Singapore

This site has been pretty heavy on the Australia content for a while. Time to venture to Singapore!

When I say I had no idea what to expect in Singapore, I’m really not exaggerating. I think that goes for every place I travelled to, other than Australia. For Oz, I had planned everything, I knew what I wanted to see and do. For Asia, and subsequently Central America, I hadn’t a breeze. I was honestly turning up in some countries and saying ‘ok, what’s good to do here’.

Luckily, in Singapore I was staying with a good friend of mine David. We’ve been friends since college ever since we competed in (nerd alert) an international consultancy competition together. David’s been living in Singapore for over two years now, and I’ve always wanted to visit him. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to go there after my Australian travels.

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Ok first off, Singapore is where humidity comes alive. Seriously. Think, hair sticking to the back of your neck kind of humidity. I’m painting a beautiful picture here. Have your loosest, airiest clothes to hand in Singapore, because even when it’s raining, it’s humid. And there will be rain too, so keep that in mind.

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David and I spent a couple of hours on his balcony, drinking beers and catching up, before heading to Lau Pa Sat, a hawker centre in Singapore. Another thing about Singapore, it’s not the cheapest place in the world. So if you’re on a budget, hawker centre’s are great for getting a cheap meal, and Lau Pa Sat has a lot of options for you to try. We headed to Kinki Bar for a drink or two and admired the view over the bay.

The next morning, I had big plans to seize the day and all that jazz… After sleeping until noon, I finally got a start on the day and headed to The Art Science Museum, after an aimless wander in the shopping centre. I went to the Future World exhibit which is absolutely stunning. It was so innovative, with incredible interactive installations. My favourite part, and I think everyone’s favourite part was the Crystal Universe. It’s in the video above, but truly needs to be seen and experienced!

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Realising that I hadn’t really eaten that day, I headed to Din Tai Fung for some steamed buns and dumplings. I have never seen such an extensive and overwhelming menu in all my life! Don’t go too hungry as you’ll work up an appetite just figuring out what to eat.

Unfortunately it was a really rainy day that day, which meant exploring the Gardens by the Bay difficult. The Skyway was closed, so I made do with wandering around the gardens, which were totally spectacular. I highly recommend the lobby of the Marina Bay Sands hotel for a spot of people watching. It’s such a busy hotel with about a million things going on at once. It’s the perfect place to sit at the lobby bar with a glass of wine and just watch it all go by.

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Once David finished work, he met me in the lobby and we went to Cé La Vi. This rooftop bar and restaurant is at the top of the Marina Bay hotel, right beside the infinity pool. It has the most incredible views over Singapore. Which the entrance fee seems a bit steep at $20, it’s redeemable against a drink of your choice when you get to the bar.

If you’re looking for another cheap activity to do in Singapore, then I recommend going to Spectre, the light and water show. It takes place at the base of the Marina Bay hotel and is free for everyone. Get there early unless you want selfie sticks and people in your way! It’s an amazing show, fountains spray water, which then have images projected onto them with lights. Totally trippy, the music is stunning, absolutely worth checking out.

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One of the best things about Singapore is how multicultural it is. I definitely recommend venturing out and experiencing this eclectic mix of cultures. Me, David and Alvin headed to Little India that night for some top notch Indian food in Mustard Cafe. We got a mix of different mains, rice, loads of naan bread and some beers to wash it down. Perfection.

We strolled around the city after that, with the guys pointing out some sights to me. Singapore is a very walkable city. You don’t have to get taxis and public transport everywhere. Although, with the humidity, you may end up still doing that. But at night, when it’s a little cooler, it’s lovely to walk around the city and see the sights at night. We ended up in Chijmes, which used to be a Catholic convent, but now is a shopping, dining and entertainment centre. It’s stunning! Well worth going to some evening for a night cap, or for brunch some day.

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I was lucky that it didn’t decide to rain on my last full day in Singapore. I was even more lucky that David’s apartment complex had a pool and a jacuzzi that I could use for the day. Nothing better than relaxing by a pool in that humidity!

You may have heard of Raffles Hotel in Singapore, which is a bit of an institution. It’s where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented. Unfortunately, when I was in Singapore, the hotel was under renovations. However the bar was still in operation. This is not a cheap thing to do, it will set you back over $30 for that one cocktail. But, it is a beautiful setting, renovations aside, the staff are lovely, the drink is tasty, and I got chatting to some really nice fellow travellers who were also ticking Raffles off their bucket list.

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My last night in Singapore was so much fun. David and I met up with two of his colleagues for dinner in Yellow Bird. The food is amazing, you need to go if you’re in Singapore. We had a great time chatting and drinking wine, before David insisted that I have a true Asian experience… So we went to a karaoke bar!

I cannot for the life of me remember what the name of the karaoke bar was, but there’s loads in Singapore, so you won’t be stuck. There was about 25 of us at one point, crammed into this little room, drunkenly belting out ‘Angels’ and Celine Dion. Hilarious. I paid for it the next day, dragging my hungover ass through the airport to fly to Vietnam. But still, so worth it!

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Singapore is a fascinating place, I haven’t even touched on how freakishly clean the place is, and it’s amazing having so many different cultures blended together in one place. As usual, all the restaurants and bars I went to are all available in this Google Map. I’d definitely recommend a trip to Singapore, you won’t regret it!

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