Over the past few years I’ve heard quite a lot about Singapore as my brother’s best friend, Warren, lives there and several of my friends from work were/are there. I was so excited to finally go and see it and my friends!!! Throughout the weekend, I spent time with Warren, Jin and Sooyeon and met their friends and family! They were the best hosts, housing me and showing me all around Singapore. I am so grateful for them! They are the best! They even ate vegetarian food all weekend and opened my eyes to vegan Chinese food (so good!!).
I always am so appreciative of experiencing a city with locals to get the inside scoop of sorts- learning more about the ins and outs of a country and its culture. Singapore is unlike anywhere else I’ve seen before. Warren put it well: “a perfectly man-made, manicured city.” Everything is unbelievably organized, clean, efficient, safe, beautifully designed, seamlessly operated. People are incredibly considerate of rules and it is a place with virtually no crime. Singapore grew from a very small, poor place without resources to doubling its population and developing a booming economy.
Certain rules within the city make it so nice and well-maintained. One of my favorites is that there must be greenery within a certain amount of feet of each other, making the urban city explode with nature. I love seeing buildings that incorporate trees into their design, coming in and out of the walls and windows. There is also a lot of solar energy within the city and give-back brands and restaurants that support a cause! We saw quite a few in the museums and on Haji Lane!
We explored all of the different pockets of Singapore. Given a population of 5M people and the fact it would take about 40 minutes to travel across, Singapore is quite small, however, there is still great variety from place to place and presence of both East and West.
Marina Bay Sands is a harbor with great views, bars, restaurants, hotels and an infamous casino. Several years ago, this did not exist! The land and all on it was built with the growth of Singapore. The buildings were crafted artfully together to make the most aesthetically pleasing skyline. Warren and I got rooftop drinks and ice cream as we strolled through the area. And a new kind at that: yam and wafer ice cream!!
At SunTech City, where Warren works, we ate at a premiere food court within a mall (very common in Singapore). I was so happy to have a make-your-own salad as I had been craving one for sometime!
Sentosa is an island off of Singapore, again, with shopping, food, hotels, casino and destinations, such as, Universal and the aquarium. Warren’s mom graciously took me to the aquarium and it was so fun to see all of the fish with her!
Sooeyon’s neighborhood, Orchard, is so nice filled with shops and such. I loved waking up to her view of a sea of trees!!
Haji Lane is filled with amazing street art, shops, design and food! There is so much happiness here with colors bouncing off all of the walls and people walking in and out of the shops on the street.
Hawker Centres are markets that have all of the local food imaginable. Sooeyon and Warren went on a special hunt to find me all of the vegetarian things they could :)
We covered many other pockets with great food and drinks and vibes.
This country is magical. We ended at the Star Wars Light Show at Gardens by the Bay. It was unreal!! I loved laying on the ground, looking up at the tree structures, hearing the music and seeing the lights. It was the best way to end a wonderful, magical weekend.
I felt so calm in Singapore. It was so nice to have my own bed, the ease and convenience of moving around, being in such a safe place and with friends the whole weekend. I am so grateful for my friends, our conversations and their comfort and welcome in Singapore!