do you ever feel pressured to do-see-eat-go everywhere when you're on vacation? maybe it's the travel blogger curse, but sometimes I think people have developed a prejudice against vacations that actually feel like a vacation. we want to get our money's worth, not waste our time, and immerse ourselves in the culture we are visiting. those are all great aspects of travel. but from time to time I just want a vacation, you know? eat good food, get a tan, have some fun and then put my feet up.
Husband and I visited Singapore over Christmas break, and we barely touched what's on most travelers' must-see lists. we didn't see the Merlion fountain, ride the Singapore Flyer, or visit Chinatown. we skipped the night safari and strolling through any of the famous gardens. and perhaps what most would consider our greatest offense: we didn't. even. set foot. inside a hawker stall.
gasp in horror and shut your laptop if you must, but we still accomplished everything we wanted to. maybe this is a weird way to tell you our itinerary. I just feel like there's still value in doing your own thing on a trip, rather than what people expect of you. even if you do encounter a judgmental "I can't believe you went to X without doing Y!" when you get home.
where we stayed in Singaporelike I said, our main goal in visiting Singapore was to relax. with this in mind we decided to splurge a little when it came to our lodgings. some friends of ours like to tell the story of how, during their 3-month budget backpacking trip through Asia, they spent Christmas in Singapore. this story involves a $10 per night hostel where a crew of Germans kept them awake until 4am by watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre clad only in their whitey-tighties. obviously that was not the experience we were looking for.
our first few nights were spent in a quirky boutique hotel called Wanderlust, set in the heart of Little India. each of the rooms is themed by color and song - we were in the Yellow Submarine. while it wasn't the most convenient location for exploring the whole city, it put us near some delicious Indian food [most notably Lagnaa Barefoot Dining] and lots of photo opportunities.
we then relocated the the surfboard, aka the Marina Bay Sands. in my research on Singapore I found extremely conflicting opinions about this place. budget-minded travelers call it a waste of money to stay there since you can visit the skypark separately, but everyone else has the rooftop infinity pool on their bucket list. I can understand why it doesn't make sense to stay here when your main goal is to explore the city. but for us - and our plan to spend all of Christmas Day lounging at said rooftop pool - it was perfect.
what we ate in Singaporeask anyone what you should eat in Singapore and they will tell you: chili crab and chicken rice. the hawker stalls are famous for cheap and delicious local delicacies. but thanks to my abundance of food allergies, we skipped that. instead, we gorged ourselves in Little India and hunted down foods that we can't find in Taiwan. this included British breakfasts, a fancy Christmas Eve dinner at one of Mario Batali's restaurants [Osteria Mozza] and several meals at Sacha & Sons New York Deli. if you question this decision I have 3 words for you: pastrami. latkes. hollandaise. [also I totally failed on food photos, but my poolside Christmas drink was both delicious and festive.]
what we saw in Singaporethough we skipped many "major attractions" we did a lot of walking around the city - through Little India, Arab Street and Haji Lane, Emerald Hill and Orchard Road. we visited the Asian Civilizations Museum which Husband really enjoyed [he is a history teacher after all] and I was happy just about anywhere, drooling over the colonial architecture.
the view from our hotel room was as close to the famous Gardens by the Bay that we got. we intended to go wander on the night of Christmas, since there was a special holiday light and music thing happening. but after swimming through the crowds exiting the MRT, we realized that pretty much every other person in Singapore had the same idea. so we didn't.
honestly, we spent a lot of time at the pool. I didn't even take "real blogger" photos to document everything. [I do have a hundred pool selfies on my phone though, and a dozen instax photos.] I may not have had a vacation that lends itself to informative blog post writing, but it was just how we wanted to spend our holiday... so I'm happy with it.
don't worry too much though. I did take some photos, mostly of the gorgeous buildings. and you'll be seeing those later. hope you all had a lovely holiday, I certainly did!