If plenty of razzmatazz along with a dose relaxation, exciting architecture which rubs shoulders with age-old style, rich cultural tapestry, great food and vibrant street life is what you’re looking for, then Singapore could be just the ticket.
The Lion City is full of sensational places to explore. There are excellent beaches, beautiful gardens, animal adventures, casinos and the latest theme park rides along with some great shopping for a very fashion conscious crowd.
Believe me, seeing it in just 48 hours is an extremely difficult task. There’s just so much to see, to do. But no panic, I have the right addresses to recommend to you!
1:30 AM: Boarded the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai at 1:30 am. I cannot begin to tell you how disastrous the flight was! By far one of the worst flights I’ve been on ever. The seats were so tiny, cramped and stuffy, bland tasteless food and boring in flight entertainment, which stopped working! Sigh.. Just couldn’t wait for it to end. Tried to get some sleep because I knew it was going to be a long and thrilling day the minute I landed at Changi Airport.
9:30 AM (Singapore Time): Touchdown Singapore! Headed straight to my hotel on Orchard Street. The beautiful interiors of Mandarin Orchard Hotel, was on the contemporary lines. Crowned by a high ceiling, magnificent cream marble sparkling under the light of spectacular handcrafted chandelier was the lobby. The check in was smooth and the rooms were extremely modern and spacious with panoramic views of the city skyline.
10:15 AM: I immediately left my bags, freshened up and stepped out to grab my morning breakfast at Marche located at 313@Somerset (a short walk from the hotel). 3-cheese with mushroom omelette and a strong coffee did the job!
11 AM: Post the heavy breakfast, hailed a cab to begin my touristy day with my first stop, Gardens By The Bay. Mesmerizing! is how I can simply describe what I saw. This was a place with an impressive collaboration of nature and human creativity, not a science fiction movie set, but a real and an amazing garden with living trees, plants, birds and insects!
Interestingly, the garden itself has several attractions such as Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, Supertree Grove, DragonFly Lake and gardens from different countries, with an excellent view of the bay, the city skyline and the giant Ferris flyer wheel. My personal favorite was the Super Trees (this is what I refer to Avatar Trees because you feel like you are in the movie Avatar when you walk around these trees)
By the end of the visit I was quite tired! My legs really felt like they were going to break. Sightseeing can be quite exhausting, as you have to walk everywhere. I would suggest for you to visit this place either in the morning or in the evening as it can get very sunny during the afternoons. Also because I’m that type of a person whose super afraid of my skin getting darker lol! For those of you who tend to feel cold (like me, Gosh! I freeze even in a movie theatre!) Bring jacket / sweater as the temperatures can get quite chilly inside the dome.
Thus, ended my visit to the Gardens By the Bay! If you are a plant lover, botanist of sorts or just have too much free time or just plain curious – go check this place out.
7 PM: By this time it was already sundown and hunger pangs had set in. When I think of food and Singapore, Clarke Quay tops the list for me. Clarke Quay is a labyrinth of restaurants, concept bars, retail stores and recreation outlets. It is especially popular for its nightlife amongst both locals and tourists. Clubs to pubs to restaurants for a simple dinner, this is one of the places where Singaporeans and foreigners of the clubbing scene go to for a night out.
My first stop at Clarke Quay had to be Senor Taco for its Corona-ritas and some nachos with guacamole. This is a street bar with a great view of the vibrant and carnival atmosphere of the streets of Clarke Quay.
After a few drinks I decided to stroll and look around the area before dinner, where the disco/night clubs come to life and the partygoers line to enter. There are live bands in most bars, some doing country rock and some doing funk or jazz music. As you walk down the streets you can hear different music from each bar/club and you can take your pick based of what kind of music you’re in the mood for.
10:30 PM: Dinner was at Shiraz. By far, one of the best places to enjoy authentic Persian cuisine in Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed the real flavors from Iran with traditional hummus, selection of mezzes, char-grilled kebabs, succulent shawarmas, fragrant rice dishes and Persian stews. Surely a riot of flavours, colors and textures that is nothing less than a feast for the senses! Go with the Shiraz Special Platter Combo (for four persons) if you wish to taste as much varieties as possible. For a little Middle Eastern world right at Clarke Quay, Shiraz is a great choice if you want to explore some yummy food together with regal Iranian hospitality, sheeshas, Persian music beats and belly dance.
Also, located here at Clarke Quay is the “Reverse Bungee” ride where you can get an experience of thrill. Not for the faint hearted thou!
Wrapped up the night with a scoop of delicious Turkish Ice cream from a very entertaining street vendor.
12 AM: Here we come to the end of a beautiful, fun filled day in Singapore! Time to retreat to my hotel and hit the sack. Exhaustion levels at its peak but looking forward to another eventful and thrilling Day 2!
8 AM: Rise and Shine to a bright sunny day. Having such little time in one of my most favorite cities in the world is the worst possible thing ever!
9AM: Quickly showered and headed to Coffee Bean & Co for a super speedy breakfast in Takashimaya mall.
10AM: Since breakfast was in the mall and the stores had just rolled up their shutters, there was a little voice in my head that kept annoying me that it’s time to make some new additions to my existing wardrobe! So kick started my day with SHOPPING! A shopaholic’s nirvana, you can barely turn a corner without bumping into another super mall. All the malls, Takashimaya, Ion, Wisma Atria, Paragon, Somerset 313.. Phew! The list is endless, are located on Orchard Street (Shoppers Paradise!) One can spend days here and the malls will not end. I managed to pick up a few of the essentials that I required from Sephora and a little bit of local shopping from Wisma Atria and already 2 hours were gone! Time just flew by and I didn’t even realize that my shopping spell was over! Tch tch.. Ran back to my room and dumped all the shopping bags and headed for lunch to Bao Today at Somerset 313.
12 PM: Bao Today – A Dim Sum café with one intention – to introduce, traditional Chinese cuisine, the Bao (bun) alongside a variety of Dim Sum delights for people on the move. The Dim Sum chefs work hard to produce fresh and handmade baos and dim sum daily tinkling your sensations to a new height. The black sesame bao, braised pork bao, fresh shrimp dumplings, mushroom crystal dumplings, teriyaki chicken chop with rice and the fresh prawn rice rolls are lip smackingly yummy!
12:30 PM: After the quick lunch it was time for some adventure and adrenaline rush. The minute I entered the Sentosa Island Gate I knew I was in for a good time. First stop: Universal Studios, Singapore! A quick tip, when you’re pressed for time always buy an express pass as you cut the long queues which can make you wait for almost 2 hours for a ride and head straight to the front of the queue. It does burn a mighty hole in your pocket but when time is short, do not think about the money! Trust me! It’s so worth it!
The park consists of 7 themed zones – Madagascar, Far Far Away (Shrek theme), The Lost World (Jurassic Park theme), Ancient Egypt (including The Mummy), Sci-Fi City (including Transformers) and New York (including Sesame Street).
Each themed zone has its own attractions, shopping, eating establishments and street entertainment around the theme. There are rides, street performers, live shows and movie characters. With so many attractions at the park it’s perfect for a full day visit.
Post the entertaining day at Universal Studios, I made sure I had some time for I-FLY! All this time while roaming around Universal Studios I just kept thinking about I-FLY and when would I get there! A short monorail ride from Universal Studios to Sentosa Island made me get to my destination in no time. I’ve always loved thrills and skydiving is definitely one of those activities, which tops my list. I’ve tried it in New Zealand and it was an experience of a lifetime! When I found out that there’s an option to skydive in Singapore, I just could not stop grinning.
A first of its kind for Singapore, a state of the art wind tunnel that allows anyone from first timers to professional sky divers a chance to fly in a safe, realistic, easily accessible and affordable setting. Indoor skydiving to be more precise. It was now my time to jump (not from a plane offcourse). I felt like I had wings. I felt like a free bird!
7:30 PM : A trip to Singapore is incomplete without a visit to Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The hotel’s design, which some have described as resembling three cricket stumps and topped with a boat-shaped deck, stands out so much that even local workers gaze up in awe at the towering structure.
The Marina Bay Sands hotel is a $5 billion resort with 55 levels, a huge infinity pool on top, an indoor canal, a museum shaped like a lotus flower, shops, restaurants, theatres and a casino. The infinity pool is the most talked about location and right next to it is Ce La Vie (previously known as Ku De Ta) a bar and restaurant that has the finest food and throws some of the classiest parties in Singapore. I spent the entire night in the company of some fantastic Asian food and yummy drinks at this restaurant, which had breathtaking views of the entire city.
1:00 AM: A great night comes to an end and so does my short but fun trip to Singapore. Headed back to the hotel to get some rest before sailing away to my next destination, Langkawi!
Indeed, Singapore is a city of never-ending experiences. It packs a punch like a heavyweight champion. The progressive city is full of sensational encounters. Here you will find street food, noodles and spicy fish curries, along with fine-dining restaurants. Old Chinese influence from Chinatown to an awe-inspiring skyline, a sprinkling of temples plus colonial treasures. It’s may be a mere pinprick on the world map, but when in Singapore, you’re sure to have a packed itinerary.
Until Next Time
Tags: 48 hours, Bao Today, Changi Airport, Clarke Quay, Corona-rita, Dimsum, Gardens By The Bay, Holiday, Hotel, Ifly, India, IndianTravelBogger, Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Orchard Street, Senor Taco, Shiraz, Shopping, Singapore, Travel, TravelAddict, TravelBlogger, TravelLover, Universal Studios, Vacation