Singapore, a small territory at the southern tip of Malaysia, is also known as the city of the future. Why do I know this? Because National Geographic made a documentary about it. I watched it before we went and then I felt like I was unqualified to visit this city but believe it or not, they let me in! It’s a bustling mecca for finance, technology and unique architectural perspective. I think the goal is to marry foliage and concrete. And they do it beautifully. The city’s infrastructure is set up to be as efficient as possible to serve one of the highest population densities in the world. The grid for skyscrapers is even laid out in a way that lets the ocean breeze flow through the city. Crazy right? I never think about these things. In the cab ride to our airbnb I just stared out the window, taking in all the cool looking buildings.
The main mode of transportation is the subway. Make sure you read the rules carefully and take them seriously. They will actually give you a ticket for drinking coffee on the subway. No food, no drink and no durian. So get your stinky durian out of here. Singapore is famous for its hawker centers. These are basically large food courts that contain food stalls that sell many different kinds of cuisine. A few of the famous hawker centers that we visited were Lau Pa Sat and Newton. In the evening, part of the street is actually closed to set up seating for the Lau Pa Sat hawker center. Two food staples you HAVE to try in Singapore are barbecue stingray and chili crab. Both were awesome at Lau Pa Sat.
At the newton hawker center we had the famous Singapore staple, Hainanese chicken. The stall we wanted to go to, Tian Tian, was closed for Chinese new year so we picked a different one but it was still tasty melt in your mouth chicken and rice. They cook the rice in chicken broth.
And don’t forget dessert! I had this strawberry shaved milk ice dessert called Bingsu. It’s Korean!
Okay, now on to the FUN stuff. Whether or not you have a family and small children, you will enjoy the amusement park of Sentosa Island. To get there we took the cable car from Mount Faber to Sentosa Island. It is a resort style island with recreational things to do like rollercoasters, water rides, and zip lining. There is also an aquarium that we heard was awesome but the line was so long and we didn’t want to waste time standing in line. So instead we did the gravity luge!
Singapore is super international and of course the best part of this is having access to a wide variety of foods. We went to little India and had Masala Dosa. Be careful in little India, the drivers are crazy and will run you over. I think they think they are actually in India.
Another hot spot to see is Arab Street. There you will find the masjid Sultan. It’s pretty and there’s lots of eating places around to choose from.
If you go to China town you will find the buddha tooth relic temple. It’s unclear whether or not there is a real buddha tooth inside. You can stop by the China town hawker center for some fresh squeezed sugar cane juice.
If you have little ones that need to cool off, Clark quay has a splash pad that’s pretty large. Lionel had fun there.
Looking for beautiful views of the city to get that perfect instagram shot? Go to the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. We didn’t stay there but wish we did. There’s a rooftop pool that’s only open to guests and everyone else is herded like cattle to a different portion of the rooftop but you can still get a beautiful picture. We’re glad we went but it’s super crowded up there.
Oh and of course, don’t forget about gardens by the bay. It truly is spectacular and maybe one of Singapore’s most famous attractions, especially after Crazy Rich Asians. We went but my husband got sick while we were there so I didn’t get pictures. There’s also an indoor exhibit that has a tall waterfall and a serene walkway through indoor gardens.
We loved our trip to Singapore. You get all the culture of a third world country but you get to experience it with the convenience and diversity of a modern city.