SINGAPORE: Food trip guide

Is Singapore really an expensive country? YES and NO. Yes in the sense that luxury hotels  and restaurants are everywhere. The quality of service is excellent and they always exceed expectations. No, if you know how to budget and stay within your means of income. It is important to research before travelling as there are more economical ways to cut down on expenses. Take for example, affordable hostels in Singapore are just as good. Hawker centers are in every mall and servings are usually good for sharing. The EZ link 3-day-pass is a huge breakthrough. You don’t really have to splurge during your stay in Singapore but I am not encouraging you to be extra stingy as well.  The purpose of travel is to experience and taste what they have to offer. Travel within your means and travel responsibly. No one wants to go home broke.

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HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE EATS WHEN IN SINGAPORE:

A. CHINATOWN: Like in any country, Chinatown always offer a wide variety of dishes. So it is a top visit for the foodie. Head on to 335 Smith Street and feast with all kinds of mouthwatering viands. You can burn all these calories anyways. Walk! Walk! Walk!

Salted egg fried chicken in curry leaves🧡🧡🧡 and crispy sweet and sour baby squid🦑🥚 🥢. Since I’m asian, white rice is a must! 🙂 Total meal value: 16$(Singapore dollar).

 

 

I’m an oyster lover whether it is raw with lemon/vinegar or panfried. Their extra plump oyster omelet is a staple everywhere I go. This plate is just 6$. Although there are times I may have overeaten meals that are good for two. Forgive me, I had long days walking around 😛

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Kung Pao Chicken, Oyster omelet, coconut juice, white rice (28$)

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Hainanese Chicken, bok choy, white rice, sugarcane juice (23$)

 

B. LITTLE INDIA and KAMPONG GLAM: If you really want to explore the entire community, I strongly suggest that you book an accommodation within the area for 2-3 days. A day trip won’t be enough to enjoy every spot. Aside from the lively wall art, their spiced dishes are a-must-try! Read my related article for more details: SINGAPORE: Fun at Little India and Kampong Glam

Mutton meal at Serangoon Indian Resto (6.50$) It goes with spicy mutton, vegetables in green curry, fried bitter gourd and a lot of carbohydrates good for two. They enjoy the meal by eating with hands or in plastic gloves. I had to try it and it was fun!

Do not be afraid to ask for help and explore. The locals would know what to try best. Although it may seem awkward to eat alone or eat with them, just go with it. You will be surprise how friendly they are. I did get extra servings for free. Another tip would be to follow the long queue of people in hawker centers. Chances are, they really serve the best.

 

Steamed Curry Fish platter in lemongrass, coconut juice and white rice (35$). Actually, this meal could serve 3-4  people. I was just curious about their best seller so I ordered it for lunch and took it out for dinner.

 

C. BUGIS: If you are more into gourmet and restaurant-type of dishes, Bugis is a great place to explore. Bugis Street Market is the hottest, cheapest and largest shopping area. Everything you can think of is here. Also it is very accessible via MRT Bugis Station.

The sumptuous Peking Duck Platter (35$) at Bugis Mall had me full.
TIP: There are many Filipino professional workers in Singapore. I am so blessed to be referred to Rolly, a friend of my churchmate Anne. Meet new people and ask for their recommendations to maximize your stay. This meal was just supposed to be a regular platter but the chef gave me extra servings after a happy chat with him. It pays to smile, be nice and friendly.
Have you heard of the rare Silkie Chicken? They are highly prized breed that have beautiful silky white plumage and startlingly black skin 🖤🖤🖤 up to the bones and internal organs. This traditional herbal chicken was boiled in so many special herbs and spices. I had to try this fall-off-the-bone-meat and paired it with spicy leek shrimps🌶🍤 Oh heavenly!

D. OTHER MUST TRY: They say you must try the National Singaporean breakfast style. Never leave without trying the Kaya Toast and Singaporean coffee. There are several chains that offer these. Kaya Toast is toasted bread filled with butter and kaya.

Kaya is a local jam made from sugar, coconut milk, eggs and pandan leaves for aroma. It is best paired with poached or half-boiled eggs, hot tea, hot chocolate or black coffee.

 

 

Choco Mint icecream sandwiched by wafers (1.50$). Yes, you will see a hardworking old woman selling ice cream and being queued by many in the midst of signature shops at Orchard. Happiness doesn’t always have to be expensive.

 

There are a number of hostels to choose from but make sure that you book walking distance or at MRT friendly locations. Where to stay near the best foodtrips in Singapore? SINGAPORE: cool places to stay

G0525961.jpg“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat the food that you like.”

-Mark Twain

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SINGAPORE: cool places to stay

HERE ARE MY TOP BACKPACKER’S INN FOR SINGAPORE: (Number 1 being the best!)

Without endorsing any of them, here are my honest opinions that could hopefully help you have a comfortable stay around Singapore. Before booking at these hostels, I did my research on the ratings and travellers’ comments.

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  1. Budget, amenities and location-wise, I💗Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel. It is strategically located at Chinatown MRT (5-minute-walk), Hawker and Shopping centers. I met a number of new friends at their open veranda with cool umbrellas and wooden seats for wifi users. Plus, there is a desktop for googling needs. The entire place is neat and well-maintained. The  majority of comfort rooms are located on the upper floor. Indoor slippers are provided to guests and keycards. The linens are always fresh and the hostel is well-manned. There is a common kitchen equipped with a refrigerator and microwave for reheating take out food. This is really practical  for breakfast since most servings in Singapore are good for 2-3 persons. What I love most is the unlimited cold water and hot drinks. Every coffee lover’s joy is a free refill. I will definitely prioritize it on my next stay because of the attention to details of neatness and 24 hours front office. I had a perfect 2 nights! Address: 38 Upper Cross St, Singapore 05834129496237_1755704577784208_8489353702754796133_n
  2. Look at my state-of-the-art home for 2 Nights 🧡 Chic Capsule Otel right at the heart of Chinatown, Hawker centers and MRT. A personal computer on my pod😍, RFID wristbands/ electronic-bracelet-key card, free light breakfast (they have cereals too), unlimited drinks plus the Malaysian staff is extra Filipina-friendly! It is just a few walks away from  Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel.   For socials, shopping and food trip at hawker centers in Chinatown, this is  the perfect place.   Con: The comfort room is limited yet wide. Address: 13 Mosque St, Singapore 059493  29468685_1755716731116326_7046286964738385404_n
  3. My home for 2 days is probably one of the coolest if not the coolest in Singapore. They have the “Transformers” elevator as I call it. The door folds and it feels like riding Optimus Prime. 🖤 COO Boutique Capsule Hostel has free walking tours too. I only had one struggle though: going home late. MRT is quite a walk yet near  the Outram Park and Pearl Hill’s City Park. It is ideal for morning and afternoon joggers and group booking. They have the coolest industrial hang out place.  Address: 259 Outram Rd, Singapore 16905629468271_1755759581112041_7648665285537022407_n
  4. My home Five Stones Hostel for another 2 days’ PROS: It is just along the popular eats, Haji Lane🕌 and every street wall is insta-worthy!📸 They provide unlimited free breakfast at the self service counter and cool hang out lounge for netflix or reading books.  I like how they separated the entrance of the accommodation (with elevator) from the receiving area. However, they’re still using the typical metal keys for rooms and lockers that produce annoying sounds considering a shared room of 6. I hope they replace the squeaky metal beds, metal lockers, multiple keys and where are the cute pyramid pillows presented on the website?🤔It is quite a walk from Bugis MRT station too. But just 5 minutes away from the best night socials.💜 Address: 285 Beach Rd, Singapore 199550

See my post about the nearby attractions: SINGAPORE: Fun at Little India and Kampong Glam

Food guide for Singapore is available here: SINGAPORE: Food trip guide

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“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

-Neale Donald Walsch

SINGAPORE: Fun at Little India and Kampong Glam

Little India is as colorful and interesting as you can imagine. It is the center of the Indian community in Singapore. From the people to the colors and smell, you can tell that it is their territory. Take their very efficient and easy to understand MRT and alight at Little India or Farrer Park. Walking won’t bore you at all due to the several interesting finds.

Kampong Glam is just as vivid as Little India. There are striking colors in every wall art or building. It is the home of Malay and Arab merchants.

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FUN THINGS TO DO AT LITTLE INDIA AND KAMPONG GLAM:

A. SHOPPING! For thrifty shoppers like me, head on to Mustafa Centre. You can find perfume, food and toiletries sold at a really reasonable price. Yes this is the time to hoard. It is the best area to buy condiments and all sort of nuts. You may visit other malls like: The City Mall ( which is their first eco-mall and a family friendly place to eat), Sim Lim Square (gadget and electronics area) Tekka Center (largest wet market with hawker center) and Little India Arcade (if you love Indian souvenirs like elephants, scents, tapestries, dresses and colorful bangles then this must be your priority.) DCIM101GOPROGOPR6476.JPG

 

As for me, I couldn’t go home without the personalized flip flops made by Mr. Fickle Shop. It cost me 157$ for 3 pairs and lots of hand-picked trinkets of my chosen design for my mother and younger sister. Yes it may have caused me compared to the popular Philippine slippers but these are must haves in a tropical country. Not to mention, they’re uniquely customized.

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Can you blame me? These are lovely and comfy! Beside me is the owner of Fickle. Follow them on Instagram or visit them at Haji Lane.

 

B. PHOTO OPS! There are so many uniquely painted photo walls in Little India. Each section depicts the melting pot culture of Singapore, their lifestyle and impressive creativity. There are too many murals to mention but here are some of my favorite wall art. DCIM101GOPROGOPR6852.JPGDCIM101GOPROGOPR6849.JPG

C. FOODTRIP! Aside from the hawker centers left and right in Singapore, I suggest that you try out the gourmet restaurants in every street. In my opinion, hawkers in Chinatown, Singapore are the best. So for a change, why not try out the mutton and curry viands in Little India.

On a related post, watch my VLOG on the random foodtrips in Singapore. SINGAPORE: Food trip guideDCIM101GOPROGOPR6508.JPGDCIM101GOPROG1116589.JPG

 

D. KAMPONG GLAM! Some pilgrims go to the Sultan Mosque or Masjid Sultan at Muscat Street but my favorite along this landmark are the streets that surround it. 28577942_1735438959810770_313197775032332052_n_1735438959810770

Arab Street, Haji Lane, Baghdad Street and Bussorah Street prior to the  Sultan’s Gate are fascinating places for shopping, hang out and pictorial. There are themed restaurants, quaint cafe, backpacker’s inn, trendy boutiques and souvenir shops everywhere.

 

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I had to go back the next day after passing by Haji Lane and took home one of these.

Mochila Bag: What makes it so special that I couldn’t sleep the moment I set eyes on it? These are 100% authentic handmade bags from Columbia. It takes special skills to crochet one bag for 14 to 21 days depending on the pattern of weave. The braided strap is also made by hand using an intricate technique. These Boho style bags were seen worn by Victoria’s secret models, Kardashians, Katy Perry and so on. Their drawstrings are sturdy and straps are way comfortable for beach trips and long travels. Can you guess which one I got? For 125$, it will definitely be used for a long time or handed down to my future daughter. haha 🙂

 

TIPS:

  1. It would be best to look for an accommodation at Kampong Glam since it is strategically between Little India and Bugis. You will save effort and maximize time discovering secret eats and shops by foot or via MRT just a few stations away. I will show you another itinerary on the other side of Singapore for Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Sentosa on a related link. SINGAPORE: cool places to stay
  2. Always bring tissue as they don’t serve it with meals. Since the weather is humid and you will be thirsty most of the time walking, I suggest you bring a tumbler or packed water for hydration. This will save you extra dollars better spent on precious finds! 28471832_1731352653552734_6304271128387351627_n_1731352653552734DCIM101GOPROG1136606.JPG
  3. Wear light and comfortable yet decent clothes. Avoid denim since you will be shopping all over the place. A handkerchief for wiping sweats or extra clothes to change are perfect ideas. Oh, and a backpack for all your hoards.
  4. Avail of the 3-day-tourist pass. EZ link MRT pass is 30$ (Singapore dollars) inclusive of the 10$ deposit for the card. If you are planning to stay more than 3 days, you can reload at MRT stations for 20$. The 3-day-pass is unlimited so I assure you that if you are a walker like me, you will love Singapore. Otherwise, download the applications and use an SG bicycle. Everything in singapore is logical, efficient, neat and easy to understand. The color-schemed lines and exit points at MRT stations are tourist friendly. Download the railway system map.

 

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5. Although it is an English speaking country and officers are everywhere to assist you, it is best to buy a sim card for wifi purposes. You can never go wrong with google and waze. Sim cards and activity tickets can be bought via Klook.

6. Bring your universal charger. If you don’t have one yet, now is the time to buy because it will be a good investment for international travels. You can find it at 7/11 outlets or online shops.

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7. Prepare your printed vouchers/tickets, accommodation bookings and printed itinerary for faster Immigration screening. Be a responsible traveller and always bring the necessary documents to avoid hassle.

8. Pack light going to Singapore and head home with extra baggage. Don’t forget to look  for the most affordable chocolate groceries at Mustafa Centre and Chinatown.

9. Book your accommodations at Traveloka and look for artsy backpacker’s inn with socials to meet new friends and discover more. On a related post, read the places I have stayed in.

10. Don’t forget your escalator etiquette. It is an unspoken rule to stand on the left and walk on the right side.  Singaporeans are disciplined and fast walkers. Do not litter, chew gum or spit anywhere. Observe common rules. Know that there are cameras everywhere and police officers as well. No wonder I love this country and feel the safest!

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“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson