I touch down after a 7 and a bit hour flight from Sydney and I pass swiftly through immigration. When I say swiftly I was through there in no longer than 5 minutes. That’s a first in any country I’ve ever been to! I’m already impressed with Singapore as I make my way to cab line, making sure not to get into a premium taxi or limo by mistake. I’ve heard Singapore is an expensive city so I’m trying to save money where I can.
My taxi driver is knowledgeable having grown up here. He know’s exactly where I’m headed. As we drive away from the airport I am gobsmacked by how green and luscious the streets are, a stark contrast to the sandy roads back home in Dubai.
After reaching my friends condo and dumping my suitcase I get changed and we head straight out for some food. We take a short walk and we arrive at Lau pa sat hawker center which just so happens to be the largest and oldest hawker centre in Singapore! For those who don’t know what a Hawker Centre is basically a food market containing numerous different types of stalls offering a range of cuisines all for a reasonable price.
It’s a Victorian style building which houses this food market and every where you look there is something cooking, wok’s sizzling, steam rising and it’s in this precise moment, jet lagged or not, I feel like I am indeed in Singapore.
I pace around look at all the varieties. How does one choose. With umpteen noodles, rices dishes, dumplings, poultry and seafood it makes it nearly impossible. We settle on carrot cake A.K.A Chai tow kway, soursap for drinks (which has immense health properties), Hainanese steamed chicken and rice served with buk choy and chicken broth (which I decided on as there was a queue full of locals so it must be good right?), cheung fun stuffed with prawns and some boiled dumplings. Cheap, delicious and very satisfying.
After our tummies are full we head to Marina Bay Sands for a nightcap at CÉ LA VI SkyBar. The view will leave you speechless. It’s also super scary being that high up if you’re scared of heights like I am but it’s definitely not to be missed. You might even be lucky enough to catch the light show.A cocktail on the rooftop averages around the 25 Singaporean dollar mark. Whilst a standard nip & mixer still around 20 Singapore dollars.We managed to get into the VIP lounge so I could snap a quick photo of that famous infinite pool which only the hotel guests have the pleasure of using.The following morning we went for breakfast at Wild Honey in Scott’s Square. The menu sounded super appealing and even though it was fully booked when we tried to call, they were able to seat us as a walk-in around 10am on a weekend. We even managed to nab an outdoor table.
A spicy citrus juice, roast almond latte, flinders lane breakfast with a side of candied bacon set me back a whopping 50 Singapore dollars including tip & service charge. It was a delicious breakfast but the portion size defeated me.
Wanting to do some site seeing in my short time remaining we grabbed a taxi to Gardens by the Bay Unfortunately due to the weather the OCBC skyway was closed when we arrived. Probably a good thing for me considering I’m a wuss when it comes to heights. Inside we find a restaurant inside one of the futuristic super trees which you can pay entry for and also enjoy a beverage whilst taking in the 360 views. The outdoor balcony was shut for a little while so we drank our tea inside.
However once it was open we were both eager to go outside on the balcony. Again, the nerves kicked in as what instills more fear in me than heights itself is a floor beneath my feet which I can see through. It was like a metal grate which did not seem safe to me at all but I’m sure it was.
Even on a gloomy overcast day the unrestricted views from the rooftop viewing platform are magnificent. I’m sure on clearer days you could see the surrounding islands.
We head downstairs and buy tickets for the cloud forest dome. It’s a magical place. An indoor forest of exotic plants and waterfalls.
After exploring the cloud forest we start to venture back towards my friends place with a pit stop along the way for lunch. We end up in the food court at Marina Bay Sands where I search for a soup, something to try cure my throat which by this stage is starting to close over. I stumble across a place serving a Beef noodle soup for about 9 Singapore dollars.
Right behind us we see another food shop and were mesmerized as we watched a chef making handmade noodles.
Part of me wish I got to see this first as I definitely would of eaten from his shop. However for a first timer these food courts can be overwhelming as there is so much variety to choose from, you could spend all day just deciding.
I do recommend doing your research before travelling as Singapore can be quite an expensive city depending on a) how long your there for b) what you want to do and c) where you want to eat.
I only got a taste of what Singapore has to offer and there is so much more to see, eat and do, that next time I’ll definitely be staying longer than 24 hours.
Eat well, travel well.