First things first when coming to Singapore...it’s all about the food! So prepare to loosen your belt notch a little as you are about to go on a culinary ride!
We spent 2 days in Singapore which I feel is enough. Maybe another day or 2 of you want to explore some of the surrounding islands or parks, but to get a good grasp of the city itself this was an adequate amount of time.
With Singapore being made up of several different cultures (Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western are the main ones), this has had a massive impact on the wide arrange of cuisine that makes up Singapore’s food culture. Of course as I was traveling there with a chef, it was necessary to try as much of this array or amazing food as we could!
There are no actual street food stalls on the streets in Singapore, as a bid to clean up the streets years ago, the government made open air complexes which are known as ‘Hawker Centers’ to house the thousands of street food stalls in the city. Walking in to these centers is an experience in itself. You are greeted with so many different delicious smells and can witness many different cultures mixing together for one thing....delicious food!
We visited the Maxwell Hawker Center and the China Town Hawker Center. The hardest thing was deciding what to eat! You can eat a whole meal here for as little as $5. It really made me question why you would go to a restaurant here?!
Noodles, rice, laksa and dumplings were some of the many delicious things I tried here, however my main love was the deserts! Oh so many deserts! My favourite being a bowl of yam paste topped with glutinous red beans and rice...I know it sounds absolutely horrific but it is quite the opposite! There are even stalls that have a Michelin star awarded to them just for making amazing dumplings or chicken rice. This of course was high on Dylan’s agenda!
(Dylan queuing up for his Michelin starred dumplings)
(one happy boy!)
Amongst eating ourselves silly, we managed to squeeze in some sightseeing. We were staying fairly central so we could walk everywhere, which was a great way of burning off a tiny portion of all that food! Singapore is exceptionally built up, but it has been done very beautifully. There are no shortage of trees and greenery for a concrete jungle, and the downtown is built around the water which houses the very impressive Marina Bay Sands.
You can’t access the famous Instagram pool unless you are staying there, but you can go up to the observation deck for a steep $22. We decided to do this and didn’t regret it, the views were exceptional! (Even though that could have paid for about 8 more meals in the Hawker Centers!).
The Gardens by the Bay are also worth a visit. It is attached to the very grand Marina Bay Hotel, however it makes you forget you are standing in the middle of a massive city! It consists of 101 hectares of lush greenery and exhibitions. It was originally conceptualized by the government to make Singapore a ‘city in a garden’, and that they have certainly done! We didn’t pay to get into the exhibitions, but I have heard they are pretty impressive, especially the 35metre indoor waterfall. We were quite happy breathing in the fresh air and wandering around the maze of gardens, including the Supertree Grove which is made up of 18 super trees. These all range from 25-50 meters and consist of vertical displays of tropical flower climbers, epiphytes and ferns. You could easily spend half a day exploring the gardens, however another meal was calling us so we had to make our way back to the Hawker Center.
A vibrant city like Singapore is also home to many funky bars. We explored a few of these in our local area of China town. Club street is lined with bars and restaurants, and they close the streets on Friday and Saturday nights so the bars can fill the streets with tables for a very social affair. There are a few rooftop bars here where you can appreciate a view AND a fancy G&T in a teacup. How very Alice in Wonderland!
(The impressive Marina Bay Sands lit up at night. They hold an amazing light and water show here every evening)
Singapore is a very like-able city. The people are friendly, it’s clean and the food is amazing, what more could you ask for?!
Oh and another little tip, give yourself plenty of time at the airport because you’ll want to explore this too. It’s like a separate city in itself!!
Singapore I like you!
(Exploring the streets of China town)