Top 10 Things to do in Singapore

Planning on visiting Singapore or always wanting to visit? These are my top 10 things to do in Singapore. It may only be 31 miles wide and 17 miles long, but the beautiful island is PACKED with fun things to do!

1. Eat! I know this may sounds basic, but eating may be the national pass time of Singapore. With a rich sense of culture (and a diverse culture) the variety of amazing foods and restaurants to try in Singapore is infinite. You can go as local and authentic as eating at the Hawker stalls (outdoor food courts) or dine in style at Celebrity Chef’s restaurants at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. A couple famous Singapore dishes I would highly suggest trying are Chili Crab, Chicken Rice and Laksa. (Blog post on my favorite Singapore restaurants to come!)

2. Spend some time at Marina Bay Sands. The iconic three-tower building is full of shopping, food and culture. Whether you’re looking for some high end shops, a museum or some really good food, The Sands is the place to be. And step right outside the doors to find my favorite view of the country, a 360 view of the Central Business District and the Marina right on the water.

3. Visit Little India and get a Henna tattoo. I know this is one of the stereotypical “touristy” things to do, but I still think it’s worth the visit! Little India is an area in Singapore filled with Indian stores and restaurants. The decorations and bright colors liven up the streets. Henna is an Indian plant based temporary tattoo. You can find little shops all over that do henna for $5-10, and they’re beautiful.

4. Take a walk down the Singapore River. The river runs through central Singapore, and is surrounded by Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, both of which are filled with cute little restaurants and cafes, perfect for Sunday brunch.

5. Ride the bus or MRT (underground subway). One of the best things about Singapore is how complex and useful their public transportation system is. Granted, I’m still learning how to use it, there isn’t anywhere on the tiny island that a bus or train can’t get you.

6. Spend a day walking through Orchard Road (downtown) to experience the diverse nature of Singapore. Start out at the Ion mall to see all the high end designer boutiques, and make your way to other malls, like Lucky Plaza, to experience the more local and down to earth malls.

7. Evening drinks at Lantern at the Fullerton Bay hotel. While this is on the pricier side, the incredible evening view of the Marina Bay Sands right by the water is worth it. Lantern’s drinks are delicious and the atmosphere is perfect for a fun night out. To top it all off, you get the perfect view of the MBS laser show, reflecting off the water.

8. Spend a day at Sentosa, a little island south of Singapore (it is connected). With sandy beaches and beach clubs, a day at Sentosa makes for the perfect getaway. Whether you are with kids at the water park or sipping drinks at Tanjong Beach Club, it’s always a good time.

9. Spend a few hours at the Singapore Art Museum. This small and quaint museum is constantly changing their exhibition, but is always very impressive. Their showcase of original and different art makes every trip enjoyable. I’m definitely not a museum person, but I do love this museum.

10.Spend the night at Clarke Quay. Right along the Singapore river, Clarke Quay is the nightlife hub of Singapore. Whether you’re looking for a nice restaurant, a swanky bar or a fun club, Clarke Quay has it all. Every night it’s brightly lit and full of lights and life!

If you make it to Singapore, let me know and let me know what you did!

Life Through A Lens #11- SG Summers

My brunch at Prive was accompanied by this view of downtown Singapore, Orchard Road.

 

This framed picture captures everything I love about Singapore. The view of the Central Business District from the Marina Bay Sands.

 

Wall murals, this one of the durian-shaped Esplanade.

 

More wall murals of the iconic Merlion.

 

Morning coffee with a view of the famous Orchard Road.

 

Currently: obsessed with Singapore sunsets.

 

And the obsession grows.

 

When the sunset makes your house look picture-perfect.

 

The only thing better than a pool day is a pool day with this view.

 

Singapore nightlife down by the Singapore River and Clarke Quay.

 

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Acai places, Haakon Superfoods.

 

And the obsession grows…again.

 

I got to play tourist this past week while showing a friend around Singapore. Henna at the Hindu temple in Chinatown.

 

The coolest most hip little bar, Sugarhall, in downtown Singapore. P.S. All drinks taste better in a coconut (this one was an amazing coconut daiquiri).

 

The Central Business District at night.

 

Decorations in Chinatown.

 

Doesn’t get much better than down to earth, home-style Singaporean food.

 

High school graduation festivities! We spent the day on a yacht partying with some cake and champagne (how classy:).

Redefining the idea of home

As most of you already know, I was born and raised in Singapore. But that doesn’t mean that I’m Singaporean (in fact, I’m not). I hold an American and Greek passport. Racially speaking, I come from an American, Greek and Japanese passport, but I’ve never lived in any of those places. In Singapore, we don’t own a house, we rent an apartment. We do own a cabin by a lake in northern Japan, but we only stay there a few weeks every summer. My dad’s family lives in the US and my mom’s family lives in Japan. And to top everything off, I’m getting ready to make a move from Singapore to LA to begin college. So with this, well, complicated background, you can imagine how hard it would be to answer the questions, ‘where are you from?’ and ‘where is home?’. In face, it’s more than complicated, it’s nearly impossible. 

Yesterday I was out at the famous Marina Bay Sands shopping with my mom. I’ve always loved the Marina Bay and Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore. While I can say that I’ve been almost everywhere in this small island, for the first time, I stepped outside the first floor of the Sands to stand in a spot I had never stood before. Directly in front of me was a body of water that would eventually turn into the Singapore River. The tall buildings of the CBD towered over the country. The Fullerton Bay Hotel stood with presence right next to the iconic Merlion. If I turned around, the three towers and ‘boat’ of the Marina Bay Sands leaned over me. It was the perfect 360 view of my favorite part of Singapore. There, in that moment, I felt so at home. It was a weird, but really cool feeling. I didn’t quite understand what about that view made me feel so at home, but it did. I quickly began to think more about what a home is and what or where home is for me. 

A home could be a physical house. A home could be the country you were born in. A home could be the place you currently reside. A home could be where your family is from. A home could be where your family lives. A home could be wherever you are with your loved ones. So if all of those things make up a home, where is home for me? I started to think of all the times I had felt at home. I feel at home sitting in the living room with my family in our apartment in Singapore. I feel at home laying out at the beach on a sunny summer day in LA. I feel at home walking through the isles of Greece at night. I feel at home swimming in the lake by my family’s cabin in northern Japan. I feel at home sitting at a small, street-side restaurant in Phuket. I feel at home walking through along the Seine in Paris. So if all of those places and things make me feel at home, that still doesn’t really answer the question, ‘where is home?’. But maybe that’s not a question everybody can answer. Maybe home is not what we have always imagined it to be. You can say that home is where you are from, but then why do I feel at home in the streets of Thailand. You can say that home is where you are with your loved ones, but then why did I feel at home while on a language immersion trip in France without my family. 

For me, home has taken on a meaning of it’s own, and it’s taken me 18 years to realize that. Home is not a place, home is not a thing, and home is not a person. Home is a feeling, a feeling of happiness. Home is the the places, things and people that make you happy. It’s being able to find smiles and laughter within our world. And that may not be an acceptable or understandable answer for most people, but that’s home for me. 

Life Through A Lens #8- iPhone

a little pre-christmas festivities (crying that it’s over)

dark, stormy evenings in singapore- 7:06pm

those days that singapore just gets it right (p.s. this is the view from my room– how lucky am I?!)

my favorite quote from my new favorite brunch place– Haakon Superfoods

a tropical christmas includes many, many pool days!

winter vibes from singapore:)) (also peep the snapchat filter)

sunday morning walks with my favorite pups

sunday morning walks with my favorite pups

that christmas morning feeling will never ever change<3

Haakon Superfoods- SG Cafes

Last weekend, I ventured out to a new, funky brunch place with one of my friends. Haakon Superfoods was a place I had heard about before and had been dying to try. Known for their Acai bowls and smoothies using superfoods, this seemed right up my alley. We walked in to this tiny, yet vibrant little corner of a shop and immediately gushed about how cute it was. With only about 6-7 wooden tables, it had a super cozy feel. We sat down at a table and spent about 10 minutes looking at the menu trying to figure out what we wanted to order (it was hard!!). I finally decided on the Sunrise Magic smoothie and the waffles with coconut ice cream. My friend ordered one of their Christmas drinks, the gingerbread latte, and the avocado on toast. Everything was amazing! The smoothie was light and healthy. It only had fruit and a little bit of yoghurt which was just what I wanted. And my waffles were so light and fluffy, yet perfectly crispy. And my favorite, duh!, was the coconut ice cream. I love love love coconut ice cream, so when I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to order it. It was super light but also amazingly creamy. Highly highly recommend Haakon Superfoods if you’re looking for a healthier brunch option!

Check them out!

Address: 118 Holland Ave, #01-03 Raffles Holland V, 278997

Phone number: +65 8399 2450

Website: http://www.haakon.com.sg/

haakon superfoods menu

haakon superfoods menu

smashed avocado & feta on toast ($14.90)

smashed avocado & feta on toast ($14.90)

plus, they're environmentally friendly!

plus, they’re environmentally friendly!

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nordic vafler (waffles) with coconut ice cream ($7.90)

nordic vafler (waffles) with coconut ice cream ($7.90)

gingerbread latte ($6.90) and the sunrise magic smoothie ($6.90 for large)

gingerbread latte ($6.90) and the sunrise magic smoothie ($6.90 for large)

 

Curious Palette- SG Cafes

It was my 17th birthday, and I was at the height of my brunch addiction. So instead of doing a fancy dinner like I did every year, I wanted to switch it up a bit. The answer (of course): Brunch. I went on Instagram and looked for a new, chic brunch place that I hadn’t been to yet. I found one that looked amazing, Curious Palette. It’s a really cute, half outdoor, half indoor, cafe packed with small round tables, as well as long wood tables, perfect for big groups. I was just with my family, so we sat at a smaller round table. The restaurant is filled with small succulents, white walls, and funky carpets, perfect for Sunday brunch. The menu was extensive, both with savory dishes and sweet dishes (omg, the waffles!). Of course, me being my indecisive self, I couldn’t decided if I wanted something savory or if I wanted waffles. So my sister and I ordered two dishes to share. We decided on the Curious Croque Madame and the Vanilla Infused Strawberry Compote Buttermilk Waffles (queue oo’s and ahh’s). My mom ordered Smashed Avocado on Focaccia (I know…basic) and my dad ordered the Soft Shell Crab Burger. The food was…. there are no words to describe. It was by far the best brunch I’ve had so far. I tried all the dishes, and they were all 10/10. What could have been a simple avocado on toast, was creamy and chunky, with feta folded through. The Soft Shell Crab Burger was different, but packed with flavor and texture. The waffles were incredibly amazing and satisfied every craving I’d ever had. But by far, the Croque Madame was one of the best dishes I’d ever had. It came with sweet potato fries, and was drizzled with truffle oil, adding the most amazing aroma and flavor. So if you’re looking for a new brunch place in Singapore, I highly highly recommend Curious Palette. It’s on 64 Prinsep Street, right around the corner from Plaza Singapura.

Go check them out: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapore/curious-palette-bugis/

Curious Croque Madame

Curious Croque Madame

Smashed Avocado on Focaccia

Smashed Avocado on Focaccia

Soft Shell Crab Burger

Soft Shell Crab Burger

Vanilla Infused Strawberry Compote Buttermilk Waffles

Vanilla Infused Strawberry Compote Buttermilk Waffles

SG52- The one year countdown

Exactly one week ago from this second, my plane from Haneda, Tokyo landed at Changi airpot in Singapore. ‘Ugh, back to school, back to reality’, was my first thought as the plan cruised down the runway. But as time passed, as I got off the plane to see all the workers in the airport, as we lugged our 9 suitcases into a taxi, as we passed all of the familiar HDB’s, work buildings and malls that had surrounded me for the past 17 years, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In one year from that moment, I wouldn’t be going back to reality or familiarity, but I would be starting a new life. That was an interesting day for me. Not only was that the last time I would return to Singapore from a summer vacation, but it was also National Day as the nation celebrated it’s 51st birthday. While I was dreading the thought of getting back to the 6am grind, there was this weird sense of comfort. That comfort was a feeling I had never felt before. Yes, I feel comfortable back in California with Americans around me who share the same believes as me, and yes I feel comfort when I’m at my lake house in Japan with all of my American friends around me, but this was a different type of comfort. In that 30 minute taxi ride from the airport back to my apartment in downtown Singapore, I realized just how much this beautiful country I get to call home had influenced me and how it will always continue to influence me. It’s the little things that I have been learning to appreciate more. The old Chinese lady at the supermarket who yells the amount I owe at me until all the money is on the table, the taxi driver who doesn’t understand what I’m saying, then takes a wrong turn so I have to go all the way around again, or the smell of the local wet market. All of those things used to bother me or annoy me, but now all I want to do is to be able to be around that for the rest of my life.

It’s weird, the idea of only having one more year left in this little island. And while I am extremely excited to begin my new journey as a college students, there’s a part of me that never wants to leave high school. Not only has this little red dot influenced my life, but my school has shaped me into the person I will be for the rest of my life. Being able to attend a school for 12 years that thrives on diversity and cultural competence has make me as open to new cultures as I could ever be. The teachers who I’ve formed relationships with, who have taught me just as much outside of the classroom as they have in, the friends I’ve made who have come from all of the world and will be by my side for the rest of my life.

So while I look forward to watching Singapore grow another year older, I am also dreading the next national day. This place is my home and will be my sense of comfort for decades to come. I’ll be saying goodbye to this place in one year from now, but I know that won’t be the end. If I’ve learned anything from my 17 years in Singapore, it’s that you never know where you’ll end up. I will be beginning a new adventure, and will have a structure for four years, but after that, who knows where I’ll end up. Singapore, you might just pull me back in!!