We celebrated out 10th wedding anniversary this July! To commemorate this milestone, and to resurrect our pandemic-squashed travel bug, we planned a trip to Singapore!
Ever since our honeymoon when we visited Thailand, we knew Asia would be a favorite travel destination. From the food to the culture, there is so much to see and experience throughout all of the Asian countries. I personally never knew much about Singapore, but my husband, always interested in geopolitics, has wanted to visit this city state for a long time. I learned more about it through foodie YouTubers trying out all of the amazing (and cheap!) local dishes in Singapore. Basically the number #1 reason my husband and I choose to visit a place is for the food =)
If you want to get a good dose of Asian culture and food in general, Singapore is the place to visit because it has everything! We enjoyed popular Singaporean dishes, as well as Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Indian cuisines. We also did a number of fun touristy things which were all beautiful and amazing experiences! There are a number of beautiful hiking trails and opportunities to stay active if you love outdoorsy experiences too. I planned to do at least one nature trail hike, but honestly we walked 8-10 miles per day just exploring the city! There is no dearth of things to do in Singapore, especially if you go with children. Our kids stayed home for this trip, but we definitely want to go back to Singapore one day with them!
Our typical day was spent seeking out a new breakfast spot, usually at a Hawker Centre. Hawker Centres are an important part of Singaporean culture and heritage. They are open-air markets of various food stalls, and they were all very clean and safe. We often saw the sign on food stalls indicating the “SG Clean” certification which means the site meets national criteria for cleanliness and public hygiene. We never feared falling ill from eating in Singapore, a luxury we definitely would not have while visiting other countries like India.
We tended to load up on a HUGE breakfast with a large variety of foods. There were so many dishes to try and so little time, so we did our best! The huge breakfasts were super affordable and very filling. We typically did not need to eat again until dinnertime!
Another wonderful highlight of Singapore is their amazing public transportation system. We took the MRT subway system everyday. It was so easy to navigate, clean, quiet, and air-conditioned. We took a bus once or twice also. The buses have free wi-fi!
Because this was our 10-year anniversary trip, we splurged on the hotel and stayed at the incredible Marina Bay Sands. If you have seen “Crazy Rich Asians” or “Singapore Social,” you would recognize this hotel immediately. Talk about an engineering marvel! We definitely love to be pampered, and MBS did not disappoint. The hotel itself has access to numerous fine-dining restaurants, but we honestly did not eat in the restaurants because of our preference of the amazing local foods. We did have the hotel brunch on our first morning in because we were quite tired and hungry when we arrived, and though it was pricey, we got our money’s worth with the WIDE selection of Asian, Indian, and Western breakfast items. When it comes to food, I am pretty judgmental of other people’s food choices, LOL! I probably had a major look of disgust on my face watching a lady at the buffet choose a croissant and cereal for breakfast. Meanwhile I’m enjoying a hot bowl of noodle soup, idli, sambar, and so much more. Yum!!!
One fascinating aspect of visiting Singapore is how much people love luxury items. The nearby mall, which housed only luxury brands, was constantly swarming with shoppers. Every single one had on at least one luxury item. I’m not saying this in a wistful way, but rather in amazement about the culture of wanting (and affording) so many luxury items. I’m talking about seeing toddlers with Gucci baseball caps on. I saw one girl wearing literally head-to-toe Chanel branded clothing, from her hair clip to her shoes. I personally don’t think that type of dressing is stylish or classy (I tend to avoid wearing large/loud branded clothing items because I am not a walking advertisement). However, everyone is entitled to buy and wear what they like! I just found it fascinating how so many people are fixated on brand names even if these items are not in actuality pretty, distinguished, classy or valuable in the long run. But I guess if it’s anything like Crazy Rich Asians, it’s all about *appearing* to be rich! It was definitely fun perusing all the high-end shops, though!
All in all, this was a wonderful trip. Each day was packed full of fun experiences and amazing food. There was just one day where we spent a few hours watching TV in the hotel because it was raining and because we were pretty tired from days of exploring! We truly love the Singaporean way of life and hope to go back again soon.