After a leisurely breakfast, we loaded the backpack with rain gear and drinking water and headed out for a day of exploration. Our first planned stop was the Orchard Park area. We had heard it was a beautiful area with various shops and cafés. We took the MRT (metro) and exited at the Orchard stop. The train drops you off inside one of the most high-end, beautiful shopping centers I have ever seen. We finally found our way outside and discovered multiple high-end shopping centers in the area, one right after the other. They were fun to look at, but nothing we were interested in purchasing.

Exterior of a shopping mall in Singapore.
Statues in front of a shopping mall in Singapore..
Shopping mall interior Singapore.

Singapore Botanical Gardens

From there, we decided to walk to the botanical gardens. Our research had indicated that it would be a short 10-minute walk. The research lied! We did, however, walk past several Embassies and huge homes with lavish gates (and guards) on our way. Almost one sweaty hour later, we finally found the gardens. The first stop was the information center for some intel on which sections would be the best to visit as the place was huge, and we could have spent the entire day there.

After a quick bathroom break, we strolled through several of the many trails through the gardens. Luckily, the trees and foliage were tall, and we could stay mainly in the shade as the sun was bright in the sky and the temperatures were hot.- Many people carried umbrellas for the rain and the shade it provided. We added umbrellas to the shopping list. The Botanical Gardens have their own MRT stop (lesson learned – take the train next time).

Tree and water display at Singapore Botanical Gardens.
Tree and water at Singapore Botanical Gardens.
Stone pathway at Singapore Botanical Garden.

Newton Food Center

We took the train to the Newton stop to find lunch at the infamous Newton Food Center (as seen in the Crazy Rich Asians movie). After exploring our options, we chose an Indian stall for a cauliflower dish and a rice dish. Both were excellent! Several stalls only sold ice-cold beverages, many hand-made that we had not heard of before. They were a welcome addition to our meal.

Newton Food Center sign in Singapore.
Newton Food Center food stall.
Cauliflower dish from the Indian Palace at the Newton Food Center.
Rice dish at the Newton Food Center
Beverage store at the Newton Food Center
Our favorite chef at the Newton Food Center

Exploring Clarke Quay

The train took us back to the hotel, and we rested briefly in the air conditioning before heading back out. Our hotel is in Clarke Quay; we set out to explore what was in the riverfront section of the area in hopes of finding dinner. Jim found a bistro serving vegetarian food in the Clarke Quay Central shopping center on the river. The food was great, and it was nice to sit in an air-conditioned restaurant after all the open-air Hawker centers we had been eating at.

After finishing dinner, we found a shop that sold a few things we needed (like umbrellas) and then explored the surrounding areas along the river. The sun was fading, and night was falling; all the restaurants, bars, and shops were decorated with lights, making the area very festive. Many boats offered river cruises, and several of them provided dinner cruises. We checked out both sides of the river, explored the colorful shops, and then returned to the hotel for the night.

Clarke Quay shopping area.
Vegetarian Bistro in Clarke Quay area of Singapore.
Jim with dinner

Marina Bay Sands Area

The next day, we relaxed and explored a little, but the day’s highlight was an evening spent by the Marina Bay Sands complex. We saw the light show at the Gardens by the Bay in the Super Tree Grove and then the Spectra water and light show in front of the Marina Bay Sand. There were so many people there, and “personal space” apparently doesn’t have the same meaning here.

Giant lit trees near Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands hotel
Spectra Light show in front of the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

We had a wonderful visit to Singapore, but it’s time to move on to our next adventure.