Singapore's reputation doesn't exactly precede itself. Before visiting, I knew next to nothing about the city state except that it was clean, mostly artificial, and that there were a lot of rules. I met a pair of girls from Singapore when I was in college, but they didn't do a great job of describing it: the image I formed from their descriptions could have best been described as a huge mall, flat and made of concrete, with a few timid plants filling in the cracks.
In reality, the little island is completely charming, with an interesting convergence between colonial history and Chinese culture. The dress code isn't exactly backpacker friendly; Singapore's population is one of the most sartorially inclined cultures I've ever encountered. I felt completely out of place in my shredded Indian pants and muddy shoes. It doesn't matter, though, because people were friendly anyway.
Singapore really has something for everyone, even if you're down to the end of your budget. With plenty of amazing hikes and cheap street food, there are plenty of things to do that cost nothing more than the price of a metro ticket. My trip completely exceeded my muddled expectations, and I can't wait to go back and visit the city again!