I traveled to Singapore to celebrate the wedding of my friends Serene and Collins. I had high expectations and they were exceeded.
You’ll see Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures (plus many more) coming together here. Old style buildings contrast glassy skyscrapers and vegetation persists everywhere. It feels like nowhere else in the world yet comfortably “western” to me all at once. An impressive metropolis smack in the middle of the Eastern Hemisphere.
One of my favorite cities in the world, this is a place I’ll return to (and would consider living in).
Some general tips:
go to any 7-eleven to pick up a SIM card, for about 10USD you can have a week’s supply of data which will allow you to use maps, etc. well worth it!
Next, get an MRT pass (or use your contactless credit card) to take all trains/buses – Singapore has a great public transport system which you’ll want to take advantage of.
In case you prefer to hire a car use Grab app (like Uber in Singapore).
Bring a refillable water bottle (the tap water is treated and ready to drink)
Eat at the food courts! Delicious meals for 5-10USD (v 15+ USD in a restaurant) To avoid long lines visit just before/after (noon) lunch hour or dinnertime. Also note that if you don’t mind waiting, the cues move quickly.
Bring tissues/wipes because napkins are hard to find.
I saw 24 hr luggage storage at the airport from $10. While you’re there visit the Jewel waterfall in T1.
Now, What to do in Singapore:
Cocktails at Atlas Bar (in the “Batman building”) is a destination I wouldn’t miss. Go before 5pm for a more casual dress code & no reservation needed. Incredible interior and attentive staff, fancy drinks, impressive AC. Sit at the bar and chat with them about what to do around town. Little India and Bugis Street are in the area.
Something I’d never experienced before was a Hot Pot restaurant which gave guests free manicures! Haidilao in VivoCity is the place to go (this is best as a group activity).
The stunning wedding of Serene and Collins took place on Santosa Island.
I attended a yoga class in celebration of the International Yoga Day. My friend Harshini hosts Flow and Chai Yoga in the Botanic Gardens every other Sunday at 9am. Bring your own mat and mug to Corner Walk (near the Nassim Gate entrance/visitor center).
The Botanic Gardens are very pretty, easy to access via the DLR and free.
The Coconut Club offers yummy SE Asian foods near Chinatown.
See the “Supertrees” aka (by me) giant mushrooms light show nightly at 7:45/8:45pm
My friend Andrew was generous enough to invite me to the Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool (hotel reservation needed for this one) which has famous views from the highest point in the city. The infinity edge gives a serious impact. I don’t think the viewing deck option (for non-hotel guests) would really be worth it…
A couple of things to eat: Laksa (fish and noodle curry soup) and an ice cream sandwich (literally a block of ice cream in bread/pictured below)
Take a riverboat cruise for $25 and bring home some Tigerbalm as a souvenir (it’s made here!)