After saying goodbye to our friends in Ubud, we hopped an Air Asia (gulp) plane to Singapore to visit Stevo’s buddy Ken, and to go through with our very first visa run experience!
Of course, when you put a bunch of people who LOVE food as much as we all do on a quick weekend adventure together, the only thing you really end up doing is eating. A lot.
Full disclosure: I had no problem with that whatsoever.
The first Singapore eating stop on the agenda was an outdoor food court of sorts called Satay by the Bay (Marina Bay that is) that offers a variety of stalls serving everything from local dishes to BBQ and fresh seafood. We left most of the ordering up to Ken and his lady, and the photo above is what they came back with – plates and plates and plates of chicken rice, deep fried shrimp, greens, tofu, carrot cake (not a dessert), stingray (SO GOOD), and pitchers of cold Tiger beer.
Every single thing was out of control delicious. Singapore knows their eats ya’ll! I may have felt like I gained 10 pounds in a period of 2 hours, but it was worth it at that moment. God, was it worth it.
The great part about Satay by the Bay is that it’s located next to the Supertree Grove, or as I kept calling it “the magical Avatar forest”. Needing a good long walk after our gorge-fest of a dinner, we decided to check out the Grove’s huge man-made trees, all decked out in blue and pink twinkly lights that set the night sky on fire. If you’ve ever wondered what the future looks like I suggest you hit this place up for some photo ops (in daylight it looks like Jurassic Park, so no matter what your schedule is like you can’t go wrong with a visit)!
How do you top futuristic forests? Well, apparently you try by visiting a mall that plays host to every major fashion designer in the world. That’s what we did anyway. And let me just preface by saying that nothing makes you feel like more of a dirty backpacker than walking into a 3-story Louis Vuitton shop in a tank top and flip-flops. But I did it and it was incredibly cool.
Do I care much about high fashion? Not really. But when I walked into that store, suddenly I felt like being a Singaporean baller could be the life I had always dreamed of…I don’t know, it was probably from all the food.
On day two we started the day in the afternoon and decided to go eat. Duh. This time for some traditional Bak Kut Teh at the famous, Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant in Little India! A Singapore specialty, this soup features meaty pork ribs served in a delicious peppery broth and paired with a bowl of rice or noodles. In addition to the bak kut teh, Ken ordered up some must-try sides that included boiled peanuts, saucy tofu and a plate of veggies (ya know, to keep things healthy).
Before the next eating mission, we hit up Singapore’s national museum for a little historical context. We learned all kinds of interesting things including:
- Singapore has 4 national languages: Tamil, English, Malay, and Mandarin
- The country was colonized first by the British, and then later taken over by the Japanese during World War II
- Despite spending decades under the rule of others, Singapore regained their independence and went on to become one of the most forward-thinking countries in the world
- They became the 117th member of the United Nations
Moral of the story: Singapore is badass! They’re a beautiful mosaic of cultures and languages who picked themselves up after being oppressed for decades and came back better than ever.
Oh, and also they are SUPER CLEAN. Like, outlawed gum to make sure it doesn’t end up on the streets, clean. The subways? Spotless. Public bathrooms? Gleaming. So, if you’ve got OCD that involves cleanliness – Singapore has got your back.
But back to food for a moment. Yes, we’re eating again. Dinner on our last evening involved crab at Momma Kong’s. I want to talk about this in great detail but I’m just going to show you this instead.
We hit a few bars after dinner with Ken and his pals, drank more in one night than we have in the entire 2 months that we’ve been in Bali, slept for 3 hours and then hit the airport to go home. Singapore in 36 hours – mission accomplished.
And the visa run? Well, it couldn’t have been any easier for those wondering about what it takes to re-enter Indonesia after 60 days spent. We paid the VOA fee and walked right in with no issue at all. We’ll look to extend for another 30 days while we’re here and I’ll be sure to update if that process is at all complicated (but given this whole thing, I don’t think that it should be)!
A Few Extras: