Singapore-Holiday From Australia Part 1

November 3, 2017

After a long four months of living and working in the outback of Western Australia,we were overdue for holidays.  A short road-trip in the South West, and we were back at Perth airport heading to Singapore.

Singapore hosts the only night Grand Prix in the middle of a city, and is doing it pretty successfully. Wyliam probably thought about attending while working  in the cold Australian weather. Next thing you know, we bought 2 passes for the whole Grand Prix weekend and airplane tickets to get there. Although, the Grand Prix tickets weren’t inexpensive, they where totally worth every cent.

DAY 1: Arrival in Singapore

Anyways, on arrival to Singapore, which is more like a big city than a country, we took the MRT subway direction our AirBnB accommodation. We rented a room for a week in a location -Paya Lebar neighborhood- close to the public transports, and with a functional kitchen. There was also an outdoor pool, but regrettably it was under maintenance during our whole stay. Thank god, the A/C in the room was more than decent. FYI: the weather over there is on the tropical side, so it’s around 30-35°C everyday. You also get the occasional abrupt downpour. Which we conveniently experimented between the subway and our accommodation. Never seen that much rain in 5 minutes before!

On our first day there, we napped until we got hungry. For dinner, we traveled around our new neighborhood and found some good Wanton Mee (#2). This dish consist of noodles, pork slices (char siew) and dry/boiled wanton dumplings filled with pork. Exquisite, but filling. After that we took a well deserved walk, bought some fruits, eggs, bread and spreads for the week breakfasts.

DAY 2: Ticket collection

After discovering Kaya Toast (#5) for breakfast, we headed to the Raffles City Mall where we had to pick up our GP passes for the weekend.

Being in the middle of the city, also gave us the opportunity to explore China Town and Little India. We spent more time at the latter, where we bought a sim card, ate some awesome samosas, and bought some henna for further use. We also went to the famous Mustafa Center. Located in the heart of Little India, this center is open 24 hours and operate like an indoor market, packed with all kind of products. I fell in love with it simply because there  was so many levels where you can find anything. Wyliam was not a fan thought, he had a hard time following my sporadic movements across the isles and levels.

It’s food time!

We ended our day at Timbre+, “a gastopark where music feeds the soul and food feeds the body” like their website says. It’s literally what it is: a park full of food trucks with a bar/bottle shop in the center and a stage where musicians perform surrounded by tables of happy people. We had an amazing time there. Timbre+ is truly an experience of its own. You get to choose what you eat in the numerous artsy food stalls and hawkers, than you pick your drink of choice at the bar. Even the “bar” is special: spirits and tap beers are located in the center and around it, you can find fridges full of beers bottles from everywhere around the globe.

When closed, the hawkers turns into a curious art gallery.

Once you are all set with your delicious food and drinks, you get to sit in one of the dinning area either in front of the band, or at least within ear shot. We went for in front, of course. They have a different band schedule for everyday of the week, and the one we got performed song the public choose through SMS. SICK!

We ate lobster rolls, chicken & waffles, and cheese burger & fries. All that with some good Belgian beer. It didn’t feel like we where in Asia, but there was many other food options that felt like it. And let’s face it we missed home, so we ate like at home!

No need to say this was the perfect after shopping therapy for my other half. He enjoyed all aspects of it, food, beer and music. Their was probably a Marvel Super hero or a Star Wars graffiti somewhere around, so I will go ahead and say everything he likes was under one roof. My man’s heaven!

DAY 3:Grand Prix opening

After getting all pimped up, we went on our way and took the MRT (subway) to get to our gate. We arrived quite early and enjoyed some awfully expensive drinks (19$/ beer pint!?!?!), and a walk around half the track before getting serious.

This year’s map has the same layout as in 2016

(Click HERE to see the Map Index)

On that day, they’re was the first F1 qualifying session as the main race event. That was the perfect occasion to start exploring our choice of trackside platforms. As walkabout ticketholders, we had a myriad of hidden corners to discover. For the first qualification, we choose a platform right on the really tight third corner, which is preceded really closely by turn 1 and 2. These 3 subsequent turns mean drivers have to decrease speed significantly (basically from full throttle to 90 km/h), and there is a good chance to see more crash action. Being right beside one of the premier grandstand, we also had a perfect view on a supercreen allowing us to follow the race all along (ideal if you don’t have access to the GP app which does exactly that and more).

It was an amazing spot to be as we also got to see the F1 cars rejoining the race as they exit the Pit Lane at turn 2.

Later, we resumed walking around the circuit with another too pricey drink, and miraculously discovered non-event price food and beverage. Hallelujah! Under the Singapore Flyer, on the trackside of the event, there is many food stalls and a convenience store where you can buy regular price drinks. They are located there, event or not. They might boost their price a bit, but that’s nothing compared to the F&B stalls around the rest of the circuit. We eneded up with food for 2 for 20$, and 4x500ml cans of Kronenbourg 1664 white for 24$ (Wyliam’s favourite).

We enjoyed the end of the night, watching Kylie Minogue on the main stage, and drinking our beer before heading back home.

DAY 4:Last Qualifications

On our second day at the circuit, we discovered the rest of the track side we didn’t explore the day before and even went on a trip in the Singapore Flyer. You get an amazing view of the whole event and also of a good part of the city.

We watched the second qualification from multiple platforms, but none where as strategically located as the first one we tried.

Once again, we went to the 7/11 for cheap beer, and drank it while watching Adam Lambert+Queen perform at the end of the night.

On our way back, we stopped for a light diner at a 24 hrs place conveniently located right beside our station exit. It was delicious, filling and cheap.

DAY 5:Grand Prix Race

Le grand jour”. Finally, what we came here for.

Once again we arrived quite early. We quickly went for our cheap beers and, as sun went down, took seats at the third turn platform. As the sun was setting down, the drivers paraded in their show cars to salute the audience. When the city reached full darkness, he race started. As the red light went out, one of Force India cars collided into an other car…Right at the beginning of the race! After that event, we followed the race avidly, getting overly excited again when another F1 crashed and was taken off the circuit right in front of us. The race continued with its share of safety car presence to our enjoyment.

A few laps before the end of the race, we relocated to be able to witness the fireworks and celebrations at the Pit Grandstand. The festivities around Nico Rosberg first place on the F1 podium were majestic. The night did not end there thought.

Before we could see the end of the podium, we left the tens of thousands of spectators cheering to Rosberg’s victory and headed back to the Padang Stage for one last show. As closing concert, we got to see Imagine Dragons… OMG they were incredible! I always liked their music, but seeing them live was out of this world. The singer, Dan Reynolds, ripped his shirt for Radioactive… do I have to say more?

By the time I stopped chatting about this energetic performance, we were siting in our 24 hrs neighborhood restaurant, eating some more Indian food.

After the Grand Prix…

Following the GP, we stayed four more day in the city to relax and explore Singapore some more:

We strolled in the wonders of the Botanical Garden, then took a night walk at Gardens by the Bay where we witnessed a tree light show. The same evening, we travel through the luxury of the Marina Bay Sands Complex which as a really interesting architecture topped with an infinity pool on the world’s largest public cantilevered platform.

We couldn’t go without tasting more of Singapore delicacies, so we went to Lau Pa Sat hawkers center for some satay and more noodle dishes. The next day, we hit Clarke Quay to experience the food and nigthlife scene. We strongly preferred the hawkers to the last one as it is less of a party environment.

Before we left the country, I HAD to go back to Mustafa for some necessary products and to enjoy some more Indian food in the same area. For that last meal, we had the pleasure to have Samantha -a friend met in Merredin, Australia- joining over.

The next morning, we took a bus direction Penang, Malaysia.

All things considered,

We really liked attending the F1 Grand Prix in the city-state of Singapore. The festivities and the race were worth every penny we spent to get there. On the down side, we should have planned our daily itinerary ahead of time and spend less time in the country. We had loads of fun, and ate succulent food, but it is really expensive to travel there. Keep that in mind if you plan a trip to Singapore!

Ever traveled to Singapore? We’d love to hear about your experience, or simply about your thoughts on what you just read!

À plus,

ZCM 

By Lea Tess

Right after graduating from a Arts & Science Bachelor in 2015, I took the first plane to China with my partner. Since then, we have visited many countries, lived in Australia and, currently, in New Zealand. I am passionate about food and making memories!

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