After what feels like the most turbulent plane ride I have ever taken, my friend Lisa and I arrive in Singapore. Taken back by the beauty of the city even from the airport to her apartment I could hardly wait to get the next day started. Thankfully Lisa has been living in the city for a while so she had no issues or lack of things to do when I asked her how I should fill my day. I make my way to get coffee first thing in the morning when I am stopped in my tracks by the phenomenal view from her patio. It was absolutely stunning and became my go to place each morning to enjoy my coffee and plan my day.
Finally ready for the day I make my way from Robertson Quay down the river passing through Clarke Quay to the central Clarke station to catch the MRT (metro train). First stop on my list, Chinatown. Getting into Chinatown was surprisingly intimidating as this was the first time I truly felt out of my comfort zone. Walking around unsure of what anything says or what any kind of food is I briskly walk around when in my head I am saying “ok that’s enough let’s go somewhere I feel less uncomfortable”. It was at that moment I realized that I actually signed up for this and to be out of my comfort zone was the point of it all. And what good is any of this going to do if I don’t experience the things I actually came here to experience. I decide that maybe fleeing Chinatown may not be the best option for me and I make one last attempt to go through an outside food market. Walking through I slow my pace and then finally I see something familiar, Xiao Long Bao. Those that know me know that Xiao Long Bao is one of my favorite things in the entire world. So I walk up to the station and pay my $4 SGD to give them a go.
The photo does not do justice to how big these actually were and how insanely delicious they were! My go to Los Angeles spot for these, Din Tai Fung, will never compare.
Hopping on the MRT next stop is Haji Lane and Arab Street. This adorable, hipster, artsy part of town is filled with restaurants, small shops, and art as far as the eye can see.
After roaming the streets I make my way down to Raffles Hotel, home to the original Singapore Sling cocktail. Long Bar is located on the second floor and interestingly enough is quite casual compared to the hotel. Bags of peanuts line the bar while the peanut shells are beneath you on the floor. Having had no Wi-Fi the entire day I make finding that a priority to touch base with everyone at home. Luckily I stumbled upon an adorable very western restaurant called Bridge, which had no one else in it and spend some time getting reconnected with everyone at home.
Reminiscing on the day and how all day has just flown by, the evening is what I am looking forward to the most! Marina Bay Sands for an amazing view and Garden by the Bay Supertrees. Marina Bay Sands has an observation deck that you can pay to go up to called “Skypark” to take in the view. Not wanting to pay for a view I ask the hostess of Ce’ La Vie if I could go up to the bar for a view and cocktail, she happily showed me the way.
Walking out on to the roof was remarkable. The view was jaw dropping and as the sun was setting I was convinced it couldn’t get any better. Luckily I was mistaken. As the night gets darker the lights got brighter, next thing you know I am staring at what I believe to be one of the most gorgeous skylines I have ever seen.
After snapping way too many photos I make my way down to find Garden by the Bay, which is a short five-minute walk from Marina Bay Sands.
Arriving at Gardens by the Bay the Supertrees are everything I expected them to be, absolutely stunning.
Day two is thankfully less eventful. One thing I have learned in my short period of time here is that you can’t constantly be “on the go.” Frankly it’s exhausting and you really have no time to stop and appreciate where you are and what you are doing, so having this day to take my time is a lovely thought. There is only one event planned for day two as I have a bus at 6 pm to catch to Malaysia and that is to meet my dad’s sister-in-law (my step-aunt if you will) for lunch. Yes, you read that right. My dad text me on my first day saying that my step-aunt Tara was also in Singapore! I reached out and lunch at Lau Pat Sat was added to my agenda. Lau Pat Sat is a large market place with outdoor seating with multiple stations to choose from and if you are going to Singapore it definitely needs to be on your list of places to go. The second we get in she is on a mad hunt to find this one stall she was craving. She nicely told me to choose whatever I wanted from the market, but I figured if she was this excited about a dish, I would want to try that! She was absolutely spot on – fried noodles with pork, chicken vegetable wonton, and a soy based sauce – delicious!
I also have to be honest; I had no intention when I decided to do this trip to go to Singapore. I hadn’t done any research on it nor knew a lot about the city so the only reason I came here was because Lisa lived here. Final consensus; I have officially fallen in love with Singapore. I have every intention on coming back to the city and cannot wait to go through Chinatown with a newfound confidence and see more of what this city has to offer.
Next stop – Pulau Sibu Island, Malaysia