Our flight arrived in Singapore at 3:25 AM. With an 8:30 PM departure later the same day, a 17 hour stay in Singapore might seem like a terrible layover to many people. To the contrary, we were excited about the 17 hours as it gave us a chance to explore Singapore! Here is how we spent our 17 hours.
Singapore’s Changi airport is our favorite in the World. We were off the A380, through passport control and customs, and in our waiting Bentley in under 10 minutes after landing. Few large airports can match this speed and efficiency.
Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of the most famous and iconic hotels in Asia and we wanted to experience its old world colonial charm. What a stunning hotel! On arrival we were escorted straight to our suite and check-in was done in seconds. We woke up around 8 AM, had a wonderful breakfast at Raffles, a quick meeting with the General Manager, Simon Hirst (who many of you may have met at Raffles Praslin Seychelles where he previously managed – Simon is one of the best in the industry), and we then headed off to explore the city.
Many sites are not open early in Singapore. One of the sites that is open earlier in the day is Gardens by the Bay which is a 250 acre complex of reclaimed land and home to the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, and Supertree Grove. The architecture and rare plants and flowers proved to be a perfect spot to walk around and stretch our legs after over 20 hours on planes. It’s a bit touristy but we really enjoyed it.
It was time for lunch and with only a short time in Singapore, we had our minds set on Esquina Restaurant. Esquina is one of the most underrated restaurants in the World and I think it is one of the best in Asia! Executive Chef Andrew Walsh meticulously looks after each dish. I love his passion and work ethic and especially the taste of his food. As always, the food was phenomenal and we were stuffed!
Two doors down from Esquina is Oriole Roasters where we enjoyed a great cup of coffee and let lunch settle. We then walked through Chinatown (stopping at the newest restaurant, The Study – which is also great), past the Maxwell Food Center and through hundreds of shopping stalls on adjacent streets. Before leaving Singapore, we wanted an authentic Singapore Sling. The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel is where the Singapore Sling was invented and we finished off our stay enjoying this famous cocktail from its birth place.
It was then back to the airport for our flight to the Maldives!
By the numbers:
Miles walking around Singapore: 7.9 miles
Flights so far:
Boise to Los Angeles – 1 hour 36 minutes
Los Angeles to Tokyo – 12 hours 30 minutes
Tokyo to Singapore – 7 hours 10 minutes
Singapore to Maldives – 4 hours 5 minutes
For photos of the Singapore portion of our trip, check-out our Facebook page.