72 Hours in Singapore
When I think about a city break, going 'East' never really occurs to me. Why would it, when I live so close to Europe and the many amazing cities it has to offer? I mean I haven't even been to Croatia yet!
But when I was booking my last trip, the idea of going to Singapore came up. Singapore has never even been on my radar - it always just seemed like the type of place that would be full of bankers, rich people and some pretty cool architecture. I've always had a bit of a 'go with the flow' attitude when it comes to travel, so decided to give the 'East' a go. And I loved it! Here's how I spent my 72 hours in one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
It feels a bit strange to arrive in the middle of the afternoon after travelling most of the night. My friend and I were definitely suffering with a little bit of jet lag, and not making a whole lot of sense when we arrived at the hotel. But that's never stopped us before! After a quick change we were back out exploring the little corner of the city we were staying in. Which turned out to be super central!
Right next to our lovely hotel (Pan Pacific Orchard), is the hustling and bustling Orchard Road. The main shopping street of Singapore. If you like designer anyway. I have never seen so many Dior shops in one place. There are literally 22 malls and 6 shopping centres in that area. All jammed full of designer shops. My eyes were like saucers! Although, being on a budget meant I could only look (wah!). Instead we had a little walk and bar crawl, followed by some cheap-ish dinner and back for an epic sleep.
I love starting a city break off with a little tour to get my bearings. My friend and I got up super early (thanks jet lag!) and found ourselves on a bus taking in China Town, Little India and the famous Orchid Garden. Did you know Margaret Thatcher had an orchid made for her? Nope, me neither. We took in the famous Merlion and one of the city's oldest Chinese temples. All in all a fun (and busy!) way to begin our trip.
That afternoon, we made our way over to the famous Raffles Hotel to try a Singapore Sling. The hotel is currently undergoing renovation, but nothing could take away from the amazing atmosphere of the Bar & Billiard room, where there was a constant crunch underfoot from the bag of monkey nuts on the table. It felt like going back in time from the super modern skyline outside to the tradition of the beautiful hotel.
We then made our way to the harbor, where we took a boat ride down the river. What an amazing and different view! The tour guide explained all about the skyline, what we were seeing, and a little about the upcoming F1 race (we just missed it). It only lasted about half an hour, and we got to see so many different parts of the city. It was cheap too!
After a quick shower and change, it was time for dinner at Ce La Vie, the lovely restaurant on top of the famous Marina Bay Sands - what an epic end to a day eh?? The food was maybe a little fancy for me (I can't get my head around foam being an actual part of a meal), but it was definitely tasty and the view more than made up for it! I've never been anywhere where sky scrapers are everywhere (although New York I'm coming for ya!), so the view from 52 floors above everything was a little mind blowing for me. It was also the closest we got to Gardens by the Bay, and the trees lit up at night were beautiful from above.
After that, we ended our evening at the sky bar, spending the rest of our money on cocktails. I mean, how often do you get to drink at the Marina Bay Sands? The hangover was worth it.
We woke up bright and early (and a little hungover) on day 2 ready for another exciting day of exploring. Singapore had captured me by then - I am absolutely hooked on the place now, and didn't want to leave! We had a choice between visiting the Gardens by the Bay, and Sentosa Island. I have to say, this was the one thing I was disappointed about on our trip. Neither of us is particularly into theme parks, and that's basically what Sentosa is. But so many people had told us that the cable car was so worth doing that we figured it was amazing. It really wasn't. If I had my time to do it over again (or if I ever get to go back!) I'll for sure be getting myself to the Gardens.
With only a couple of hours before our ride to the airport, we decided to hit the shops for a little retail therapy. Which turned into me buying myself a ring on my credit card. I know, Singapore got to me!