I didn’t think I would dedicate so many articles (5) to my stay in Singapore last June but this trip was so amazing I could’t do it any other way. This will be (I promise) my last post on Singapore!
First thing first, here is a video I made of my stay in Singapore.
In my last blog posts I talked about Chinatown, Little India, the Malaysian neighborhood, Singapore the garden-city and we walked along the Singapore River… but yes! I still have things to tell and show you!
So in no particular order…
National Museum of Singapore :
The National Museum of Singapour is the oldest museum in the city. I think I told you before that I usually prefer to stroll around a new city instead of going to see a few museums but I must say I really enjoyed this one because it shows the history of the city and in a new and interactive way. It helps you understand how a swampy harbor became the multicultural megapolis we know today: fascinating! And to make things even better, the museum is in a really nice building!
There are also different types of expositions in the museum.
National Museum of Singapore – 93 Stamford Road – SINGAPORE – 178897
Brunches Cafe :
Not far away from the museum you can find the adorable Brunches Café. There’s an old car inside where you can sit in while you’re drinking a floral tea and there are vintage objects everywhere! You can even buy them!
Brunches Cafe – 96 Rangoon Rd, Singapore – 218381
Tiong Bahru :
It’s one of the hip and happenin’ places in Singapore! It’s one of the first housing projects of the city and where new trendy spots keep appearing. I didn’t like the architecture too much but I did appreciate a lot of the pop up stores like the library Books Actually where cats live their lives amongst books.
Books Actually – 9 Yong Siak St – Singapore – 168645
Emerald Hill :
Emerald Hill is a street located close to Orchard Road, it’s basically the equivalent of the French Champs Elysées. As you walk by these colonial houses you forget you are in a bustling city and you’re brought back to colonial days.
The Katong district is a traditional Peranakan neighborhood: the first Chinese immigrants to come to the English colonies.
There’s even an indian temple: Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple.
Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple – 9 Ceylon Rd, Singapore 429620
If you’re in the neighborhood don’t forget to stop by Kong Seng street. This street is just as charming as Notting Hill!
I tried a local delicacy in Katong called Laksa. It’s a coconut milk base soup with noodles, shrimp, fish, curry sauce, chili, lemongrass and coriander. The best meal I had during my trip! The banana leaf you see next to soup is “otak otak”, grilled fish with tapioca and spices served in a banana leaf. Apparently the ones I had at 328 Katong Laksa are the best in town! Go and try them yourself!
328 Katong Laksa – 51 East Coast Road – Singapore – 428770
To conclude, like for my Korean trip here is a quick recap of my stay in Singapore.
Let’s start with food because I think that local cuisine is one of the most important things during a trip. I think that the best countries to visit are those that have a strong food culture and in Singapore it’s definitely the case… I don’t think i’ve ever visited a country where you eat so much (even more than in Korea!). Food in Singapore is much more than a necessity, it’s a way of life. Usually that’s not a problem with me but with its unbearable humidity and the heat, Singapore was a real test for my appetite. I was actually quite frustrated because I couldn’t fully appreciate the local cultural diversities through it’s local cuisines.
Thanks to my super guide Tham, I was able to test most of the local recipes even though sometimes she had to force me to try a few things.
When I look at this card above, I think I can say that I tried almost all local delicacies.
The food courts (hawker centers) are a real institution in Singapore, they’re everywhere!
Different local delicacies can be eaten there: from Indian to Malaysian to Chinese food… and it’s cheap too! The only problem is that there is usually no A/C.
Here on the left you can see a dish called “carrot cake” that has nothing to do with it’s American equivalent. It’s white radish mixed with flower and steamed and then stir fried with eggs, garlic and onions. On the right it’s rojak, a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish.
Why do I look so scared? Well, I had just finished eating but my guide decided that I could not leave without first trying a few more local specialties.. I spent basically most of my trip eating!
This is called “ice kachang” which is basically shaved ice with red beans, agar agar jello, corn, condensed milk, basil, mango, peanuts, rice noodles and Durian (the stinky fruit I already talked about in one of my previous posts). I must say.. I’m not really used to these kind of things so I only had a few spoonfuls (yes I lied in my video hi hi).
Now here is a list of things I liked and didn’t like in Singapore:
– the huge cultural differences
– seeing so many religions coexist
– everything is so clean
– it’s a country where food is like a philosophy
– everybody speaks English
– people are very friendly
– it’s very hard for foreigners to find a job
– it’s a very strict country, no chewing gums, no dogs allowed if you live in an apartment…
– it’s a authoritarian democracy: example, death penalty, reduced freedom of speech, no protesting (as a French person i cannot understand this last one haha)
– the heat and the humidity. I really don’t know how people manage to stay in regular clothes and to keep their hair in order!
– life is really expensive. You have to pay an expensive tax to drive a car (even though it does push people to take public transportation)
Now I would like to thank a few people. First of all Interface Tourism who allowed me to go on my first solo trip and that took me to such an amazing destination.
Thanks to my friendly driver Victor who took me all around the city in his nice car and WITH A/C.
Thanks to Tham, my adorable guide that taught me so much. This lady is amazing. I loved spending time with her even if she always wanted to take pictures of me or wanted me to eat something (or both at the same time!) :)
And thanks to you for following me during my trip. I hope I made you want to go and discover Singapore. This country has so much to offer and it shouldn’t just be seen as a flight layover.