This year (Dec. 2018 – Jan. 2019) we decided to take the kids on their first trip to Asia, this was the farthest place the kids have ever flown before. Since it was over the holidays, we were able to take a two week trip. We planned the trip rather late, than our normal, only a few months before. During the holidays, most airfares are through the roof within 6 months of traveling. We were lucky to find lower cost tickets to Singapore on Delta, what a nice surprise!
We flew Delta airlines, leaving from DC with connection through Tokyo and then on to Singapore, the kids did great on the flights. I highly recommend downloading movies on their devices ahead of time and make sure you have all our charger cables and headphones. The entertainment systems on the plane also have some games that keep them busy. Another great tip for a flight that long is compression socks and plenty of water.
We stayed at the Andaz Singapore. It is a great hotel, the service was superb and the location was perfect. There is a lot you can walk to from the hotel. The hotel has a great outdoor pool on a high floor. If you have Globalist status at Hyatt, they include a breakfast buffet that is amazing, it is 3 rooms! And as most Andaz hotels, there are complimentary beverages and snacks in the mini-bar.
December is summer in Singapore, so it was very hot. There were some brief periods of rain, but that was all!
Places we visited:
Day 1: We left the hotel and started to walk in direction towards Marina Bay, it was probably a 25 min walk, but on the way we could see a lot of the city attractions. The Marina Bay Sands is a very iconic structure in the city.
The view from the rooftop of the hotel is breathtaking. You don’t need to be a hotel guest to go to Ce La Vi, the bar on the rooftop. It is a great way to see the infinity pool as well. There is a charge per person to go to the bar, but it can be used as credit to spend on food and drinks. http://www.marinabaysands.com.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands http://www.marinabaysands.com/shopping.html is THE place if you are ready to do some serious shopping. They also have an extensive food court with a lot of great options. It is interesting to see the variety of Asian food all in one place.
Day 2: After the amazing breakfast at the Andaz Singapore we took a “grab”, it is the app we used to go all over, just download the app, it works like Uber and Lyft. For pick-up from the hotel, we actually indicated the gallery on the ground floor, much easier and saves time rather than having the driver come to the official lobby entrance. We visited Gardens by The Bay, it is a must see in Singapore. It was the location of the wedding in Crazy Rich Asians.
After Gardens by The Bay we went to Chinatown to visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and walk around the neighborhood. The Temple is beautiful, you can really feel the peace and serenity of the religion with a brief visit.
Walking around Chinatown is fun, we went thru a lot of stores on the streets until we got to the restaurant. There are lots of authentic Chinese artifacts.
We had lunch at the world’s cheapest Michelin-Star restaurant. It is located in Chinatown with simple ambience but very succulent food.
December 29th is my birthday, and I love birthdays! I am lucky that it is during the holidays, and we are usually traveling to a special place and can celebrate together. This year we had dinner at Bam restaurant http://bam.sg/, it was a great food experience. It has a industrial-chic vibe, with an open kitchen where chef Pepe Moncayo and his team turn out a slew of Japanese-Spanish-style small plates. Below are some pictures of the food and the restaurant:
Day 3: We left our hotel and walked couple minutes to the narrowest street in Singapore, Hajiln Street. In this neighborhood, you will also find the Masjid Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre. A little further east in the city, there are Peranakan Colorful Houses. We ended up at grabbing lunch at DinTai Fung (Parkway Parade 80 01-15 Marine Parade Rd.), they have several locations. It was the best dumplings we ever had. The truffle dumplings were very good, and the kids loved the other flavors as well. You can also see how they make each dumpling by hand, just watching the experts at work making dumplings with speed and precision.
At night we went to explore Orchard Road, the most famous shopping street in Singapore with loads of entertainment. We walked around and then went to eat at Ippudo, it was good but we weren’t impressed with the food.
Day 4: Explored more around Singapore, visited Merlion Park, Singapore River Gallery, National Gallery Singapore, and St. Andrew’s Cathedral, pictures below. Each area of the city is very picturesque. Can you see the statue blend into the building in the photo below?
After couple days in Bali, we returned to Singapore for a couple more days before heading back home.
5th Day: We went to Sentosa Island, located right off of Singapore’s southern coast, and connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk and monorail. There is a a lot to see and do at Sentosa. Our first stop was at Fort Siloso. We took an elevator and as soon as we got upstairs we were shocked with the stunning view from the skywalk. It is free to walk around the fort. The story of the fort and the role it played in various wars is very interesting.
After Fort Siloso, we rode the cable car to the Sentosa Merlion.
There is a free tram that takes you around the island. After a little walk along the water fountains, we took a tram to FOC Sentosa. It was opened back in September 2016. The restaurant was inspired by Barcelona’s world-famous beach culture, and you can experience Mediterranean food, drinks and vibes. While we had some food and drinks, the kids enjoyed playing on the beach.
The funniest thing we saw on the island was the indoor surf, our 8 years old son wanted to do it…that’s why we went there…but when we saw how powerful the waves were…we didn’t let him do it….!
To leave the island and head back to the city, we hopped on the monorail, it is free when you are returning to Singapore. We took the monorail to Vivo City. It is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. We had dinner at Putien, in 2018 it received its third consecutive Michelin Star. It was a very exotic menu, but very good food.
After almost 2 weeks away, we spent quality time together as a family learning about other cultures and more about ourselves. It feels so good to be able to show our kids an Asian culture, meet their cousins in Singapore, learn more world history.