Tourism

Things to Do on a Weekend in Singapore

We were there for Chris Martin. Because Coldplay Manila tickets were slippery unicorns, and because my sister would not have any of my defeatist shrugging, and because we had a good friend in Singapore who was more than willing to play host.

So okay, we had the weekend. We knew it wasn’t enough. We knew we wanted some tita time to rest before the concert. What to do? Where to go?

Crab and merlion and supertrees. Touchdown 8 pm via Singapore Airlines then luggage drop-off at our AirBnB apartment at Sophia Road via Dhoby Ghaut MRT. After the reunion hugs and a taste of the 1SGD ice cream (FINALLY FINALLY), our friend Norie asked me what I wanted to eat. I said crabs, preferably chili. I was not a fan of crabs, really. It’s the intense cracking and shell-prying ceremonies that I do not enjoy, but I wasn’t able to eat this during my first visit in SG. So I had to have it this time. We were supposed to go to Jumbo Seafood in Clarke Quay, but it was past 10 pm and they were fully booked.  So off to Long Beach we went, a few minutes’ walk away from Mountbatten MRT station.

What better time for black pepper crab than midnight 🦀

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Their specialty was black pepper crab, they said, so we got that, and the set came with steamed live razor clams, braised “Chang-Le” with fish curd (hence to be remembered as tasty soup with yummy fish and vegetable bits), really good fried rice, and mango sago jelly for dessert. Oh, and two small plastic bottles of wine with drawings of chicken on the label (don’t ask me). The staff had to ask us to wrap it up ’cause they were closing, but it was done politely and it was nearing midnight anyway. It was a good meal. Did it merit its SGD168++ price tag? I don’t know. I don’t usually spend that much on food, haha/cry. But it was a really good dinner, and we ate just enough to refuel for a trip to the Singapore River.

It’s my sister’s first time in the country, so of course we had to have her meet the Merlion. Midnight was a good time for a visit. Though the night was humid, it was a bit less hot, and there were a lot less people in the prime tourist spot. We walked along the river past Esplanade and made our way to Gardens by the Bay.

I really really wanted to see this place. But it was closed already and we were too tired to walk around anyway. We had a glimpse of the supertrees lighted and peeking out of the sparse canopy of trees though, and that would have to do for this visit. Will explore more of you next time, I promise.

National Gallery. The next morning was an art morning, so sister and I trooped to National Gallery, which was about 5 minutes away along the Art Connector pathway from Exit B of City Hall MRT station. It costs SGD20 to enter for non-Singaporeans, discounted to SGD15 because we flew via SQ. It was a lovely, lovely place. So huge. We needed an entire day, maybe two, because there was so much to see. We went straight to the gallery where Juan Luna‘s Espana Y Filipinas painting was, and there we met gallery staff Adeline, who basically fangirled with us over all the beautiful, vibrant things, including those painted by other Filipino talents such as Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Botong Francisco.

"We're here to see the Luna" Espana y Filipinas National Gallery 🇸🇬

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We had an art day today, Shinta and sister and I.

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She told us about the galleries we shouldn’t miss and so we followed her recommended route, to no regrets. Our legs were cramping a bit after (haha), but yes, definitely pinned this museum as a place to visit again.

Swedish homeware and Swedish meatballs. Sister really wanted to go to IKEA, and so we visited their Alexandra branch. Another overwhelmingly huge place. We loved it, but we also both realized that shopping and looking around would have been a more fun experience if purchasing that knife set or those beautiful pans wouldn’t have led to check-in luggage problems. We got a few small things and headed to the cafe for an early dinner. Coffee is free-flowing once you purchase, and that’s already a win. Their salmon thing and egg tart and all the desserts were also so, so wonderful.

A Head Full of Dreams. What we came to Singapore for. There was no time for a tita nap, so it was just a quick change into gig friendly clothes and we hurried to the MRT, hopping off at Stadium station. Once there, it’s just a matter of following the herd and listening to the helpful reminders screamed at you via megaphone. We made it in good time, lining up for less than an hour before the doors opened. We collected our LOVE pins and those automated neon wristbands they handed out on loan (which were awesome, magical things, btw) and headed to our seats. It was a blast, okay? << understatement of the year. But more feelings here and here.

IMM Outlet. Sunday was our last day in Singapore and Norie decided we had to go outlet shopping. No complaints there. I had a short list of things I wanted but they were all not there HAHA not meant to be, but it’s okay, my wallet was relieved. We had our last meal before the flight at their food court Kopitiam, and it was back to the apartment to get our packed bags (never got to meet our host Joey, but hey, Joey, we had fun, thank you!). We took a cab to the airport and arrived with more than enough time to nap in the lounge chairs near our boarding gate.

I really should stay more than two nights in the next visit. So much more to see. And more importantly, so much more to eat!

*** Special thanks to Singapore Airlines because huhu I finally finally was able to watch Rogue One and Moana. Kind of hard to concentrate on my feelings though when I had no one to talk to (sister refused my feelings, she was watching her own movie) and with that bit of turbulence on the flight home. But still, got to watch so yay, thank you!

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