Singapore | An Unexpected Love Affair

There came a certain point this year when I stopped making plans, and a beautiful thing happened within that as I was suddenly open to all potential opportunities vs. stressing over how to actualize my original ‘itinerary.’

One of which, as I’m sure you can guess by now, was Singapore. This was never a place that was on my radar to be honest. So when one of my best friends from home told me she’d be there on her honeymoon, OBVIOUSLY I agreed to crash it haha.

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After the newlyweds spent some time in the beauty of the Maldives, we joined forces and explored this stunning city which quickly made it’s way into a special place in my heart.

Major cities are typically not my ‘jam’ in terms of international travel destinations, but I will make an exception for Singapore, time and time again.

CHINATOWN
Easily my favourite. Quiet during the days, but this hot spot comes alive at night! The streets are lined with amazing shops, bars and restaurants that spill into the road in the evening, resulting in an outdoor drinking, dining, and at times, dancing extravaganza (in particular on the weekends).

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There are Hawker stalls nearby if you want to grab some cheap eats to save your money to be well spent at the amazing cocktail bars that run a plenty in this trendy ‘hood (cash in on happy hour to make the most of those dollars – typically from about 4PM/5PM – 7PM).

Here’s where you’re going to want to be:
Amoy Street – yes this is general, but there are so many great options, you’ll need more than a few nights to hit them all!

Wangdaebak Pocha – for Korean Street Food ($-$$)
Birds of a Feather – for a beautiful ambience and Asian-fusion inspired items…and dessert ($$-$$$)
Bochinche – for fancy cocktails and Argentinian flare ($$$)
Native – for fancy cocktails. This place is so cool though – everything they do from the interior design to their in-house cocktail curation to the music selection is ALL local/indigenous, and they offer some of the best service I had the whole time I was there. Cocktails only – there is no food on the menu! ($$$)

And because, balance, I joined the F45 gym on Amoy Street which was a great place to sweat off the hangover from the Friday night before. If you’re into HIIT training and don’t mind spending your life savings on a gym membership – the instructor was a drill sergeant who will at the very least make sure you get your money’s worth!

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Ann Siang Road – same as above, this is where the party is at. The streets basically turn into a promenade with endless options for food, drink and good vibes always.

Oxwell & Company – for tapas style bites and snacks, beer, happy-hour cocktails, roof-top patio, Sunday roast and proper English-pub vibes! ($$-$$$)
Nutmeg & Clove – for authentic cuisine and cocktails ($$-$$$)
Gem Bar – for alcoholics, by alcoholics. This is their slogan and I’m pretty sure that says it all, haha ($$ – $$$)
The Screening Room – for dinner, drinks and rooftop patio access overlooking the entire club district ($$$)
Operation Dagger – for speakeasy access and incredibly unique and amazing cocktail service set to the tune of old school R&B music – this place is worth the hunt to find it! ($$$)

TELOK AYER
Close to Chinatown this is another one of those awesome streets that blends history and architecture with cool modern shops and cafes to bring together the best of both.

Plain Vanilla – for amazing coffee and sweet treats ($$)
Free the Robot Cafe – for coffee, brunch, cool art and the most awesome hipster vibes ($$)

ARAB STREET/HAJI LANE
Vibe: just-walk-the-streets-and-find-all-the-findings. It is colourful and loud and busy and all of the things you would expect in a tourist zone such as this, but there is a lot to love if you give yourself some time to explore. It’s where you’ll find a ton of authentic shopping options for beautiful hand-crafted items such as rugs, light fixtures, perfumeries, and of course trinkets and souvenirs if your heart desires.

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The one place I will actually recommend is Asian Rad Afters – for ice cream, waffles and refreshingly sweet treats ($$)

It’s located on Bali Lane which is another great little strip to explore on the quieter side of Haji Lane – I wished I’d had more time to try the various brunch and dinner spots along this side-street, so give yourself some time here if you have it.

LITTLE INDIA
I was lucky enough to be here during Deepavali, which meant Little India was alive with lights, bright colours and festival celebrations which made it a lot of fun to explore! I can’t speak to what it may look/feel like the rest of the time, but it was definitely a sensory overload, and of course, if nothing else just go for the food!

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There were so many other neighbourhoods and kitschy cafes/restaurants to explore, and I’ll also add that the light show at Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands was much more enjoyable than I had expected it to be! If you have time to check this one out at night, I’d suggest to grab a picnic or a warm bevy to sit on a grassy oval and take it all in.

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The bottom line for this one being: if Singapore wasn’t on your hit-list before, add it. Or if you’ve already been…care for a travel buddy to go back with?

One thought on “Singapore | An Unexpected Love Affair

  1. pedrol says:

    i´ve been in Singapore and what I appreciate the most was the local richness, in there I could see for the first time monuments of different cultures, such as Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, etc. It was impressive, it seems you can see the world there 🙂 greetings from Portugal, PedroL

    Like

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