Four Continents and 37,000 Miles in Two Weeks: Exploring Singapore

Trip Report Index


Singapore’s a funny city for me, since I’ve visited it a handful of times, though always only for 1-2 days, typically on layovers while enroute to other destinations. So I’ve slowly become fairly familiar with the city, and I think I’ve seen most of the sites. Singapore is a city that fascinates me. Entirely superficially, as a tourist, it seems like the perfect place — there’s virtually no crime, everything is beyond clean, and there is very little poverty. There’s no doubt the city has some issues “behind the scenes,” though on the surface it’s refreshing.

This time around I was meeting some friends that live in Singapore for the evening, and we decided to do something a little different than the usual sightseeing. I’ve seen most of the cultural “stuff” in Singapore, so this evening was more focused on the entertainment side of things.

After spending about an hour walking around the Marina Bay Sands we walked towards Lau Pa Sat for some beer and satay.

We made a few stops along the way, including at the United city ticketing office (just because it’s a reminder of the “good old days”), and the little miniature replica of Singapore.

Singapore skyline

Singapore skyline

Miniature Singapore replica

United city ticketing office (yes, the tulip is alive and well here)

Lau Pa Sat

Lau Pa Sat

We hung out at Lau Pa Sat for a while, which features every food type imaginable, though stuck to beer, and I sampled some satay towards the end.

Tiger beer

Like I said, every food imaginable

From there we headed to Sentosa, which has a lot of great attractions,┬árestaurants, and even amusement parks. There’s a Universal Studios there, and the entrance fee is only $5SGD after 7PM, so we walked around there for a bit.

Sentosa from a distance

Boardwalk to Sentosa

Universal Studios in Singapore is much smaller than the one in Orlando, though that was perfectly fine since we weren’t looking to try any of the rides, but rather to just walk around and talk.

Universal Studios entrance

Universal Studios

Roller coaster

After about an hour it was getting late and we hadn’t had dinner, so we needed to find a place quick. Our options were dim sum place or Chilis. The dim sum place had a massively long line, while Chilis didn’t, so we went with Chilis.

Now I’m sure some of you will call me names for that, and by all means bring it on, though I’m sticking to my story — there’s just as much local culture in a western chain restaurant as there is in a local chain restaurant. I remember being in Seoul and going to a highly recommended Korean BBQ place. What did I notice? Everyone was a tourist. The next night I went to a Chicago pizza chain in Seoul, and what did I notice? Everyone was a local. In my experience you’re actually in the company of more “locals” when eating at a western chain in Asia than you often are when eating elsewhere. Anyway, I was with locals, so hopefully that gives me a free pass either way. ­čśë

Speaking of Chilis, check out the price of a steak at the one in Singapore.

No thank you!

After a most enjoyable evening with especially great company it was back to the Marina Bay Sands to claim my room, take some pictures, go to sleep, and go for a swim in the morning. ┬áI was indescribably excited about my Airbus 380 journey the following day…

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Filed Under: Travel, Trip Reports
  1. It is good to see Universal Studios has opened in SIN. when I visited Sentosa in May 2009, it was under construction. If you go to Osaka, Universal Studios is a must visit as the upside down roller coaster and Spiderman ride are worth entry for themselves alone.

  2. Your comment about Chili’s and locals is spot-on and reminds me of the McDonalds on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Every time I am there, it is full of locals.

  3. I really wanted to read your QF A380 F review before I flew, but it seems now that you will likely post that segment while I’m sitting in 2A on QF32, winging my way towards Sydney :D.

  4. You didnt mentioned about getting drenched, so
    I assume you didnt make a beeline to the Jurassic ride. The roller coasters were awesome. Hope you rode it before Chillis.

  5. Personally, I wouldn’t be in a Chilli’s in the US. I certainly won’t be in one abroad. To each his own, I certainly won’t tell you where you shouldn’t go just because I don’t like it. For me though, part of the draw of foreign cities is the chance for me to eat food I simply can’t get a most or all of the US.

    Also, I definitely like going where locals go – while in the tourist trap areas it’s the western eateries (read: American businesses primarily), outside the tourist zones you can find plenty of locals eating at restaurants that have no English menus – well, assuming it’s a non-English speaking region. ­čÖé

  6. Lau Pa Sat – I’ll never forget all the food I had in front of me (beer included) for less than $10.

  7. Chilis is awesome! I definitely enjoy it whether I am in the US or abroad. It is interesting, however, to see them add their version of local dishes, though. In the Arabian Gulf, they usually have 2 or 3 local fish dishes, which you don’t find anywhere else. I wonder if the Singapore branch offers local dishes as well…

  8. If the meat is air-shipped from the States as the menu suggests – perhaps on the all J sq service? – those prices, which are SGD, aren’t crazy.

  9. Hey Lucky!

    I am from Singapore and I am an avid follower of your blog. Sorta.

    Anyway, I just wanted to ask you personally, how do you find Singapore? Having lived in Singapore all my life(I’ve only been to the U.S. once), It would be refreshing to hear from a foreigner’s perspective.

    (In Singapore we call foreigners ‘ang mohs’. It probably means ‘red hair’. Not really sure.)

  10. @ EurekaStrike — Hah, thanks for reading! I love Singapore. While I find it to be a bit sterile, I also love the food, sightseeing, etc. It’s a great stopover point when connecting to other places in Asia, in my opinion.

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