We decided to stop in Singapore for a few days on our way back from Bali to maximize our time in Asia. I had heard a ton of great things about Singapore, but honestly did not expect to love it so much.
Seriously, I’m obsessed.
First of all, it’s a city filled with details and is SO aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There are so many things the city does to show itself off and entertain its visitors.
Second, Singapore is SO clean and beautiful. Everyone pretty much speaks English as well, so I wasn’t too concerned with things getting lost in translation.
Third, it’s definitely a city/country you can see in a very short period of time.
»MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL: We took a 15 minute cab ride from the airport to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – probably one of the most photographed hotels around. When we arrived, I felt like I was in a Vegas hotel except without the cigarette smoke + casino game noises (although there actually is a casino in a separate part of the hotel). This hotel is also famous for the amazing rooftop/infinity pool, which – let’s be honest- was the main reason for picking this as a place to stay. Unfortunately, you can only access this pool if you’re a guest of the hotel (if you’re a guest, make sure everyone in your party has a room key otherwise they will not let you in the pool section). We definitely splurged on this hotel, but it was worth it.
»HAWKING CENTERS: After exploring the mesmerizing hotel, we took the ever so clean metro system a few stops to Chinatown and checked out one of the famous Hawking Centers: Maxwell. Hawking Centers are pretty much the equivalent to American food courts – a big open space with multiple different food shops. Anthony Bourdain had raving reviews about a number of stands, so we made our way up and down the aisles until we found two that caught our attention. First was Fuzhou Oyster Cake, home of the Fried Oyster Cake – which is literally the only thing on the menu, but delish. Anthony Bourdain had a good point…if you’ve been in business for years, only serving one thing on your menu…you must be doing it right. The second was Tian Tian Hainanese to try the famous Chicken Rice.
»MARINA BAY SANDS POOL + DRINKS @ ROOFTOP BAR: We made our way back to the hotel where we headed straight to the pool. It was PACKED. If you’re looking to get pictures without 839 guests in the way, you’ll have much better luck getting to the pool first thing in the AM. Even then, people still might have the same idea as you. Regardless, we were able to get some fun selfies and even enjoyed a few cocktails in the pool lounge chairs. We headed over to Ce La Vi, the rooftop lounge/restaurant, to grab an appetizer + another round of drinks.
»SPECTRA LIGHT + WATER SHOW: Remember how I said there are so many things Singapore does to show itself off to visitors? Enter not one, but TWO light shows. And honestly, I can’t even decide which I liked better. We went to Spectra Light + Water Show first, which is right outside the Marina Bay Sands mall area. There are two shows Sunday – Thursday (8p + 9p) and three on Fridays/Saturdays (8p + 9p +10p). The good seating for this show filled up fast, but you can always stand in the back if needed. It’s about 15 minutes of lights, lasers, water movement, + music. It’s amazing, enchanting, cool AF, etc etc.
»GARDENS BY THE BAY SHOW: After the first show, we headed to the Gardens By The Bay show, and honestly I thought nothing could impress me more than what we just saw. But we were both in awe of the huge trees lit up with sparkling lights. When the music started we decided to lay on the ground and stare up to watch the lights/show – I know, sounds gross. But I swear, Singapore is so clean, I didn’t even think anything of it. This also has multiple showings: 7:45p + 8:45p. As if I haven’t hyped these shows up enough already, they are both FREE. No tickets, no entrances, just walk right up.
»SPAGO: After the shows, we walked around the Gardens by the Bay a little more + soaked in the city lights/scenery. To end the evening, we went back to our hotel and got dinner at Spago, one of the rooftop restaurants. The restaurant has sliding doors that open the inside to the outside, so the view was amazing. We ordered the Cornmeal Crusted Calamari for our appetizer and split the Spicy Tuna Roll + Prawn Tempura Roll.
»FULLERTON HOTEL: Since the Marina Bay Sands was a littleee pricey, we decided to also stay at the iconic Fullerton Hotel. It was less than a 10 minute drive from the Marina Bay Sands and has a lot of history. It also has views of the Marina Bay Sands which isn’t bad to look at.
»SENTOSA ISLAND: After checking out, we headed over to our next hotel – the iconic Fullerton Hotel. Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we took a taxi and headed to Sentosa Island, the most southern part of continental Asia. The beach was super tropical and everything was so clear. If we had more time, we probably would’ve spent a half day here lounging on the beach. BUT if you’re strapped for time, you can easily explore in an hour + it’s only about a 20 minute drive each way from where we were staying.
»WALK AROUND BOAT QUAY: We came back and had lunch on Boat Quay at Dallas Steakhouse, a restaurant that had 3-7p happy hour daily. What caught our attention was the $20 Burger + Beer deal as well. They have a cute seating area right on the riverfront, which made for a totally perfect view. We ordered the Southern Burger and also got the Nachos Supreme – both were delicious.
»GARDENS OF THE BAY: We walked off our meal by walking through the Gardens of the Bay exhibits: Cloud Forest + Flower Dome. Cloud Forest is a modern greenhouse complete with a massive waterfall. To whoever thought of this place, all I can say is WOW. The Flower Dome was cool as well, but Cloud Forest definitely stole my favorite spot. As the evening kicked off, we decided to walk around the bay-front more and catch the light/water show one more time – this time from the opposite side of the bay.
»THE SAMPAN: After browsing restaurants in Boat Quay, we came across The Sampan which had only been officially open for 2 nights. We loved the details of the restaurant + the staff was being super accommodating so we couldn’t pass it up. After picking a table with a view, the manager gave us a run down on the menu. When he said their bartender made stiff/generous drinks, we obviously had to test that out (he wasn’t lying). We ordered a Lychee Martini, the Mango + Chili Smash, and their signature White Sangria. For food, we had the Pork + Chicken Spring Rolls + Pot Sticker Dumplings as appetizers then Garlic Fried Rice and Chicken Spare Ribs as more of a main dish. All the food was amazing. If I had to pick, my favorite was the Pork + Chicken Spring Rolls. We wrapped them in the lettuce and drizzled sauce on top. So. good.
»KAYA TOAST @ LOKAL CAFE: On our last day in Singapore, we originally planned to do breakfast and walk around Little India. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us, so breakfast was our only activity. My friend from Singapore said Kaya Toast is a must, so we gave it a try at Lokal Cafe. One of their beer selections was Fucking Hell Beer. Naturally, we had to try that. For our main meal, we did the Pimp My Breakfast with Sourdough, poached eggs, smashed avo, potatoes + house made ricotta. And of course…the Kaya Toast, which was hands down one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. Kaya = smooth, buttery, coconut-y, sweet goodness – put it on warm, thick bread and it’s even better. I spoke about Kaya so much after my trip, TWO of my friends got me jars of Kaya as gifts.