Upon arriving at the hotel, I was amazed how historic the property was. The Raffles first opened in 1887 and was a destination hot spot for writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock. Pulling up on the gravel driveway, we were greeted by Liveried Sikh doormen who ushered us though the very ornate portico into the grand lobby. We were immediately welcomed to Singapore with the country's signature drink, a Singapore Sling. Warning, don't be fooled by the fact that it tastes just like fruit juice... We were shown to our rooms which were decorated in a very traditional British style (Singapore used to be a British Colony). After unpacking, we decided to do some quick exploring before dinner and venture into the financial hub of Singapore. While we were walking the streets (in the same humidity we endured in Hong Kong - if not worse), I was shocked again by the cleanliness of the streets. I had always heard that Singapore was a very clean destination but I didn't expect it to be spotless. Tossing your gum on the ground results in a fine. In fact, you're actually not allowed to have gum in Singapore. The stores sell gum that dissolves after being chewed for a period of time. Needless to say, as soon as we landed back in Toronto, I had a piece of gum…
Marina Bay Sands Hotel - You might know this hot spot because of the popular rooftop infinity pool. Although the pool is only accessible to guests of the hotel, you can get a peak at it if you pay cover to go to the rooftop club or restaurant lounge by the pool in the evening. My brother and I went to the club and I was mesmerized by the 360 views of Singapore. It was worth the hefty cover just for the breathtaking sights. You can also enjoy the views from the observation deck, which is just one level down from the rooftop. If you're scared of heights, MBS has you covered. The hotel has endless shops and restaurants for you to enjoy on ground level.
Louis Vuitton Marina Bay - For all you fashion and LV lovers, going to this specific Louie store is a must! The store resembles that of a boat. The interior is very nautical and the actual store is located in the bay…yes, on the water. The store also has a Louis Vuitton museum which showcases various trunks, handbags and photos of the iconic brand.
Gardens by the Bay - The gardens were by far my favourite attraction in Singapore. I am a fresh flower lover so being surrounded by the most perfect orchids I've ever seen was a dream. Being a new attraction to Singapore, the gardens were very busy, but the vast grounds allowed you to walk around without pushing and shoving through crowds. There are three attractions on the grounds that I recommend: 1) Flower Dome - enjoy a cool and casual stroll through paths surrounded by endless flowers (you can get some great photos). 2) Cloud Forest - this dome was so unique because visitors can walk though suspended pathways that peak in and out of a man made waterfall. It was so breath-taking and amazing. 3) Supertree Grove - one of the best places for those amazing photos of stunning views. This attraction has tall tree-like structures that are all connected by a suspended walk way.
Orchard Drive - Even though there are so many designer stores no matter where you go in Singapore, this destination is a must. Orchard Drive is to Singapore what Rodeo Drive is to Beverly Hills. Take a stroll and enjoy the window shopping or treat yourself to something special!
If you haven't read my last travel post on my trip to Hong Kong, go read that now before reading any further -- spoiler alert, I'm about to compare HK and Singapore...
My visit in Singapore was so different than my visit in Hong Kong. To decipher the two, Hong Kong is more cultural compared to Singapore. I did not feel like I was in Asia when I was in Singapore due to how multicultural all of the residents were and the Westernized vibe I was getting. English is a first language in Singapore so you rarely see any signs that appear foreign. However, Hong Kong had the markets and foreign signs. Locals all spoke English but you could easily tell that it wasn't their first language. Both places were unique in their own way and I honestly couldn't tell you which one I enjoyed more because I had a different experience when visiting both of them. If you're doing a trip to Hong Kong, I would definitely recommend seeing Singapore and vice versa.
Heels Off Xo