Singapore – the City of the Future, Today! (Winter Break, pt III)

On our year-end trip we broke away from Vietnam for five days to visit Singapore! I’ve heard rave stories about S’pore from friends for years, and since watching Crazy Rich Asians, this place has been on my list. Let’s dive in!

Singapore by night! Cyberpunk dreams come to life!
They put a boat! On top! Of a building!

Firstly, Singapore (to me) is the city of cities. A tiny city-state, this place was my cyberpunk dreams come true (minus the rampant corporate corruption and societal misery). Huge, iconic skyscrapers everywhere I looked. Lush greenspaces tucked into every nook and cranny of the city. Massive, punctual, and USEFUL public transit that was easy to understand, easy to use, and CHEAP.

Now, going into Singapore, I was told that the main thing to do here is to eat. I was undeterred. And I was NOT DISAPPOINTED.

So much good food! I wanted an accessory stomach!

I had high hopes for all kinds of eating in Singapore. The hawker stalls. The fancy restaurants. The dessert bars. Oh yeah, everything came through and delivered. Chinatown was amazing, tons of great food everywhere we turned. Overall, Singapore was a fantastic blend of Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, and Indian food.

We stayed in the Central Business District, and despite the fact that we were surrounded by glass and steel skyscrapers, there was still a quaint little food hall just two blocks from our hotel. I could have spent a week just in that one, trying to eat all the dishes! At night, one side of the food hall turned into “Satay Street” and filled the block with the aromas of fire-grilled meat.

While we were there I met up with an author friend of mine who took us around to some of her favorite local attractions. One was the Haw Par Villa, a crazy residence where the original creators of Tiger Balm originally lived. And while they lived there they covered much of their property in vast dioramas depicting tales from Asian myth, monsters, fables, etc. The highlight for me was the section depicting the Asian underworld and the various tortures that await you when you arrive…

Horse-Face. One of the first guardians you see when you enter Hell.
…and his partner Ox-Head. If you decide to run, run fast because these two will chase you down!
Oof. One of the _less_ gruesome displays. Here your punishment is to be thrown onto a hill of _knives_.

Overall, Singapore was lovely. The weather was plenty hot, plenty humid, but quite bearable. I loved trying all the new food, and despaired that my stomach would never be big enough to try it all. It’s a small city, but there’s so much packed into every square meter. I would love to return and explore all the places I missed this time through!

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