What to expect:
Wow. I mean, I don’t even know how to start this one or how to form complete sentences because I loved Singapore more than any other country I have ever been to. I just loved it. Even despite the crippling humidity! It was such a special city/country (it is considered both since it is its own island nation on the tip of Malaysia) but it was oddly perfect. The streets and pathways were so manicured, there was no trash in site, chewing gum is illegal, and the place was designed like a master planned community. It was actually kind of Disneyland-esque (maybe that’s why I liked it). I told Alec I would literally move to Singapore. It just felt very safe and ritzy and clean but it isn’t a budget-friendly vacation. Crazy Rich Asians wasn’t sugar-coating the luxury lifestyle of Singapore. There is a lot of money in that country and it shows. We were only there for 2 1/2 days and I am already DYING to go back (however, our bank account says we have to wait a little bit).
Getting around Singapore:
We took a taxi pretty much anywhere we went. They were lined up at our hotel and the city itself really isn’t that huge so you can get anywhere within about a 10 minute taxi ride. It is just a little too big to walk everywhere so some form of transportation is necessary. They all had meters so you aren’t going to get ripped off like you do in other parts of Asia.
Where we stayed:
Alright well this
probably definitely attributed to why I fell so in love with this country…we stayed at Marina Bay Sands in their club level room. LUXXXURY. I was literally like a child on Christmas morning walking into the hotel. It was SO huge and beautiful and we were escorted to the Sands Lounge for VIP check-in which made me feel v fancy. Our room was up on the 52nd floor out of 57 floors, so we were up there. We looked out over the Bay (and Louis Vuitton) and the room itself was stunning. Also, the bath products they provided were amazing!! They smelled like heaven in a plastic bottle. Because we were club level, we had access to their Club55 lounge which had an enormous breakfast spread, afternoon tea, and evening drinks and canapes. All for free, well “free”. I think it would be hard for me to come back to Singapore and 1. not stay at MBS and 2. not stay in club level because it really was an elevated experience and added to the overall “luxury” vibe of Singapore (have I said luxury enough yet?). And then of course, there is the pool…
What we did:
Marina Bay Sands Pool: This pool is truly iconic. Casually resting on top of the three towers of MBS on the 57th floor, you can dip into the (absolutely freezing) infinity edge pool and take in the stunning city skyline of Singapore/ get that fire Instagram shot. Yes, you read that correctly, this water felt like ocean water it was so cold. Our theory is that they keep it cold so people brave it for the photo and then get out to keep the edge from over crowding lol. However, there are 500 jacks under the hotel that keep the entire thing level. It really wasn’t scary up there though, the edge isn’t literally the edge…there is quite a bit of space from the edge of the pool to the edge of the building. Also keep in mind that it gets crowded up there first thing in the morning but it does come and go in waves so don’t get discouraged if all the lounges seem full. I have a few more bonus tips on the pool at the bottom of all this.
Cloud Forest/ Gardens by the Bay: Love love loved this. This is absolutely a must-do in Singapore. We walked over here from MBS and it took about 10 minutes (yet you will sweat like it took you an hour). You can buy tickets for just one dome or both (just do both, trust me). Also, I have a tip below for how to save money on this! The Cloud Forest is home to the world’s largest indoor waterfall (it’s as big as 1.5 football fields stacked on top of each other!) and it was spectacular! You will follow the paths to take you all around and up and down the dome to see some beautiful and exotic plants. Then you can head over to the Gardens by the Bay which has a bunch of different “gardens” from all around the world. So they have the Australia Garden and the Netherlands Garden and the California Garden, etc. We made it through this one much quicker than the Cloud Forest but I still highly recommend. Plus both domes had AC! Win win win!
Shopping (but make it luxury): Marina Bay Sands is attached The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (go figure) and this mall is no joke. Name a luxury brand and I will bet you $100 that they have it there (don’t hold me to that, I am getting cocky). So while this is obviously not the most practical of shopping, it was pretty fun to walk through. We also went over to a shopping mall that was recommended to us by our taxi driver called Bugis+ but honestly, it was just a lot of knick knacks and a pretty basic shopping mall so we didn’t waste too much time there.
Explore Singapore: There are so many beautiful buildings and streets in Singapore that you could spend a whole day just walking around. I’d recommend going to Haji Lane, the colorful alleyway lined with small shops, cute cafes, and funky street art. But be advised that most of the shops don’t open until at least 11am. We also went to the colorful Old Hill Police Station (We walked from Haji Lane to Raffles Long Bar (I’ll talk about that below) then walked to the Old Hill Police station. Not too far apart but you will definitely get your steps in). We wanted to go to Koon Seng Road, aka “the most Instagrammable street in Singapore”, but it was actually a ways away from where we were, we were roasting hot, and getting hangry. So we passed.
Artscience Museum: This was a little last minute pop-in into that big flower looking building next to MBS. Everyone wanted to take a jet-lag nap but since I was in my new-found favorite city, I said I’ll sleep when I’m dead…or just, on the airplane. The hubs took one for the team and decided to forgo his nap to join me and I’m sure he’s glad he did because this place was VERY cool. You could honestly work your way through it in 30 minutes though. We just bought tickets for the Future World exhibit since that had the light room we wanted to go to/ take pictures in. There were some very cool exhibits with artwork projected on walls and then yeah, of course the amazing sparkling light room. Also be advised that there were a ton of kids here. I have some tips on the museum below….
Where we ate:
Maxwell Hawker Center: There are these different “food court” type centers with stand alone food stands all around the city but the Maxwell Hawker Center has the Michelin star rated Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stand. Yup, this food stand has the cheapest Michelin Star rated dish, the chicken rice dish. I think it was $3. And yes, we went back for more right after shoveling the last delicious morsel of chicken rice into our mouths. We also went to the Telok Ayer Hawker Center one night which is where they filmed Crazy Rich Asians and it’s known for their outdoor satay stands!
Spago: This was the best meal we had I think on our whole trip. Understandably so however because Spago is a world renowned restaurant with amazing food. I have now been to 4/5 of the Spago’s in the world but the last one is in Istanbul so I don’t anticipate hitting that one up any time soon. I feel like Spago is a can’t miss meal in Singapore but don’t expect a $3 meal lol. Spago is located on top of Marina Bay Sands overlooking the pool and the Bay and the Singapore skyline. We celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday here and we chose to eat from their prefix sunset menu which I highly recommend. Try to make your reservation before sunset because you will get a beautiful view while sipping your champagne 57 floors above.
Raffles Long Bar: Have you ever heard of a Singapore Sling? It’s a cocktail that was created in 1915 so women could drink gin but have it still look like fruit punch. Sneaky sneaky. And yes, you guessed it, it originated at the Raffles Hotel Long Bar. We were so bummed because we realized that the Raffles Hotel was 100% closed for renovations when we got there but they are smarter than that and their Long Bar was still open from the side. I gave the Singapore Sling an 8.5 because it was pretttty sweet, sweeter than my taste, but that little pineapple punch packed a punch and I was feeling mighty fine so I guess it did its job.
Selfie Cafe: This is just a fun little stop in Haji Lane where you take a picture on their special device and they print your picture on your coffee! So funny! Obviously it’s super kitchy but I mean, when in Singapore…
- Like I mentioned above, you can’t access the MBS rooftop pool unless you are a guest of the hotel. It was literally like Disneyland to get in meaning that each person had to scan their room key and go through an electronic gate with security. So don’t think you are going to sneak a friend in with your room key.
- You have to go to the Supertree Grove at night. They do a really cool light show at 7:45 and 8:45. You can also do the skywalk and walk through the trees for about $8 during the day. This is about a 5 minute walk from MBS.
- Marina Bay Sands also does an evening water/ light show and if you want to watch the water part, you will want to do so right outside the big Louis Vuitton by The Shoppes. However if you want to see the light show, we watched from The Fullerton Bay Hotel across the way (which was an absolutely STUNNING hotel by the way omg).
- Besides the Hawker Centers, basically all the restaurants had AC unlike the places in Bali and Thailand.
- So if you want to save money getting your tickets for the Cloud Forest and Gardens by the Bay, let them know if you flew Singapore Airlines to get to Singapore (or any of their affiliate airlines like Scoot) and they will give you 10% off your tickets! You will have to show them an email confirm or boarding pass though.
- If you go to the sparkling light room at the Artscience museum (it is technically called the “Space” room) here is how that works: you will stand in a long line of people wanting to go in and they will slowly let people walk through. It is shaped like an “L” so you walk straight in, walk down to the end, turn left and then you are walking out. It is very small and everyone wants a photo. There is a guy in there hidden behind the corner and he actually controls the lights because 90% of the time, they aren’t bright and glowing. They change colors and move to the music so it is hard to get “that photo”. You also have to keep moving forward to keep the flow of traffic moving so you have to move swiftly. You can go through multiple times though if you exit the attraction and then just get back in line. By the third time we went through, we realized this guy controls the lights and asked him to make them bright so I could get the picture. Ta-da!