Last month I flew to Singapore for just 3 days on a whirlwind weekend trip to see my sister and her boyfriend who have recently moved there to teach. I’d briefly dropped into Singapore on the way to Cambodia/Thailand last year, but didn’t do much exploring so I was excited to see a bit more of what Singapore has to offer. I think it’s often a city in which people spend a few days before travelling further around SE Asia, so I thought a little guide might come in handy to others.
I was pleasantly surprised by Singapore. I know people who have raved about it and also people who have really disliked it. I found it such a cool city to explore, with lots of culture and vibrancy. Plus amazing food and hot weather – pretty much my two favourite things in life. We started each day with a walk/hike, followed by city wandering and then lots of food and cocktails, so I’ve split up what we did into these categories.
Eating and drinking
Travelling since being coeliac can be a bit of a nightmare. In fact it’s probably the worst thing about being coeliac, because food is generally what my holidays revolve around and having to check everything is gluten free can very quickly take away the fun of eating out. I found this really difficult in other parts of Asia but Singapore was so easy because there is no language barrier, and my lovely sister also found some restaurants which cater specifially for GF food.
On my first night we ate at Artichoke (in the top photo). It was a gorgeous little courtyard just off the hustle and bustle of the street, serving delicious serving dishes with a Middle Eastern theme. I never knew brussel sprouts could taste so amazing! Apparently they do a smashing brekkie, too. We followed up with cocktails at Southbridge rooftop bar… not the best cocktails I’ve had, but really gorgeous views of the city.
The next day we checked out a hawker market and I had some really good pad Thai. I have no idea which one we went to, but they are a must-do in Singapore. All the food is so fresh and cooked right in front of you. The local speciality is chicken rice, but I’m not much of a meat eater. The food in Little India looked divine as well, but we weren’t hungry enough for more than a freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. After some happy hour drinks along Club Street and fancy cocktails at a cute bar called Oxwell & Co, we had Mexican at Piedra Negra – the ceviche was to die for! The other days we ate out at more hawker food markets, delicious!
Nature Reserve Hikes
Experiencing Singapore’s nature reserves (Bukit Batok and Bukit Timah) were some of my favourite parts of the trip! I would suggest doing any physical activity early-ish in the morning because it is very humid! One second you are walking along peacefully and the next second you are surrounded by monkeys. We also saw gorgeous turtles swimming at Bukit Timah, it was pretty magical. Bukit Timah was a bit of a more challenging uphill walk, but also maybe because we combined it with a walk along a traintrack beforehand. I suggest bringing water (or iced coffees like we did…).
Exploring the city
One of my favourite areas to explore was Little India – the colours, smells, and food were just amazing. Wandering around Singapore with my sister made us realise how alike we are with our sense of direction; basically useless. So I have no idea how anything interconnected, but I think we ended up in China Town on the same day! Which was also so fun to wander around, duck in and out of shops, and snap photos of all the pretty buildings and tiles. The beach photo above was taken at Sentosa Island at Tanjong Beach Club. Martha and I agreed that the island was a bit of a strange place, neither of us are fans of the theme park vibe… but chilling on the beach with a cocktail was a fantastic way to end a hot sweaty day!
On my last day, Martha was back at work so I had a long walk around the famous Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful and so peaceful. I spent a couple of hours in the Tiong Bahru area which had some very cute and cool boutiques and cafés – I would definitely pay a visit for breakfast next time.
And so there we have it! 3 busy days in Singapore but I could have spent another 3 equally busy days I think! Have you been to Singapore and do you have any more recommendations?