I’m often in Singapore on short stopovers, in transit to Europe or other parts of Asia, but I rarely put in a good effort to get to know this amazing little country. In September this year, my visit coincided with the Formula 1 Grand Prix and I was invited to a couple of race events, so I had good reason to stick around and build a little fashion blogger fairytale during my visit – here goes!
Due to its proximity to the race track, I stayed at the Pan Pacific Singapore. I love this hotel for its incredible buffet breakfast, large and super relaxing pool, and the position. The hotel is connected to Marina Square, Millenia Walk and Suntec City, and is just a short transit to “The Shoppes” Marina Bay Sands. The first three shopping destinations mentioned are connected by walkways from the Pan Pacific and have great food courts, basics including Zara, TopShop, Esprit and Puma, among many others. These are great if you’re keen to hang out in air-conditioning with minimal effort, but once you’re done catch the train from Promenade to Bayside (one stop) and soak up all the glory of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The list of of shops there is endless, so click here for their directory.
Next take a break and head to Chinatown for tea or lunch – the hip creatives of Singapore have seized on the beautiful colonial architecture that characterises much of this area by opening many new cafes and bars that are a cafe-hopping fashion blogger’s dream! I especially loved Keong Saik Road, which has undergone a big transformation in recent years and is a really creative cafe hub – here are some of my picks:
Banana Tree: Inspired by Korean youth culture, there are loads of photo opportunities here – order your latte with a cotton candy top and desserts served in flower pots, and cool down in the clean air conditioning.
Luxe Sydney: Okay, I’m being biased here, why would I fly to Singapore to get a taste of what I can get in Bondi?!?! Well, sometimes a little familiarity when travelling is nice, and the locals have certainly embraced the Aussie charm of this fairly typical Sydney-style cafe. Great cocktails, thickshakes and burgers make for an excellent quick break.
Neon Pigeon: For some really progressive Asian cuisine, check out this super hip tapas take on modern Japanese. It’s dimly-lit, doubles as a whisky bar and the menu houses many tasty, sticky little gems that aim to satisfy just like the amazing traditional street food that surrounds this area. Neon Pigeon is great for an intimate night out.
If you’re after a truly authentic Singaporean experience, be sure to head over to the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre for a chicken rice!
Ok, enough of a break, back to shopping!
Make a beeline to Orchard Road for some large Asian shopping mall experiences. The keystone to this area is ION Orchard, which is open from 10am to 10pm daily. It’s huge and will satisfy you if you’re in for a solid day of window shopping or serious splurging – ION has everything from Dior to Diane Von Furstenberg to Valentino, the list is long, so click here to check it out. Oh, and check out Arteastiq for an incredibly cute lychee ice tea break, which is in your next stop, Mandarin Gallery! More accessible for most of us, you’ll find different brands to ION at the Mandarin Gallery.
Ok, now it’s time to head back to your hotel, and get ready to party. Once I was done attending car racing events (a little too much noise and walking for me…), I joined some other blogger friends at Marina Bay’s Ce La Vi for cocktails in the sky, followed by a night of thumping dance floor action at Kyo nightclub, which happened to be pumping on the Thursday night I was there.
Feeling a little exhausted after a big night out, the next day was spent relaxing in the man made rainforest at Gardens By the Bay, another great opportunity for some shots – have a look at my recent blog by clicking here.
So this sums up my short ‘shopover’ in Singapore this year, and I hope it helps as a guide if any of you have a few days to explore this clean, safe, fun and creative stop for any happy shopper – Singapore really has it all!
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