After being on the Island of Bali, it was time to enjoy a little “City” life in Singapore. Before arriving, I had a very limited knowledge of this city-state that lies less than 100 miles north of the equator. Singapore has been independent since 1965 and was described to me by one Australian friend as, “The most Western country in Asia”.
The Merlion…Singapore’s mascot.
First impressions are always fun and Singapore really impresses. Architecturally gorgeous, innovative and just super pleasant to look at. Clean, fresh and interesting. Driving to our hotel, I got that excited feeling that this was a place where there was lots of fun to be had! The “let’s change quickly, and get out there” feeling, not the “lets just relax and we’ll have a look around tomorrow” feeling!!!
Rather than a sequential blow by blow, I’d like to just share my favorite Singapore experiences, in no particular order.
Driving in, one structure kind of dominated the skyline and this was the Marina Bay Sands Casino monolith. Its singular design is one thing….the amount of things to do under that one-of-a-kind roof is a whole other conversation! I was truly reminded of the coolest building you could ever build in SimCity…on steroids.
The three towers house a massive, 2500+ room hotel, gargantuan casino and the largest mall I have ever seen with every top designer known to man…seriously…name one….they’re there!
Spooky big! And if shopping isn’t your reason to travel, this complex is chock full of cool restaurants, Celebrity Chefs and it also houses the Art Science Museum. Something for everyone.
As you do, we felt the need to get to the top!!! Human nature, I think…If it’s really tall, I want to go up there!! Nighttime is spectacular atop Marina Bay and we opted for entrance into the bar/restaurant/lounge area with part of the entry fee buying your first drink. The club, C’est La Vie was appropriately chilled out with the fun summer songs from Europe playing and the DJ mixing them up.
The main attraction, however, is the cantilevered infinity pool where there is a panoramic view of this city of lights. In the pool, bathers are suspended 55 stories up and I’ve never seen such a view. It is truly jaw dropping…as in, “Close your mouth and act cool…”!!! What fun!
Pool with a view…
Did I mention the floating stadium?
Just steps from Marina Bay is what is widely considered to be the #2 top attraction in Singa, Gardens by the Bay. I’ll have to admit I was extremely lukewarm to this outing as we’d been to the Orchid Gardens on our City Tour and I was a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, they were pretty Orchids, but like your Mom’s Orchids if she were really good at growing Orchids. 🙂
Gardens by the Bay absolutely blew me away. Lots of outdoor gardens, but our focus was indoors. Housed in two aesthetically magnificent structures are the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Outside is the Supertree Grove.
Succulents in the Dome
View from Above
Supertree Grove is an explosion of lights at night!
Largest indoor waterfall in Cloud Forest.
And if all that isn’t enough reason to visit, The Gardens by the Bay are Singapore’s coolest attraction with temps around 74 degrees Fahrenheit Given that the outside temps were in the 90’s with 80% humidity, this felt like heaven on earth! Big win !!
Back in the culinary arena, Din Tai Fung….a Michelin starred dumpling house! Obviously a cool destination for a chef and who wouldn’t want to taste their world renowned Steamed Dumplings.
Really delicious and fun. Probably 50 people waiting outside when we arrived. They give you a clipboard with a menu and you make your order and turn it in for pre-prep. When your number comes up on the display, you are seated and very shortly the goodness starts coming to the table. At this point, you are free to order more and we certainly did. Very akin to the food in Italy, simple ingredients, simple preparations but perfectly executed.
Another bit of foodie bliss….We went to Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza at the Marina Bay Sands. I like to sit at the bar in Mario’s restaurants and chat with the people that work there. Most often they are a fountain of knowledge, passionate about food and super cool to talk to. This evening was no exception with our friend Cris Sococ serving us. The food was sexy, tasty and inspiring.
After dinner we kicked it up a notch when executive Chef Peter Birks decided to come out for a few drinks. Peter was in a festive mood as he was just about to catch a flight to his hometown in Australia. We gave him a pretty good send off, that’s for sure!
BTW…if you love the ART of coffee design, please join Cris on Instagram @crissococ for his award winning designs!!
Looking down from our loft…what an interior!
Our hotel, The Pan Pacific was a great home base and a place I would always return to when visiting Singapore. We were fortunate enough to be on a Pacific “Club” level and the lounge rivaled any cocktail bar in Singapore! Our host, Rafael Shah Adam and his crew were so attentive, making sure that we were comfortable in our suite and in the club lounge! The Laurent Perrier Rose flowed freely every evening along with beautiful hors d’oeuvres.
To be honest, I’ve only touched the surface of the beautiful place called Singapore. I’ll stop now before you’re tired of this post but I really do want to leave you with a feeling of a warm, fun foodie, cosmopolitan city which is more than welcoming to tourists!!! Please go and see for yourself!