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Anthony Bourdain's "Layover" Kerwin-style: Singapore

Singapore Raffles HotelAnthony Bourdain just aired his show called the “Layover” and Singapore was the city he reviewed.  My friends and I have been to Singapore for 24-48 hours so I thought I’d let you see what we did while we were there.

But first let’s talk about how to get to Singapore from the U.S. which is where Anthony started.  When I went, I took the nonstop flight from Newark, NJ (EWR) on an Airbus A340-500; this is still the world’s longest flight at about 18 hours 50 minutes.  They have a similar flight from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) as well.  When I took the flight from Newark, it had Raffles and Executive Economy class; now it only has 100 seats in Raffles class.  Yes, you fly in the lap of luxury now.

You can also take connecting flights over various European cities with your favorite airline.  Or even connect via Australia or other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo.  No matter which way you go, you won’t arrive until first thing in the morning two days later!  Yeah, Singapore is far.

Oh, its the only place I’ve visited where they make an announcement on the plane that if you’re caught with marijuana, the penalty is death; well maybe Thailand.

Here’s what three of my friends (all girls of three different ethnicity so it is great to see how they experienced Singapore.) did in 48 hours in their own words:

Shopping, eating, more shopping, more eating :-).

Where they stayed:

The Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore. Mostly we took cabs to get around.

Singapore Chilli CrabWe were there for 2 nights and one day. The first night we walked to a nearby street market and had the famous chilli crabs, some grilled prawn and dessert (you must have cash to eat here also make sure you get the price before you place your order or you will get surprised by the large bill at the end). The next morning we went to chinatown, then Little India where we had Masala Dosa filled with potatoes and with all the dipping sauces! That was really cheap – I think it was $5 local for a plate. Everyone spoke Tamil there.

We then took a cab for about 20 local dollars to Sentosa Island and we also paid the toll to cross the bridge. After that we shopped at Takashimaya mall then on our way to the Raffles Hotel we ate at a local restaurant (the Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore is to die for, I had it every time I could) and our day ended with the Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel.

Singapore is an expensive Asian country…lol but I’d go back. I liked it there.

My other friend who went who is a guy who went for a wedding had this to say:

Where did he stayed:

Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen

He took a taxi from the airport to his I mostly went to Little India and Irish Bars. The waterfront where the locals go had great food. And I loved a cocktail at the Sands Rooftop Park which is cheaper and more leisurely than the tourist option.  You have to have a reservation at the hotel to swim in the pool.

On another visit, he stayed at the Moon Hotel, a more trendy boutique hotel.

And finally here’s what I did a few years ago; I’ve been to Singapore about three times or so.

The Long Bar at the Raffles HotelThe train from the airport to the city was not yet constructed on my visit or was not running at that time, so I took a bus into the city for cheap.  Another time I took a cab as I was lazy and did not want to wait.

My first time there, I headed into the city to my hotel where I took an immediate shower and changed clothing.  Then I left the hotel and headed out.  I walked around and ended up on Orchard Road where the expensive shopping is; then a fish market which was actually quite good.  I then did the trip over to Sentosa taking the gondolas that go across the bay; a must do in my book.

Of course I had to go to the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling.  The girls tells me that it is now 25 USD which is just a tad pricey.  Note that when you fly on Singapore Airlines, they serve them on the flight :-).

One of my memories is how clean and efficient the trains were.

Another time I went, I went out to the tailors and got measured for shorts and a pants.  Eight hours later, I had two hand sewn tailor made silk shirts and a dress pant neatly wrapped dropped off at my hotel.  I still have those shirts today; now that’s Singapore!

What has your experience been like?

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