We loved our time in Bali, but we were excited to get to a city again. Singapore was not on my list of places to visit, but Mario had it down on his list of ‘must see’. For a couple of reasons. For starters, he works in the financial industry and it is one of the hubs for financial services in Asia. Second, the structural buildings are integrated with greenery and known as the ‘Garden City’. Third, the city is advanced on multiple levels. To name a few; urban development and its flawless health and safety standards in the food industry.
24 hours awake
We took a flight out of Bali at 10:30 pm and arrived at Changi Airport at 1:30 am. We usually try to book these overnight flights so we can save on accommodations for a night. Since we couldn’t check into our hotel yet, we planned to sleep in the airport until 8 am. I could not sleep so I pulled out my laptop to do some trip planning and journal entries to pass the time. Mario slept as he usually can sleep anywhere at anytime! (I typically am able to also, but I was wired) When we finally arrived to out ‘hotel’ (I quote it because it was much closer to being a motel), we were so tired and wanted to collapse into a bed. We got there an hour early, optimistic on scoring an even earlier check in than we asked for via email before arriving. This was not successful, so we left our bags and walked over towards the nearest coffee shop, this turned out to be Starbucks. Here we did some trip planning which turned out to be quite fun even after being awake for almost 24 hrs! Around 10 am we made our way back to the hotel and thankfully our room was ready. Once we got to our TINY room, we opened our blinds and noticed our view of a container port – how exciting. Just coming from Bali with the most stunning views we have ever seen at a reasonable price, this was hard to accept. However, once accepting the fact we were staying at a motel with a container port view we passed out for a long nap.
Running through the city
We woke up quite groggy after a few hours and a bit disoriented. After a bit of back and forth, we decided that we needed a good sweat session but we also wanted to explore this new city that we just arrived in and only had 3 full days to do this. So, we killed two birds with one stone and did a jog around the city ! I opened my app ‘ Run Go’ and searched the closest run route to us. Side note: if you jog and travel a lot you should download this app. It’s free and basically has a variety of different jogging routes in cities worldwide. It uses 100,000 routes worldwide and uses audio and visual routes. You can also use it when offline by downloading the route before you leave for your run when you have wifi!
I took the lead in selecting a route and chose the nearest 6 km route. This turned out to be quite a challenging route. It was mainly UP HILL! And it was 11:30 am by the time we got out, so it was so hot. None the less, we pushed through and Mario was not impressed with my selected route. We zig-zagged up Mount Faber which was quite nicely paved and once reaching the top we stumbled upon a gorgeous bridge called Henderson Waves Bridge. We stopped on the bridge to take in the amazing view of the cityline of Singapore and snap a few pics. I started thinking to myself that this jog is slowly turning out to be worth it…
Side Tip: usually my process is never interrupt your run/jog to stop for pics on the run, which is always very tempting but it really slows down your pace. Instead I take a mental note of where I want to go back to once the run is complete. We made an exception here since we did not want to make our way back up this mountain!
Impeccable Food Market
After our challenging run and doing some exploring, and after Mario gave me the death stare for a bit… we made our way for some well deserved grub. We heard a lot about Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre so we made our way there by bus and foot. It was recommended by quite a few people and blogs we read, they mentioned that because Singapore has exceptional health and sanitation laws, it is safe to eat any street food. In case you’re wondering what a hawker centre is – it is a basically bunch of street vendors under one open air roof. Basically cheap eats in Singapore, most dishes cost a maximum of $5!
To our surprise, the place was exceptionally clean, no smoke or smells within the centre. I was wondering how the heck is this possible with over 50 little food vendors cooking a variety of cuisines under the same roof? I assumed they had the most advanced ventilation placed throughout and the best cleaning crew that worked around the clock!
Since I am gluten and dairy free, navigating through the market was tough for me at first. So many vendors were Chinese and I usually stay away from it – most is drenched is soy sauce (the bottled type with wheat added). I love Indian food and many of the dishes are naturally gluten and dairy free. However, they are heavily spiced and do not always sit well…2 digestive enzymes are needed! There were quite a variety of Indian vendors, but I stopped at the one that looked like they just took out a fresh batch of food. I asked him which ones do not contain butter/ghee, and I ended up selecting the tandoori chicken with a side of cabbage/carrot medley, and okra. The dish was jammed packed with flavorful spices, so aromatic and tasty! Mario went to a Thai vendor and ordered the classic Pad Thai which he also really enjoyed.
Side tip for those with sensitives, if you are not sure whether to trust the person navigating you then eat a smaller portion of each to not throw your stomach way out of wack. You’d be surprised at how much a difference in your digestion you will have if you have a small vs large portion of something that may not be 100% safe. Reminder: Make sure you take your digestive enzyme with the meal and you have a warm herbal tea or warm water after to aid digestion.
SUPER Trees Hangout
The next evening Mario was ecstatic since we were going to see the famous supertrees. I was indifferent and didn’t really know too much about them to be honest. He had researched the best time of the day to go which would be during sunset. When we arrived the sun was setting, and I must admit, it was so pretty to see. We walked around gazing up and around, and we noticed that there were some people sitting or lying down in the middle of the (super clean) ground surrounding the trees. We asked somebody what was going on, and turns out that every night there is a light show on the trees with music- and the best way to see this is by lying on the floor looking up into the sky. So we did just that! As we waited for the show to start, we laughed at ourselves…two thirty something unemployed BIG KIDS.lol Show turned out to be really good, it was like sitting in a movie theatre with surround sound speakers and the lights that replicated and followed the music. So fun!
The EPIC Chili Crab
The next day we met up a friend of a friend, who lives in Singapore and her husband. (thanks Jess for the connection) It was sort of a blind double date meet up since we never met (or maybe once at her wedding but we both couldn’t really remember it..lol) They took us to a traditional Singaporean restaurant that hugged the harbor front, with a pretty view of all the cargo ships lit up. This as where they wait until docking at the port. The three of them enjoyed the national dish -Chili Crab, which is basically: Mud Crabs are stir fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chili based sauce with a side of fried buns. I stayed away from it since when I asked whether they use wheat flour for the thickener, they all looked quite confused. So to be safe and keep my tummy happy, I opted for a shrimp and vegetable dish and just had a little taste of the Chili crab. Mario loved it and ate about 10 of those little fried buns…haha
They were so lovely and we had such a nice time together!
This was most of what we did while in Singapore. We stayed a total of 5 days, but I would recommend 3 or 4 tops as 5 days felt a bit too long for me personally.
Well, until next time!