2 days in Singapore, Singpore
During our 7 week trip through Asia we spent 3 night and 2 days in Singapore. The city is known for its cleanliness, sustainability and iconic architecture. Jared's a documentary watcher and there were a couple things he wanted to check out. I initially had no interest but I'm glad we went!
It was a quick stay so we pretty much just hit the tourist spots and bounced.
The short list.
Stayed at Porcelain hotel
Singapore Zoo - fed giraffes
Ate street meat - Lau Pa Sat hawker centre
Explored Gardens by the Bay
Ventured through Chinatown
Compared to our other stops in Asia this was by far the most expensive and more expensive even than our home city of Winnipeg Manitoba as well. We stayed at The Porcelain Hotel which was definitely one of the nicer places in the backpacker area but also the cheapest hotel we could find. We paid $367 CND for 3 nights ($285 USD). If you're looking for a hostel I heard good things about Beary Good Hostel and InnCrowd. The room was really small with one of those shower head over the toilet type bathrooms but it was all we needed!
We realized shortly after we got there that it was probably going to rain a lot of the time. It seemed the rain usually came in the afternoon so we got up early to head to the Singapore Zoo! I'm not a huge zoo person and overall I don't think it's a brilliant institution but as far as zoos go the Singapore one is pretty amazing with their open concept cages and big areas for the animals, any zookeeper animal interaction we saw was really pleasant and the staff are really knowledgable.
Getting there - we took the Metro from the Chinatown stop to Choa Chu Kang (NS4) then grabbed the 927 bus the rest of the way. There are a few other metro-bus connections but note that two of them only operate on Sundays and Public Holidays. Going from Metro to Bus is usually something I just bail on and get an uber but figuring it out wasn't hard at all and probably saved us around $30 because it's really inexpensive and fast!
I wanted to get to the zoo for the opening time 8:30am (lol) and was spazzing out about how we weren't going to get there till 10:15 but it was still relatively quiet. I was on a mission to feed giraffes which was totally worth the $5. Theres a feeding schedule for giraffes, lions, rhinos. We wandered around for 3 more hours seeing tons of monkeys, zebras, big cats etc. All the classic zoo stuff. Oh PS we had the most disgustttting food there. The chicken was raw and the noodles were cold and it was so overpriced. However, the zoo actually recommends bringing your own picnic lunch so I would definitely pack some snacks and then eat after you leave. mmm yeah, anyway, enough about the food.
Here's some pics of the creatures we saw
On our way back to Chinatown we found a cool little market called the Sungei Road Market filled with clothes, hats, sunglasses, electronics, used items and food. We grabbed a headphone splitter (key for watching Netflix together on the iPad on the plane) and tried Dragon's Breath (see photo below), and deep fried Oreos..
We rounded out our day by having dinner at Lau Pa Sat after our market dessert. At 5:30pm the centre opens and at 7pm satay stands line the street of Lau Pa Sat setting up tons of plastic tables and chairs. This street meat is bomb and eating at Hakwer Centres is for sure the cheapest way to eat in Singapore. The centres are basically Health and Safety controlled food stands (ie. A western travellers dream). The two main ones are Gluttons Bay and Lau Pa Sat (18, Raffles Quay) both have tons of international cuisine; Turkish, Indian, Indonesia, Thai, and Chinese.
Our second day itinerary was focused on Garden's by the Bay a huge botanical park which focuses on sustainability. We ate a bomb breakfast at Bread & Hearth and met this amazing Malaysian family, you know when you meet people and they just have the most polite kids? So lovely, so so lovely. After breakfast we wandered through Chinatown which is where you'll want to go for some souvenirs. We wanted to be at GbtB for sunset when everything lights up so we weren't rushing to get there. We went for 3pm, cost get in was around $20CND each. There was a lot of crowds which was a bit tedious at time but we were blown away by the indoor waterfall, the worlds tallest actually, and the hundreds of beautiful, different coloured flowers and plants throughout. If you are a botanists I'm sure this place would blow your mind, it kind of felt like walking through Willy Wonka's flower factory - equally as whimsical with all of the plants and none of the candy.
Near the park there is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which has an incredible view of the city from the 57 floor. However, the cost to go up was $25 each and I don't think the drinks were much less so it just wasn't worth it for us. We decided that next time we come to Singapore as the 30 something incredibly successful business people we intend to be....we will go to the top, enjoy the views and the worlds largest rooftop infinity pool and drink some wine.
Our two days in Singapore were already over, we had crossed off the list The Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, exploring Chinatown, and eating at a Hawker Centre. Recommended things we missed - exploring Little India and drinking a Singapore Sling (totally forgot about this, rookie move).
Awh well, off to Vietnam