Much like Dubai, I had never been excited enough to visit Singapore, although I knew I’d like to make trip there someday. Most people that visited it spoke wonderfully about the quality of life, the food, and of course the shopping. However, as a traveller none of those mattered, except for the food of course. Some of the key things that attract me to a destination are food, nature, art and history, and so I’m naturally less attracted to global business centres.
My weekend in Singapore, however, was like a breath of fresh air. While the island state tends to be extremely humid with downpours happening unexpectedly, I was extremely impressed by how clean and efficient their infrastructure remains. Getting around is easy and the obvious choices for transport are busses since cabs are exorbitant. With limited time at hand, I knew there were certain places I definitely had to see and rest would depend on how I survived the ruthless summer weather conditions.
First stop, Universal Studios. Obviously!
I love amusement parks. LOVE them. Universal Studios located on Sentosa Island is delightful and packed with tourists all year round. One really can’t plan any other activity on the same day as a visit here since you need at least five to six hours to do justice to it, with a lot of the time going into waiting in queue to get to the various rides.
Evenings are for Speakeasies – 28 Hong Kong Street
To be honest, I’d not have left the bed after eight hours of non-stop walking in the heat. But the thought of exquisite cocktails in places frequented by only a limited, informed set of patrons can make the most lethargic of us get up, dress up and get out!
Hidden in plain sight, like Speakeasies are, 28 Hong Kong Street is cozy and sophisticated. The vibe is relaxed and the service, exquisite.
A day at the Marina Bay Sands, Jurong Bay Park, Gardens By The Bay and Clarke Quay
There’s no escaping a visit to the Marina Bay Sands, a luxury hotel with the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool that overlooks Singapore’s stunning skyline. A quick breakfast here with a casual stroll around its shopping complex had us ready for a day lazing around Jurong Bay Park, another feather in the state’s cap that houses over 400 species of birds. While this area wasn’t as crowded as some of the other local favourites, its an amazing place to introduce yourself to birds you’d otherwise only see in documentaries. Some even speak to you!
The final halt before a casual dinner is at the Gardens By The Way where we stayed to see the ‘super trees’ come alive though a sound & light show that takes place every evening. While this area has a lot to offer in terms of exhibits, paucity of time didn’t permit us to explore the space in its entirety.
And a fine finish to the weekend was a casual stroll at Clarke Quay that houses several cafes offering delectable world cuisines and a great vibe. Best to hop around trying out signature drinks & cocktails at pubs rather than parking in one spot.