Picture It: You’re sitting in your favorite hawker center while dining on Roti Prata, Chicken Rice, or Satay all while drinking a freshly squeezed lime juice. Does that not sound ideal? When you visit these hawker centers (open-air centers with stalls that offer many selections of inexpensive foods) you are really able to appreciate the history, taste the complexity of the flavors, and blend into the local way of life.
There’s definitely no shortage of sights to see, things to eat, and places to visit while you’re in Singapore. From admiring the architectural splendor of Marina Bay Sands to delving into the history at the Raffles Hotel, you’re sure to find something that fits your interests.
To be completely honest, it is very hard for me to try explain and summarize this trip and all of the great times that were had in such a short writeup, but I’ll do my best to whet your appetite and entice your eyes.
The first thing people ask when they know you’ve visited Singapore is, “How was the food?” And they have good reason for asking such a question! Singapore is well known for many delicious delicacies such as chili crab, chicken rice, ice kachang and the famous Singapore Sling. I really think the experiences are so much more worthwhile when you visit places that are local favorites and have been around for years; passed down from one family member to the next. Lau Pa Sat has such a deep history and is bustling with people during the lunch hour. From your top business execs to the mail room intern, Lau Pa Sat seems to be the place to go for quick, delicious, inexpensive lunch time fare. Visiting a well known Singapore stall for teh tarik (Indian pulled milk tea) on a nice afternoon after having lunch at Lau Pa Sat is definitely a must! I’ve wanted to try teh tarik for quite a while now, and being able to do so from a place with so much history and watching the process made me value it so much more. Having chicken rice late at night from Boon Tong Kee while sitting outside talking with family and friends is a part of the culture; great times indeed. Dining on chili crab and pepper crab at Jumbo’s on East Coast Beach is surely a memory that I’ll have forever. The surreal feeling of sitting in the exact bar at the Raffles Hotel where the Singapore Sling was first created…am I dreaming? Take a ride over to Lau Pa Sat on a weekend night and you’ll see one of the side streets become Satay Street. Chicken, beef, pork, mutton, and so many other options; the choice is yours. The street is literally shut down and lined with vendors selling various types of fresh grilled satay (grilled skewered meats)! It doesn’t get any better than that!
No matter what type of food you’re looking for, you can find it in Singapore. With such a diverse population, you’re sure to have some of the most authentic cuisines that you’ll ever taste.
In the case that enjoying authentic flavorful food all day isn’t your idea of fun (hopefully that isn’t the case), there’s many museums and other attractions that are sure to please. I had the pleasure of visiting the Asian Civilizations Museums as well as the Peranakan Museum, both of which were absolutely amazing and filled with tons of history and culture. Take some time to visit Fort Canning Park and admire the natural beauty or catch a play in the park at night (I was fortunate enough to catch a great Shakespeare play during my visit.) This would make for quite the date spot if you’re looking for something a little less cliche than dinner and a movie. Or, maybe you’re into the nightlife scene, hop on over to Clarke Quaye where there’s no shortage of nightspots for every personality. Singapore even happens to be home to the world’s 4th best nightclub (per the words of my friend Ali…).
Perhaps spending the day on the beach, zip lining, playing golf, or visiting Universal Studios is more your speed? If so, Sentosa is the part of Singapore that’s just right for you. With fun for parents and kids alike, Sentosa is sure to be a tourist destination that all in the family will enjoy. Plus, the kids will love the HUGE candy store (sorry parents…)!
Maybe, just maybe I still haven’t appealed to any of your interests. Possibly I’m forgetting another major part of life in Singapore. RETAIL THERAPY! I was absolutely shocked, in awe, amazed, floored, bombarded, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the sheer amount of malls; even on one street. If indulging in a little bit (or a lot) of retail therapy is your idea of fun, then you’re sure to feel right at home in Singapore. Orchard Rd. is really not like any other retail destination you’ve seen, or ever will see, for that matter. From top worldwide retail giants to your local/regional brands there’s a little bit for everyone. Singapore is even home to the world’s largest Louis Vuitton store, how crazy awesome is that?!!
Amazing food, great history, architectural marvels, and tons of diversity is just a taste of what Singapore has to offer. I long for my next visit to Singapore and all that has drawn me to love the island. As the famed Shakespeare quote goes (of course in different context, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
A special thank you to my friend Ameer and family for graciously taking me in and showing me a great time. I really enjoyed my visit and it would not have been the same without your time and hospitality. I’m very appreciative for the new lifelong relationships that we’ve built. Thanks again!
So when you’re planning your next vacation and looking for a destination that can fulfill any desire that you may have, look no further because Singapore is your spot! But don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself!
For more information on things to do while in Singapore, check out the below links.
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Until Next Time,
-The Food Monsters-
The Monster Lifestyle