We get our first glimpse into the fantastic city as soon as we land at Singapore’s Changi Airport – a world class destination in itself. A host of options including a rooftop swimming pool, a butterfly garden and art installations surround us and we are only at the airport yet. Eager to explore but short on time – my sister A and I decide to squeeze in a quick lunch at the award-winning buffet restaurant Azur at the airport’s Crown Plaza. After gorging on their delicious Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb and Hainanese Chicken Rice, we head out where six days worth of memories await us. The trip is special for us as it is the first time only the two of us are taking a vacation together and what better place than Singapore? Here, our contrasting holiday personalities would each have a host of options to choose from.
After dropping our bags at the hotel and a quick nap, we set out to explore the city known for its vibrant gastronomical and social scene. My sister’s spontaneity is supplemented by healthy doses of planners and recommendation lists by me. First up for us is Singapore’s Civic District that is full of world-class galleries and museums. Here, we indulge in a museum hop visiting the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore back to back. After ogling over world renowned artists like Yayoi Kusama and Martin Creed, we decide to have dinner at Singapore’s largest street-hawker centre with 260 stalls under one roof- Chinatown Food Complex. It is here that we devour one of the world’s cheapest Michelin-Star meals at Liao Fan’s Hong Kong Soya Chicken Rice & Noodles. The delicious plate of chicken that leaves both of us craving for more comes at an unbelievable cost of less than INR 200. The night is still young and after the stellar meal – the two of us head over to Asia’s best club – Zouk. Known for its spectacular lineups in electronic dance music—we are not surprised when we are told that Martin Garrix and Tokimonsta are staples on the bill. Even my usually dancefloor shy self grooves to the electrifying beats and we spend the night dancing away. By the time we leave, it is the wee hours of the morning. Even at the odd hour, walking on the streets feel safe.
Photo courtesy: Singapore Tourism
The next day begins late for us and we directly head to Altitude Bar at 1 Raffles Place for our lunch reservation. Known for being the highest al fresco bar on the planet, my sister and I are blown away by the restaurant’s 360º panoramic view of Singapore’s city centre as soon as we enter. We gourmandize on the 5-course GASTRONOMIQUE meal laid out by the courteous staff, enjoying every morsel to the fullest. Later in the evening, as our stroll around the neighborhood we are surprised by a prolific block party organized by LOPELAB. Lined up with DJ consoles and pop-up food stalls – with music brightening up the balmy evening – this is where we meet cheery Singaporeans grooving to local and international beats. Our dinner table is perched 71 floors above the city at Bar Rouge Swissotel, a ‘not to be missed spot’ on my itinerary. The place lives up to its hype and we are greeted by the golden lights of Singapore’s spectacular Marina Bay skyline. As we sip wine recommended by our server and fill ourselves with appetizers crafted to perfection, A and I rekindle old memories. We reminisce our childhood – old jokes that leave our eyes watering. Work and life always getting in the way – I realise it’s been years since my sister and I had dinners like this one. I take a mental picture of this perfect moment in Singapore, a city that now has a special place in my heart.
After getting a taste of the swanky side of Singapore, we vow to spend the next two days discovering the city’s world renowned street food. We frolic around from hip cafes to local stalls at Chinatown, take one of Singapore’s famous food challenges – the Satay Challenge (a dish consisting of seasoned, grilled skewered meat, with savory peanut sauce on the side) at Stall 8 in the Lau Pa Sat Market, treat our taste buds with the comfort of home food at Little India and of course, nibble on local delicacies at the city’s many hawker centres including the Maxwell Food Centre and the Tiong Bahru Market.
In between pampering ourselves with delicious food, A insists on making some time to visit the nearby City Square Mall and I happily oblige. As she fills her bags with soaps and souvenirs, I admire Singapore’s first eco-mall constructed with eco-conscious principles in mind. With a cup of coffee in hand, I stroll through the crown jewel of the mall’s green plan – City Green, a 49,000-square-foot urban park integrated into the shopping complex.
We split for the last evening – A opts for a more social dusk ’til dawn soirée at the Siloso Beach Party while I head over to meet a friend at the Holland Village that is overflowing restaurants and bars with al fresco outdoor seating areas. We later head over to the Marina Bay area and talk until the sun rises. This is what I love the most about Singapore – no matter what your taste or preferences are – there is a myriad mix of options for you to choose from. The next evening, we head back for India. Our suitcases and our hearts – both are heavy as we bid goodbye to the lovely city.
is a part time dreamer and a full time writer. She believes that a place is its people and seeks out sunsets, the ocean and the stars on her travels.
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