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 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.
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
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!
Satay and ice-cold Singhas.
Satay Master at Lau Pa Sat food center.