Anyone who has been following Your Little Black Book for some time knows that Singapore is the number 1 destination I was able to tick off my bucket list last year. It was a dream to travel to the city for the first time: To discover all the food hotspots, admire the unique architecture from a close perspectiveand immerse myself into the culture of green Singapore. It is also the number 1 destination I have thought about most often during the pandemic in the past year. I can’t wait to go back in 2021, because I only have one travel wish and that is to rediscover the city together with my man and little Manuel after Corona. The same recognizable and iconic skyline, and yet the experience will be different. Maybe even better.
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Re-imagine Singapore for your (upcoming) travel
Over the past few months, I have been closely following how entrepreneurs in Singapore have reinvented and devised their businesses and services. Not only with the aim of welcoming Corona-proof guests, but also to make the experience even better for guests and visitors. That actually starts when you board Singapore Airlines in Amsterdam. On board, for example, you can now control the inflight entertainment system via an app on your smartphone and the aircraft is equipped with the HEPA filter that filters 99.97% virus and bacteria from the air. Once you arrive at Changi Airport (if you ask me: the most beautiful airport in the world) everything will be completely contactless. They are now a zero-contact terminal! There are robots that, according to the SG-Clean protocol, ensure that everything is even cleaner and all companies must work according to those hygiene standards.
There is so much to see and do in Singapore and its surroundings! For tourist attractions and other venues, there are protocols that guarantee a safe visit. I’ve made a nice list of everything we’re going to do in Singapore as soon as we get back on the plane. Discover the ‘new’ Singapore together! My favorite tips summarized in this blog are all reasons why you want to go to (back) to Singapore for a well-deserved holiday! Have fun with the tips, because especially in this day and age, good preparation is half the work.
15 X reasons why you really want to visit Singapore in 2021 (again)
The magic of Gardens by the Bay: If you think of Singapore, chances are you’re thinking of urban nature park Gardens by the Bay right away. A magical fairy tale, such as the towering ‘trees’ that come to life as soon as it gets dark. It’s the most beautiful light show I’ve ever seen. To manage the number of visitors, buy a ticket in advance with a time slot so that everyone can safely enjoy this magical spectacle.
Go eat Chili Crab at Jumbo Seafood: I still think back to divine food every week at Jumbo Seafood. I tasted so many goodies there that I had never eaten before. If you think you have had all variants of squid, you should order the baby squid at Jumbo Seafood. But… The real reason you want to go to Jumbo Seafood is the chili crab. You can go for a set menu, but I would advise you to take a good look around the tables next to you and what the waiters walk around with. Make sure you don’t over eat before your visit, so you can taste as many goodies as possible. Because trust me, that’s what you want!
Take a bike tour: Taking a bike ride in a big city is always an adventure. In Singapore, you can book several bike tours with Let’s Go Bike. I can recommend it to anyone to do this at the beginning of the trip! It is a very nice and fast way to get a good picture of the city and the different neighborhoods. I did the Historical Singapore Tour myself and that is highly recommended to hear a lot about the history of the city and the special landmarks. Good to know: you can also book a private bike tour for your own travel group.
Discover the Botanic Gardens: In Singapore, you don’t have to bother surrounding yourself with greenery. The city is exactly as I imagined, a city in the middle of nature! On our first day we went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Highly recommended for a soft landing in this metropolis. In the Botanic Gardens there is also an Orchid Garden that you can visit, which is full of the rarest orchids. A nice place to have lunch in the middle of the Botanic Garden is restaurant The Halia where you can eat authentic Singaporean dishes with a modern twist.
Island vibes at Sentosa Island: A few days of vacation with sea views? You can do that in Singapore on Sentosa Island. This special place just outside the city is a family paradise. There is so much to do! Go there by cable car and you have a great view over the island. We started the day on Sentosa Island with lunch and a walk on the beach at Tanjong Beach Club. When you get there, chances are you’ll forget you’re in one city for a while. Sea views and an infinity pool with palm trees give you the ultimate feeling of being on a beach holiday. On Sentosa Island you will also find the world famous SEA Aquarium. You can buy tickets online in advance for a time slot of your choice.
Eating at Hawker Food Centers: Rarely have I eaten as great in a city every day as I did in Singapore. Especially the Hawker Food Centers I find a party as a change at the trendy restaurants. They are open air food courts with lots of different restaurants and seating to eat everythingquietly. These centers are an important part of singapore’s culture and a meeting place for locals. Nice detail is that there are even stalls in these Hawker Food Centers that have a mention in the Michelin guide, with a ‘star’ or with a ‘plate’ because they are very good in a specific dish. On my next trip, I want to try to taste as many of those entries as possible. Believe me, it’s going to be hard to choose what you’re going to eat when you walk around these Hawker Centers. Everything looks so delicious! My tip: share as many dishes as possible with your travel companion so you can taste something everywhere. My favorite Hawker Center on my previous trip to Singapore is Newton Food Centre which you might know from the movie Crazy Rich Asians. But… there are many more! Click here for the tips for Hawker Centers
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Wander through Chinatown: One of my favorite neighborhoods in Singapore is Chinatown. This neighborhood is buzzing and you won’t get bored! Here everything comes together, from shopping to culture and from authentic eateries to the latest restaurant hotspots. A good start for a walk through Chinatown is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in the heart of the district.
Drink a Singapore Sling at The Raffles: Staying at The Raffles in Singapore is high on my bucket list of experiences to do on our world tour. On the return trip of my visit to Singapore I saw a wonderful documentary about this iconic hotel. Now I have a soft spot for heritage hotels anyway, but the documentary touched me enormously. The Long Bar of the The Raffles hotel is the place where the famous Singapore Sling was invented: a cocktail with lemon juice, gin and cherry brandy. The bar still exists and it is the place to drink a Singapore Sling. Nice detail: you get a basket of peanuts with your order, the skins of which you can throw on the ground. This way, the floor is put into oil every day by its’ guests!
Visit the ArtScience Museum: One of the nicest museums I’ve ever been to is the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. The building is truly an architectural feat and represents Singapore’s ‘welcoming hand’ with all the ten fingers. Through the fingers there is a natural light in the building at all exhibitions. Art and science come together in this museum. Future World, the permanent exhibition is a must-see. With a great infinity room and other installations where you become part of the art yourself. I also really liked the aquarium with digital fish. You can draw a fish there that is scanned and swims by a little later in the digital aquarium. It’s great!
Singapore, city of nature: I wrote it before, but Singapore is so beautifully green. If you have a little longer time during your trip, you can also go to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for a part of the day. A National Park about a 40-minute drive from the center known for its unique flora and fauna. For example, at low tide you can see mud skippers in the wild, fish and amphibian at the same time! Furthermore, the nature reserve is known for its special birds. Nice detail: from Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve you can see Malaysia.
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Visit Hawker Chan: I’ve written it before, but some Hawker restaurants are so good they’ve even been awarded a Michelin star. One of the most famous is Hawker Chan, who was the first to get recognition with a star for his soy sauce chicken. In addition to the Soya Chicken, the Roasted Pork and the Char Siew are also recommended!
Take a sunset boat ride: After a day on foot in Singapore, a boat ride from Clarke Quay is a very fun way to rest. As you cruise the Singapore River, you’ll experience that modern and historic architecture from the water seems even more impressive. Check in advance what time the sun goes down and book a boat trip around sunset. As beautiful as the sun’s rays the buildings of Marina Bay Sands turn gold.
Go shopping on Orchard Road: The streets around Orchard Road are the heart of shopping valhalla Singapore. Here you will find all the well-known shops, luxury department stores and many restaurants. I really liked the design orchard store myself! Here, lifestyle and fashion items from local makers and designers from Singapore are sold. The place to shop special souvenirs. Next to the shop is a staircase to the roof terrace from where you have a nice view of Orchard Road.
Discover the colorful Joo Chiat: A must-visit for a dose of culture is the colorful Joo Chiat road and katong district. Here you will find colorful houses with unique boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. Get a coffee to go at Homeground Coffee and stroll the streets. Look up! One façade is even more beautiful than the other in this historic part of Singapore. Finish your walk at KimChoo and taste the authentic Nyonya Rice Dumpling.
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Visit The Jewel at Changi Airport: You’d like to stay in Singapore for almost a day longer to spend that whole day at The Jewel. Changi Airport is the most beautiful airport I’ve ever been to anyway. Believe me it has never been a punishment to have a long layover here, but with the opening of The Jewel in April 2019 it is actually a must to spend time here. The indoor waterfall is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. You can keep looking at it because it feels like you’ve ended up in a futuristic garden of Eden. Furthermore, you can shop very well here and you will find a lot of good restaurants.
Personally, I can’t wait to go to Singapore with my men next year. Stay safe, then we can rediscover Singapore next year!
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