Singapore – Chicken, China Town, Raffles Hotel, Marina Bay Sands, Night Festival

19/08/16

This has to be one of the best days I’ve had in a while. I did so much, achieved so much and enjoyed every second.

I met up with a friend to head to Chinatown to test out some Michelin Starred chicken and rice at a hawker stall. It’s at Smith Street inside the Chinatown food complex. My friend and I met around 10am and found the stall at 10.40am, and there was already a queue! We waited the 20mins until it opened and I was hopeful that the queue would move swiftly seeing as all the food was already cooked. Sadly, people were ordering like 10 dishes for takeaway so we really didn’t move at all. It took 2.5 hours to be finally served, I’d had my fair share of drinks while waiting from other stalls, and I was so hungry by the time I got to the front. As I had waited that long I ordered two dishes, chicken and rice, and char siu and rice. Oh my daysssss best chicken and pork ever. I chowed down in less than 15mins, the chicken was so tender and juicy and the pork had just the right amount of juicy fat that it melted in your mouth but wasn’t too sickly. In total it cost me $4.50 which is so cheap!

After the long wait, I had a tea on food street and we had a quick walk around the markets, I bought some mangosteen for $5… so expensive lah I then went to the famous Lim Chee Guan to get some Bakwa, I got 300g for $10 and it was so delicious.. I should have got so much more haha.

The next stop was Raffles Hotel, I got the MRT to City Hall and walked to the hotel, amongst all the skyscrapers I almost missed it! It’s a really pretty old school hotel, which has been renovated a few times and sticks out compared with the rest ofthe city. I had a quick walk through the hotel grounds, and found the Long Bar. This bar was where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented so that women could drink secretly. So, of course I went ahead and ordered one. The bar reminded me of the fancy cocktail bars in London, with the 40s style decor and there was the added effect of the swaying fans on the ceiling. I found it to have a really chilled vibe, not stuck up at all, and full of tourists enjoying the history of Singapore. What I didn’t do, and to my surprise, was look at the cost of my drink which was $31! No wonder the customers here were all older and appreciative of their surroundings. The drink was not too sweet nor too alchoholic and the peanuts in the sack were a lovely addition, you can even throw the shells on the floor.

As it was still early, we headed to Marina Bay Sands to see the view from the top, to avoid paying the fee from the viewing deck you can simply head to tower 3 and the bar on floor 57 where the infinity pool is. Unfortunately you can’t go in the pool unless you are staying there but the bar is right next to it so you can still see the incredible view. I did feel kind of sneaky as I wasn’t planning on buying any drinks as they were quite pricey, and the waiters were constantly asking what my order was. Needless to say I quickly enjoyed the view and then headed back down to avoid more waiters and awkward “oh I haven’t looked at the menu even though I’ve been here for 10 minutes”.. It was here where I said goodbye to my friend as she left to go to the airport.

I was planningto go to Singapore’s Night Festival which happens everyyear, but it doesn’t start until 7.30pm so I killed time by visitig the Merlion statue. It was a bit of a walk from the hotel, but very nice one at that. At the statue I admired the sunset and relaxed on the steps. From there I walked to Armenian Street where the Night Festival was beginning.

I wasn’t suer what to expect and as I arrived there were a few people lining the street, then thy announced that the road was officially closed and before I knew it there was a stream of bikers riding past me, and then there were two who were doing stunts on the bike right in front of me! I genuinely thought they were going to crash into me as there were no safety barriers and they were burning rubber, standing up on the bikes and whizzing past everyone. It was a crazy way to begin the festival for sure!

After the bikes show, I headed to another section of the festival where there was a light animation on the side of a building, which I found quite impressive. There were various other shows going on but I couldn’t always see or was too late to enter. What I did see which was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen were these two men who had their heads in fish bowls, like literally in fishbowl with fish in. Tey had goggles on and nose pegs and were breathing through this tube.. like wtf.

I ended up following a bunch of people into a museum which was as it was, a museum.. so I didn’t spend long in there, and then followed more people to ┬álive stage with a ton of food stalls. I wasn’t hungry but when I saw multi coloured / flavoured churros I had to get some. They were pandan, oreo and vanilla with chocolate sauce…. yum!

Afterwards I headed back to the first street where there was the most fantastic drum performance by 4 guys. I actually felt like I was at carnival where everyone was enjoying the music, vibe and just dancing. It was also really pleasant that the crowd wasn’t roudy or drunk, so unlike these kind of festivals in the UK where everyone relies on drink to have fun, everyone here was just enjoying themselves! Made me feel a lot safer being alone, that’s for sure. I could have just watched these guys all night, but their set ended and up came the next act which was this awful lightsaber fight…. I mean, it was three people playing with lightsabers haha.

I decided to head back after this show as I was so knackered from being on my feet all day, it was an amazing experience to see the night festival and to see all the locals come together to enjoy it too.

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