After a very tearful flight, we successfully landed in Singapore. It didn’t take long for us to be amazed at all the sights in front of us (of course, starting with the Hello Kitty Lounge at the airport).
One of the most incredible parts of Singapore starts in the airport (and is even more amazing than the Hello Kitty Lounge believe it or not). There is an incredible indoor waterfall that you can visit that is breathtaking.
Once we had left the airport/Kelvin finally convinced me that there is more to see in Singapore than the airport, we headed for our hotel and settled in for the week ahead. We booked the cheapest hotel we could find and had a laugh as we opened our bathroom door which had the toilet, shower, and sink all in about a meter by meter spot. Multi-tasking made easy?
Once we dropped off our bags, we headed to Orchard Road to look around. I thought of my sister who loves to shop as we looked at the hundreds of stores that were lining the streets. As neither Kelvin or I are shoppers, we headed straight for the bubble tea stand (sorry sis).
We then googled, “Free things to do in Singapore,” (learning the theme in how we travel?) which led us to the Botanic Gardens. We assumed it would be a short walk through, but were absolutely blown away by what we saw. There were stunning orchid gardens, beautiful trails, and the most breathtaking views. When I had stopped to take about 50 photos within the first 50 meters, Kelvin was getting a little nervous as to what he had committed to…
After walking through the gardens, we headed for Clarke Quay, which is an outdoor shopping area with some great restaurants. We especially loved the colourful buildings and street music.
My Dad had told us to make sure we went to Little India while we were here, so we headed there next. We loved seeing the community that had been formed in this area and greatly appreciated the colourful spices and products that they were selling in their market area.
We then went to the infamous Marina Bay area where you can go up to the top of the hotel that you see below shaped like a boat. On the very top is an infinity pool that you can swim in if you are okay to pay for the experience (any guesses if we paid?). We loved wandering around and appreciating all the architecture in the area (#free).
Right next to Marina Bay are the Gardens by the Bay, which is a huge nature park. One of my favourite memories here was just sitting on a bench with Kelv and looking all around us. Instead of getting caught up in all the money grab opportunities here, we just sat in silence and got to appreciate the incredible designs that surrounded us.
There are lots of evening shows that are available in this area between the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay. We decided to go to the light show right in front of Marina Bay and we were so glad we did. Between the lights timed to the music, the colours, and the crowds squeals of excitement, it was a great experience!
After a very full day, we decided to plan an even more full day the next day! Are you starting to see how Team Benger travels? We were up and ready to go by around 7am, so decided that we may as well head out the door. What we hadn’t considered was that as were headed to the zoo and we had booked Night Safari rides for 8:30pm, we were setting ourselves up for around 14 hours at the zoo…
The good news is it was absolutely incredible and we were (mostly) glad we had so much time there. The Singapore Zoo is intentional about creating habitats that feel as natural and wild as possible. There were many times where monkeys ran past us and giraffes came a few feet away from us. This is definitely a must go spot if you ever find yourself in Singapore!
Our next day was spent at Sentosa Island, which was the perfect afternoon trip that we were looking for. We started by finding the first air conditioned restaurant we could as we were definitely feeling the heat by the middle of the day. We loved having a day at the beach as it was a nice pause in the middle of a lot of city landscapes. We also knew that we were about to move to a city that wasn’t exactly known for it’s breathtaking beaches, so we tried to soak up as much of it as we could!
As we felt we hadn’t yet visited enough parks and attractions (ha!), we decided to go to the Jurong Bird Park. We skyped my parents at the entrance and laughed as this would have been my mom’s worst nightmare as she’s terrified or birds. Needless to say, I learned I am not overly interested in staring at birds in cages, but I do enjoy waterfalls and cheesy couple photos!
For our last night, we walked through Clarke Quay again and loved the vibe in the evening. We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water and took some time to breathe as we knew we were about to start a very significant next chapter of our lives together. If any of you are planning to move overseas, I highly recommend having a short travel stop prior to where you are heading, to have some time to process, prepare, and transition. The main reason we had to go to Singapore first was to deal with visas, but it ended up being such a gift to have had this time together.
We felt the last fitting thing to do before flying out the next morning was to hit up an arcade and see how much money we could waste in an hour.
As we headed to our gate, we met up with two more staff that were on the same journey as us. As we sat around the table eating Subway sandwiches (which we were told to get as you can’t find deli meat in Jakarta very easily), we could sense this is the start of something wonderful.
Here we go!