Updated: Sep 10, 2020
If you would have asked me what country in Asia I was most interested in visiting first, Singapore wouldn't have been first. There are so many other countries I have been dreaming about visiting in Asia, but surprisingly, Singapore caught my attention with its beautiful architecture and of course the Marina Bay Sands. As luck would have it, I had been researching different routes we could take on our journey home to Seattle from the Maldives. I happened to stumble across a budget airline, Scoot, that took us from the Maldives to Singapore and found a flight on Norwegian airlines that took us from Singapore to London to Seattle. Due to flights, we ended up having about 2 days in Singapore to fit as much as we could in. Here is what I would recommend if you have just 48 hours to see Singapore.
Guess what, Singapore isn't even technically a country!
Officially, they are the Republic of Singapore. They are a city-state and island country located in Southeast Asia. One fun fact I learned, the country is known for its transition from third world to first world in a single generation. Interesting, right?
Where to Stay
In my opinion, the best things to see with just a few days are all located around the Marina Bay District (and those few other locations are easily accessible by public transportation). If you have the budget to afford a night at the Marina Bay Sands, I highly recommend it. I will do a more in depth review of Marina Bay Sands in just a few weeks, but plan on spending around $350 USD for a basic room. You can take advantage of the infamous infinity pool on the 57th floor (accessible only to registered hotel guests). Did you know in 2017, Marina Bay Sands was voted #1 Instagrammed hotel.
Try Kaya Toast
What is kaya toast? It is a coconut jam (sugar, coconut milk, eggs, and sometimes butter) served on toasted bread or sometime crackers. It sounds strange, but it was so delicious. The jam was sweet but the bread helped to offset the sweet snack. We ended up picking up kaya toast at Toast Box! There are a few places around Singapore you can get this as well.
If you like shopping, the Marina Bay Sands also has a large luxury mall. We mainly spent our time here getting from point A to point B but the mall is beautiful!
Be sure to make reservations at Level33, especially if you want to eat outside along the railing with some of the best views of the Marina Bay District. We made sure to make our reservations for about 5:30 so we saw the marina during the day and night. This is the highest brewery in Singapore. We enjoyed a flight of beer and lots of delicious food! Stay tuned for a blog post on this spot!
Supertrees light show
Head to the supertrees at Gardens by the Bay for a free night show. These trees seem like a scene from Avatar as their futuristic branches light up the night sky. There are 2 shows an evening. 7:45 and 8:45.
The great thing about the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands is that it doesn’t close until 1am. We took advantage so we could get a view of the city at night. Man, was it beautiful….and crowded.
Breakfast Buffet at Spago
You might be met with a small wait - but Spago on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands was amazing! Dumplings for breakfast? Yes, please! Of course they have more traditional breakfast items like eggs and bacon
When you finish breakfast, don't head down yet! Check out the skypark. The right side of the hotel has a whole area where you can check out the view. Check out all the container ships! Besides tourism, trade is Singapore's main source of income.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay was my favorite part of this whole trip! More details to come on this place in a future blog post but plan to spend about 4 hours here wandering through the flower dome, cloud forest and on the skywalk among the futuristic super trees.
Eat where Anthony Bourdain ate
Take the underground from Marina Bay Sands over to Chinatown to the Maxwell Hawker stand. What are hawker stands? It is a pavillion filled with a ton of food and drink vendors. These are your best bet for inexpensive, but amazing food. Tian Tian Chicken Rice is a chicken rice stall that has been voted some of the best chicken rice. What is chicken rice? It is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore. The chicken is poached in sub-boiling water. After, it is dipped in ice water so it creates a jelly like skin finishing. Some of the liquid used in cooking the chicken is also used to cook the rice. Honestly, the dish was just ok. I am sure there are better places to eat but I at least got to visit a place Anthony Bourdain has been to.
Take in some art
Head back to the Marina district and check out the ArtScience museum in Singapore. There are a ton of cool interactive features and is also a great place to go if you have kids.
Try Salted Egg Snacks
Stop at a 7Eleven and pick up the golden duck salted egg chips and salted egg fish skin. It sounds so weird, but they are super good snacks.I still have some left, but that is because I am slowly eating them to savor them. I already looked to see where I can buy them in the U.S. and no luck.
This is just a SMALL portion of all the things to do in Singapore! If you have things I can't miss next time I visit, let me know!