I really can't write about this trip without mentioning the incredible love and generosity of my aunt and cousin, who were my hosts on this trip. As my mom's eldest sister, "Dayi" has always treated me like her own daughter and taken my problems to be her own. She's one of the strongest, most generous people I've ever met. Without Dayi and my cousin this trip wouldn't have been possible, and I owe them my greatest thanks and love!
SENTOSA ISLAND RESORT
Though I'm normally not a big fan of "tourist attractions," this island resort was too much for me to resist. Sentosa means "peace and tranquility" in Malay, and after walking the gorgeous beaches there I found the name quite appropriate! We chose to take a cable-car onto the island, which provided an exciting bird's eye view of the island. Then we enjoyed the lovely beach, aquarium, and a 3D action ride. Of course, there are many other exciting parts of Sentosa. Hopefully I'll be able to visit again sometime and check out the huge zipline and Universal Studios Singapore!
Pretty Rope/Wood Bridge (where I lost my lens cap...oops 8p)
My Cousin and Aunt at Sentosa and Unknown Child on Sentosa Beach
Lunch of Shiitake Mushrooms with Pork and Claypot Tofu
Dessert of Pandan Waffles Stuffed with Cheese (surprisingly tasty!)
Sharks and Tunnel at Sentosa Aquarium
Huge Spider Crabs
Gorgeous Seahorses...I want one as a pet =D
My cousin, who I was visiting on this trip, lived just up the hill from Chinatown, so this become quite a frequent haunt of ours. It's a diverse area full of delicious street and restaurant food, a beautifully decorated temple, and streets full of shops for visitors to load up on souvenirs. Right across the street from the temple was a bakery (Tong Heng Confectionery) selling the best egg tarts I've ever tasted. Imagine perfectly smooth egg custard encased in a delicate, unbelievably flaky crust...I'm really kicking myself right now for not having gone back more time 8).
Chinatown Street and Chopstick Stand
Temple and Statue of Guardian King Outside
Mango and Durian Ice Kacang (SO GOOD!!)
Hong Kong and Portuguese-Style Egg Tarts
Szechuan Food - Spicy Chilled Mung Bean Noodles (Liangfen) and Fried Eggplant
Passionfruit White Chocolate Mousse Entremet Cake
HARBOURFRONT AND VIVOCITY MALL
By the power of Twitter, I was lucky enough to meet up with 2 groups of bloggers while in Singapore. Both get-togethers were absolute blasts, and left me wishing these ladies and gents lived a bit closer than across the world ;-). The first meeting was for hot pot at Vivocity Mall by the Harbourfront. I met up with my friend Eunice a bit in advance to go prop-shopping at Daiso and whet our appetites by perusing the food stands outside. We ended the evening with really good bubble tea, a lot of delicious girl-talk, and a gorgeous view of the harbor from the boardwalk outside. Thanks, ladies, for an unforgettable evening!
Harbourfront Boardwalk and Seafood Stand
Tutu Kueh (Sweet Steamed Rice Flour Cakes with Coconut Peanut Filling)
Raw Ingredients for Hotpot
Harbourfront Vivocity Bloggers Meetup
From Left to Right: Lyn, Selene, Rachel, Eunice, me
LITTLE INDIA AND GAJALEE
My aunt and I took a brief jaunt around Little India on my second-to-last day in Singapore. We stuffed ourselves with vegetarian Indian food (I had my favorite idli sambar) before doing some fabric shopping and enjoying the colorful surroundings. Later on I enjoyed even better Indian food for my second blogger meet-up at the famous seafood restaurant, Gajalee. We had a ball chatting about everything from food (of course!) to Singaporean politics. Then I was surprised by the sweetest food gifts: addictive chakri made by Vijay's mom and an incredible Valrhona chocolate tart with poached Shanghai peaches from Pickyin! And Shirley treated me to dinner! It's rare to meet anyone as warm and generous as these bloggers. Thanks so much, you guys!
Little India and Colorful Flowers and Fruits
Gajalee's Crab with Green Chili Sauce and Fish Curry
Gajalee Blogger Meetup
From Left to Right: Vijay, Pickyin, Shirley, and me
PEOPLE'S PARK HAWKER CENTER
When I arrived in Singapore and realized my cousin lived right next to this hawker center, I couldn't believe my luck! I'm both jealous of all the scrumptious and cheap local food she has at her fingertips, but it's probably for the better than I don't have such easy access as I'd just be (over)eating out all the time! This was my first time EVER trying laksa and Singapore's famous chili crab. Definitely worth the wait!
Laksa (Spicy Seafood Rice Noodle Soup)
Otak-Otak (Spicy Fish Paste Steamed in Banana Leaf) and Iced Coffee
Singapore's Famous Chili Crab and Chilled Silken Tofu
TRUFFS CHOCOLATE SHOP
When I first met up with fellow macaron-baker Eunice at Harbourfront, I half-jokingly confided that I was already missing baking. Since she was actually in town to bake treats for her friend's wedding, Eunice kindly invited me along to her chocolatier friend's commercial kitchen to help her! Have I mentioned that she's awesome?! On top the free macaron lesson, I got to document each step for an upcoming macaron tutorial she'll be sharing here soon!
Drinking Chocolate and Cappucino
Making Macarons with Eunice at Truffs (owned by her friend)
Guest Post with Picture Tutorial HERE!
FOOD FROM VARIOUS MALLS
Mee Siam and Shrimp Char Kway Teow Noodles
Cendol Ice and Green Tea Roll with Mango and Black Sticky Rice
Flaky Chinese Pastries and Pingpei Mooncakes
Although people tend to talk more about how clean Singapore is, the feature of the city that most impressed me was actually the abundance of trees and other greenery throughout. So imagine how delighted I was upon entering the Singapore's famous Botanic Gardens. Ancient trees with winding roots, shaded walkways covered in vibrant flowers, and over 1,000 varieties of orchids. Words really can't do them justice, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!
Pretty Hanging Flowers
Parasitic Plant and My Aunt with an Ancient Tree
Hear No Evil, See No Evil Statue and Flowered Archway
More Orchids from the Famous Orchid Garden
And Yet More Orchids...
Lovely Shaded Walkway Covered in Flowers
Willow Tree with Writing on Its Branches
Orchids, Some with Plentiful Tendrils
Long Bell-shaped Flowers (maybe orchids?)
My Typically Serious Aunt in a Moment of Adorable Asian-ness ^_^