Saturday, April 16, 2016

When Visitors Come to Singapore

Yes, the sun rises and sets the same time all year round in Singapore.
My brother Stephen and his family just returned to London after a whirlwind vacation here in Singapore. Although when you're travelling with three small boys, I think the appropriate term is "working holiday'" and not vacation. Now that the house is silent and we can put the good china out again (just joking...that was the good china), here are some things I noticed visitors do when coming to Singapore.

1) They spend a lot of time either at the pool or talking about how they could be at the pool.
2) They think visiting temples in the midday sun is an acceptable plan.
3) They question the quality of jade souvenirs bought in Chinatown.
4) They are happy it's so sunny outside. Even when they are outside.
5) They go to Sentosa. A lot. Definitely more than is recommended.
6) They research and visit places you have yet to go to: Artscience museum, for example. This might make a lesser person feel guilty. I am not that person. Especially if they take the kids with them.
7) They spend 9 hours at the zoo. In fairness, the Singapore zoo is very cool and the only zoo I know of that doesn't keep the animals in cages. Still, 9 hours! Then again, this could be just my brother known for his freakish stamina on very few hours of sleep. I don't think my own kids have ever been out that long in one day. When spending the day out with Stephen, a medical certificate or basic training is advisable.
8) They drink a lot of coffee but not nearly as much water. The concept of dehydration in the tropics hasn't really sunk in.
9) They appreciate a good masala dhosai breakfast in Little India. Even if the place looks a bit dodgy.
10) Upon arrival, the humidity doesn't wreak as much havoc with their hair as you would expect, nor the jetlag with their mood, but that could be from the elation at having survived a 13 hour flight with a toddler.

We miss you guys!

Breakfast with the Orangutans...just the beginning.


  1. Great observations! And love the photo with the orangutans...

  2. You really do have a great sense of humor. I think we can live vicariously and appreciate Singapore through open eyes. When I go to a new place or return to one I've known, things always appear clearer and often exciting. I think it's good for the senses. I enjoyed your writing.

    1. Thank you, Nancy! Glad you enjoyed it. And you are right. I am pretty sure we can say this about almost any place when seen through 'fresh' eyes.

  3. Next time, try dhosais in MTR in Little India. Pretty clean and food is very delish. Cheers!

    1. Thanks! Masala dhosais are my absolute favorite in Little India.

  4. Hi Jennifer! Really enjoying your blog! We are coming from New Zealand to Singapore at the end of August for 10 days - I've been there before alone but not with kids - would you consider writing some tips and strategies for a short stay in Singapore with young(ish) children? To help us avoid the midday temple-visiting trap? Thanks so much, (either way - lots of great info here already!) :)

    1. Hi Rebecca, thank you for your nice comment! Appreciate it. Keep in mind that you will be jetlagged and that dehydration is a real possibility for newcomers (children especially) so keep water bottles handy with you at all times. You can easily get around in taxis and it's quite cheap if you are four. It would be great if you could stay in a hotel with a pool (most have them) as after a morning of sightseeing, after lunch and a nap the kids could spend some time chilling in the pool (remember sunscreen). My brother was here with small children and did many things like the water park, zoo breakfast with the orangutans, universal studios, the water playgroun at Marina Bay Sands-in general very active! Remember caps. Have a wonderful time! Singapore is great for kids. P.S. If you can get them to try eat: roti prata is a big hit with kids here as lunch or really a snack at any time. Also, a fabulous bookstore where they can spend some hours reading in air conditioned place after a day outside, is Kinokuniya (fifth floor of Takashimaya) on Orchard Rd.