Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia. It’s one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s also one of the cleanest. Jammed packed on this island country are tall skyscrapers, modern subways and a diverse population comprised of Chinese, Malay, Indian and expatriates from around the world. The climate is tropical meaning hot and humid most of the year. The language is primarily Mandarin and English. Because Singapore was once a British colony, almost all of the residents speak English or as what I understand to be “Singlish”.
I’ve always wanted to visit Singapore. There was something about this city that attracted me. I knew nothing about it other than it was a clean city. I stopped by here in 1985 for a few days when my family migrated to the US by way of refugee sponsorship. I was only 5 years old and had faint memories of Singapore. It was not anything I saw today.
Singapore looked like New York City to me. The tall skyscrapers, fast taxis and diverse population reminded me too much of the US. One thing Singapore has that the US doesn’t have are the hawker centers.
Hawker centers are concentrated areas of food stalls or street foods that are affordable and delicious. There were many hawkers all over Singapore. The one I went to and absolutely love was Lau Pa Sat Festival Market in Raffle Quay or the financial district. This place was newly renovated and offered the most variety. These hawkers are government regulated so the standards and cleanliness is safe for the public.
Tip: Always BYON (Bring Your Own Napkins). Food is sold separately from beverages. That’s a totally different stall. Tipping is not required.
Behind Lau Pa Sat Festival Market is the famous satay street. It’s literally a street full of satay stalls from one end to the other. Each night, the street is filled with people hovering at a table eating satays, drinking beer and having a good time. Because Singapore is full of expats, this is a great place to people watch especially on a Friday night after work hours. Turn on your charm because those expats are smoking hot!
There are lots to do in Singapore. Nature enthusiasts can visit the Botanical Garden, City in the Garden, or the beaches in Sentosa. One can visit the Marina Bay Sands for drinks on the rooftop overlooking the Singapore skyline at Ku De Ta bar or test their luck at the casino. City slickers could enjoy the bustle of the city by chilling inside the hundreds of coffee shops or experience ultimate retail therapy along Orchard Road filled with high-end shops and department stores. Night crawlers can sip on cocktails and dance the night away at Clarke Quay.
There was so much to do in Singapore and 3 days was not enough. One thing I accomplished on this trip was indulge in food paradise. After all, Singapore is a food city. I tried staples such as chili crab, fried carrot cake, satay, fried Hokkien mee, katong laksa and chicken rice. There were a million other staples I couldn’t have gotten to in only 3 days. Check out these 40 Singapore must-try foods if you plan on visiting this food mecca.
I don’t regret the short time I spent in Singapore. I enjoyed every moment of it. The linger to see more and eat more only leaves room for a second trip in the near future.