Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice 威南记海南鸡饭餐室 – Singapore

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My posts for my trip to Singapore and Taiwan last year has been way overdue. I finally have some time to work on them now so hopefully the information is not too dated!

Anyways, on our first day after arriving at the airport, S’s aunt picked us up and took us straight to eat! She took us to Wee Nam Kee Chicken at United Square in the Thompson area. The restaurant has a few other locations and is a chain. Seating is pretty comfy and its air conditioned!

 

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The menu focuses on chicken but also offers many other dishes. Prices are very reasonable!

 

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Deep Fried Fritters with Mayonnaise

To start, we shared some Deep Fried Fritters with Mayonnaise. Essentially they were shrimp with salad dressing deep fried. Crispy and a great snack to share!

 

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Pork Chop

The Pork Chop dish was paired with a sweet and sour sauce. Quiet appetizing.

 

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Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings were crispy and moist inside. It was glazed with a light soy sauce.

 

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Steamed and Roasted Chicken Rice

Of course we had to try the famous chicken. We tried both the steamed and roasted chicken which were both delicious. It was flavourful and the chicken was juicy and tender. One thing to note is that their dipping sauce for the chciekn is absolutely delicious! It is a mixture of spicy chili sauce, yellow ginger and salty (but not too salty) dark soy sauce. Couldn’t help but dunk my chicken in the sauce!

 

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Chicken Rice

Of course you can’t have chicken without chicken rice! The rice was so fragrant and flavourful.

 

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Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Wee Nam Kee and their famous chicken did not disappoint. I also liked how they offered both steamed and roasted chicken because most of the restaurants I’ve been to only offer the steamed chicken.

 

 

Singapore & Taipei Trip (Day 8)

Day 8 of our trip in Singapore really only gave us enough time to grab breakfast and head to the airport since our flight was at around 10:30am. We went to Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Hawker Center and tried Granny’s Pancake.

We got one Peanut and one Coconut Pancake and oh my goodness! These are so good! They are sort of like mochi cakes and the filling inside is really good. Must try! They are under a dollar too.

I ordered from San Yuan Gourmet which features different noodles soups.

I ordered the Laksa for a killer price of $2 SG. It came with bean sprouts, tofu puffs, fish balls, and fish cake. Really good!

S got a BBQ Pork Noodle. I don’t remember which stall he got it from.

I had the Grass Jelly Soya Bean drink again. We don’t seem to have this a lot in Vancouver.

The aunt then drove us to the Changi Airport. Such a nice modern airport. Security was very quick and we had tons of time to spare.

We took China Airlines again and took off at around 10:30am. At around 3:00pm, we arrived in Taipei. It’s actually a pretty long flight as the two cities are actually quite far. Luckily this aircraft was brand new and was barely at capacity so we had tons of space and great service.

We arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport and customs took quite a long time. Finally we collected our luggage and we went to the basement floor to the HiLife convenience store to retrieve my pocket WiFi we had rented. Wifi on the go is convenient so we had ordered online from iVideo before arriving. Super convenient as you just order in advance and pick up at your chosen location with two being in the airport. When you leave, you can drop it back at the same location. The employees were super helpful and friendly. Depending on which device you get, it can cost around CAD$15-18 for five days. If you can read Chinese, check out the Chinese version of the site and you can enter a promo code to get some discount off. We ended up paying only around $20 for 7 days. It can support up to 8 wifi devices so great to share. The only downside was the battery only lasted around 6 hours and it would shut down when we most needed it. Remember to bring a portable battery pack or purchase one to rent as well.

After picking up our wifi, we headed to the bus station. You can purchase your ticket easily inside with a vending machine. If you are going to city center like us, take the 1819 Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport and it will take you to Taipei Main Station where you can exchange to a metro or cab to get to your hotel. It’s a pretty long ride and took around an hour. It only costs NT$125 one way so around CAD$6.

As our hotel was right in the heart of Ximending, we had to transfer after getting off at Taipei Main Station. We decided to cab since our luggage was quite heavy. Cab fare was quite reasonable at around NT$100 and was only a short 5-10 minute ride. We stayed at Westgate Hotel which was awesome!

The rooms were spacious enough for us and the bed was comfy. The only weird thing is the sink is right at the entrance of the room but I didn’t mind it as I could use it while someone was in the shower. We paid less by choosing a room without windows but that actually didn’t bother us. There are tons of complimentary items including bottled water and a pineapple cake on the first day. Water and amenities are replaced every day if you finish.

The bathroom situation is pretty unique with the shower and toilet separate. Pretty good again since we don’t need to wait for one another. Loved the faucet of the shower with different massaging heads. The design was great so that none of the water spilled out. Only downside is that you sort of need to come out to get dressed so not ideal for sharing with friends.

Although Westgate Hotel was a bit pricier than the other options, one thing we loved about it was the location. Literally one minute away from the MRT and a step away from the crowds of Ximending. Ximending was super cool since it was sort of like Taipei version of Shibuya in Japan. Bright lights and tons of trendy young shops. Great for the young crowd!

Of course I had done my research for food, so we took a 10 minute walk to find Tao-Yuan Street Beef Noodle Shop. It’s a bit away from the bright lights and a little quieter in this area. It was pretty hard to find but look for that big red sign!

The tricky part is you also have to head up stairs. The waitresses barely speak English, but she was super nice and gave us a stack of all the order sheets that had gone through to show us what the popular dishes were. Menu is in Chinese so if you can’t read it… you’ll have to order with a surprise.

We both got the Signature Beef Noodle Soup with S getting one with all beef, while I got a mix of beef, beef tendon, and brisket. The noodles and soup were really good! My beef was really tender although S had a piece that had a lot of tendon in it and he didn’t quite like it. You pay when they place the bowl in front of you. A must try! Prices are around $6-8 a bowl. Consistent with Vancouver pricing.

After dinner, we headed back to the Ximending area and checked out the Ximen Red House. This is a historic theater and built back when this area was under Japanese rule. Today, it houses a display of the history of the structure, some cafes, and shops where artists sell art. Around this area, there was also a night market going on where many vendors sold handmade products.

We then headed back into the busy streets of Ximending where there were tons of shops and food carts. This is actually the first pedestrian area and the largest in Taiwan.

Getting thirsty, we headed into a 7-11 to purchase my favourite Taiwanese fruit beers! These are so cheap here…at around less than CAD$2. Mango was my favourite! Oh and by the way, 7-11s are literally on every block of this area!

The famous Modern Toilet was a place I wanted to see. I’ve heard negative reviews about the food, but I’m a sucker for restaurants with a cool design so I wanted to check it out.

The restaurant’s ambiance definitely wowed us. Super fun since you sit on a toilet and everything is just bathroom themed.

They serve actual meals, but I heard pretty bad things about it, so we decided that desserts couldn’t be too bad… Well we were wrong. We ordered the Passionfruit Shaved Iced and this was the largest bowl of shaved ice I’ve seen! But it was also disgusting.. The toppings they put on there were the sweetest and cheapest stuff ever. We barely made it through because it was so sweet and it just didn’t taste any good!

We also ordered the Fresh Milk Boba and paid extra to have it in an urinal. This was also disgusting…

Apparently fresh milk literally means fresh milk… I guess we missed the word tea in it? So we were served fresh milk in an urinal and for some reason the inside looked really dirty… Why was their brown stuff in it? The pearls were pretty good though as they were the clear ones which I haven’t tried before. But other than that, Modern Toilet was a miss and I would recommend skipping it altogether.

Since we were pretty tired from our flight, we headed back to our hotel and called it a night.

Details:

Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Hawker Center: 210 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310210

Taipei Westgate Hotel: No.150 Sec.1 Zhonghua Rd Wanhua Dist. 10843 Taipei (Take 1819 Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport to Taipei Main Station and change to Line 5 to Ximen Station Exit 6 OR take a cab when you arrive at Taipei Main Station)

Tao-Yuan Street Beef Noodle Shop: No. 15, Taoyuan St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Ximen Red House: No. 10, Chengdu Rd, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Modern Toilet (Ximending branch): 108, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Lane 50, Xining S Rd, 7號2樓

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 7)

Day 7 would be our last full day in Singapore. Of course our day started off with breakfast. We visited Chong Boon Market & Food Centre in the Ang Mo Kio district. I feel like I’ve visited so many local hawker centres after this trip!

At the Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle stall, we ordered Oyster Omelette. They use mini oysters in this dish and is really good with a side of chili sauce!

I also ordered from Lor Mee, which apparently is a relatively new stall.

I got the Traditional Lor Mee. It’s basically noodles with a thick sauce and filled with tons of fish cake and fish balls, hard boiled eggs and more. I found the sauce a little bit too thick for my liking.

Singapore is also famous for their carrot cake so we ordered from Black/White Carrot Cake.

We ordered the Black Carrot Cake since we don’t usually get this in Vancouver. It’s basically a sweet black soy sauce. Quite interesting since it’s sweet rather than savory. They also cut up the cake into really tiny pieces.

At the hawker centre, we tried Bedok Chwee Kueh. This spot is very famous and therefore has a huge line up!

We ordered the Chwee Kueh with chili sauce on the side. Chwee Kueh is a steamed rice cake and a popular breakfast item for Singaporeans. It’s topped with preserved radish and you then dip it in the chili sauce. The cakes themselves are not very flavourful so are only flavoured by the salty preserved radish and spicy chili sauce.

For drinks, I had the Grass Jelly Soy Milk Tea. I’ve had grass jelly with milk tea many times but not with soy milk. Pretty good!

S had the Soursop Juice Drink. A new fruit I discovered on this trip is soursop and it looks like a durian but tastes completely different. Fruity and a must try here!

We also bought a Pandan Cake from a nearby bakery. Pandan cake is green in colour and is sort of like a coconut sponge cake. The flavour is from pandan leaves.

After breakfast S and I headed to the nearby local mall since I wanted to buy some local food products at the grocery store. I ended up with a bag full of laksa sauce, Hainanese chicken rice sauce and much more! We also got a snack at Yummi Bites.

We got the Fried Banana! Not bad but I don’t think they are freshly made.

At the MRT station, we found Ya Kun Kaya Toast which I have been wanting to try for so long. Locals told me they have some of the best kaya! You can find their stores at most MRT stations actually.

We got the original Kaya Toast and holy! This is the best toast I’ve had. The toast itself is toasted perfectly so is really crispy. Filled with kaya and a thick slice of butter, this is probably really bad for you, but so so good! Way better than Toast Box in my opinion! I ended up leaving with a jar of their kaya and have finished it by now!

We then took the MRT to Bugis MRT Station as we wanted to check out Bugis Street. This is basically a street filled with cheap goods and souvenirs. Sort of like the night market. You’ll find cheap watches, shoes, and clothes here. We later found that they have expanded upstairs now with tons of clothing shops for young women. The clothes here were a lot more trendy than downstairs and had a Korean feel to it. I’m definitely coming back here next time I visit!

After shopping we met up with S’s aunts and cousins and they suggested to visit Haw Par Villa. S said he had visited this attraction when he was a kid and it was the creepiest place… we all got curious and since admission is free, we decided to go check it out. It used to be called the Tiger Balm Gardens since the brothers who developed Tiger Balms first created the park.

Inside, you will find many sculptures depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and folklore. The most famous is the Ten Courts of Hell which is a creepy dark tunnel filled with depictions of what would happen to you if you went to hell based on Chinese myths. It’s pretty creepy in here and they get really detailed with what happens… You’ll have to visit yourself to see what’s inside as I find the pictures to be too scary to post here…

These are some of the other sculptures you’ll see at the park. They’re all very detailed but we found the park to be very random. You’ll enjoy it if you’re into mythologies though.

After Haw Par Villa, we took a quick drive around National University of Singapore and then checked out the National Stadium. It features a dome with a retractable roof, which is very similar to BC Place in Vancouver.

As we were near a mall and were a bit hungry, we decided to grab take-out at Popeyes! We don’t have it in Vancouver so I’ve always wanted to try!

We got some chicken strips and their famous biscuits. Mmmm pretty good but I think I still like LA Chicken the most!

We did a bit of shopping around nearby malls and then decided to check out a Korean dessert place called Binggojung.

We got the Oreo, Matcha, and Cheesecake Bingsoo. The ice is not as fine as the ones I had in Korea but not bad. Plus they’re pretty to look at!

After desserts, we headed back to the aunt’s and decided to take a bike ride around the nearby park with the cousins as it would be our last night in Singapore. The weather is really nice to bike at night as it’s no longer as humid. We headed home and packed our bags for the flight to our next destination the next morning. Until next time Singapore!

Details:

Chong Boon Market & Food Centre: 453A Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 561453

Yummi Bites: (inside AMK Hub shopping mall) Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, AMK Hub, Singapore 569933

Ka Yun Kaya Toast (Ang Mo Kio MRT location): 2450 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8, #01-12/14/15 Ang Mo Kio MRT Station Singapore 569811

Bugis Street: (Bugis MRT Station): 3 New Bugis St, Singapore 188867

Haw Par Villa: (Haw Par Villa MRT Station) 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628

National Stadium: 1 Stadium Dr, Singapore 397629

Binggojung Korean Dessert House: 399719, 102 Guillemard Rd, Singapore 399719

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 6)

Day 6 in Singapore started off with breakfast at a local hawker centre again. This time we visited Alexandra Village Food Centre as it was along the way to Sentosa.

S ate at Dover Road Kai Kee Wanton Noodles and got the Shredded Chicken Noodle in Dry Soup. This was for a low price of $2.50 SG.

For myself, I ordered from Lian Kee.

I got the Minced Meat and Mixed Ball Dry Noodle. Their menu shows either the minced meat or fish ball but they let me mix both. It may look dry in this picture, but the sauce is at the bottom and you mix it up and it’s super tasty. I especially loved the noodles which are homemade.

After breakfast, we arrived at Sentosa for day 2 of our 2-Day Fun Pass. See my previous post about our first day in Sentosa. Today would be a full day at Universal Studios. With the fun pass, you still need to redeem your tickets at the service center. A huge line up so I would advise to get in the line quick!

Upon entering, you will find yourself in a replica of Hollywood and New York City. I found these sections to be a bit underwhelming. Continue moving on and you’ll find yourself in the Sci-Fi City.

We quickly decided to go the Transformers ride and the line up was apparently going to be 45 minutes. I convinced S that it would be quick but I swear it took us 1.5 hours to get to the ride. Don’t be fooled by the line up as I was since it turns and turns and the line up continues inside where you cannot see. It’s just tons of waiting and kills your mood and mind you we went on a random weekday in September. Anyways, the ride itself was pretty fun I have to say but it really lasts for probably 5 minutes or so.

Throughout the attraction, you’ll find cool photo opportunities like this one where they have a photographer trying to sell you their professional prints, but they are also happy to take your pictures with your camera. Anyways, after that long wait lining up, we decided that it would waste way too much time and we wouldn’t be able to go on all the rides with the limited time. We ended up purchasing the Universal Express Pass which allows one time entry at basically all the attractions. I believe this costed us around an additional $60 SG which is not cheap but well worth it for us. From what I see online, it seems like you can get it for only $30 SG though… so be sure to check online first! You can also purchase the Universal Express Unlimited Pass if you want to have unlimited access at each attraction. We found that our pass was sufficient as we did not have much time anyways.

After purchasing the pass, our line up for the rides were a max 30 minutes and usually less. We felt great walking pass all the others waiting! One ride that I loved was the Battlestar Galactica Human vs. Cylon. The pass allows you to go on both each. Basically it’s a duel roller coaster so they move at the same time. Such a thriller!

In Far Far Away, you will find yourself with more kiddie rides as it’s all about the castle and Shrek.

We went on their newest ride the Puss In Boots’ Giant Journey. A cute ride great for kids and even adults.

A ride that I enjoyed and think is great for all ages was A Crate Adventure in the Madagascar zone. You sit in a log boat and are taken through a ride with very well-done displays of the four friends.

Again, we sort of skipped lunch because of all the line ups. So of course we got hungry later in the day and decided to eat at Mel’s Drive-In at the Hollywood zone. You’ll find your classic American diner food but way overpriced.

We got some Chili Fries, Regular Fries, and Chicken Strips. Not bad but definitely overpriced. Bring your own food or expect high prices.

Moving on we checked out the Ancient Egypt area with super cool displays!

Another thrilling ride is the Revenge of the Mummy. I was literally screaming in this but it was so much fun. The roller coaster will go backwards and you are in the dark half the time so it’s pretty frightening!

The last zone was the Lost World where Jurassic Park was. You’ll find life size dinosaur displays and all. This is also where Water World was but the water show did not happen because of the haze. Super disappointing!

We did however go on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure which is a river raft ride and pretty fun. We brought ponchos ahead of time as you will get soaked on this ride. You can also purchase ponchos here.

Apparently the studio was closing early that day as there was a Halloween event which we were not aware of. Bummer as we didn’t get to check out all the rides. And this is what happens when you leave when the attraction closes…. a huge line up for the Sentosa Express!

Overall, we were quite happy with Universal Studios. You cannot have bags or loose belongings on you for many of the rides but it’s great because they offer free lockers at almost every location for an amount of time. That night, we headed to S’s relatives for a BBQ birthday party so no dinner pictures for this day!

Details:

Alexandra Village Food Centre: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120

Universal Studios (at Sentosa): From HarbourFront MRT Station, go through the VivoCity shopping mall and take the Sentosa Express, OR take a stroll on the Sentosa Boardwalk from the shopping mall, OR take the cable car from HarbourFront MRT (Exit B).

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 5)

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Day 5 in Singapore was going to be a full day in Sentosa. We started off visiting another hawker center called Adam Food Centre for breakfast.

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We were told that Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak is one of the top places to eat nasi lemak. There was a bit of a line up here and it appears they have won several awards.

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I ordered the Royal Rumble which costs around $5.70 SG. This has everything so good if it’s your first try. This is a popular Malay rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is served with fried anchovies, a fried fish, deep fried chicken drumsticks, cucumbers, a hard boiled egg and chili paste.

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Included also is a spicy fish cake that is wrapped in a leaf. This was definitely very spicy but delicious with the rice.

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Grandma and aunt ate from Noo Cheng Adam Road Big Prawn Mee. They serve a variety of noodles.

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They had the Pork Ribs Big Prawn Noodle. The broth is delicious as it is strong in seafood flavour.

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We also tried the Braised Duck which came with a side of hard boiled eggs. Pretty good!

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After breakfast, the aunt drove us to Sentosa. You can however easily take public transit into island. There is a Sentosa Express train that costs $4 SG to enter which you take from VivoCity shopping mall in HarbourFront Station. You can use your EZ-Link card to pay and the return trip is free. You can also take the cable car, or even walk from VivoCity shopping mall. Many options if you check on their website.

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Upon arriving you will be greeted with the huge Merlion, which is the largest in Singapore. Sentosa is Singapore’s island resort so it is quite touristy. We wanted to visit Universal Studios the next day (which is also located on Sentosa), so we decided to purchase the 2-Day Fun Pass for $139 SG for one adult. This allows 1 day access for up to 20 attractions on the island plus a 1 day pass to Universal Studios. I highly recommend looking into these passes if you are thinking of going to more than 2-3 attractions since you will break even quite easily. The attractions on their own can be quite costly.

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If you choose to purchase this fun pass, be sure to arrive early on both days as there is so much to do! Plan ahead which activities you definitely want to play. The park is huge but there are quite a few signs to direct you. The first activity we tried was the Segway Fun Ride. This was a really cool experience since it was our first time on a segway. You are quickly trained how to ride it and off you go down a short strip with your instructor. The instructors don’t talk to you along the way so it was a bit boring but S and I still thought it was really fun! It lasts around 15 minutes or so and you can get two rides from your pass.

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Next up was the Skyline Luge. This was basically like go-carting but you sit in this tiny little luge. It doesn’t go very fast but loads of fun as well!

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Before you can ride the luge, you have to take the Skyride, which is a cable car that takes you up to the top of the island where the luge ride begins. You can also take this ride if you just want to see some scenic views of the island.

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Probably one of the most interesting activities we did was the MegaBounce where you are strapped onto these elastic cables and you jump up and down on a trampoline. You can do tricks and flips and relive your childhood. The girls operating the attraction were also super nice and helped us take videos and pictures.

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Since we were along the beach area, we took a break and admired the view. Singapore was hazy throughout the time we stayed due to the forest fire though, so the view wasn’t as nice. Along this area was also the Wave House, paddle boards, kayaks, and bikes. However many of these required swimsuits which we weren’t dressed for. Another cool attraction was the Flying Trapeze but it wasn’t opened during our time there.

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Instead we decided to play the Combat Skirmish: Indoor Maze. This is quite off the map and far from all other attractions. We got quite lost going here, but found the Fort Siloso Skywalk to capture the island from up top.

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This is Fort Siloso, an area near the attraction where we got lost. You’ll find many combat museums around this area. Finally we found the indoor maze and realized it was really a laser tag game. Since the island wasn’t very busy that day we were told we would be the only ones playing…That meant me against S. But hey, I won in the end! I found the game to be a bit underwhelming though since there was a lot of light shining in and the employees would stand there watching us which made it a bit awkward. Not worth the trek here in my opinion.

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We had originally wanted to do the ParaJump next but it wasn’t opened that day probably because of the haze. Instead they offered us Level 2 of the ClimbMax.

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A buggy drove us to the MegaZip Adventure Park, a bit of a walk away from the island and dropped us off. You need to wear closed shoes for this attraction but they provided me with crocs to wear. This was one of the scariest attractions for me and was challenging yet satisfying when you finished. It is an aerial obstacle course where you are on treetops and must navigate wobbly bridges and test your balance on tightropes. You are of course secured for safety purposes. This was the most strenuous activity we did and we were both sweating by the end of it. Luckily they provide cold bottled water for free once you’ve completed the obstacle!

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We basically skipped lunch because we wanted to check out all the attractions so we decided to take a break and grab a small snack from Krispy Kreme. Mmm love how they have such fancy flavours in Asia! Restaurants on the island are expensive so bring some snacks or be ready to pay more.

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We then decided to check out the S.E.A Aquarium. Love how you can see the sharks swimming on top of you when you first enter!

Probably my favourite part by far was this panoramic 36 m long viewing panel where you can get up close to the sea animals. This was the coolest display I’ve seen at an aquarium and combined with the soothing mysterious music, you really felt like you were underwater! We ended up sitting here for quite a while admiring the movements of the animals. A very well done aquarium and worth seeing in my opinion!

After that, we realized we still had some time to check out the other attractions. We decided to check out some of the 4D rides in the 4D AdventureLand. Some were better than others but this would be a great activity if you want to sit and rest a bit. We also checked out the Sentosa Merlion which I highly recommend. An elevator takes you up to the Merlion’s mouth and there is a photographer who helps you take pictures with your camera for free. You can then head up to the top of the lion’s head to enjoy panoramic views. The Tiger Sky Tower is also a must see and I highly recommend going on at night. Sentosa lights up during night time and the ride elevates you up 131 meters above and turns in a circle so you can get a 360 view. It is Singapore’s tallest observatory tower and is not to be mistaken as a thriller ride.

There was one last place I wanted to see before leaving and that was the Trick Eye Museum. They have this in Korea and many other Asian countries and is super fun as it transforms 2D paintings and sculptures into the effect of a 3D optical illusion.

It’s great since they provide tips on how to take the picture and where to pose so you can get a realistic picture. This was so much fun and we could’ve spent a lot more time here!

We had to catch dinner with my Singaporean friends that night though so we quickly caught the Sentosa Express back to VivoCity. We were to meet my friends at Founder Bak Kut Teh on Rangoon Road but ended up getting quite lost due to some miscommunication… We hopped on a taxi and finally made it!

We all had the Bak Kut Teh which costs around $7 SG. You can also pay more for all ribs. This is a dish where the meaty pork ribs are simmered in a broth of herbs and spices for hours. This is very strong in white pepper flavour. From what I know, there are other restaurants that serve a more herbal flavour soup. I quite liked this and there is unlimited refill of the soup. I enjoyed dipping my rice into the soup.

My friends also suggested we get You-Tiao which are fried dough. This is very common in Hong Kong too as we usually eat this for breakfast. These were also great to dip in the bak kut teh.

We shared the Salted Vegetables which are sort of like pickled cabbage. Really appetizing and great with rice.

Lastly we had the Egg Pancake and again it is great dipped in the soup.

It was such a nice catch-up to see all my exchange friends again after over a year! S and I then took the train back home after a long day of activities.

Details:

Adam Food Centre: 2 Adam Road, Singapore

Sentosa: From HarbourFront MRT Station, go through the VivoCity shopping mall and take the Sentosa Express, OR take a stroll on the Sentosa Boardwalk from the shopping mall, OR take the cable car from HarbourFront MRT (Exit B).

Founder Bak Kut Teh: 154 Rangoon Rd, Singapore 218431

Singapore (+ Dinner in Malaysia) & Taiwan Trip (Day 4)

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Day 4 in Singapore started of with breakfast at the Mayflower Market & Food Centre. As we had moved back to the aunt’s place, we were in the Ang Mo Kio district. This is a residential area so the food centre is filled with locals.

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The great thing about eating at the hawker centres is that everyone can choose what they want and eat together. S chose to order from Jin Song which offers a variety of noodle dishes.

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He got the Wonton Char Sew Mee, which is really barbecued pork on top of wonton noodles. It comes with a side of wontons with soup in it and you can dip your noodles or pour the soup onto your noodles. Quite tasty and only around $2 SG.

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For myself, I ordered from this stall which features only three noodle dishes. The stall did not have an English name…

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I got the Laksa which was for a cheap price of $2.50 SG and filled me up. You will find that each stall’s laksa broth is quite different. This one was strong in seafood flavours with ingredients like cockles being prominent in the flavour. It was also topped with various fish cakes. I got a grass iced grass jelly tea as my drink.Yum!

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After breakfast, S’s aunt drove us to the Singapore Zoo. As you can tell, we were driven around quite a lot on our trip, but getting around by public transit in Singapore is very easy too. Check the zoo’s website for easy directions for public transit. The admission fee for adults if you purchase at the booth is $32. It’s cheaper online or if you purchase with their self-serve kiosks at the front. You can save around 10-30%. The cool thing about the zoo is that it has an open concept exhibit where you can get pretty close to the animals. You’ll find monkeys just jumping around which is pretty cool. I also loved the shows that they put on, such as this elephant show. Be sure to scan the schedule and plan out the shows you want to see.

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The park is huge and offered a variety of exhibits. You can really see animals from all over the world including these cute koala bears!

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My favourite had got to be the polar bear exhibit! Watch the feeding show and you can watch him swim and catch his fish. I’d also highly recommend purchasing the tram ride which is $5 SG for adults which includes unlimited rides. It’s great when your feet is getting tired and the tram will take you to different zones where you can get off and continue by foot to see the animals in more detail.

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The Singapore Zoo itself can take you pretty much the whole day to see if you want to walk around casually. We weren’t in Singapore for long though, so we decided to check out the River Safari the same day as well. This costs $28 but I believe it’s cheaper when you buy a package which gives you access to both the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. However, we found this to be huge disappointment… This showcases many marine life animals, but we found the exhibition to be very small and animals underwhelming.

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We also paid an additional $5 SG for the Amazon River Quest Boat Ride. This was really just a log ride that allows you to view various animals along the way. However, many animals were sleeping and it was difficult to take pictures of them while the boat was moving. Would skip this in my opinion.

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The best part of the River Safari was probably the Giant Panda exhibit. Inside, you can find the red panda. So cute!

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You will also find the two giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Super cute but hopefully you catch them when they’re not napping!

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After the zoo, S’s aunts picked us up and told us we would be going to Malaysia for dinner. Apparently you can drive to Johor Bahru (also known as JB), one of the closest cities in Malaysia to Singapore. It is less than an hour drive and similar to how we visit Bellingham from Vancouver. You just need to go through customs which is a pretty fast process. We went to KSL City Mall as the aunts wanted to do some grocery shopping and we visited Taste Better.

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They are famous for their one-bite durian puffs. You have to eat them in one-bite because the durian cream inside will explode if you don’t! So good! Even though I’m not a fan of durian, these are delicious!

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After grocery shopping, we drove to Restoran Chua Kee which is famous for their seafood. S and I really wanted to eat crab, so the aunts suggested this spot. It is open concept so you sit in beach chairs. It was relatively clean in my opinion, but just leave your favourite dress behind if you’re visiting here.

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At the grocery store, we had purchased a peeled coconut. This is super cool! They peel the whole coconut so you’re left with all the pulp and juice inside! Only downside is the coconut wasn’t super soft.

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S got this Kickapoo Joy Juice Soda which apparently is American, but highly distributed in Singapore and Malaysia. It tasted like mountain dew.

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We started off with a fried fish and seafood dish. Not bad.

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This was fried butter coated chicken. A bit sweet and and very tasty!

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Some veggies with chili. Fresh and loved the kick of heat.

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We also shared a bowl of shark fin soup.

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We also had this large seafood bowl which consisted of mussels, prawns, and cockles. It had a generous amount of this thick sauce which I wasn’t too fond of.

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As for crab, we started off with the salted egg yolk crab. We loved the coating and this is by far one of my favourite salted egg yolk crab. However, I found that the crabs in Malaysia to have rather small legs compared to the ones in BC. Only the claws had lots of meat.

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We also got the famous Black Pepper Crab. This was so delicious! But at the same time it is very spicy, so be warned. I wanted to keep eating it but it was really too spicy for me.

After dinner, we crossed customs again and headed back to Singapore. Customs again was very quick compared to the one we have at Peace Arch. Who knew our trip to Singapore would take us to Malaysia as well! A fun trip to take if you have some spare time in Singapore.

Details:

Mayflower Market & Food Centre: 162 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, Singapore 560162

Singapore Zoo & River Safari: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826

Taste Better @ KSL City Mall (Malaysia): 33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru

Restoran Chua Kee: 67, Jalan Kacang Panjang, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru 81550, Malaysia

 

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 3)

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On Day 3, we looked out the windows and saw it wouldn’t be raining. Gardens by the Bay was our must see on the trip, so even though the haze was still pretty bad, we decided to check this off the list in the daytime just in case it rained again. I’d highly recommend checking it out at night though since I hear it’s absolutely beautiful with the lights up. Since it was around Mid-Autumn Festival, there were lots of decorations up.

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Get off at the Bayfront MRT station, and take Exit B, following the signs. You’ll go through a beautiful long linkway. There are tons of directions so you’ll be sure you won’t get lost.

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Entrance inside the park is free. This will allow you to see the magical Supertree Grove from the ground. They offer a shuttle bus for unlimited rides around the garden with a cost of around $3 SG, but honestly, it’s quite a short walk so I would skip this service.

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We did however pay for the OCBC Skyway which is pretty awesome. Admission is $5 SG for adults so pretty affordable.

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You get to take an elevator up 22 meters above the ground and stroll along the OCBC skyway. You can also catch panoramic views of the Gardens and Marina Bay skyline.

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As it was quite hazy throughout the trip, our pictures weren’t the most amazing. I imagine this to be beautiful at night. There are also various other areas to walk around in the park for free. Two conservatories: The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, required admission and would take up quite some time so we skipped them.

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Instead of the observatories, we headed inside the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Visitors are allowed to wander around the ground floor of which you can see the quirky architecture.

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S suggested we visit the Sands Skypark Observation Deck of which you enter from the hotel and are taken onto the 57th floor. This came with a bit of price at $23 SG for adults.

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We were warned that it would be a hazy view, and they didn’t lie. Wasn’t worth our money with this weather in my opinion. However, on a clear day, this would allow a pretty great view. You can see the Gardens, observatories, the Flyer and the Singapore skyline from here. Sadly, they block off the view of the hotel’s Infinity Pool and have also denied access for those who are not hotel guests. Will need to pay that hefty hotel room price next time to try out the pool…

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As lunch neared, we decided to dine at Din Tai Fung inside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

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We’ve been to the one in Seattle before so we knew what to expect. Must order is of course the Steamed Pork Dumplings. I thought these were better than the ones in Seattle.

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We also got the Steamed Shrimp & Pork Shao-Mai. Also another one of my favourites.

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The Dry Noodle in Special Sauce was a bit of a disappointment. The special sauce was more just like soy sauce. Noodles were pretty good though. Overall, a good meal although it will cost quite a lot more compared to if you dine at a hawker center. It costed probably around $20-30 for the two of us which is what you would expect in Vancouver for a meal.

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After lunch, we walked out of The Shoppes and found that there is a beautiful boardwalk that showcases the Singapore skyline. Great spot to take pictures if not for the haze.

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We kept walking and ended up at the Art Science Museum which is architecturally pretty cool.

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During the time we went, they showcased the Singapore Stories for free. Since it was blazing hot outside, we decided to check it out for a bit and enjoy some air conditioning. It turned out to be very interesting and I learned a lot about Singapore. I believe they always put on one free exhibit, so check online before heading there to see if it interests you.

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Upon exiting the Art Science Museum, continue on and you will find the famous Helix Bridge. You will find amazing photo opportunities along the bridge and can also spot the the Flyer. Since it was still hazy, we didn’t think it would be worth it to go on the Flyer.

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Continue walking, and you will find the Soccer Pitches and continue on completing your circle, you will find the Merlion and Esplanade . The Esplanade is a theater for performing arts and is known to look like a durian. Great photo opportunities here! This can be quite a bit of a walk from the Marina Bay Sands, but a great way to see all the spots in my opinion without needing to get on and off the MRT.

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We found a roadside uncle while walking to the Merlion with his ice cream truck and found the famous ice cream wafers. We tried the durian flavoured ice cream wafer and this was awesome! Strong in flavour and cheap!

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If you cross the street from the Merlion, you will find the Fullerton Hotel. The hotel is a five-star luxury hotel and used to be named the Fullerton Building back in the 1900s, serving for many purposes including the General Post Office, Singapore Club, and Chamber of Commerce. You’ll also find Fort Fullerton in the northern end of the building. A building filled with lots of history, it is now a national monument of Singapore. If you’re into architecture, another hotel worth checking out is Raffles Hotel was built back in the 1800s.

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We continued wandering the streets and found the Singapore Parliament. This is basically the Downtown core of Singapore and you’ll find many business buildings around this area. We then continued to foot and headed to Raffles City Shopping Centre which is extremely busy and has a good mix of brands, both high and low.

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After exploring S’s aunt picked us up and we headed to Casuarina Curry  Restaurant for dinner which is highly recommended by locals.

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They are known for the best roti prata. The chef was so happy to see me take pictures that he showcased all the spinning of the roti prata.

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We started off with some lychee drinks and the famous Teh Tarik, which is translated as pulled tea. It is a hot milk tea where the pouring process is a pulling of the drink. So delicious! Must try in Singapore!

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S got the Banana Chocolate Prata which is perfect for kids. It came with chocolate syrup and sprinkles on top. Too sweet in my opinion.

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For myself, I had the Plain Prata which was crispy and delicious when dipped in the curry. We also tried the Egg Prata which is mixed with egg. A great deal with the plain prata being only $1 SG which is so much cheaper than Vancouver!

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This is the curry that the prata comes with. From what I understand, the prata comes with curry for free. So good! The curry isn’t very spicy so great for all.

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We also tried the Mutton Briyani but the aunt told us that this did not seem very fresh so we didn’t end up eating it. She said it was old… Guess we should stick with the prata!

And that ended our third day in Singapore.

Details:

Gardens by the Bay: (Bayfront MRT station Exit B) 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

Marina Bay Sands Hotel: (Bayfront MRT station Exit B, C, D, or E)  10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956

Marina Bay Sands Skypark: Purchase at the concierge of the hotel

Din Tai Fung Marina Bay Sands: 2 Bayfront Avenue #B2-63 Singapore 018972

Art Science Museum: 6 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018974

Helix Bridge: (Promenade MRT Station or short walk from The Shoppes at the Marina Bay) Bayfront Avenue, Linking between Marina Bay and Marina Centre, Singapore 038981

Esplanade: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

Merlion Park: One Fullerton | Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213

Fullerton Hotel: 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178

Parliament of Singapore: 1 Parliament Pl, Singapore 178880

Raffles City: 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179103

Casuarina Curry Restaurant: 138 Casuarina Rd, Singapore 579526

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 2)

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Day 2 in Singapore started off with complimentary breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express Orchard. Had fruits, cheese, sausages, bacon, and a different type of fried noodles or rice each day. Not bad for continental breakfast and the chef and servers are super nice.

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After our tummies were full, we headed out to explore. The closest MRT was Somerset and I would highly recommend getting either a Singapore Tourist Card that provides unlimited travel for a certain amount of days if you’re there for only a short period or the EZ-Link Card which offers stored value and is more like pay per use. You can get both of these at most MRT stations or at the airport. The EZ-Link Card has a non-refundable cost of $5 so is only a good deal if you stay around a week like we did. The transit system here is awesome and trains are extremely clean. Maps are so easy to follow and I highly recommend downloading a map app on your phone which provides you with the quickest way to get around. Transit here is extremely cheap with many of our rides being under $1! What a steal compared to Vancouver…

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Anyways, our first destination was to check out Chinatown. You can get off right at the Chinatown station and take Exit A.

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I recommend checking out Pagoda Street if you want to buy Chinese souvenirs but this area is quite touristy. If you walk around the area you will also hit some open markets with more local goods. There is also the Chinatown Food Street with hawker stalls. My favourite was looking at the colourful houses on top of these shops which made it feel like you went back in time.

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Continue walking and you will find the Sri Mariamman Temple which is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for her power to cure illnesses and diseases. The entrance is covered with detailed sculptures of mythological beasts and people. Quite an eye catcher and you can also enter into the temple, although you will need to remove your shoes. We skipped this part.

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Moving on, we somehow wandered into the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. This is a Buddhist temple and you are able to enter for free as well. However, those with shoulders or thighs showing will require a blanket which they can provide.

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Wandering around again, we spotted Maxwell Food Centre, which was definitely on my list of places to visit. We decided to grab lunch early which was a good idea.

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Maxwell Food Centre is covered and looks very similar to most of the other hawker centres that we would visit later on. At most hawker centres, the stalls will have a sign showing whether it is self-serve or full service. Self-serve means that you will need to line up, order, and wait for your food at the stall. This is the case for most of them. All hawker stalls also show the grading of their cleanliness and any that are A or B are good to go from our experience.

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We had originally anticipated the much talked about Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken, but for some reason it wasn’t open that day. We settled on Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice which had the exact same banner and a long line up. Apparently this is opened by a former employer of Tian Tian…

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Since we weren’t too hungry, we shared the Steamed Chicken Rice which came with a side of soup and added the hard boiled eggs. This was only $3.50 SG which was a deal! The portion was a bit small but perfect for one. The rice was absolutely delicious and the chicken was tender with a nice jelly on the skin. Pretty good but I can’t say how it compares with Tian Tian since we didn’t get to try. We also got a Soursop Guava Slush which was extremely refreshing! Gotta get the tropical fruits here.

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Following lunch, we took the MRT from Chinatown to Clarke Quay station. Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay which was used for trade back in the day. Today, it is more of a tourist area with the river being used for cruises for tourists.

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We crossed the river and found colourful buildings all along the quay. The area now houses expensive restaurants and nightclubs. Since it was daytime, they were all empty. I presume they are bumping during night time.

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Since it was extremely hazy and humid outside, we decided to head over to The Shoppes at Marina Sands for some air conditioning. The shops here are high end so of course we weren’t going to be doing any shopping here. However, it’s worth checking out if you’re a shopper since it’s very pretty inside.

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Although we weren’t planning to shop here, I highly recommend checking out the Louis Vuitton shop here. They have some interesting goods here that appear to be limited to Singapore. Like this chili crab suitcase… A tip is to go to their highest floor and exit to the balcony. You will be able to get a view of the Singapore skyline for free.

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Since we were pretty hungry, we decided to just eat at the food court at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. A bad idea, since this food court is overpriced and food is quite average.

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We ended up sharing the Char Kuey Teow which is a flat rice noodle stir fried with Chinese sausage, bean sprouts and beef. We found that there were way more bean sprouts than noodles… Would skip this.

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We were planning to visit Gardens at the Bay after dinner since it would be all lit up, but we exited the mall and realized it was pouring… We ended up heading back to our hotel, but along the way stopped by 313@Somerset, a mall right at the Somerset station. This mall offers more affordable shops, so we did a bit of browsing here. We then tried Toast Box, which is known for their kaya toast.

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Kaya toast is served with soft boiled eggs. And by soft boiled, they are very soft boiled. You crack these open and mix in soy sauce and pepper and stir it up. You can slurp this with a spoon or dip your toast in it. Kind of gross in the beginning, but I quite enjoyed it after…

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We ordered their classic Kaya Toast which comes with a thick slice of butter. Oh, this is so bad for you, but so delicious at the same time. Kaya is a coconut jam and along with the butter, this is a killer breakfast or midnight snack. We had this along with an almond milk and satisfied our late night craving. However, Toast Box is definitely not the best for kaya toast. I highly recommend Ya Kun which I will write about later on.  You can find both shops almost everywhere you go.

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We called it a night since it was raining pretty heavily. Some goodies I found at the supermarket were Singapore only flavoured cup noodles. Mmmm my favourite was the Black Pepper Crab! Great souvenir to bring back for foodies.

Details:

Chinatown Pagoda Street: Take Exit A from Chinatown Station

Sri Mariamman Temple: 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum:
288 S Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840

Maxwell Food Centre: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Clarke Quay: (Take Exit C from Clarke Quay MRT Station) 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956

Toast Box at 313@Somerset: B2 313 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238895