Singapore in a Day

11 Jul

Singapore is a bit like Hainanese Chicken Rice. It looks plain and sterile with its MRTs and skyscrapers but the second you take a bite and scratch below the surface a little you realise it’s packed through of flavour and a lot more than meets the eye. It is a city which appeals to me immensely. The parts of Asia that I love combined with efficiency and cleanliness- I’d move there in a second if given a chance.

Raffles- founder of modern day Singapore

I had one full day in Singapore on my way to Indonesia and planned it to try and get as much out of it as possible and realistically in the end spent most of the day getting lost. The morning started with Kaya toast and some delicious coffee and condensed milk, you definitely have to go for the sweet and milky option here and not expect Roasters quality. Then the walking began- I walked around Raffles City and saw Raffles Hotel while on a quest to find sunscreen (which was harder than expected seeing nothing opened until 11). Then I headed on over to Little India and walked up and down Seragoon Road taking photos and experiencing the colours and smells of the sub-continent. Tekka Market on a Sunday is a pungent assault on the senses, packed with people and every fruit or meat under the sun. I also got my foot all henna-ed and walked over to Sim Lim Square to look at some headphones while resisting the temptation to buy camera gear.

I then had an idea that seeing I couldn’t be bothered walking up to Little India MRT so I decided to walk until I found another one. I explored some more markets and found some temples then realised that there hadn’t really been any MRT stations. About half an hour later I found one after walking what turned out to be a fairly long way in ridiculous humidity. Afterwards I headed back to Clarke Quay, wandered around the mall and jumped on another train up to Chinatown.

Shop houses in Little India

I had a pretty good idea where the food centre was so sort of just walked in its general direction through streets upon streets of market stalls and then found it. I love Maxwell Food Centre. Unfortunately the pancake stall I really like has appeared to have closed in the last 18 months so it was time to try something new so I did the logical thing and jumped on the end of the longest line of locals and was rewarded with a plate of Chicken Rice for the low price of $3. It was pretty much one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, like some kind of epiphany.

Hawker Centre Heaven

After lunch I headed off walking along the river to the Asian Civilisations Museum which I was quite impressed by. They had some really interesting stuff from Southeast Asia and their SE Asian Islamic artifacts exhibit was particularly interesting. As the afternoon went on I took a stroll along Clarke Quay in the cool breeze and hang out before heading back to Chinatown to eat amazingly delicious meal number 2 for the day- bratwurst. Yep as strange as it sounds in the middle of the stalls of Chinatown is Erich’s Wuerstelstand, an Austrian setup where you can get some delicious smoked pork and cheese wurst (as well as other varieties), sauerkraut and giant pretzels. It was incredibly good food and so cheap.

Bratwurst in Chinatown? Delicious

After walking around a bit and heading back to eat dinner in a bar in Clarke Quay and watch the F1 it was time to head home before the early flight.

Singapore is great. Lots of people don’t particularly like the place but I beg to differ. It definitely isn’t cheap but I don’t think I’ve ever failed to have a good time there if I’ve taken the time to go exploring. I’ll definitely back (in fact I will be going back twice in the next 3 weeks).

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3 Responses to “Singapore in a Day”

  1. finola July 11, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I’m hoping to do stopover there this coming Christmastime… any tips appreciated! Thanks for the inspiration in this write-up.

    • courts July 13, 2012 at 1:27 am #

      Best tip would be to stay close to a well connected MRT line (close to one of the interchanges- you can see the network online) for easy access everywhere. Another tip is to eat heaps! Food is reasonably cheap and generally hygienic 🙂

      • finola July 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

        Great – thanks! ‘Generally hygienic’ food sounds good to me after a couple of months of continuous food poisoning in Bolivia!

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