07 November 2016
MOVING IMPRESSION OF A VIBRANT CITY
- Find all the Details and full Descriptions of my stay listed below -
CULTURES - I was impressed by many things during my stay in Sinagpore: how clean and organized everything was, the beauty and hospitality of the people, the abundance of activities. One of the things that really stood out was the diversity of cultures that make up the City. Malay, Chinese, Indian, as well as the Malay/Chinese/Indian ‘fusion’ culture: Peranakan which is unique to Malaysia and Singapore. The original different cultures do not live and keep their customs separat - whilst there are still the unique area’s and cuisine to be found of each culture, there is also a great lot of cultural fusion taking place. As the different cultures live so closely together they begin to share their cuisines and traditions creating an exiting and unique blend of culture. I wanted to focus my trip on culinary and culture of the region so visiting the heritage districts of each culture as well as visiting the typical and unique peranakan designs, food & architecture. But let me tell you how I got there first.
THE FLIGHT - I took Singapore Airlines flight Premium Economy Class. I was a bit worried about the ‘Economy’ in there, especially it being a 12 hours flight I was not sure how well I would hold up. Economy on a flight more than 6 hours is normally an equivalent in anyones brain to SUFFERING high levels of DISCOMFORT. This does not apply to the new Premium Economy of Singapore Airlines though which provides travellers with more than just orange juice in a glass rather than a plastic cup! For their Premium Economy guests Singapore Airlines has designed new seats with more reclination for sleeping plus a legrest that comes up. More stowage space, larger seats, more legspace, separate check-in, I think even separate meals (not sure about that one) - anyways I comfortably slept for a few hours on the way there (it was daytime so I wasn’t tired) and almost a full undisrupted 10 HOURS on the way home!! This made the 12 hour flight pass in the blink of a eye almost considering I was also eating two meals - dinner & breakfast - and I was not even able to fit in a whole movie! Yes I will have to finish the new Woody Allen film on Netflix!!
THE HOTEL - I stayed at the New Majestic Hotel and enjoyed a very vibrant, clean and modern room decorated in flamy red. The Hotel is a boutique design hotel featuring the kind of industrial chic stripped walls and retro studio lighting and furniture which is also very popular in europe at the moment. So I felt right at home when I arrived. Staff was friendly, Internet fast (very important) and mini bar complementary. The coffeemachiene was working and my room had a private terrasse with outdoor bathtub which I LOVED! I think in my past live I may have been a duck as I do really adore baths, and this was a heavenly way to arrive to Singapore by chilling outside in the humid morning weather and enjoying a cool bath, taking in the scent and the sounds - AMAZING!
After that I had forgotten all about the 12 hour flight and was ready to tour the town.
BLUE GINGER - a traditional Peranakan style restaurant which I visited for Lunch. Its a bit of a classical choice I heard - there is a more ‘modern’ version Restaurant serving this style of cuisine called ‘National Kitchen’ but when I found out and tried to book I was unable to get a reservation. In any case if you are looking to experience the authentic Peranakan Cuisine which is pretty unique to Singapore either one of these Restaurants is a good choice. It was my first time trying the delicious chendol dessert with durian fruit puree. I also tasted a variety of local dishes which I all enjoyed very much. There are lots of fried dishes which I avoid, but I found plenty of steamed options too. Service was very helpful. I had my first Chendol there for dessert which I fell in love with from the first bite and had it almost daily during my trip.
TEA CHAPTER - This place has even been visited by the queen and is a must-see if you are interested in asian tea culture and tradition. Its authentic and relaxing, it puts visitors into a different world of peace and tranquility. The extensive tea pouring customs require time and a certain readiness to immerse in the experience. I highly enjoyed it. Together with the tea, traditional cookies and the tea leaf boiled egg is served, which is highly aromatic and I enjoyed very much eating it.
I put together a video showing the ritual, and was honored to have been given the very seat that the queen took place on at her visit in 1989.
Tea Chapter - 9 Neil Road, S988898
Full impressions of this Tea Experience are put together in this video:
TIMBRE+ Streetfood Hall - here is where everyone can meet up. Great for locals as well as tourists, young and old - provided you like music and bustling atmosphere. Its a streetfood environment set up in an industrial hall with street grafitti art and funky foodtrucks. There’s all sorts of different cuisines here - from dumplings to burgers, a lobster AND a beer bar (not in the same place though ;) one can wander, grab what the eye and stomach desires, and grab a seat at the tables. There’s plenty of seating availability - so rushing to save a seat is thankfully not a part of this streetfood experience.
GARDEN’S BY THE BAY - This is a great daytime activity especially if you catch a day which is rainy or too hot to be comfortable outside. The Garden’s are climate controlled to enable perfect environments for the plants to grow. Its an impressive showcase of biodiversity and a beautiful walk through plant paradise. Stepping in actually reminded me of a futuristic science fiction movie where a manmade garden is recreated in space to preserve the species. Being a little science fiction fan and dreaming of the future - I quite liked the vibe!
SUPERTREE LUNCH - Located inside the Gardens on the very top of one of the supertrees is a Restaurant appropriately called: Supertree! Make sure to book a table there to ensure lunch with a view over the stunning Gardens.
SINGAPORE SLING AT RAFFLES LONG BAR - its very touristic, but worth a visit. The Singapore Sling was invented in order to make it acceptable for Ladies to drink alcohol in public. Additionally to the grandeur of the Raffles Hotel which is also the oldest Hotel of Singapore and very impressive in its build, the Raffles Bar has a funny tweak: peanuts are served in bag’s there as aperitiv snacks and the shells are thrown on the floor. This creates a huge mess and lots of fun - plus the peanuts are actually some of the best ones I ever had in my life. Smaller, with a roasted flavour and more dense in taste - I enjoyed a handful, or maybe two ;)
Just like in Harry’s Bar in Venice were literally everyone inside the bar drinks a bellini, at the Raffle’s Bar everyone drinks the Singapore Sling - but no worry, for anyone who does not like the Singapore Sling there are lot of other options, including Mocktails, Special Slings and even a ‘Seasonal Sling’ made with elderberry (which I chose and enjoyed very much.)
CORIANDER LEAF - asian fusion restaurant in modern design. The guests are very international and the food very delicious. The dishes are a creative blend of asian inspirations and tastes. My favourite dish was a marinated watermelon salad with greek cheese. For guests who like live cooking - request a seat at the bar of the open kitchen and watch the chef prepare your food directly in fron of you.
ALTITUDE BAR - this is really a STUNNING place and very much worth a visit even just to get the view. Its an outside rooftop giving a 360’ view over Singapore. A great crowd, music and delicious drinks make the atmosphere perfect. I visited the Altitude Bar on my last night, and it was the perfect way to wave goodbye to Singapore with a lychee martini in my hand :)
My time in Singapore was amazing and impressed me on multiple levels. Singapore was extremely clean, organized and welcoming. As a traveller I felt save and with an abundance of options of things to see. Even car rides through the city were an experience because of the beautiful buildings and especially how they were lit up in the night. What I appreciated the most was the cultural diversity, and seeing the cultures blend together also without creating any divergent energy. I was happy to taste so much different foods, and discover so many unique neighbourhoods. I was especially happy to find 4 of the worlds 5 main religions present with majestic houses of worships inside the city