As part of a series of mileage runs to maintain my frequent flyer status throughout 2016, I booked a two-day trip to Singapore after finding a relatively cheap fare with Lufthansa. After a 14 hour flight I landed at Changi International Airport. I was expecting it to take quite some time to get passed immigration, but there were only 3 people standing in front of me, and once it was my turn he just looked at my immigration card and stamped my passport. No questions, no fingerprints. Fifteen seconds and I was on my way! After walking around the terminal for a bit I found the ground transportation desk, and for about 6 USD I booked a shuttle to drop me off at the Westin Singapore hotel. The shuttle was airconditioned, which, with 30 °C temperatures was very pleasant. Including dropping two other passengers off at their hotels, it took about 45 minutes until I reached my destination in the Financial District.
Originally, I intended to go out and find some food, but after checking in at the hotel it was still only 5.30 PM, and with sunset not until 7 PM I still had a good 1,5 hr of semi-daylight; so instead I decided to go explore the area first.
The Marina Bay is located a little less then a 10 minute walk from the hotel. One of the well known landmarks here is the Marina Bay Sands hotel, with a beautiful infinity pool and observation deck on top. A quick walk turned into a full walk around the bay and by the time I decided to get some food it was already dark. Before leaving the hotel I looked up some of the many popular hawker centers and found that the Amoy Street food center was fairly close to my hotel. On my way over there I suddenly stumbled upon signs directing towards the Lau Pa Sat (also known as Telok Ayer Market) food center, which is one of the bigger and more popular food centers. As I didn’t have internet on my phone, I just followed the signs and found out that it was actually a lot closer to my hotel – practically around the corner!
As someone who loves to try out the local cuisine when I travel, it’s not a surprise that I ended up at one of the hawker centers. For dinner I had a noodle dish with grilled strips of chicken and a local version of ice tea. Afterwards I went on to continue my walk when I stumbled upon the outside area where they were grilling skewers. Before this trip my only trip to Asia was a trip to Beijing earlier in the year, and there I found a lot of similar food places. As I very much enjoyed the street food there, I decided to try it out here as well, so I ordered a combination of chicken and beef skewers for a total of ~5 USD (10 skewers). Filled up on food I walked back to my hotel as it started raining. With 30 °C weather, it was quite welcoming!
On my second -and last- day I got up early to get the most out of it, and before 8 AM I had left my hotel to continue exploring the city. Despite it being the monsoon season, weather had been extremely pleasant so far, and on this morning too I was walking in the sun. I walked around around a little before heading back to Lau Pa Sat for some breakfast. Possible because it was Sunday, a lot of the stalls were still closed, but I ended up eating some Kaya toast with boiled eggs and some tea. After that, I headed towards the Gardens by the Bay upon recommendation by a friend.
Due to my trip being around the holidays, part of the gardens was converted into the Christmas Wonderland. At the moment I was walking around there weren’t any activities going on, but the gardens itself were really beautiful. After walking around the gardens for a bit I headed to the nearby Marina Bay Sands Hotel to enjoy the view from the observation deck.
Unfortunately, the infinity pool is only accessible by hotel guests, and is on the very top floor of the hotel. The Observation Deck is available to enjoy who purchases a 20 USD ticket, and is one floor below the pool. It was a quiet morning and there wasn’t any line to get the ticket, and on the observation deck itself there were only a few people. Even though the observation deck is relatively small, it still offers some pretty great views of the bay and the surrounding areas.
After I left the observation deck, I went for a walk towards the Kampong Glam area. I didn’t really have a clue what to find there, but on my way from the airport the day before I drove through here and really enjoyed the sights of colourful buildings and little streets filled with restaurants, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It turned out to be a really busy area with lots of tourists roaming the streets, filled with little shops and restaurants. Also located here are the Malay Heritage Center and the Sultan Mosque.
Well in the afternoon I started making my way back towards the Marina Bay. In the underground Suntec City Mall I got a delicious dish of Mee Rebus for lunch before continuing my way back. Before picking up my backpack, I decided to check out Amoy Street and the nearby Chinatown area, which gives quite a different vibe then the rest of the city. By now it started raining pretty hard, so I decided to head back to the hotel. I picked up my bag, and as there was no (cheap) shuttle service from the hotel back to the airport, I opted to take the subway. After a 10 minute walk I reached the Raffles Place station. It takes about an hour to arrive at the airport, but it was a fairly smooth ride.
As there is no central security at the airport I only had to clear immigration. There wasn’t a very long line and within a few minutes of arriving I was on my way to the Singapore Airlines lounge, waiting for my flight back home.