I will admit, before I went to Singapore the only thing I knew about it was what I gleaned from the scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. A great movie, yes, but it did not give me an extensive or accurate knowledge of this wonderful island. When my husband and I took a week-long trip to the city that’s also an entire country, I was thrilled to get a peek at its character and charm. Singapore has a beauty that’s so unique; you can go from jungle, to big city, to beach in a matter of minutes!
Because my husband lived in Asia during his formative years, we are very lucky that he has friends all over the world. Singapore is known as the most expensive city in the world, so we were fortunate to be able to stay at a local Singaporean’s home. Having someone who knows the area was one of the best parts of the trip, and we were able to get so much more out of the experience.
One highlight of the trip was the craft fair I got to explore near the water. I was looking on Instagram at photos of the area, and found out that the Civic District Outdoor Festival was happening that day. Some small, local businesses including Honey & Gazelle were selling goods on the lawn.
Staying with a local definitely has its perks. A few times during our stay, we went to a local market for breakfast. My favorite things I tried were fresh sugarcane juice and a coconut “pancake.” Although Sinagpore’s primary language is English, this market was full of people who spoke Chinese or Malay as their first language.
The Botanic Gardens are a must-see when visiting Singapore. The approximately 202-acre garden is the perfect (and free!) place to have a picnic, people watch, play games, or take pictures. I really enjoyed taking pictures of the turtles and swans in the pond pictured below.
I could not believe how many turtles were swimming around! You could see little turtle heads popping up all around as they swam.
Another great spot to visit in Singapore is Chinatown. This cultural nook is a great place to walk around, try new foods, and purchase souvenirs. One of my favorite buys here was the fresh coconut juice – so refreshing! Singapore consists of a large population of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian residents, so the culture there is a melting pot of several international influences.
Singapore has some other great shopping areas as well. There are huge upscale malls with local and world-wide brands. LiHo is a bubble tea franchise present in the area. I was lucky enough to sample their drinks a couple of times and got my chocolate fix.
My favorite day spent in Singapore was our day on the beautiful and beachy island of Sentosa. This island is a tropical paradise and I will always, always look back on it fondly. You can get to Sentosa via the subway system and then taking the designated Sentosa tram. There are a handful of stops on the island – the main ones being the stops that take you to the beach itself and the one that takes you to Universal Studios. You can walk the whole island, it’s not that large, but take the tram if you want a quick transit.
Singapore is famous for its “Merlion.” The one pictured below is the second one built, and not the one on the mainland. This merlion in Sentosa is more a novelty, and is larger than the original. There are even options to take tours inside of it.
I was very impressed by the beautiful mosaic fountains located behind the merlion. They add to the wonderful resort atmosphere.
The tropical plants and flowers on the island are absolutely breathtaking. I didn’t know some like them even existed!
The beach on Sentosa is so relaxing. There are areas to wade in the water as well as a handful of beachfront bars. I could’ve spent hours and hours taking pictures and walking through the crisp teal water.
My favorite part of the whole day was the very end. We went over to a waterfront bar that had lounge chairs all over the beach, and I ordered a pineapple iced tea. My favorite fruit in a refreshing drink while I watched the sunset over the island with my favorite guy was the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Below you can see the original Singaporean Merlion who acts as a mascot for “The Lion City.” He overlooks the water while spewing out a fountain.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to tour around this incredible country, and experience its diverse culture and terrain. Even if it is the most expensive city in the world, I left feeling richer.