Singapore has a number of tourist hotspots and generally there is a reason why these places become magnets for travellers. As we are unfamiliar with this part of the world we are quite happy to follow the tourist authority suggestions and up to this point we have found the destinations very worthwhile. We decided to trip over to Kampong Glam, specifically Arab Street and Hijai Lane to discover the colour and creativity of this area of the city. Later we visited Bugis shopping centre, a conglomeration of phenomenal shopping centres. As an example, Sim Lim Square is a giant technology mall with more than 200 shops over six floors. It is all very overwhelming.
One of the other things we have discovered during our travels is how important ‘timing’ is. We ventured over to Clarke Quay at the wrong time of day. This is an evening destination. There are loads of bars and restaurants lining the river and it looks lovely but not as inviting during the day. We did take the opportunity to do a little river cruise to the ArtScience Museum over near MBS. This museum is located in a stunning building and it mainly targets children, but we were told it was highly interactive and fun for adults as well. Unfortunately, we had seen a similar exhibition in Sydney and the other exhibitions were a bit of a letdown.
We deserved a drink. Singapore has quite a lot of rooftop bars. We had done enough travelling about for one day, so we wanted to find a place near to the hotel and we did, Loof. This bar was a five-minute walk away. It was just three floors up and it had a lovely ambience and we just happened to be there for happy-hour. Great!
Time for a bite. When we chose our accommodation in Singapore we deliberately chose a hotel. There were a number of self-catering apartments we were considering but decided that we would indulge in eating out- take a bite of culture. It has been worthwhile. There is an incredible range of food available – variety and value. Our choice on this evening was Chijmes.
Chijmes has history. Formerly a convent, an orphanage and a girls school, it was built around 1830 and bits and pieces were acquired over time. The buildings are a little like cloisters and surround a small cathedral. In 1996 it was repurposed for commercial uses and now is mainly a venue for bars, restaurants and cafes. There is a very well know wedding venue as well, apparently featuring in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. There is an incredible range of restaurants in this beautiful precinct. We chose to eat at The Winery, a Spanish tapas bar and were delighted with the food, wine and service- great choice!