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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Singapore Itinerary: Non-Stop Exploring Days One and Two



I am so excited to be introducing Itineraries to Era on Trend! As a travel lover, looking through trip ideas has always been a favorite hobby.  It is so helpful to be able to look at the stops someone else took, what they liked and didn't like, and decide what you want to include on your travel wish list.  I never thought Singapore would make it to the top of my travel planner, but it has officially become my most recommended stop when people ask me where they should go on their next holiday.  For those of you who have never thought of traveling to Singapore, or just know nothing about the country, get ready to be mind blown.

Singapore

Days One and Two: Gardens and Architecture

Day One: Arrival and Orchard Street

We decided not to waste a minute in Singapore and, though we had just spent around 20 hours traveling, we got right to exploring the city.  After unpacking our bags at our hosts house, he took us to get Singapore's most famous dish. Chili crab was as good as advertised. We made sure to ask for a mild spiciness, and it was the perfect mix of a sweet sauce and a kick from the chili.  Get ready to get messy with this, though, because it comes as a whole soft shell crab that you need to break apart using any means necessary.  Totally worth the mess.
  Next, it was off to Orchard Street, which has been termed "Asia's most famous shopping street".  It reminds me of Fifth Avenue in New York, but the lights are even brighter, with pink and blue colors radiating from the fronts of shops like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada.  We didn't do any damage in the stores, but it was fun to walk around and dream of designer shoes.  At this point, however, we were fading from jetlag and headed back to our house after an hour or two.
   Already, we were beyond excited to see more of the city.  The architecture is modern like you've never seen before, covered in natural leaves and vines and shaped with swooping bends or sharp geographic patterns.  The next day, we made a point to visit even more cool architectural spots.

Day Two:  National Orchid Gardens, Chinatown, Gardens by the Bay, Clark Quay

Our second day began with beauty, flowers, and nature all around.  The National Orchid Garden was the perfect way to start our jet lagged morning.  Yes, that jet lag is REAL.  Walking through gardens filled with fountains, waterfalls, and even a garden of toxic plants, woke us up and got us excited to explore.  Ok, so maybe the toxic plants were a little scary.  Regardless, I've never breathed as easy as I did in these gardens.  It was incredible to feel so surrounded by nature in a major city.
Then, it was off to lunch.  What better place to go for a bowl of noodles and fish balls then the one and only, Chinatown.  This part of the city surrounded us with colors and smells (mostly seafood), and we felt transported.  Buddhist temples and paper lanterns were a perfect backdrop for our noodle bowl lunch.
I wish I could say that I packed tons of fabulous outfits for our trip, but we were moving around so much we had to pack as light as possible.  That meant that I was confined to simple, comfy cloths that I could easily mix and match.  I wore these high-waisted Zara shorts over and over.  The simple jean style went with most tops, but the 70s patchwork flair made sure that my vintage style was added to my outfits.  I brought quite a few different crop tops to match with these shorts.  They didn't take up much room and were nice and light.  For all my avid travelers, I don't need to go over the importance of a crossbody bag.  No matter where you are walking, a crossbody won't weigh you down.
So, let's talk about the Gardens by the Bay.
The Gardens by the Bay are, well, what they sound like. Gardens. By a Bay. Simple. 
Sitting on the water in central Singapore, there are two buildings you cannot miss; The Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.  The buildings' structure alone is worth mentioning, sweeping into endless arches of metal and glass. No matter where you walk, you can see out to the water.  
We began in the Flower Dome, which contains every species of plant you can imagine.  The greenery is separated into sections based on where it naturally grows, so it is kind of like a walk through the different forests of the world!
Still in shock from the floral magic we had witnessed, we made our way to the Cloud Forest.  Number one, how cool is that name.  Right off the bat, I want to go to that place.  Anyway, I found myself glued to the floor when we first entered and stared up at a magnificent indoor waterfall.  Not only was this waterfall inside the main structure, but it was built to fall off one side of the cylindrical dome that was the Cloud Forest.  Now, imagine a dome covered so densely in plants and flowers that you cannot even begin to visualize what materials are actually holding it up.  It gets cooler.  A metal walkway wraps around the outside of the dome, allowing you to float among the flowers.  Yes, this exists. Only in Singapore.
They also have these ridiculous tree things. Yeah.  I don't even know.
Still in the Gardens by the Bay area, we walked outside along the water to get a good view of the city.  Instead, we got a great one.
Think that's enough for one day?  Think again!  That night, we went to the coolest place for nightlife, Clark Quay.  Huge umbrella-like fixtures cover the entire space, which looks like an old-school European villa.  Ok Singapore, enough with the coolness already.  We got some advice along the lines of, "If you don't go to Zouk, you haven't even been to Singapore".  Obviously, we headed over to the club.  It was a huge space, great for dancing, but filled like a sardine can.  The jet lag was creeping up fast, and we headed home shortly after some dancing.

Not a bad two days.  Stay tuned for days 3 and 4!

Simple Itinerary List and Links:

1.  Orchard Street
2.  National Orchid Garden-Get Tickets
3.  Chinatown
4.  Gardens by the Bay-Get Tickets
5. Clark Quay-Visit Zouk


Happy Shopping!
~Stephanie~

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