Singapore in a Week: My Wandering Feasting Checklist

Realize that all the food and wandering posts on my blog can be overwhelming for tourists. Have been meaning to do a must see list of sorts for some time, and then I got too overwhelmed myself. Finally got the motivation after an email request from John from New York City who will be visiting Singapore for a week and was open to suggestions.

Now that I am trying to narrow it down, I find it quite hard, but here are places that immediately come to mind. Honestly, it’s so difficult to pick a few.  I always feel like I am leaving out something so I decided to just go with my personal favourites. So if you feel that I am leaving out some essential places, please leave a comment about it and that might help visitors who stumble upon this post.

Mostly I would recommend just wandering about the little alleys (with your camera – photos are the best souvenir) and that’s the best way to discover and have your very own experience that will be truly unique and hard to find in any guide-book.  I find that even as a local, I always discover something new as Singapore is in constant flux:

photo by bookjunkie

Day 1: Kampong Glam (nearest MRT: Bugis on the green line)

photo by bookjunkie

Nasi Padang at Sabar Menanti II

arab street

photo by bookjunkie

Stroll about Arab Street and Haji Lane.

photo by bookjunkie

I highly recommend the Children Little Museum (just S$2)

Day 2. Little India (nearest MRT: Little India on the purple line)

Nasi Briyani at Tekka Market which is also a hawker centre.

photo by bookjunkie

Stroll about Little India and be overwhelmed by the chaos and colour of the little alley shops

Day 3. Joo Chiat

Stroll about and soak in the Peranakan Architecture.

Buy some of these famous Kim Choo Nonya Dumplings and have it as a snack in your hotel room or a nearby coffee shop (I think it’ll be ok if you order a drink there and it’s not too crowded).

photo by bookjunkie

If you’re really interested in Peranakan Culture and history, you could visit the Peranakan Museum as well. It’s a very small museum in a beautifully restored school building, so it won’t take more than 2 hours for a leisurely walk around. This is at a different location – at Armenian Street.

I would do the Penang Buffet at King’s Hotel for dinner. It’s not nearby, but in Singapore you can take a cab and it won’t take you more than half an hour.  Just try to head out before 5 pm or you might get stuck in a traffic jam.

Day 4. Duxton Hill & Ann Siang Hill (nearest MRT would be Tanjong Pagar MRT on the green line or Chinatown MRT on the purple line) It’s the newest and hippest places now in Singapore with quaint little independent stores. Both Duxton and Haji Lane have been mentioned in the NY Times. You could include Chinatown as well as it’s nearby. Duxton Hill is becoming my new favourite place and I hope to blog about it again, soon.  But if you’re looking for something very Asian, this won’t be it. Like Haji Lane, it’s more hipster and where Gen Y hangs out.

Duxton Hill

photo by bookjunkie

Ann Siang Hill

photo by bookjunkie

Chinatown and perhaps pick up a little gift or two.

Day 5. The Botanic Gardens (Botanic Gardens MRT on the Yellow Line) or the Zoo for a bit of nature, but the tropical kind. Palm trees and lush greenery.

photo by bookjunkie

For a bit of green and an oasis from the crowds stroll about the Botanic Gardens

I haven’t been to the Zoo in a while and this is a reminder that I really want to go again. Since it’s so famous and all.  But I think it’s mostly a must see if you’re coming with kids.

More Options for Day 6 & 7:

photo by bookjunkie

Samy’s Curry at Dempsey Road (lunch on a weekday is best and get a seat outside near the greenery. In my opinion the best banana leaf curry experience with the nicest ambience)

China Square Flea Market  (only on weekends and especially if you’re into collectible toys and all things vintage)

Try the Geylang Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee at Lorong 26 and stroll around the red light district and try Durian perhaps? This would cover the coffee shop experience as well if you have kopi or tea with your noodles.

photo by bookjunkie

Have Afternoon Tea at the Landing Point at Fullerton Bay.  If you have a female companion I am sure they will enjoy this. I did.

photo by bookjunkie

Take a photo of Marina Bay Sands. Although it’s very much Las Vegas, it’s our new icon, and has usurped the Merlion. I guess Singaporeans do love gambling even though they have to pay a S$100 just to enter the place for a day. You’ll find that cheap tacky souvenirs in Chinatown now all include this unique building as well as the merlion.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

If you still have time, I had to include some more hawker food and my personal favourite food and drink of all time – Claypot Laksa and Avacado juice at Alexandra Village Hawker Centre. You might not be used to this though as it’s coconut cream heavy and can be quite spicy. Once you eat this it might fill you up for the rest of the day.

photo by bookjunkie

And if you do check out our most famous shopping street Orchard Road and head into the swanky ION, do try Tim Sum at Taste Paradise. I quite enjoyed the opulent setting. This might be good and welcome air-conditioned comfort as Singapore can get scorching hot, made worse because of our high humidity. Make sure to pack light clothing like your flip flops, T shirts and shorts.

Just wanted to add that none of the meals I have suggested cost more than S$30 per person. Most meals are below S$10. And you’ll find that in Singapore, the tastiest food is usually also the most affordable.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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10 Responses to Singapore in a Week: My Wandering Feasting Checklist

  1. Crystal says:

    Zoo is absolutely non-negotiable with kids 🙂

    • bookjunkie says:

      I like it as an adult too, but if the trip is just for a week, then I guess there is a lot more to see. Although I am a bit torn about this – the zoo is pretty cool and if you’re an animal lover it would be good to include.

  2. Jane says:

    I love your posts, I feel like we are getting a little mini-vacation. Also love to see posts about foods that are difficult to find in the US.

  3. Laura says:

    Loved reading this, so many great suggestions of things I need to do at some stage – thanks!

    • bookjunkie says:

      So glad you liked it Laura. Glad John emailed me to ask and it prompted me to compile this list of sorts 🙂 I’ll do another one soon.

  4. Selfsame John of paragraph 1 says:

    Hi B’junkie. Thanks for compiling the great summation of your years of actually experiencing Singapore. Having been to Samy’s I’ll gladly return for more fishhead soup! I leave NY tomorrow and will report from the front as I devour your town. Regards, j

    • bookjunkie says:

      Oh that’s cool…yeah the fishhead curry there is pretty famous as well 🙂

      Maybe you’ll discover some new places for me to check out. I am sure Singapore has quite a number of hidden gems, especially when it comes to food.

  5. Cannelle says:

    This will be so useful when my parents will be in Singapore. I’ll try to mix your advices and those in guidebooks 🙂

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