I’m lucky enough to have friends in Singapore and I was determined to get over and visit after missing out on visiting them while they lived in Hong Kong thanks to a certain pandemic. I saw some cheap tickets to Singapore and jumped at the opportunity to get over there.
Wow! What an incredible city. As soon as I hopped off the plane Singapore enveloped me with a big, warm, humid, equatorial hug, much to my delight after being cold for the last few months of winter here. Within an hour of arriving I was enjoying satay chicken from a hawker market with my beautiful hosts.
I had my first day solo adventuring because it was a weekday and my friends were working. I organised a big list of places I wanted to see before I left home so I was excited to have a day to myself exploring. The public transport system in Singapore is brilliant and so easy, you can just tap your bank card instead of a ticket. So I spent the day on the bus and walking (25,000 steps on day one but the humidity made it feel like I’d done many more). I visited Tiong Bahru market, Old Hill Police Station, Raffles Hotel, Little India and Arab Street district. There were two things I noticed pretty quickly in Singapore: the impeccably clean streets and the lush greenery. Huge, beautiful green spaces everywhere and not one bit of rubbish or graffiti on the streets. Amazing. I felt extremely safe traipsing around by myself even wandering down quiet alley ways.
Started the morning with a sweaty walk alongside my friend around the unbelievably extensive Singapore Botanic Gardens within which there is the National Orchid Garden and for a small fee you can see a stunning collection of orchids. This was a must-see for me because my grandparents love orchids and even have an orchid house and I would have loved so much to share this with them. Very special.
We then headed off to Joo Chiat conservation area where I was excited to see more of the traditional shop houses and colourful Peranakan houses and culture. This ended up surprising us as there were some incredible homewares stores and really trendy cafes that we weren’t expecting. It was fun browsing some beautiful, unique shops. Then on the way home we swung past Emerald Hill neighbourhood as I ran out of time to see it the day before. It is a wealthy, beautifully preserved area displaying many examples of traditional architecture. I loved it. It was then time to enjoy a fancy hotel for my last night. A girls night was in order. Cocktails on a rooftop overlooking the river and Marina Bay Sands as the sun set and the lights started twinkling. Then a late night swim in the evening heat. And to top it off a buffet breakfast in the morning!
A slow day greeted by an impressive monsoonal thunderstorm which Imogen and I enjoyed from our hotel balcony. Then a trip to a local shopping mall and an afternoon relaxing back at the apartment. And finally time to hit the huge airport shopping centre called Jewel before checking in and embarking on my homeward journey.
And just like that Singapore feels like it was a dream as I settle back into business as usual at home. I will definitely be going back as there is so much I didn’t get to see. I think my kids would love it too so maybe next time the whole gang can hit up this brilliant city. Until next time Singapore!