Coming back home from Bali last year, we decided on a 3-day stopover in Singapore using Singapore Airlines Stopover deal. We wanted to show the city-country to The Kid, and most importantly, we wanted to have a mini food-adventure, which we know the city is famous for.
Unfortunately, this trip was not meant to be one that give us tons of great photos. For a starter, it rained almost all the time we were there, from misty drizzles to proper Asian monsoon downpour. When it didn’t rain, the grey cloudy sky made flat and unflattering light. And at the end of the trip, Hubby lost the camera altogether (he managed to backed up a few before that happened, but it’s still not much).
Where we stayed:
Hotels in Singapore are expensive and generally small, especially compared to Bali. After our stay at a private villa with its own pool in Amed, it took some adjustments when we stepped into our room at Studio M Hotel (which actually cost twice as much as the villa), in the Clarke Quay area. The split level room was small (and the shower teeny tiny), but coming from Amsterdam, we are quite used to small spaces, and we found the room cosy, with the split level lending it an illusion of a separate sleeping area.
Clarke Quay was a great area to stay at; there were many restaurants and shops within walking distance of the hotel, and when we wanted to venture further, taxis were very easy to find.
What we did:
The first evening after we arrived, we strolled around Clarke Quay trying to find a place to eat. There were plenty, and we had to walk around the place several times just to decide which one to choose. After dinner we decided to go right away to the Night Safari. Animal-loving Kid was very excited about it, even though she was a bit tired. It was around 10pm when we arrived, and there was a light drizzle as we made it around the pathways of the lush and sparsely lit zoo, making it feel authentically rain forest-like.
Singapore is a heaven for shoppers, but none of us are keen on it, preferring to walk around the interesting areas of the city, such as the China Town, Indian Town and the Peranakan area of Joo Chiat. We took advantage of Singapore Airlines Hop-on buses, which made it easy for us to go between places of interest around the city for a very affordable price (I forgot how much exactly). We also went up the Singapore Flyer, the giant ferris wheel for a full panoramic view of the island. The view was gorgeous, for unfortunately, none of the pictures came out well because it was heavily cloudy.
What we ate:
I think we spent more times gorging on some form of food or other. If there is one thing that is not a problem in Singapore, it is finding something to eat. There is something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters. There is a dizzying array of options from the poshest establishments to street hawkers, which in Singapore comply to very high standard of food safety.
It’s quite impossible to list all the food we consumed during our 3-day stay, but my absolute favourite would be laksa, bought at a street side stall of Katong Laksa 328. It is a hearty dish of noodles, prawns, mussels, tofu, soaked in rich and savoury curry sauce. It’s a true bliss, especially washed down with Teh Tarik, a foamy, milky, sweet ice tea.
The Kid was happy eating Chinese Lo Mein and ramen, but I think her favourite dish was Hainan chicken rice, with its steamy and tender chicken and flavoursome rice. It’s simple with mild, I consider it a safe kid menu option. She also enjoyed sharing a a big bowl of breakfast congee with me; a soupy rice porride with chicken, pork, or a hundred-year egg thrown in it. I personally enjoy the hundred year egg, but The Kid wouldn’t even give it a try, I don’t understand why…
On the day we’re suppose to fly home, we went several hours earlier and just hung out at the food court in Changi Airport, and sat there for several hours, nibbling on all kinds of different things from the various stalls. It is hands down the best way to while away hours at an airport.
Some tips on Singapore:
- Public transport is efficient and a good way to go around in Singapore, but always remember to have small cash, especially if you take buses. The bus fare is dropped into a box and the bus drivers don’t want to bother giving you a large change because he might miss his schedule. We had to exchange our money with other passengers in the bus when we didn’t have the correct change.
- Try local food. If you’re a vegetarian, head to the Indian Town where they have many vegetarian only curry places. If you’re not sure what you can eat, best bet is to go to many of the shopping malls food courts, I promise you that you will find something you fancy and love.
- Changi airport is one of the children-friendly airports we’ve been to. Even when you’re stuck for several hours, there’s always something entertaining for the children to do. The Kid’s favourite was the 3-story slide in T3.