Singapore is a modern city-state located in Southeast Asia, sandwiched between Indonesia and Malaysia. As a child, we visited Singapore quite frequently and the fond memory of delicious food hawkers, the bustling Orchard Road at both daytime and nighttime, and modern shopping centres resonated fondly. Because of that reason, we decided to have a 2-night pit stop in Singapore on our way home from Bali.
In this series:
- Japan Airlines Business Class 787-8 Seattle to Tokyo-Narita
- Japan Airlines Business Class 767-300 Tokyo-Narita to Jakarta
- AirAsia Economy Class A320-200 Jakarta to Denpasar, Denpasar to Jakarta, Jakarta to Singapore
- Beaches and Temples: What we did in Bali
- Hyatt Regency Bali
- Andaz Singapore
- 48 hours in Singapore
- Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Singapore to Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class A350-900 Hong Kong to Seattle
The first sightseeing stop we did was the Gardens by the Bay. While I have seen pictures of the gardens previously, it moved up a notch on our Singapore-to-do list after the movie Crazy Rich Asian, which was filmed in Singapore, premiered last year. We took a quick Uber ride from the Andaz Singapore, and arrived shortly after 3PM. The weather, expectedly, was hot and sticky but the breeze coming from the water tamed down the oppressive humidity a tad.
To say the park was huge is an understatement. Because of the limited time, we decided to pay a visit to the flower dome and cloud forest conservatories and the Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway. Visiting the conservatories cost S$28 as a bundle of two conservatories, but it can be purchased separately as well. The Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway costs S$8.
The flower dome had an exhibit on orchids at the time of our visit, and the cloud forest allow visitors to essentially climb up to the top of a waterfall. The Supertree had a million-dollar view at sunset. Queue was long but manageable, but the staff did appear to rush people through the walk, probably due to capacity control.
As a bonus, the gardens also had an (free) exhibit on lanterns that are displayed throughout the park. All of the displays were amazing, and it was money well spent. However, be prepared to move shoulder-to-shoulder especially during weekends and holidays.
Having been knackered from a super early start at the Hyatt Regency Bali, we decided to grab dinner at Newton Circus and call it a night early. At ~8PM, the hawker complex was very busy.
First time visitors are likely to feel rather intimidated, but you essentially do the following:
- Find an empty seat(s). You can either have someone in your group wait at the seat while you order, or you can mark your territory by placing an item (anything – sunglasses, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, etc) at your spot if traveling solo.
- Note your table number. You are going to need this when ordering food.
- Place your food order at your favorite stalls. Some stalls are self-service (meaning that you have to wait at the stall and pick up the food yourself), while others will deliver the food directly to your table. Some stalls collect the payment at the time the order is placed, and others will do so when the food is ready. At any rate, most are cash-only establishments, so be sure to bring some cash when placing the order.
- Enjoy your food! (Hopefully your food actually made it, unlike one of ours that never made it).
The following day, we visited the Merlion statue by the water, which is an icon of Singapore.
We stopped by a small, shaded Kaya shack nearby for a quick relief from the heat.
The next stop was Chinatown where we browsed little shops for some souvenirs. We picked up a couple of mooncakes and snacked on some fresh (but overpriced) durian.
We also stopped by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum nearby.
For lunch, we went to yet another hawker stall in search for the supposedly-well known hainanese chicken rice stall. Unfortunately, all of the chickens were sold out by the time we arrived. We settled with a chicken rice dish from another stall, some dry wonton noodles and finished off with some ice kacang.
On our way home, we stopped by the Haw Par Villa. It is a compact theme park with free admissions, showcasing hundreds of statues and dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore and mythology. It’s certainly an interesting one, but hey, it’s free to visit!
We cooled off at the infinity, rooftop pool at the Andaz Singapore whilst sipping on some Aperol spritzes. I definitely was not complaining! Dinner was at yet another street hawker. This time we were in the mission to find Putu Piring Haig Road that we saw on a Netflix show recently. Putu Piring is a bowl-shaped sweets containing palm sugar and topped off with shredded coconut.
We also had some satay, Singaporean-style glass noodles, and a glass of cendol — a sweet beverage containing jellies, coconut milk and palm sugar.
As you see, it was obvious that our pit stop in Singapore revolved around food. There’s no denying that Singapore is a culinary destination for food-oriented people like ourselves.