Singapore: The wanderings of a white-boy
One week in Singapore down, a lot more to go.
Yesterday was my first day off of the boat in a week. It's amazing how much time little projects and honey-dos can take up. But nonetheless, we made it to downtown and got to explore for the entire day!
First stop I made was Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 163-year-old tropical garden located just south of central Singapore. The garden spans over 80 hectares (200 acres) and from its northern to southern ends, stretches to 2.5 km (1.6 mi)! Since we all know size isn't EVERYTHING, it's worth noting that the gardens are home to over 10,000 different species of plants. And for all of my orchid lovers out there, the garden houses over 1200 different species of orchids and another 2,000 species of hybrids. It's probably not surprising that The National Orchid Garden, within the main gardens, is at the forefront of orchid studies and a pioneer in the cultivation of hybrids, complementing the nation's status as a major exporter of cut orchids. Probably the coolest aspect of the gardens, for me at least, is that A) it's free to get in. And B) The gardens are open until midnight which sounds crazy but is reminiscent of walking through an enchanted forest.
After the Botanic Gardens and a LOT of walking, it's definitely time for some food. Next stop: Flying Squirrel
Now judging by the name, this isn't really a place I'd pick first from the list, however, I ran in to a few issues with my first options so after about 30 minutes of wandering I came across this lovely little gem in an alleyway. First impressions... I absolutely LOVE it. Very small and quaint inside with hip décor, maybe a total of 8 tables and some seats at the bar. Between the conversations with miss Mac, my bartender, the food, and of course, the sake, everything exceeded my standards. One thing worth noting was what I ordered, the chirashi bowl. Chirashi is a freeform Japanese dish that translates to "scattered" and features all your favorite sushi ingredients—minus the hand-shaping required for nigiri and maki sushi rolls. It is generally chefs selection of sliced fish over a bed of rice. I love this option when ordering from Japanese restaurants due to the freedom it gives the chef, therefore receiving something that's not your "standard" menu item. The moral of the story: Go to The Flying Squirrel. It's very much off the beaten path and WELL worth it.
From lunch I made my way a bit further south to Marina Bay Sands. If you've ever googled a picture of Singapore, you've likely seen this massive icon of architecture genius, and by massive, I mean its literally mind blowing. It is essentially three separate towers, standing 57 stories tall, all connected at the top by what appears to be a boat, or in my opinion, a rendition of Noah's Ark. The "boat" holds multiple bars, over 200 trees, the worlds largest rooftop infinity pool (at a whopping 478 feet long), and a full 360° view of the city and ocean. It's definitely one of the most impressive things I've seen yet. Buuuuut with hella impressive comes hella tourists, and I have to be honest, when I start hearing ol' MAGA man John behind me talking about Budweiser and McDonalds, it's my time to leave. So back down 57 levels (my ears actually popped) and off to the next.
** Curious thought... can you go to the top floor of Marina Bay Sands if you have been scuba diving earlier that day or does that exceed your altitude limit/ no fly time??**
The Marina Bay Gardens is another one of those "Damn this is impressive" kind of places. Its a nice break from the city as they are cooled domes of conservatories and "Supertrees". Have you ever seen the picture of what appears to be a waterfall falling through a hole of a glass ceiling?? Well that is also one of the big attractions here. Again.. pretty amazing stuff we're looking at, it's almost hard to comprehend. At this point I can't really handle more mind blowing so lets go get some more food. It is after dark at this point so whyyyy nottttt!
Hopping on a train heading north, I decided to hop off when my watch read 7:52pm. Why 7:52 you ask? No idea, because it sounded good at the time and it's SPONTANEOUS. And we all know how I love to be spontaneous :) So off the train and immediately dropped into a huge shopping area, no issues finding a place to eat. Oddly enough, I wound up at a place called "The Best Moussaka", knowing that moussaka is a traditional Greek dish, I figured "why not give it a try" and walked in. It wasn't exceptionally impressive, nor was it Greek. It was one of those places where they light a hot plate in the middle of the table, bring you whatever awesomeness you order, then you cook them to your liking. I ordered a bit much and was struggling to keep my girlish figure in tact by the end of it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone, but in its defense, it is a cheap and fast way to get full. And seeing now that we're feeling like Mr. Super America over here with my 10 empty plates and waddle in full effect.
It's time to go see some NIGHT NAN-IMALS
Did someone say Night Safari?? Oh yea they did.
First of all, let's just say this: What a GREAT idea. Dr Ong Swee Law was the first to propose this idea back in the freakin 80's and FINALLY, in 1994 , after the slight expense of $63 million dollars, we have ourselves the worlds first night zoo! Imagine this: over 130 species of animals equaling over 2,500 animal specimens, just over 40% which are endangered walking around 40 hectares (about 100 acres) UNCAGED at night. That's what I call pretty freakin awesome. You can tour the park by foot or on a lazy wagon. There are a multitude of trails to explore and all while being lit with lighting that is juuust above the normal lumens put out by a full moon. It's really a next level experience for animal and park lovers alike. Normally I'm not a zoo person but this is a really well executed concept that has conservation of endangered animals at its foremost priority.
And that's it. I wish I could have stayed longer but I really felt if I had, I would wind up being my own exhibit by morning. Then who would you have to entertain you!?!
Train back to marina and back to the grind in the morning.
One last thing before I wrap this up. This was all done in one day on a Monday. I could not BELIEVE how much easier it was to navigate Singapore on a Monday vs any day on the weekend. If you follow in these footsteps and heed the warning, you'll very much not regret it.
K that's all for now. I'll catch you up on the next adventures when they happen. For now, stay tuned and keep an eye out for some YouTube content coming out soon. Lots happening and even more to do!