Sunday, May 08, 2011

Singpore in a Day

I had the opportunity to go to two pretty cool places recently for work. As is the case with many of my trips, I only had a day to spend in Singapore, so a few co-workers and I tried to make the most of our time there. We set off with my handy Lonely Planet guide, very little on the agenda other than to have lunch at a Hawker's Market, have a Singapore Sling at Raffles, and check out some cheap electronics.

We wandered down Orchard Road from our hotel and were amazed at the really modern architecture that lined the street. I didn't expect the city to feel like NYC or Chicago, but it did just that.  And, I had heard stories, but everything was so clean!  There were comments from people a time or two that it wasn't as clean as it had been previously...but it was still a nice change from the way we treat our public areas back in the US.

After wandering down Orchard, we decided an air conditioning break was in order, so we hopped on the subway.  It was super easy to get around and purchase tickets...I always love a good mass transit system!

We made our way to little india to check out some electronics and wander around. We found a camera for the boss, but unfortunately, he didn't make it there to score this great deal!  Granted, he would have had to figure out the duty issue when he got back to the US, but this new Nikon was a great score!  Oh well...for another trip.

We were pretty hungry and thirsty by this point, so we started to head to Chinatown for lunch at Maxwell's Hawker Centre.  We ran across the temple below - the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.  Pretty cool and random...The Hawker Centre (note the spelling - this was a British colony after all) was awesome -  dozens of vendors under one roof selling cheap, local foods for lunch.  All of us ate super big meals and had drinks for around $5 or $6 USD.  Awesome...especially when we compared that to what  some of our colleagues spent at the Hard Rock cafe. 

We figured we HAD to get a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel while we were in we made our way to the Long Bar and ordered up a round of them.  Now, they certainly weren't cheap, but the experience was great.  The Long Bar is an old-style bar with baskets of peanuts on each table...the shells go on the floor.  Tiger Beer is on draft...but the singapore slings are what everyone comes here for.  They were super tasty and refreshed everyone after walking around for a few hours.

We had spied a cool looking building in the distance early in our walk and as we got closer, we realized that it was the Marina Bay Sands Hotel / Casino.  We wandered up to it and found out that we could buy tickets to go to the sky park up on the 56th floor.  So...up we went.  The views of Singapore were just killer from up here.  I can imagine that sunset would be spectacular - another one for "next time".  The coolest thing though, was the Hotel's infinity pool that they have up here...overlooking the harbor. Just sick and awesome.  I'd love to be able to hang out up here for a day and swim...

Hoping that I get another chance to visit Singapore later this year.  Definitely want to eat more awesome food...check out more of the local markets and definitely try to stay at this hotel!

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