Saturday, 20 January 2018

First stop, Singapore

For the last few years, it's been on my bucket list to visit Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, Scott and I finally managed to make the dream a reality, booking a month long trip over Christmas. Taking into account that this could be a once in a lifetime trip, we decided to go for it and do everything we wanted. We had a budget, but we also didn't want not do something we really wanted because of money. The plan was Singapore > Sydney > the Whitsunday Islands > Brisbane > South Island, NZ (road trip!) The trip was even more perfect than I could have ever wished for, and the happiness it brings me now when I think about it or look at the photos is priceless. Over the next few posts, I'm going to share the highlights from each place we visited, and some of the best photos I took! Hopefully it might inspire your next travel plans. And sorry in advance, it could be wordy... 


Marina Bay Sands

The anticipation in the week leading up to setting off on our long awaited trip was high. I barely slept - most nights waking up a ball of nervous and excited energy. The furthest I’ve ever travelled is to the States, and heading east of Europe was going to be a whole new adventure for Scott and I. 

Setting off from Edinburgh Airport!

Arriving at the airport (4.30am - ouch) we queued to check in, and scored extra leg room! Our first flight took us to Doha, where we connected onto Singapore. The second flight was tough, and neither of us slept even though we knew we needed to! 

Arriving in Singapore at 9am the following day, we walked through the amazing, super modern airport - it even had a butterfly sanctuary and a cinema! 

Singapore Airport

We found the best way to get to the hotel was via shuttle, which took us straight to our hotel. First impressions of Singapore were very high. The first thing I noticed was just how green the place was. Even leaving the airport, there were trees everywhere you looked, and immaculate gardens running through the middle of main roads. 

Singapore - one of my favourite buildings opposite our hotel

Arriving at our hotel, we knew we needed some sleep if we were going to enjoy the next few days. After a couple hours of nap time, we went up to the rooftop pool. (dreamy)

The evening arrived and we decided to head out and look for some food. It was seriously humid - coming from -2 degrees C, it took a little time to get used to, but we were definitely grateful for some heat! We wandered to an area of restaurants, were we found Salt Tapas Cafe. Obviously, we immediately ordered Singapore Slings and ate some delish (GF) food. The waitress was super nice and gave us some city recommendations. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel... the novelty of being able to walk outside in December, in the dark, in shorts and flip flops is something I’m not sure I'd ever get over! 

Trying to get a cute picture at a water feature - then it all went off at once...

First Singapore Sling!

Dinner in Singapore 

Selfie at the river!

Day two. This was our only full day and night in the city, so we made the most of it. Again, the humidity was HIGH. We found a place nearby that did breakfast - the best waffles and ice cream I’ve eaten! (Obviously waffles and ice cream is totally acceptable breakfast food when on holiday) Our next stop was the Botanic Gardens. We decided to get the bus (an hour's walk in the humidity didn’t appeal somehow!) and unfortunately it took us walking to several bus stops and us asking many bus drivers before we found the correct stop. This probably took us 45/50 minutes which was no fun in the heat! Eventually we arrived at the botanics, and we knew all the faffing was completely worth it. It was a similar setup to Edinburgh’s botanic gardens, but much bigger, and the plants and trees were much more of the tropical variety than we would see at home! It was lovely to wander round. We even saw a giant lizard crossing the pavement!

Breakfast of dreams...

Botanics

Botanics

Botanics

Sweating at the botanics

Botanics

Having spoken to my brother Callum, I knew that Orchard Road is a must-do in Singapore. It’s essentially the main shopping area, and it was quite frankly overwhelming walking through it, surrounded by the biggest shopping malls I’ve ever seen, designer store after designer store. The crowds were crazy, bearing in mind this was a week before Christmas, and a weekend, so it was pretty busy!

We browsed (I may have had an essential 20 minute pit-stop in Sephora) then headed back to our hotel. Our evening plans involved a recommendation from the waitress the previous evening. We walked through the towering central business district towards the iconic Marina Bay Sands towers. The bar we were headed to was on the 57th floor of tower 2, right behind the famous infinity pool. Going up in the escalator, my ears popped like nothing else, we were going at quite a speed! But the view at the top was more than worth it. The cocktails and barmen were fab and chatted away to us which made the experience even better. 

CBD

Marina Bay

The MBS towers

On the 57th floor of MBS

Cocktails on the 57th floor


On our final day in Singapore, we decided to see as much as we could, and we started by getting the bus to Haji Lane - recommended by our friend Cameron. It was a cool area, with little market shops and cafes, and multi coloured buildings. From there we walked to the gardens by the bay. The walk was humid, but it took us through another business district area which had some super cool, interesting architecture. The gardens were pretty cool, particularly the giant trees, which dwarfed us. 

Haji Lane

Exploring


MBS selfie


Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

Next stop was Chinatown which was pretty awesome, and busy! We finished our day in Singapore at the Makansutra Gluttons Bay - a strip of street food stalls, which was recommended to us by a barman. The food was incredible, and so much cheaper than anything else we’d eaten in Singapore. I'd definitely recommend a visit! 

Chinatown

Chinatown

Chinatown

Chinatown

Chinatown


Chinatown

Riverfront

CBD / riverfront

Riverfront

MBS

MBS

And far too soon, our time in Singapore was over, which we were both sad about, but excited for our next stop. It’s definitely a city I’d love to go back to. It was friendly and welcoming, full of things to do, great places to eat, and so much to see. This trip was already opening my eyes to the amazing places on our planet. 

Riverfront

Old Hill Street Police Station

Next stop, Sydney... 














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