We have big dreams for Pedestrian Travel. The idea of stepping off a plane in any country in the world to be guided by Pedestrian-trusted friends and local pop culture personalities on what to see and do, where to stay, drink, party and eat feels like a good focus for the business. Am I right?
Six weeks ago, I was ‘planning a trip overseas in the next 12 months’ like an astonishing percentage of you (81% is the number gleaned from our recent Pedestrian Readership Survey). In an attempt to rewind the clock, ease my holiday blues and contribute to our soon-to-drop Pedestrian travel apps, I will be showcasing my recommendations on how to spend your valuable time away.
Our European itinerary was lovingly prepared by Caitlin, or “Hawky” (my better half).
Our AUS $300 Scoot flight to Singapore landed. Cabin (and crew) applaud. Money saved. Winning. Go Hawk. What follows, with the help of a trusted friend living in Singapore for the last two years is our recommendations on how to spend 24 hours in Singapore en route to summer in Europe (it’s the cheapest way to get there!).
A few things to note before getting off the plane. Chewing gum (unless prescribed) is illegal. Pedestrian crossings count down to tell you the seconds you have to cross the road (genius), drugs = death penalty. Public whippings exist. It’s damn hot.
STAY – TOP
3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289
I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. Trust me on this one – I whole-heartedly recommend this place. This hotel is the world’s first hotel in a garden. It’s kind of like an Avatar movie set if it was built with balsa wood. It’s bizarre. It’s the perfect hotel to rejuvenate for the next 12 hour leg to Istanbul or to nurse your pounding head if the below locations are experienced with the enthusiasm we had. It’s been a while between holidays!
Metres of buffet breakfast, personal egg chef, champagne in hand… We’re on holiday, quickly forgetting about work!
As we arrived at night we only discovered the incredible facilities in the morning. Steam room, infinity pool, gym and these indescribable sloth cabanas. It’s now you’ll conclude sights and shopping can wait for Europe. You’re not going to want to go anywhere.
Hawky – hungover yet happy.
Here’s a quick pan with no filters. I’ve always wondered why travel sites today don’t show more video snippets… I’ll try my best to do so.
15 Duxton Hill, Tanjong Pagar P: 6226 3938
Tuesdays to Saturdays (Dinner Only)
Hawk and I
argued deliberated over Europe or Mexico for this trip, so finding ourselves with margarita in hand for our first meal wasn’t too inappropriate. Lucha Loco has been open less than a year. One of the co-founders is cousin of Mr Aquabumbs Eugene Tan. The food was delicious (although the servings were quite small) – apparently the menu was developed in collaboration with a founder of Melbourne’s Mamasita. Find yourself a table outside in the garden bar under fairy lights with the welcome Singapore warmth. Make sure you order the cevice!
425 River Valley Road, Singapore 248324
As a self-diagnosed sufferer of ibs, my favourite meals have always been the simplest. When my good friend residing in Singapore spoke of a famous establishment serving the best chicken and rice (a local specialty) in Singapore I was more than intrigued. We ordered up a boiled and fried chicken with a side of rice, steamed vegetables and fried bean curd. To my surprise, both chickens were cold. It was good… But left feeling a little underwhelmed.
Asian Food Mall
#B1-38 Lucky Plaza (304 Orchard Road), Singapore, 238863
We did come across some fantastic (and hot) chicken and rice in a local food mall on Orchard Rd.
28 Hongkong St, Singapore 059667
You’ll find yourself laughing over the comically named cocktail list… With names like “Whores Bath” and “Smashbox” this trendy and discreet (no signage whatsoever) hole in the wall is a must. It’s the one under a light, opposite the Fragrance Hotel. It seems to be a common theme internationals setting up shop in Singapore as this place is owned and managed by a San Francsico guy called Michael Callahan. Make sure you ring ahead and make a booking.
They have a strange and strictly enforced no photo policy. After drinking three quarters of a generously free-poured “Whore’s Bath” you’re going to feel challenged to take home some internal photographic evidence of your experience at the mysterious 28 Hongkong St.
CLUB ST / ANN SIANG HILL
Club Street, Singapore
Club street is expat central. Has a kind of Kings Cross vibe about it. Heaps of bars and restaurants on one strip to choose from. Stay for a drink or two then move on.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, Singapore 018972
Pangaea is the bar/club at Marina Bay Sands (iconic Singapore hotel with crazy roof top pool). This place was described to me as “Pricey, full of wankers but if you go with a good crew and arrive drunk it can be fun. Hook ups here are helpful.” It was exactly that. Entry is through a shopping centre.
Orchard Road is your Oxford St or Chapel St equivalent. You’ll find every shop under the sun, and a number of huge shopping centres like Ion. There is nearly 800,000 sq m of retail, dining and entertainment on offer for all budgets. The prices were pretty much on par with Australia. In short stay by the pool and avoid if your head is still pounding.
There were a few other places recommended to us which we couldn’t squeeze in. Here’s how they were described;
Tanjong Beach Club – The owners of Lucha Loco (Mexican place above) part own this place, which is pretty decent, goes off on a Sunday afternoon.
Ku De Ta and Lantern – The touristy bars with good views, expensive drinks but iconic Singapore spots.
Ku De Ta
The Library Bar – Another “secret bar”, get a code from next door, blah blah… decent but a bit dull in my opinion.
Jigger and Pony – Decent cocktail bar.
Akanoya (This is a random joint) – Japanese – chefs sit on their knees, grill your food and pass it to you on a massive paddle. Very pricey but good fun.
Next stop Istanbul!