Back in September 2015, I visited Singapore alone. It was my first time traveling solo, and I really had fun doing so. I think one of the main reasons why I was able to have a good time was because I chose to stay in a hostel. During that time, I was able to meet new friends and I guess I had a bit of a promise to try and go back.
Initially, I wanted to go during the Chinese New Year. However, my friend warned me that Chinese New Year in Singapore is generally not that fun with people usually just going on breaks with their family and some establishments just closing down for the week. Thus, I decided to book a trip a few weeks after.
I decided to go and stay at Wink Hostel again. Wink Hostel is located in Mosque street, a few hundred meters away from Chinatown station. The main reason I chose to stay there is that my friend worked there but it was also because I’ve stayed there before and it was okay. It was a bit expensive for a hostel, expect to spend around 45 SGD a night for a bed (a pod type one). However the clean amenities, the location (walkable distance to Maxwell food center, temples and the MRT), and a great previous experience, made me think it was worth it.
My Cebu pacific flight got delayed for a bit. Instead of arriving at around 7pm, I think I arrived around 9pm already. It was probably due to the weather. When I arrived in Singapore, I took the train from the airport to Chinatown station and was surprised at the very heavy rains that greeted me. There was a Cheers nearby so i bought an umbrella and went to the hostel. After checking in, I was a bit hungry so I decided to go to the food street for some fish soup and beer. I think I spent around 10SGD for everything. It’s not exactly street food cheap but it was filling and for that cold night, it was a pretty good combination.
Second Day Stroll:
The thing with this particular Singapore trip is that I didn’t really feel like doing tourist things. I guess you can chalk it up to me being there quite a bit in such a short span. This means that the places I went to weren’t exactly the famous ones, I was just going around riding trains, buses, and walking all over. I did go to Queensway to check out some shoes (nothing bought though) and on the way I did end up seeing IKEA and finally tasting their famous meatballs and coffee which goes for around 8 dollars (6.50 for 10pcs of meatballs and 2 dollars for refillable coffee. After eating breakfast, I was just strolling around, going to Vivo city and then back to Pagoda Street.
Uncommon spots in Singapore:
As I mentioned, one of the main reasons that I went to Singapore was because of the friends that I met during my previous trip there. The great thing with having a friend in a different country is that you don’t have to stick with the usual places when touring around. In this trip, I asked Lena (who I met last time) to tour me around but not to the common places that people go to. She decided to take me to Dakota.
Dakota, is actually one of the older residential areas in Singapore. Going around, you would feel the vibe of the older style HDBs as compared with the newer high rise ones. When we arrived in Dakota, it suddenly rained, good thing we found some space in this vintage looking cafe in the area called Tian Kee and Co. Now, it was filled and I’m not sure whether it was because it’s a good place (it had great food and drinks) or because everyone was just passing time until the rain stopped.
If you look at the pictures above, you would see an ondeh ondeh cake. Ondeh ondeh is one of the traditional Peranakan (local Chinese descendants) delicacies and I guess partly inspired by this, Lena then decided to take me to Joo Chiat.
We were just strolling around the area when we came upon this rattan furniture shop. We stayed a bit, even sat on the chairs and just chatted with the auntie about her shop. After that we went into this store which showcased Peranakan culture and even sold some food items. We stayed a few hours in that area just eating food and chatting about whatever topic we came across.
After that, Lena had some business to attend to so she left, and I headed back to the hostel. I think that that kind of afternoon was one of the more unique things that I got to do in another country. I liked that it was a different side of Singapore that tourist don’t normally go to. While there are benefits to going around the more famous places (after all, they did get famous for a reason), I think there is also some joy to be found on going off the beaten path as well.
This post covers the first couple of days on the trip, I’ll post an update to it soon.
This is part 1 of the post about this trip, click here for Part 2.