I have been to Singapore countless times already but this trip was by far the best one! Not only because I was with my significant other but because I was able to really explore Singapore on my own and on foot. No fancy hotel. No fancy car. No fancy dinner. I was a normal person who commutes like a local and eats like a horse.
NO FANCY HOTEL. The biggest expenditure when you travel abroad is usually your plane ticket. However, in Singapore, it is almost always the hotel. It’s either you get a decent airbnb or you stay at your friend’s pad to avoid putting a huge hole in your budget. Or you can choose to stay at Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, which is neither fancy nor inexpensive. It falls in between.
I was about to book at one of the hotels along Orchard Road when I discovered Ibis by accident. The reviews were really good! Actually, the location made it a good choice – it was near to the famous Bugis junction and was merely a 5-minute walk to BUGIS STATION (EW12, GREEN LINE). Plus, the staff were exceptionally warm and friendly making our stay all the more worthwhile.
Our room was small but it was very clean and cozy. And it came with 1) an early check-in, 2) a late check-out, and 3) a handy phone with unlimited data.
NO FANCY CAR. For someone who is used to go around the city in a car, walking the streets of Singapore was a bit of a challenge. It was absolutely tiring! But it was a fun and fulfilling experience, especially when I got to experience their public transportation (i.e. MRT, buses) on a daily basis. I never knew how fun and convenient it was to commute until then! No. Wait. Scratch that. I did commute in Bangkok, Thailand too! Point is… You know… Manila… You know. Don’t judge me.
Getting from Point A to Point B via MRT is as easy as 1-2-3. All you need to do is set your starting point and ending point on the map and you’re good to go!
Universal Studios. I wouldn’t miss it for the world no matter how many times I’ve been there! The rides were amazing that I would definitely do it over and over again! No need to really sell it ‘coz everyone knows USS is a must visit in Singapore!
Address: 8 SENTOSA GATEWAY. Station: HARBOUR FRONT – NE1, PURPLE LINE.
By the way, for couples who love taking pre-nup photos, look for this spot right here! ❤️
Gardens By The Bay. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Singapore coz I always feel like I am being transported to a different world, like in the movie Avatar. It was really amazing how they were able to put all these attractions – Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, Bay East Garden, Heritage Gardens, Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes, Supertree Grove, OCBC Skyway, World of Plants, Sun Pavilion, Art Sculptures – in one place. Not to mention in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
Address: 18 MARINA GARDENS DR. Station: MARINA BAY – NS27, RED LINE.
Of all the attractions there are in Gardens By The Bay, Cloud Forest is my favorite coz it’s the best escape from the raging heat! Haha! I couldn’t explain why but I really love the vibe in there – a stroll around in a cool misty air, the sound of flowing water coming from the man-made waterfall and the climb to the top and back (you can choose to take the lift) to get an aerial view of the whole place. So nice talaga!
Gardens By The Bay at night. Majestic! I could stay there for hours and be mesmerized by the beauty of it.
S.E.A. Aquarium. In support of my boyfriend who hasn’t been into any aquarium in his whole existence, I agreed to go! He wanted to experience it so badly I couldn’t say no.
Address: 8 SENTOSA GATEWAY. Station: HARBOUR FRONT – NE1, PURPLE LINE.
I have seen a couple of aquariums before and I thought this would be boring to me. Surprisingly though, it turned out I had more fun than he did 😂. I particularly loved the extremely huge viewing tank in the middle where we spent most of our time there just staring in amazement.
Clarke Quay. There was nothing overly special about it but it was a decent place to spend your evening with family and friends over cheap food and drinks. Plus, this artsy tunnel we accidentally discovered on our way back to the hotel.
Address: 3 RIVER VALLEY RD. Station: CLARKE QUAY – NE5, PURPLE LINE.
NO FANCY DINNER. The best thing about travelling is discovering new kinds of food. It is one thing I always remember every time I look back to the places I have been to, whether good or bad. Don’t you think that’s always the case for all the foodies out there? Haha!
In a country where food is as diverse as its people, it’s pretty hard to look for something good that’s worth your money. Usually, one would be so willing to spend much just to have the best of what’s cooking. Well, guess what? In Singapore, there’s no need to go to an upscale restaurant to have the best of their cuisine. Some hole-in-the-wall restaurants and a good hawker (food market) place offer amazingly authentic and local delicacies.
Marché Movenpick. For all the times I have been to Singapore, there was never a time that I was able to try this. You know why? Because of the incredibly long line every single time I passed by it! I was too Queen B to wait in line before. Haha!
Luckily, there was no queue when we visited. And I was so happy I finally got to try it after all those years!
Address: LEVEL 1, DISCOVERY WALK, 313 ORCHARD ROAD. Station: SOMERSET – NS23, RED LINE.
OUR ORDERS: 1) Salmon Steak, 2) Porkloin Steak, and 3) Fried Potato Rosti – I forgot to take a picture of it though. Both the steaks were very good but their tastes were familiar! The rosti – thin potato strips made into a potato pancake – was the one that stood out. It was addicting!
Lau Pa Sat. For us to taste a little of everything on Singapore’s menu, a friend introduced us to one of the most popular hawkers in the city – Lau Pa Sat! It was my first ever hawker experience and I couldn’t be happier!
Address: 18 RAFFLES QUAY. Station: RAFFLES PLACE – NS26 (RED LINE) or EW14 (GREEN LINE).
All the food that we ordered were oh-so-delicious! They were so good we ordered for another round of it! All of it! Haha!
OUR ORDERS: 1) Chicken & Prawn Satays, 2) Salted Shrimps, 3) Kangkong – Not in the pic, 4) Fried Rice, and 5) Stingray – Yes! Stringray meat is a thing in Singapore and it’s surprisingly delectable! Although at some point, I felt guilty about it. We just saw them smiling at us in S.E.A. Aquarium and there they were, chewed and swallowed.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay. Another hawker that’s worth trying! Their selection of food was similar to Lau Pa Sat’s. The place though was a bit smaller and very crowded that we had a hard time looking for a table. But it didn’t matter. The food was absolutely worth the long wait!
Address: 8 RAFFLES AVE. Station: RAFFLES PLACE – NS26 (RED LINE) or EW14 (GREEN LINE).
OUR ORDERS: 1) Beef & Chicken Satays, 2) Spicy Crunchy Squid, 3) Oatmeal Prawns, 4) Fried Rice, and 5) Chili Crab – my all-time favorite sinful dish!
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Of all the hainanese chicken rice I have tried in my entire life, Tian Tian’s version was the best! It made all other hainanese chicken taste bland. Haha! It was really that good! No wonder the queue was super long when we visited (the picture I took only shows ¼ of the line; it went all the way back to the walkway outside the hawker place).
Address: MAXWELL FOOD CENTRE, 1 KADAYANALLUR ST. Station: TANJONG PAGAR – EW15, GREEN LINE.
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons. I didn’t know how my boyfriend discovered this ramen place but I was glad he did! Their ramen did not disappoint. It was tasty and really delicious! Plus, their serving was very generous for the price.
It was somewhat similar to Ramen Nagi in terms of choosing your toppings, texture of the noodles, level of spice, etc. But not comparable to my ever favorite Mendokoro Ramenba! Hahaha! I am being biased again. Seriously though, Ramen Keisuke is great for a quick ramen fix! I highly recommend it! Yum!
Address: 158 ROCHOR ROAD, BUGIS VILLAGE. Station: BUGIS – EW12 (GREEN LINE) or DT14 (BLUE LINE).
OUR ORDERS as far as I can remember: 1) Tonkotsu Ramen Summer, and 2) Tonkotsu Ramen Autumn. The names of their ramen were inspired by the four seasons (hence, the name of the restaurant) in Japan – Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn. So cute, right? 😊
Llaollao. Ahhh yogurt 😍. I blogged about Llaollao in Manila a month ago. The quality was basically the same so just click on the link for the full review. Oh. Just so you know, it was in Singapore when I first tried it! Hmmm. Drooling now.
Here’s a complete list of Llaollao branches in Singapore. There are way too many of them for me to include in this blog. Hehe.
Garrett Popcorn. A trip to Singapore always means having to take home one of the best popcorns in the world! Their famous Chicago Mix – combination of CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn – is downright irresistible! Once you start eating it, you can’t stop it! One taste will leave you wanting more! That’s how addicting it is.
Address: LEVEL 1, DISCOVERY WALK, 313 ORCHARD ROAD (just beside Marché). Station: SOMERSET – NS23, RED LINE.
From the spectacular views of the famed Marina Bay Sands (which I have yet to check hopefully on my next visit…in less than 2 months 🙈), to the incredible tourist attractions, to their finger-lickin’ good kind of food, and even to the convenience of their MRT that makes going around the city easy and cheap, what is there to not love about Singapore? Everything is beautiful beyond words!
My boyfriend and I undoubtedly enjoyed every second and every hour of our days there, especially when there was something to celebrate. Nope. It’s not anniversary… Not even birthday… It was Valentine’s! Hahaha! Sosyal! 😂 It just so happened it was our only available time so we grabbed it!
If you are to ask me when is the perfect time to visit Singapore, there isn’t! Because any time is a great time to visit the country! All you need are tons of sunblock, gallons of water, loads of patience, and a large SD memory. Never forget. You’ll need ‘em! 😉 Hehe.
TRAVEL PERIOD: February 11-14, 2016