Singapore is a crazy big, crazy busy, and crazy developed city-state in the middle of Southeast Asia. It is nothing like any of the other countries that surround it and feels like a big city straight out of the United States or some other developed English speaking country. We were lucky enough to have Dan’s relatives the Kilburn-Peterson family living in Singapore so we used their awesome condo as home base and then took 10-18 day trips around Southeast Asia. This allowed us to bring about half of our gear and come back to a developed country, hot showers, comfortable beds, and family every few weeks. It was also great having Singaporean “locals” show us around the city and take us to the best Hawker markets, sights, and restaurants.
Singapore has an awesome food scene from hawker markets to five star dining and a ton of Din Tai Fung’s aka DTF (Taiwanese Dumpling Joint)! Dan and I have been on a mission to go to Din Tai Fung if we have the opportunity because it is only in a select number of countries. So far we have been in Hong Kong, Los Angeles (two locations), Seattle, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. The other great thing about Singapore is the hawker markets because Singapore food quality standards are really high so you can eat their street food without worrying about what will happen in the next few hours or next day. Singapore has large Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian populations so you can have the best of everything here! A few standout meals that we had (other than every time we went to DTF) were the night near the Merlion where we ate Black Pepper Crab, Dan’s bday dinner of Frog Leg Porridge, and Peking Duck and carrot cake (not the dessert) at dim sum. Really all the food was pretty amazing so it is hard to pick favorites.
Singapore has a lot of outdoor activities but most of the time we were there the haze from the Indonesian fires was keeping us inside. When we did get the opportunity to get out and see the sights we had to get to the Skytree’s and cloud forest. The Skytree’s are huge metal trees with a walkway across them that light up and night and the cloud forest is a cool indoor botanic gardens and waterfall. We also had to get to the world renowned Singapore Zoo and it was definitely worth it! Tons of orangutans and other monkeys in outdoor enclosures. Two awesome white tigers and we even got to see the Sumatran spitting black cobra that we encountered on our night walk in Malaysia.
One of the coolest experiences we had while in Singapore was the opportunity to see the F-1 car race followed by the Jon Bon Jovi concert! Thank you Chris and Linda!! The F-1 race track went right through the heart of the city and you got great views of the cars racing by. We also were able to witness one of the attendees jump onto the track during the race and nonchalantly walk against the F-1 traffic (not so smart). Fortunately he was pulled off of the track uninjured. After the race was over there was an included Jon Bon Jovi concert and Jon put on quite the show and played most of his old hits.
Another great experience was the night of Dan’s birthday after we had frog leg porridge. (I know you guys are thinking eww!! But it is actually really delicious!) We went to bar on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands which is this huge fancy hotel on the bay. The bar overlooks downtown Singapore and is so cool because you are having a tasty drink on the top of one of the tallest buildings in Singapore with a killer view.
Last but not least we have to give a shout out to Maggie and Andrew, Dan’s niece and nephew, who kept us more than entertained and were great hosts while we stayed with them in Singapore. We had a great time relearning the card game Uno and getting tons of “feedback”, getting told many knock-knock jokes (have you heard the one about the interrupting cow?), and spending Sunday lunches at DTF. We miss you guys!!
Top 5 Things to Do in Singapore:
- Eat at the many Hawker Markets
- See the Orangutans at the Singapore Zoo
- Get a fancy drink atop the Marina Bay Sands
- Stuff your face with soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung
- If you are lucky see the F-1 cars race through downtown Singapore