Ahhhh! Singapore! You amazing little island/country/city. Singapore packs a big punch for such a small area. As many of you know, I spent the last week here in Asia for work. I half solo-explored my time, and worked the rest. I was in town over the weekend before heading to our Asia-Pacific headquarters to get acclimated with the time change. I was able to do SO much that weekend, and had time at night on my work days to eat like a local! Here’s my little journal of what I did…
Where I Stayed:
I always like to report back with honesty, and I really wish I hadn’t stayed in the area I chose. I asked a coworker were to stay and definitely should have done my own research instead. To be honest, I was just too busy at the time to look into it. I stayed in Orchard, which was totally not terrible, absolutely safe, and had easy food, entertainment and workout options within a few blocks. I had everything at my fingertips. That said, Orchard felt like Las Vegas to me —the malls, indoor restaurants, busy sidewalks. I wish I stayed near my office In Outram area, boarding Chinatown. Here you’ll find lively Hawker Centre’s, modern restaurants, and lively, artsy coffee shops. This was the listing I stayed in. Where I stayed was basically a hotel, with a gym/pool/24 hour concierge/front desk, and breakfast included. I felt super safe and comfortable as a single female traveler here even though I didn’t love the neighborhood.
Din Tai Fung — A Chinese restaurant that’s a popular chain in Asia. This came highly recommended by locals and coworkers that used to live in Singapore and it did not disappoint! I loved their bean sprout salad and vegetarian pot stickers. The vibe is fun, and you’ll be able to say you ate like a local, which means you ate at a mall restaurant, ha .☺
Over Easy — Located in Clarke Quay, an area you’ll only find “touristy” places, but the location of the restaurants are directly on the water so I couldn’t pass up the view, and the food was actually very good, and very western, whoops. I had Prosecco on their happy hour menu, green salad and an impossible burger. It was perfect sitting out on their lounge couches and enjoying the water view.
Plain Vanilla Bakery — Delicious coffee shop and bakery right outside the Botanical Gardens. The shop was very “SF” I enjoyed a fresh oatmilk latte and quiche outside. The perfect Sunday Singapore morning.
EGA Juice Clinic — Right next to Plain Vanilla, I grabbed a few wellness shots and green juices to keep at my Airbnb listing. I like having these on hand when I travel to start each morning fresh with a little extra kick of vitamins and greens.
My Awesome Café — My first and one of my favorite meals in Singapore. This was located right next to my office and the perfect post-17-hour flight stop. Here you’ll find tons of Aussie style meal options. I had the eggs/pita/avocado breakfast with a crushed ice coconut water spirulina drink. Great rehydration after my flight!
Loco Mexican — Haha, Mexican food in Singapore. I devoured my food here. I walked here from my office on Monday after reading about it on a few different blogs. I was feeling a bit sick on this day so I had skipped lunch and was starving by the time dinner hit! I was only planning on grabbing a margarita and guac here, but I loved the vibe at the bar and stayed for dinner — a truffle mushroom quesadilla, so good! Singapore surprisingly did Mexican food well here.
Top Seafood 6th Ave — I came here with a bunch of coworkers that are locals in Singapore, the best!! Top is basically a Hawker Centre, but smaller with only a few surrounding stalls. My local friend ordered everything egg chicken, beef noodles, rice, minced beef, and so much more I can’t possibly remember – and the beer was flowing! I highly recommend following a local or taking an Airbnb Experience to have an experience similar to this. It was by far my favorite night of the trip. Funny, since it was the cheapest at $20 SIN per person!
Real Food — I came here on my last night when I returned from Indonesia (guide on this coming soon!) I had the.best.veggie.burger. EVER here. The tempe, tofu, pesto, and sprout was the burger type I chose and it was soooo good! I will totally be dreaming of it for weeks, I even contemplated going back the next day to take another for my flight. I also ordered veggie pot stickers to start, since I was starving. Everything was delicious and just what the doctor ordered after living off of noodles and rice for days. I even took a green juice to-go with me for the following morning to drink before my flight that was so fresh and delicious.
Hawker Centre’s — My first day in town, I went to Golden Mile Food Centre and eat at 91 Fried Kway Teo Mee, which won a Michelin Star In 2016! Yes, a $3 Michelin Star Meal! One of the best meals I had. Maxwell Food Centre, next door to my office was my go-to for post lunch fresh juice. I also stopped at many Hawker Centre’s during my Airbnb Experience (more on that below). Next time I’ll go to Newton’s (the famous Hawker Centre in Crazy Rich Asians).
Juju — Yummy little cafe on the boarder of the Botanical Gardens. I had a DELICIOUS, fresh acai bowl with chia pudding, peanut butter and fruit. So tasty after exploring the gardens in the heat.
Raffles Hotel Long Bar — Although super touristy and expensive, this is the original place where the famous Singapore Sling cocktail was created. Back in the ’60’s, women in Singapore were not allowed to drink alcohol in public, and usually drank fruit juice. The bartender here back then, created the Singapore Sling, a sweet fruit juice cocktail that didn’t look like alcohol. This bar is recently renovated and fun to spend an hour at sipping $38 cocktails (haha) and cracking peanuts at the bar! A fun spot for a solo traveler too as the bar is comfy and lively.
KPO Cafe Bar — Right next to my listing in Orchard, this place was filled with fun locals enjoying post-work drinks and had a lively band. Food looked great and they had good happy hour drink specials.
CÉ LA VI at Marina Bay Sands Rooftop — On every “must” list. I came here to enjoy the view, along with everyone else ☺. Honestly, I was able to see a better view with my Airbnb Experience host, but this was a fun spot to grab a drink and enjoy, so I highly recommend going. A $20 entrance ticket can be put towards your bar tab. You’re certainly paying for the view here, and the “famous” pool looks a lot like any other Vegas pool, or usual view in a 5-star Bangkok hotel. I’d definitely never stay here, not my style. That’s coming from a girl that does not love Vegas. ☺
Fullerton Hotel Bar — Gorgeous hotel right on the river along Clarke Quay. I’d definitely consider staying here next time I’m in town. You can order gorgeous pre-dinner cocktails along the river.
Tapas Club — This mall restaurant in Orchard came highly recommended by locals. Think Spanish cuisine in Singapore. I didn’t love the menu, but it was a perfect place to grab a pre-dinner glass of Cava (and located right next to Real Food In Orchard Central).
Tips + Fun Facts:
Wine seems hard to come by and does not taste the greatest.
Cocktails + Beer + any alcohol are very expensive.
Hawker Centre’s have the best food and are regulated by the government for food safety.
“Coffee Bars” are similar to Hawker Centres and are most certainly not hipster coffee joints, and some don’t even serve coffee. Top Seafood (above) is considered a Coffee Bar.
Grab is the Uber here, and its the best!
Singapore is generally a very safe and clean city. I was so sad to hear how the locals perceived San Francisco — drugs, dirty, you get the point… ah!
Do not spit here. It’s against the law.
I was told you can get arrested for jaywalking, but I saw multiple people a day do it.
You can exchange $ almost anywhere!
7-Elevens are literally on every block.
The water is very safe to drink.
Where I Got My Fitness On!
I had gym in my Airbnb listing that I used for long treadmill walks and on-demand ClassPass videos. I also bought a a 1-week trial package at Hom Yoga. They have many locations, but I took all of my classes on the 6th Floor of Orchard Central. I paid $35 for a week unlimited, which is very reasonable! I had some of the best classes of my life here! A must.
What To Do:
Airbnb Experience — I’m SO happy I decided to book this experience day-of. Hj, the leader, took us all over Chinatown, into the underground markets (who knew?!) and bought us the best of the best local food. I even met a friend in the Experience that was also visiting from San Francisco for work, and we ended up hanging out after. Small world! I absolutely recommend doing an Experience to have a one of a kind time.
Chinatown — You could easily spend a whole afternoon here. Great culture, museums, food stalls, and restaurants.
Haji Lane— Really fun bars and shops. Walk around the boarding shops to find massage parlors, bakeries and delicious restaurants.
Botanical Gardens — Go early before the heat and see the orchard gardens. I had a great time walking around and taking in the beautiful greenery. Reminded me of Golden Gate Park.
Orchard — Shopping! Allllll the malls. Although not my favorite area, you must experience it at least once!
Marina Bay Sands — Shopping, sipping. A check off the tourist list.
Quick Ferry to Indonesia (more on that in my next post!)