Five Days in Singapore

My friend Julia and I headed to Singapore at the end of June just in time for the Great Singapore Sale. We’d booked our flights six months in advance to take advantage of promo fares, hoping to scrape together enough savings to shop with. Thankfully we didn’t need to pay for lodging due to some kind friends who had settled there and offered to host us during our stay.

We had two hosts for the trip: spent two nights with one family in the Mount Faber/Harbourfront area, and another three nights with an old school friend in Tampines. If you’ve seen the Singapore SMRT map, you’ll know that’s almost on opposite sides of the island! Taxi fares are expensive and most of the SMRT is underground, so I didn’t get to see how all the streets and areas connected with each other. I did try to map out a run route once and was surprised that it would be almost 21 kilometers just to get from Tampines to a nearby beach and back. People say Singapore is so small you can tour it all in a day. After my trip, I doubt that’s really true.

Singapore Swing


waiting for a bus

Singapore Swing


amusing myself with train station names

Singapore Swing


random dude I spotted on the train on his way to the airport

I would say I probably experienced Singapore like a resident would: the commutes, the busy lunch and dinner hours at mall food courts, shopping at the street market and bargain stores, Sentosa on a weekend without entering Universal Studios. Not a lot of touristy things except for the few hours we spent at Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore Swing


not the Merlion I’m looking for

Singapore Swing


hanggang tingin na lang muna

Singapore Swing


Sands Hotel is disorienting. Which way is up?

Singapore Swing


sculpture in plain sight

Singapore Swing


Sound and Lights Show at the Marina Bay Sands

Singapore Swing


Rain Oculus with Vietnamese boats in the canal below

Singapore Swing


Rain Oculus in action

I’m very thankful that my tour guides and hosts helped me get a taste of the different kinds of food available in Singapore, even though I didn’t set foot in a single hawker stall. (Filing that as part of my to-do list on the next trip.) For Singaporean cuisine, I had some homemade bah kut teh (clear beef stew) and kaya toast with the traditional milk tea and runny eggs.

Singapore Swing


bah kut teh

Singapore Swing


kaya toast from Ya Kun Kaya

Some of our meals were international in nature, such as the Swiss banquet at Marche (Vivo City), healthy Italian fare at Skinny Pizza (Wheelock), and Japanese set meals at a food court.

Singapore Swing


Marche at Vivo City Mall

Singapore Swing


Skinny Pizza at Wheelock Mall

Singapore Swing


I forgot which resto at the food court this came from.

And yes, I lived on the edge and had ice cream! Not just any ice cream: this was Cold Stone (Orchard Central), which people would line up around the block for. I also had some macarons to die for from Canele, which according to Julia is the best she’s tasted.

Singapore Swing


Pila, pila lang! Buendia, Buendia, Buendia!

Singapore Swing


strawberry forever

Singapore Swing


Canele macarons

Singapore Swing


before I take a bite…

Let’s not forget the real reason I went there in the first place: to shop! When I arrived in Singapore, I had one suitcase and one carry-on. When I left, I had another bag full of clothes!

Singapore Swing


It’s a steal!

Singapore Swing


Ion Orchard’s long escalator

Singapore Swing


Aesop skincare

Singapore Swing


guess which bag was the extra one?

In other words, my trip was bitin. This only means one thing: I’ll be back soon, Singapore!

Singapore Swing


that’s just an escalator!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.