It took more than one trip for me to get a feel for this city-state. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Perhaps its reputation for having restrictive laws gave me pause. Either way, it didn’t quite make sense to me. I mean, I LOVE cities. Growing up in and around NYC, then living in Harlem and lower Manhattan after college formed my strongly held opinions about the ways cities should be – and I don’t mean that New York is the standard (look at the subway system!). I enjoy people watching over drinks. I appreciate wandering through art museums and other cultural spaces. I thrive off of places with vibes that pulse so intensely you soon feel it in your veins. Singapore gave me the impression that it could offer all those things. Still, venturing around what people call a “nanny state” did not invoke warm, welcoming sentiments.
Either way, I went into this first trip with as much of an open mind as I could muster. All I had was a day to explore alone while my husband worked, which seemed like ample time based on my Pinterest research to wander somewhat aimlessly and focus on one or two attractions. Except, the universe had other plans. I awoke in the early hours of that morning feeling very ill. I had to resolve quickly to see whatever I could without pushing myself too hard (It would not have been cute to pass out while sightseeing alone). The ArtScience Museum seemed like just the place. It was a captivating and interactive display showing the beauty that can be created when art and science intersect.
It’s no surprise considering the generic things people say about Singapore, which eerily seemed to ring true:
It’s super clean, like impressively so.
It’s a wealthy person’s playground. So. Many. Lambos.
They are not playing around with enforcing their laws. Seriously, I saw nary a person even attempting to break one.
The second time around, the hubby and I flew in to see a Kevin Hart’s Irresponsible Tour then spent the next day exploring the city. I was determined to see the colorful, intriguing places that called to me from my Instagram feed for myself. We mainly focused on two areas: Chinatown and Little India.
We ventured to Chinatown in the early afternoon for a VR experience at Virtual Room. We arrived early and used the opportunity to explore a nearby market. The items themselves weren’t of particular interest apart from the punny t-shirt I picked up, but outdoor markets, in general, are a great way to take in a city’s vibe. We were also really close to Sri Mariamman Temple and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple but somehow missed it.
Now, if you’re at all familiar with Singapore, it would be understandable if you thought we sought out a hawker stall for some Hainanese chicken rice at this point. I mean, isn’t eating the national dish at the top of every tourist’s list? Somehow, after two visits I’ve yet to have a plate. We did the same thing in KL, missing out on the Teh Tarik. Instead, we walked to Little India in search of roti canai and biryani – soaking in the sites along the way. I think hunting the best-tasting roti is becoming a hobby, TBH. Little India did not disappoint.
After the second trip, I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to get back and discover more of what makes Singapore such an intriguing place.
Have you needed more than one trip somewhere to get into it?