Singapore Travel: Day One in Central Singapore

mixed-satay

Mixed Satay

Singapore has been on my travel wish list since my late teens. With a long five-day weekend coming up and knowing that we could use our air miles to travel to one of the world’s three city-states for free, we were booked and ready to go faster than you can say cat on a hot tin roof.

The Fullerton - Nightscape

The Fullerton Hotel

John and I didn’t spend much time preparing for our trip to Singapore. Under normal circumstances, we’d have planned a loose travel itinerary to follow. Given the amount of time we had, and the way my health has been, we decided to leave things up to chance. We each picked two things that we would like to do and then fit it into our schedule. My friend, Josh, was kind enough to provide some insider tips, since he recently completed co-authoring Lonely Planet’s Singapore guide. While we weren’t able to take all of his suggestions, we now know what we can do for our next trip.

Our journey began with a first-class flight on Singapore Airlines. After being completely pampered for the duration of the flight, we took a taxi to our hotel, The Fullerton Hotel, a five-star hotel in downtown Singapore. Arriving at 11pm didn’t leave much time for sightseeing, but we did manage to squeeze in some awestruck wanderings along the pier and an authentic $16 Singapore Sling in our hotel lobby. Sorry, no Raffles this time. We planned on going, but we figured our money would be better spent elsewhere.

Singapore Day One found us snuggled up in our beautiful room overlooking Boat Quay on the Singapore River.  You’ll be able to read more about our beautiful accommodations in a review post, but rest assured, this is one of the most picturesque hotels we’ve had the pleasure of staying at. We enjoyed a leisurely buffet breakfast at the hotel and then set out for a day of sightseeing and shopping. We’d arrived just in time for the Great Singapore Sale! We wandered down to the waterfront and took a look at the Singapore Flyer, shopped to our heart’s content at Bazaar 21 and took advantage of the 70% off sales on designer name clothing.

Pan Shrimp and Fries

Chili-shrimp and fries skillet.

That afternoon, we headed for Orchard Road to find out what all the fuss is about. Shopping centers are always great places for food and people-watching. We combined the two together and enjoyed a terrific seafood lunch of pan-fried chili shrimp. I took an hour to peruse the bookshelves at Borders – a real honest-to-goodness bookstore from back home – and picked up some titles I’ve been waiting to get my hands on. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. We went back to the hotel for a swim and a snooze before our evening activities commenced.

Carrie and Nellie

Carrie and Nellie

Later on in the evening, we met up with a blogger friend of mine, Nellie, who writes Wild Junket. She and her friend, K.K. were kind enough to meet us at our hotel. From there, we had a bit of a walking tour while Nellie explained about the local history. We headed for a famous hawker center, Lau Pa Sat, where Nellie and K.K. treated us to some Singaporean delights that included lots of satay, fried carrot cake, laksa, and ice-cold beer. We ended our evening with some live music and a few beers at a bar called Insomnia in Chijmes Hall, formerly one of the last few cloistered convents in the world. Thanks very much to Nellie and K.K. for taking time out of their day to show us around their beautiful city. Your travel tips and suggestions were taken to heart and we truly enjoyed meeting you both!

IMG_3758

Satay and ice-cold Singhas.

Satay Master

Satay Master at Lau Pa Sat food center.

24 thoughts on “Singapore Travel: Day One in Central Singapore

  1. Mary Richardson

    Isn’t Singapore amazing for all the senses? I love the mix of cultures and languages and how you can hop on the little metro and get out in a completely distinctive part of town!

    I also agree with what you said about Borders. We did the same thing and ogled the whole selection!

    Reply
  2. cram

    :) Great to know you enjoyed your stay in this little red dot. Next time, check out the network of libraries here. Worth the while. And if you don’t mind used books, check out Bras Basah Complex next to the Central Library.

    Reply
  3. Migration Mark

    Leaving Singapore about a week ago, I still cannot get over the scrumptious nature of the food. It was truly splendid, I ate way to much involuntarily, being completely unable to control myself in the various hawker centers.

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry we missed you in Singapore. Like you, we completely over-indulged. We figure we balanced everything out by walking and sweating. :-) What was your favorite meal, by the way? We really enjoyed the Singaporean chili crab!

      Reply
  4. WildJunket

    Carrie, glad you liked the Singaporean food we had! It was so nice to meet you and John, and let me know when you’ll be stopping by again. I’m in Buenos Aires now enjoying the fabulous steak and wine, but damn your pictures actually made me miss food back home! ;D

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Hi Nellie,

      I’ve been following your journey through the States. Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities. I’m so envious! I’d love to go back.

      Reply
  5. jen laceda

    Carrie,
    I didn’t know you were from Toronto! Oh, let me know when you will come back home and we can meet or something!
    Carrie, your photography is stunning! I haven’t had an interest in seeing Singapore, but after ogling your photos, I am overwhelmed with a sense of I-gotta-go-ther-now kind of feeling. Oh,, just the food alone looks absolutely delicious. I like ‘spicy’ food (curries, laksas, chili-tamarinds, etc.), so I think Singapore will sit well on me :). I believe they speak a Chinese dialect there that is similar to Taiwan’s and to my grandmother’s dialect–Fukien.

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Hi Jen,

      Ha! I spent a good portion of my day poking around on your site as well. I’m a new subscriber and will enjoy having your posts delivered each morning. Actually, I’m from Ottawa, but I’ve spent a lot of time in TO. I haven’t been in over 7 years though. I usually focus on Ottawa when I’m home in North America.

      I really enjoyed looking at your photos as well, and can tell that we could probably have a grand afternoon shutterbuggin’ together. There are more Singapore pix coming, so stay tuned!

      Reply
  6. Erica

    Love the photo of The Fullerton Hotel. Looks stunning at night.

    How’s the selection of vegetarian/vegan food in Singapore by the way? Does anyone know?

    Reply
  7. Carrie Post author

    Hi Erica,

    Thanks. I really have to work at night shots. They are not my forte. Although John and I didn’t eat at any vegetarian restaurants, we noticed a few while we were walking around. The best person to ask would be Joshua Samuel Brown. He wrote the Lonely Planet guide book for Singapore. You can find him at http://www.josambro.blogspot.com.

    Reply
  8. mimiey fy

    heyyy there…read about ur blog thru the GSS facebook… glad u enjoy ur singapore trip…im as well will be goin to singapore in 3 days to come..cant wait for the shopping heaven….. i havent been to SG since 14 yrs ago…. it will be like a shopping marathon i guess..since we will be there for only 3 days..and then back to KL before we fly back to Brunei…. anyway thanks for sharing ur singapore trip here…enjoy reading them

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Hi Mimi,

      I would have left a comment on your blog but I couldn’t figure out where to leave it. Love your scrapbooking post. I’ve just recently started and your work is very inspiring. I’m sure you’ll be able to do plenty of damage to your wallet in 3 days. I came back with loads of goodies and no money.

      Reply
  9. Living Together Blog

    Great inputs!

    True, there are lots of amazing sights, great shops and good food in Singapore. Just, don’t forget to bring your camera and video cam, so you won’t miss the fun and the great places, if you have plans of traveling to Singapore.

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I’m sorry I took the embedded links out of your comment. Your URL still points to your blog and I’ll be sure to mention that particular post in my next blog roundup.

      Reply
  10. Ronney James

    Singapore has always been my dream destination. And this dream is finally going to come true next month. Till now, it was pretty difficult to plan a trip to Singapore due to low budget…. However, with the ‘City Super Sale’ offer of the Accor group of hotels, i can dream of spending quality time in Singapore. Not only are they offering a fat rebate of up to 60% on hotel accommodation, they are also promising record low air-fares. Any suggestions for sightseeing will be highly appreciated!

    Reply
  11. krzysztof

    Singapore must be a very amazing place. When I watch a photo of the hotel you stayed at I get the impression that this city is very lively and never sleep. I wonder if my impression is correct.

    Reply
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