Getting there: Singapore Air from the Maldives – given the other flights on this trip (10 hours to Istanbul, 8 hours from there to the Maldives) this just-under 5 hour trip seemed like a breeze. Business class on Singapore Air was pretty nice – we were fed like royalty, there was barely anyone in our cabin, and the tv/movie selection is endless (in all cabins).
Where the 2d’s stayed: OK, compared to the Maldives, this portion of the trip is on a major, major budget….we’re staying at the YMCA Hotel on Orchard Road. Let’s just say it’s bare bones, but the price is right because in Singapore hotels are on the silly expensive side. Besides not breaking the bank, other positives are: location (the heart of the city), close to public transportation (a 2 minute walk from a metro station that will get you to anywhere very easily), free wifi, free bottled water everyday, free access to a full gym and rooftop pool, free breakfast daily (and the selections are good: eggs, toast, beans, congee, salad, fruit, coffee, tea, juice), and it’s clean. The only negative is that the door’s pretty thin, so things get noisy when people are in the hall, and it’s pretty sterile, but we were really only here to sleep, so that’s not a huge deal.
Fun: We’ve taken lots of pics on this part of the trip, so I’m splitting in to 2 posts. We’ve done a lot of eating and shopping so far in Singapore, and it is crazy hot here although it’s around the same temperature as in the Maldives, it feels way hotter (I can only guess because it’s not sea-breezy and there’s a lot of concrete here that heats up). The first day here we spent tootling on Orchard Road, a main shopping district, which has something like 20 malls in 2 km. A lot of the malls have many of the same stores (and a lot are really high end), but there are also a lot of unique one-off shops that are worth exploring, and usually the basement levels have lots of incredible food stalls. We found a cupcake shop within the first hour or so of shopping, cured our craving for a burger and fries after a week in the Maldives, and also found some red velvet cake at Dean and Deluca (ah, our usual holiday routine!). On our second day, we explored Little India which felt like we were a world away from Orchard Road (including Singapore’s only 24-hour mall called the Mustafa) and Chinatown which felt a lot like being in parts of Hong Kong – public transportation here is super easy to navigate and cheap. In Chinatown we visited one of Singapore’s big open air food bazaars called Maxwell Food Centre. Each little stall specializes in a few dishes or just drinks, and the prices are cheap. We ate some Indonesian food, some Hainanese chicken and rice, had 2 drinks, and topped it all off with 2 deep fried bananas, for around $10 Canadian. Yum, oh and the bonus is that my stomach totally held up! There is no shortage of great food here in Singapore. We have one more day here – so when I get back home, I’ll post pics and a write up of our last 2 days here that have included some beautiful park walks.