When it comes to my initial thoughts about Singapore, the first two words that spring to mind are clean, and hot and because I am neither of these traits, how was I going to get along with this country, with me being the absolute opposite of these adjectives?
Turns out, just fine.
So dust off your passport and come take a virtual trip with me to Singapore....
Gardens by the Bay
Tell a couple of high school kids that we are off to visit a garden, and you will get a reaction that you would probably expect. But all gardens are NOT created equally!
1 Gardens by the Bay spans across 250 acres of reclaimed land in Central Singapore. Allow plenty of time to wander through the two huge glass domes. One is called The Flower Dome, and the other is The Cloud Forest, in which you can climb up to the top of the huge man-made mountain from which a 35-metre waterfall spews from.
No expense spared in creating Gardens by the Bay. Make sure you track down and feast your eyes on a one thousand year old olive tree, imported from Spain in 2011.
Mum was particularly enchanted.
Take a step back in time and board the ferry to 2 Pulau Ubin, considered to be the only original village left in Singapore. It is like something from the 1960’s, explore this island on foot (or bike) and keep your eyes peeled for the wild monkeys and boars that live here.
Also for ladies on bikes. Wobbly at first but they say you never forget.
That was the thing that I realized on this holiday. We were DOING stuff as a family. Fun stuff. That we would not do if we were just hanging out at a resort. We were travelling, exploring and really getting a lot out of each other’s company. It was nice.
Famous for it. FAMOUS I SAY! Lets whack some photos up and discuss....
Ok, so this is what you can expect from 3 Chinatown Food Street. Lots of little stalls dish up their specialties. So you go to one stall for your roast duck, another for your satay, and another for your noodles and so on. It is as cheap as chips, there is NO chance of food poisoning (or so I was told.)
This was served up at a fantastic little restaurant that my friend Barb, who is a local, took me to. Called Open Door Policy this place is in a little neighborhood, 4 Tiong Bahru that was tres delightful!
Or you can always get your dumpling fix from local eateries that are also on every street corner. You know I am a dumpling tragic right? This city delivered.
I offset my calorie intake by walking from dumpling shop to dumpling shop. Oh, and nailed a lobster laksa just for good measure. And followed THAT up with the most heavenly churros I have ever had, served with fudge, lemon curd and ice cream. This place was called The Coastal Settlement and well worth a visit. Very popular with locals.
A wonderful group of WoogsWorld readers took Mum and I out for a few drinks at this fabulous little wine bar called Merchants of Singapore. See that lady I am hugging? Turns out she is best friends with Trish WHO LIVES ACROSS THE ROAD FROM ME!
When in Chinatown, log onto their free WIFI in case you lose your family, and there is a big chance that might happen. Connect by logging onto wireless@chinatown
Singapore is fantastic for kids, no doubt about it. There is so much to do, too much to get through so I will share a few of our highlights.
When I told them we were going to visit the 5 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, there was your typical teenager eye rolling.
“Boring!” I was told. But as soon as we walked in and clocked the three dinosaurs and thousands of specimens from all over the world, our morning there whizzed by.
I was very skeptical about our visit to 6 Universal Studios Singapore™, partly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now that I have been, my advice to you is this.
GO EARLY AND HEAD STRAIGHT TO THE TRANSFORMERS RIDE.
Sure, I closed my eyes a fair bit and squealed like a little pig, but that adrenaline rush bought me straight back to my childhood and gave me the encouragement to ride on everything. Huge, big time fun.
Universal Studios Singapore is on 7 Resorts World™ Sentosa, which is basically a kid’s paradise.
Just near the studios is the 8 S.E.A. Aquarium™ at Resorts World™ Sentosa, which stands for South East Asia. Want to take a sneak peek?
This is the Ocean Gallery, one of the world’s largest. See those square windows on the other side? That is a hotel, where rooms open up onto the marine life. Of course they do.
The only issue I had with our Singapore Fling was it was too short. I would have loved maybe two more days to shop hard on9 Orchard Road, to sample afternoon tea at Raffles and to hang out with the kids for the afternoon at the 10 Tanjong Beach Club.
Have you been to Singapore? You really should put it at the top of your holiday list, as it was five days of complete wonder, fun, discovery and laughter. I can thoroughly recommend it as a destination for the perfect family holiday. Pack a sensible pair of walking shoes, some sunscreen and your sense of humour.
Even the airport as you leave is a complete trip! Like, why not have a Cactus Garden on a rooftop bar? Or a London Bus in the food court?
Yes Singapore, you were full of surprises.