevated walkways and colourful plants from around the world. It’s free to enter the park, but you will need tickets to get into the glass conservatories or climb to the top of the supertrees. Tickets for the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest cost $28 in total. It’s worth a visit.
The moment you step into the Flower Dome, you will be welcomed by a seasonal, thematic floral exhibition and the pleasant coolness marking your escape from the Singaporean heat. Stroll down the path and take in the incredible horticulture. Just as the little prince found “his” rose, you may even find yours.
One of the garden’s unique species is the African Baobabs, which you can’t miss given that they are the largest plants within the dome. In the book, the baobabs are what the prince diligently digs up before they grow large enough to destroy his planet.
After you’ve seen the conservatories, enjoy the beauty of the sun set and the city skyline. The Supertree Groove will light up and you’ll feel as though you are on Asteroid B-612, the little prince’s home, with peculiar baobab trees looming over you.
Be sure to find yourself a nice spot and stay for the Garden Rhapsody. The grand synchronised light and music show puts you right at the centre of vibrant musical. As you stare at the dancing lights and be whizzed away by familiar tunes, you can’t help but imagine yourself as a child once more. Or at least, that was how I felt.
Now that this adventure has come to an end, I hope it’ll inspire you to truly see the world –not with your eyes, but with your heart. So what do you make of this Singaporean experience?
On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux
(It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.)
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Enjoyed this fiction-inspired travel adventure? Follow me down the rabbit hole next week.