Our trip to Singapore was split into 1+3 days. I think this ratio was good, because first it helped us accustom to the climate on our day one, and in the last 3 days we kind of were going back to a city life, before our trip home.
Day 1 – Getting to Know Singapore and Enough to accustom to the climate and culture
Using Scoot, we landed on Terminal 2, due to the fact that it was the middle of the night only few food stands were open and running, but it was a good way to spend some time till sunrise in case your Hotel doesn’t have 24h reception or early check-in. Due to the later one, and the location of our accommodation, we explored the not very touristy boulevards Geylang and Sims, and continued towards Joo Chiat street. This street is a true gem, and it leads to Koon Seng Road, one of the most picturesque streets in Singapore. The street was not very lively at the time of our visit, but judging by the amount of bars that we saw, I wish we went through it during the evening.
Short break, and the second part of the day is reserved for Little India, its colourful temples and diverse stores, here not to be forgotten the Tang Teng Niah Residence, and the food markets, also a looot looot looot of gold, bijou stores and everything sparkly. Our road takes us further to Arab Street where the Masjid Sultan Mosque is located, many tiny streets with even more food spots, from ultra traditional to mega hippie ones, most of which are located in Haji Lane, the graffiti street of Singapore. We headed to the “center” of the town, passing by the Raffles Hotel, home of the famous Singapore Sling, then we had a bit of issues in crossing streets since all of them were occupied by the Formula 1 track, and we ended up in the Esplanade, with a superb view on the Marina Bay Sands and the whole skyline of Singapore, and of course the the Merlion. And with a casual walk along the Singapore River, we ended our day in Boat Quay.
Singapore Sling – cocktail gin and cherry based, invented so that it is not recognisable that women are consuming alcohol back in the days
Merlion – Half fish half lion statue, symbol of Singapore – The body symbolises Singapore’s beginnings as a fishing village, Its head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.
Boat Quay – the party spot in Singapore, big plaza with endless bars and live shows (and even more people).
Day 2 – The Great Return
Managing our time according the check in time of our hotel was the case again. We used it to walk through Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping street. There were so many malls, that even the buildings that you think are regular apartment buildings, are malls. And everything is located inside a mall. Like for example a library, which was amazing and very compact and welcoming to spend some more time. In this area we sipped some coffee at dal.kom, had the traditional Kaya Toast, and the most amazing earl grey bubble tea pastry at BreadTalk. In my opinion it makes sense to walk this street till the Prada store, only to enjoy the interesting sculptures.
In the afternoon we had a walk in Fort Canning park, where one can learn a lot about Singapore’s development, and we checked out the Old Hill Police Station. Followed by 5 minute of hand sized rain drops, we were on our way to the East part of the city – Bedok. Our friend wanted to give us a real neighbourhood Hawkers Center experience, and this one together with our Durian hunt was the best moment of the day, and surely one of the highlights of the trip.
The variety of food is incomparable to anything I’ve seen before, wider choice than on an Indian wedding menu. The choice was let to our local, but the one in charge of the drinks was me. The usual method, checkout people’s glasses, brought me to sugarcane juice for all, but afterwards i had to have my lime juice intake, in order to forget about the sweetness of the one before. Bedok is full of beautiful condos, and some smaller groups of usually food stores. We had our durian on the plastic chairs of a grocery store, and our friend had to haggle the price a bit, she should receive the citizenship for her tricks. We put gloves on and enjoyed it.
Day 3 – China Town by Day, Gardens by The Bay by Night
Started the day with the greatest breakfast at Hotel G, and ended having more and more food during the day. On our way to China Town, we stopped at a market and we tasted Moon Cake, then passing by the streets, we saw some of the city’s important buildings as the National design center, the National library, the City hall and many more, entering China town area, our first point was Thian Hock Keng temple and one of the best streets in the city Telok Ayer. The street had so many bars, and we were there at the perfect timing at lunch break, so we could experience how the locals live, had the chance to see how they spend their breaks in a Hawker Center, of course while sipping lime juice. If Telok Ayer was one of the best, for me the number one street was Club Street, maybe a bit Europeanised because of the restaurants style, but I do not have enough words to describe how beautiful it is. And if you consider something so beautiful on a rainy day, can you imagine how nice it must be in a sunny hour? And officially entering China Town, food stands everywhere, covered pavements, and everyone looks happy. We picked some pastries, but our location of the day was the Michelin Star chicken and rice Stand – Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice Noodle. A $3.8 chicken and rice. On one of the main streets of China Town are situated a mosque, hindu temple, and a few meters further the Buddha tooth relic temple. I wish that every country can live in a place like that without tension. The outside street provides a view on the skyscrapers of Keong Saik Road, worth the few extra steps. The night is reserved for a tourist classic spot. Ce La Vi bar at the Marina Bay Sands, checking out their mall, that has a river, a gondola and Angelina Paris store. We entered the place from the Helix Bridge side, and then ended our night in the Gardens by The bay, with some more street food delights.
Day 4 – Cleaning out the Check list
We had left few things on our list for the last day, to attend the breakfast earlier, visit the Art and Science Museum (turned out not fulfil our expectations), Gardens by The bay by Day, and while here, we entered the Vertical Forest Dome. In my opinion a real must see. This day we were in a real hurry, yet we had many things to finish. One of them was checking out the second food stand with a Michelin star restaurant – Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle. This move would have been smarter on our day 1, but we found out about it on a poster in the Soy Chicken place. We already were so acquainted with the city, that we knew the fastest way to quick change and finish our night and trip in Atlas Bar. And I can recommend everything from this day except the Art and Science museum.
Since I guess that not everyone will spend 4 full days, probably you wouldn’t like to move in the “suburbs” of the city. You can exchange the Art and Science museum with a visit to both the domes in Gardens by the bay, or maybe a visit to the Orchid Gardens. And if you still have some more days there is the Sentosa Island, Hiking on the Tree Top walk, or just sipping your coffee a bit longer, and more casually.