We flew on Cathay Pacific business from Hong Kong to Singapore (otherwise known as The Garden City). It was a really pleasant 4 hour flight. Singapore felt even muggier than Hong Kong and the air conditioning of our uber ride was very much appreciated.
Our hotel was the Wanderlust design hotel which is an SPG partner located in the middle of Little India. As a platinum member we got a late checkout, SPG points and a room upgrade (a loft on the top floor with a big tub in the middle of the first floor of the loft and many large windows looking onto Little India). They also offered us free breakfast as first time guests to their hotel (which was awesome).
We really should have stayed longer than the 5 days – there is so much to see in Singapore. Unfortunately, Rob was not feeling well, so the first day I was on my own and decided to walk as much of the city as time would allow.
Orchard Road is Singapore’s retail heart, with discount outlets, department stores and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels. Emerald Hill Road is a mix of colorful Chinese baroque houses and casual pubs, while al fresco bars and eateries can be found along nearby Cuppage Terrace.
The Newton Food Centre is a popular foodie hub, offering everything from barbecued seafood and roasted meats to traditional desserts. These parts seemed like a merger between 5th Avenue in New York and the Champs- Elysees in Paris – all a bit too smelly and congested for me as I just wanted to walk. BUT, if you like to shop in high end shops and eat in fancy eateries you would be in heaven.
At the fringe of the Orchard Road shopping district you will find the 158 year-old Botanical Garden – the only tropical garden which is a UNESCO World Heritage site – a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. We also enjoyed the views, greenery, shade and history of Fort Canning Park -another nice respite from the busy city center.
The Marina Bay in Singapore is quite beautiful with it’s very unusual Marina Bay Sands hotel. Unfortunately it was all booked up for our stay, but certainly worth at least one night given it’s unusual rooftop infinity pool (which is the largest in the world) and stunning high vistas of the city and the marina. Next to the hotel are the Gardens by the Bay with their signature Supertree Grove – very much worth the visit.
We didn’t make it to the MacRitchie Treetop Walk but heard it is a fantastic 4-5 hour hike just outside of Singapore city. Next time for sure.
This upscale hotel took advantage of celebrating the year of the dog in an interesting way:
As Rob started to feel better, it was time to leave Singapore and fly to Penang.
Wrap Up - The Garden City
These 5 days in Singapore flew by very quickly. We really enjoyed walking and experiencing as much of this cosmopolitan city as we could.
The glitzy downtown versus the various outer neighborhoods (like little India) are very different in their feel. There is actual garbage on some of the streets (a true no no for The Garden City). And the feel is a stark contrast to the over-the-top Orchard Road.
Our goal is to continue spending time on this stunning Garden Island. And there is so much to see and do. One of our goals is to return and stay in the Riverview neighborhoods and of course do some hiking here.
Have you been to Singapore? Did you enjoy a Singapore Sling here? Or are you planning to go? We would love to hear from you and learn from your experiences.