24 Hours in Singapore Inspired by Anthony Bourdain

Vacarious by Vacarious


A little over 30 hours in Singapore inspired by Anthony Bourdain's trip in Singapore as shown in The Layover.

Singapore, Singapore

Staying at the Grand Hyatt

Although you won't be in Hong Kong for an extended stay, rest yourself well by staying at the Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt, 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211

Breakfast at Tiong Bahru Market

Start your day off with some inexpensive breakfast at Tiong Bahru Market. This market is one of Singapore's famous hawker centers. These hawker centers were set up as a more sanitary option to street-side, outdoor alfresco hawker dining places. Instead of mobile food hawker carts, permanent stalls in open air buildings are provided for the hawkers. The market provides a wide variety of cuisine options from Chinese to Malaysian halal to Indian. Each hawker specializes in a couple of dishes, so hop around and try them all.

Some suggestions:

(1) Try Jian Bo Shui Kueh for their inexpensive steamed rice cakes topped with preserved pickles.
(2) Try Koh Brother Pig's Organ Soup for their glutinous rice chestnut sausage.

Tiong Bahru Market, 83 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168898

Lunch at Chin Chin Eating House

Take the MRT or the bus system to Singapore's Colonial District for lunch at Chin Chin Eating House. Here you can experience the flavors of Hainanese cuisine. Definitely try their signature Hainanese chicken with rice (roasted or steamed is up to your preference). Hainanese chicken and rice is well-known for its flavorful rice that is cooked in chicken broth to give it extra flavor.

Other items to try:

(1) Curry fish head
(2) Hainanese pork chop

Chin Chin Eating House, 19 Purvis St, Singapore 188598

Sungei Road Thieves' Market

After lunch, take a 15 minute walk to Sungei Road to find the oldest and last remaining flea market in Singapore, known as Thieves Market. Here you will be thrown into a treasure trove of random goods to buy ranging from cameras to wooden phalluses.

Sungei Road, Sungei Rd, Singapore

Take a spin on the Singapore Flyer

With some shopping out of the way, it's time to relax and absorb in the sights that Singapore has to offer. One option is to go to Marina Bay to ride the Singapore Flyer. The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel standing 541 feet that provides a beautiful view of the city from the bay. At $33 / person, it may not be worth it for some as there are other free options for similar views.

Singapore Flyer, Singapore Flyer, Singapore

Drinks at CÉ LA VI in Marina Bay Sands Hotel

As an alternative to the Singapore Flyer or after the Singapore Flyer, get a drink and check out the Infinity Pool at Ce La Vi on the top floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

CÉ LA VI Singapore, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971

Dinner at Samy's Curry in Dempsey Hill

Dinner time! Try Samy's Curry in Dempsey Hill, which is inside a former British military base barracks. Samy's Curry serves southern Indian cooking. Things to try:

(1) Lime juice
(2) Chicken Tikka Masala
(3) Biryani
(4) Fish head curry
(5) Fish cutlet
(6) Sambal prawn
(7) Mysore mutton
(8) Naan bread
(9) Cucumber Raita
(10) Pumpkin Dahl
(11) Papadam

Samy's Curry Restaurant, 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670

Still Hungry? Swing by Geylang Claypot Rice

Samy's Curry didn't fill you up enough? Burned off dinner shopping? Then swing by the unofficial food capital of Singapore, the Geylang District, for Geylang Claypot Rice. Here you can get a delicious pot of claypot rice. Claypot rice is a southern Chinese dish where rice is placed in a claypot with some waterr and slow cooked over a wood fire. The rice is topped off with a variety of toppings such as chicken marinated in wine and soy sauce, Chinese sausages, salted fish, and / or mushrooms. The most distinguishing feature of this rice is the guoba on the bottom of the pot, which is basically scorched rice. This creates a crispy texture for the rice, which enhances the overall deliciousness of the dish.

Things to Try:

(1) Claypot rice
(2) Tempura soft-shell crab in chili and curry leaves
(3) String beans with dried fish powder
(4) Slipper lobster in pumpkin curry sauce
(5) Manila clams in Sambal chili sauce
(6) Steamed Grouper in soy sauce and ginger

Geylang Claypot Rice, 639 Geylang Road, Singapore 389570

Arab Street

After filling your belly, make your way over to Arab Street, also known as Kampong Glam, for a relaxing night of hookah and tea. Arab Street is known for its shopping during the day and its many restaurants, bars, and nightlife at night. Make sure to try some Teh tarik (pulled tea) at a local tea shop. Pulled tea is made with black tea and condensed or evaporated milk. The mixture is then "pulled" or poured back and forth between two glasses in order to create its frothy top, cool the drink to a drinkable temperature, and aerate the drink for better flavor.

Arab Street, Arab St, Singapore

Last minute shopping at Mustafa Centre

What is Mustafa Centre? Imagine Costco + Walmart + Grocery Store + Dollar Tree + nearly any other retailer out there combined into one massive store and then you'll have Mustafa Centre. This 24 hour centre, located in Little India, houses the Mustafa department store, which caters mainly to the budget market. The department store consists of two shopping centres: one retailing jewelry and household appliances and functioning as a supermarket, and the other selling a variety of other products such as books, DVDs, watches, electronic goods, footwear and clothing. Mustafa Centre sells more than 300,000 items and provides many services such as foreign exchange and travel arrangements.

Mustafa Centre, 145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704

One last breakfast before we go at International Nasi Lemak in the Changi Village Food Center

A few hours left before the flight out? Grab some breakfast at International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak in the Changi Village Hawker Center. Here you can eat Nasi Lemak, which consists of egg, fried chicken or fish, sambal, and coconut rice.

International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak, 2 Changi Village Rd, Singapore 500002

Flying out from Changi Airport

With a long flight ahead, you can take solace that at least the airport you'll be leaving from has a wide array of offerings to help you pass the time. The airport has the usual perks of hotels, day rooms, shopping, and food. Then there's a free movie theater, reclining chairs, indoor gardens, a rooftop swimming pool, hair and beauty services, etc. Basically, you won't regret getting to this airport early.

Changi Airport, Singapore