Each year we visit family (my brother) in Singapore every year for the last five years. We have really started to look forward to visiting the island not only to see my brother but the island itself. The Singaporeans are very friendly and have this great passion for their country.
The Merlion City is hot and humid all year round, so the activities you can do depend on how much heat you can handle. Do not come to Singapore if you want a tan, you simply won't get one, you are more likely to wet from the localised rainfall which takes great skill to predict.
When we go to Singapore we have a number of shopping areas, attractions and many food places we enjoy. Here are just some of the places we look forward to visiting.
The shopping centres in Singapore are everywhere, they are a saviour when you are overheating. However, I am not a huge fan as many of them have shopping chains in them which you would see in London. I prefer to see and support smaller independent shops.
Joo Chiat has a beautiful array of colourful shophouses which the area is now celebrated for. The district was declared the first heritage site in Singapore. Its history dates back to when Peranakans or the Straits Chinese moved into the area in the 1920s.
My two favourite shops on this road are Cat Socrates and Rumah Bebe. If you are in Joo Chiat, have a browse in Cat Socrates, it has a great selection of products by local Singaporean designers as well as small brands from all over the world. Rumah Bebe is a traditional Peranakan boutique selling colourful embroidery and pottery.
Address - 448 Joo Chiat Rd
Website - http://catsocrates.wixsite.com/catsocrates
Address - 113 East Coat Rose
Website - http://www.rumahbebe.com/
The bookshop of dreams, it has every book you could ask for. It is what bookshops used to be like before Amazon came into the picture. I have bought some fantastic books on jewellery and antiques here which I would not have seen in the UK.
Address: 391 Orchard Road, Takashimaya Shopping Centre
The shop is full of rare and unusual art books, magazines, novels, poetry and stacks of small-press publications which can only be found here. At the back of the shop is a small dusty room full of vintage trinkets which is worth a rummage through.
Address - 9 Yong Siak Street
Website - https://www.booksactuallyshop.com/
Attractions & Activities
The gardens are beautiful come rain or shine. I would say the best time to go would be when it has just rained so it is cooler, but then I think that about every place in Singapore. Visit the Orchid garden, the Ginger garden and the Canopy Web. Within the gardens is a restaurant called The Halia next to the Ginger garden, sit outside and enjoy the tropical surroundings while you sip on some fresh ginger tea. I love this restaurant.
Address - 1 Cluny Road
Website - https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg
Address - 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden Botanic Gardens.
Website - http://thehalia.com/
East Coast Park
ECP is a 15km beach park with a huge selection of activities. We walked down the park taking in the scenery but I think the best way to really enjoy the park is to cycle. Stop off at the Singapore Wake Park grab a beer and watch the riders perform.
Address - East Coast Services Road
Website - https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/east-coast-park
Here is a list of my favourite restaurants I would highly recommend which we seem to go back to year after year. We spend most of our time eating.
Open Farm Community - An open plan restaurant which sources its food locally and seasonally.
Address - 130E Minden Road
Website - http://www.openfarmcommunity.com/
Zaffron Kitchen - My favourite Indian restaurant in ANY country. Stunning North Indian cuisine which was awarded a position in the Michelin guide.
Address - 137 East Coast Road
Website - https://www.zaffronkitchen.com/
Al Forno - This welcoming restaurant was set up in 1995, it was the first Italian restaurant in the whole of Singapore.
Address - 400 East Coast Road
Website - https://alfornoeastcoast.com.sg/
Artichoke - Delicious Middle Eastern inspired food served in a very cool restaurant. Sit outside and slowly go through the whole menu.
Address - 161 Middle Road
Website - https://www.bjornshen.com/artichoke
Awfully Chocolate - I go here for one reason, white chocolate Martinis. As a family we have been through every dessert, I implore you to do the same.
Address - 131 East Coat Rose
Website - https://awfullychocolate.online/
If you are planning to visit Singapore, have a look on Honeycombers, it has the latest goings on.
Website - https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/