The best way I can describe our Singapore vacation is that it was the perfect mix of cultural/adventurous, relaxing, and sentimental. I hope to show you all three in photo form this week!
The trip there and back is the hardest part–our travel time was about 27 hours there and just under 30 hours to get back (including flight times and layovers). We finally arrived after midnight on Saturday night Singapore time, were picked up by my dad at the airport, and crashed for the night. When we woke up to the view below from his balcony though, all those sleepless hours on the plane were suddenly very worth it!
Our first day of the trip was spent by the pool in recovery mode and exploring Sentosa, the tiny (yes, tinier than Singapore itself!) island my parents live on. Our first outing on the mainland was to the River Safari to see the pandas! Singapore’s zoos are some of the best in the world, and whether you choose the main zoo, the Night Safari (on our list, but we didn’t recover from jet lag enough in time–I have great memories of going as a kid!), or the River Safari like we did, you really can’t go wrong.
One of the highlights of Singapore is undoubtedly the food! I didn’t quite appreciate it when I lived there in elementary school, so I was more than happy to re-try everything, including the unofficial national dish, chicken rice, pictured below! Singapore’s legendary street food is mostly contained within hawker centers–the Singaporean equivalent of big, permanent food truck parks with a roof over it :) One thing I do remember very fondly from my childhood is freshly squeezed watermelon juice. I had it four or five times during the week and it was just as good as I remembered it!
Since our first wedding anniversary fell during the trip and we were lucky to be able to stay with my parents for our main accommodations, Dave and I splurged on a night away at the Fairmount Hotel. We did lots of research to find our favorite room with the best view, and ended up upgrading our reservation at the last minute since the upgrade included breakfast, and was about the cost of two buffet breakfasts. So worth it! We loved our comfy room, the marina view, and the complimentary cocktail hour. I was also very amused/tempted by the 24-hour 20-minute noodle menu!
For our anniversary dinner, we headed to No Menu, one of my parents’ favorite restaurants. It’s a little Italian place on Boon Tat Street that’s owned and run by a fabulous Italian family–every family member came to chat with us at some point during our dinner! They import their ingredients from Italy daily, and I am not exaggerating when I say that their caprese salad was one of the best things I have ever eaten. They were also so sweet to make me a non-alcoholic fruity drink on the house, offer to split our pasta dishes when Dave and I couldn’t decide (we shared the penne all’arrabiatta and cacio e pepe–two of my very favorites!), and bring out plate after plate of their glorious fresh focaccia bread. When my dad made our reservation, he also asked for a special note to be added to our dessert, which was such a sweet surprise!
Even though we were stuffed to the brim after No Menu, we got our money’s worth at our hotel breakfast buffet the next morning! There are few things I enjoy more than a really good hotel breakfast, and this one did not disappoint. We sat there for over an hour, lingering over multiple breakfast courses and drinking cup after cup of fresh juice!
Part two coming later this week! :)