A few years back I decided that I would travel every year for New Years. I started with West Palm Beach, elevated to Brazil, and most recently went to Singapore. I love bringing in the year overseas, in a space where there are no daily expectations or distractions and I can actually focus on my goals for the year and reflect on the previous one. This year is no different as I traveled to Singapore with my close friend Alicia, who is more like the little sister that I never had, and an amazing set designer and artist! This trip tops my list of travels, one of the cleanest, organized, and tranquil places that I have been (except the malls but I surprisingly don’t care for malls, I prefer boutiques.) I had the opportunity to wake up to a breathtaking view on a daily basis and explore this country as one of the few black girls in town. Get prepared to have photos taken of you, but it’s not out of disrespect, just curiosity. Just smile and move along! Details about the usual (my favorite looks, lodging, dining, and travel tips) are after the break!
A Brief History
Going to Singapore was actually never on my list of travel destinations. Thats what made this experience even more amazing; unexpected memories. Singapore is a really small island off the coast of Malaysia. It’s so small that it’s sometimes referred to as “little red dot”, although I didn’t hear any Singaporeans say this. The city itself is very futuristic, as seen in all of my photos, and it’s been ranked as a “technology ready” city with the best “environmental potential.” The streets are crystal clear, I actually witnessed a cleaning person consistently wiping down a public bathroom sink station after each use! You get fined for chewing gum, spitting on the street, littering, eating and drinking on the train, and lastly eating while you are walking. At times I was thinking “if only some more U.S. cities could adopt this method!”
What I Wore
I post my daily looks to Instagram when I travel and I always have a favorite one! Hands down it had to be my New Years look which took me weeks to find. I scored this piece at none other than Forever 21. I am a label lover but I also appreciate a great deal. I once worked for Forever 21 and I was able to find hidden gems. This pink number was no different, only $65, but with a much more posh look. I actually had a slip up on New Years and burnt a whole in my dress with a overly hot iron. I’ll include an early tip, buy a travel steamer that converts well! I have a Conair, which works perfectly in the U.S. only. I found this colorful and compact steamer on Amazon that is said to work the best internationally!
What We Did
The Chinese Gardens
These beautiful gardens have multiple themes to them and are great for a day trip. It was so quiet and surreal, making it peaceful and picturesque.
The Japanese Gardens
Part of the Chinese Gardens, this style is influenced by the country of Japan. More architecture and less color, they are definitely a site to see.
Gardens by The Bay
All I wanted to do the entire time was go to see the Super Trees! These beautiful specimens are inside of the Gardens by the Bay, a destination right in the Marina Bay area. They produce electricity for the entire country, how efficient!
Check these out at night, an amazing sight to see and what I say looks like the Avatar movie. Going back twice is definitely worth it!
Be prepared to walk 6 miles to get to the top of the trees, but the sweat and burn is going to be your last complaint. Once you get to the top, the view is unparalleled.
Stop by these markets downtown for all things “gifts.” I scored shot glasses for less than 5 SGD, roughly 3 USD.
St. John’s Island
This remote island is not know to many tourists, but now the word may be out. Take a ferry from Marina Bay to experience these breathtaking islands. Be sure to bring some food and drinks, there are no vendors on the island in order to keep it serene and quiet!
Where We Ate
Flight – Marina Bay Sands Hotel
This amazing view also had delicious food and drinks. On top of the most expensive hotels on the island, you can sip Singapore Slings while looking at the entire city beneath your feet.
Killiney Curry Puff
Everyday, literally, I went to get a fresh chicken curry puff and spring roll. By the last day the waiter knew my face and ended my trip with a free home brewed Iced Tea!
Boon Tong Kee
If you want the best crispy chicken in town be sure to stop by Boon Tong Kee in the middle of the Orchard area. The entire menu is divine and expect a wait, the chicken is renowned…
Where I Stayed
I am happy to say that for the first time I actually stayed by myself with an amazing host named Anu. She owns a lavish apartment right on the water. I normally travel with my friends and spending time alone in the mornings to reflect on the deck was one of the best feelings ever. I rented an Air BnB right in Marina Bay, a great location that is close to all the local attractions and overwhelmingly beautiful. I have been using Air BnB since we went to Dubai, and I am convinced that is the best way to lodge, giving you a real life experience.
Take Chinese Southern Airlines for an affordable yet comfortable flight. I hear that Singaporean Airlines is amazing, right now it’s out of my student budget, but I’ll try to take that the next time I go back!
Pack according to a color story, it makes it so much easier to create looks. This time I went with a yellow theme, that you will notice in a lot of my casual photos. When I am on vacation the last thing that I want to do is think about what I am putting on!
Bring an umbrella, this part of the world always has a wet season!
The SGD to USD difference is normally around .69 to 1.00, so be prepared to save some money!
Ubers are fairly cheap and run the same as they do in the US, except they actually wait for you and when your ride cancels it automatically finds you a new one!
The train system is not only one of the most efficient, it’s one of the cleanest transit systems in the world. It’s great to take during peak travel times and is open until midnight!
Singapore is a melting pot country with multiple nationalities in one impressive place. You’ll find great Indian and Chinese restaurants all around, in addition to native Singaporean cuisine!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a new guide from my next adventure!