Category Archives: Bucket list

Beerfest 2012

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First of all – an apology. I went to Beerfest way back on the 9th June, but then due to my camera having suffered at the hands of a foam finger, requiring a brand new lens, I am only posting this now. Anyway, back to Beerfest.

Beerfest Asia is now in its 4th year, and is held at the Marina Promenade (near the Singapore Flyer), which is also part of the F1 track. It plays host to a huge variety of beers, but also includes ciders, wines and spirits. So there really is something for everyone. But of course, the main event is definitely the beer. There were 350 different beers from around the world on offer! Although we couldn’t possibly sample all of them (I think that would have involved an ambulance if we’d even tried) we certainly had a lot of fun trying out lots of the ones that were on offer.

View of the Singapore Flyer

I was lucky enough to receive a pair of VIP tickets, and we had also won a pair of complimentary tickets at a pub quiz a couple of weeks previous, so it meant a few of us were able to go along and get beer sampling! Being a VIP meant we had our own dedicated bar, free-flow of beer, and a VIP goody bag to take home.

VIP Beerfest cup

We tried a whole host of different beers that were on offer. I opted to try some of the fruit beers that were available, having enjoyed some in London in the past. I found the strawberry beer a bit too sweet for my liking, but there was a grapefruit beer that I loved – not too sweet or too sharp, just nice and refreshing. We also tried a couple of different types of Pilsner and the Kirin beer.

We then settled in to enjoy the Beerfest atmosphere – it was probably one of the most raucous evenings I’ve had in Singapore! Everybody seemed to be in a good mood and we really enjoyed the live music that was going on. It was great to be with friends, drink good beer, and let it rip on the dancefloor!

Check out the hair!

We then had even more hilarity as the competitions started on stage. My friend Mark won the competition for doing the loudest and longest ‘Beerfeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssttttttttttttt’ (Go Mark – woohoo!) and Nav managed to win ‘Hairiest Chest’, which I think he clinched by doing some topless Bollywood dancing! I won’t shame them by putting photos up…instead, here’s me in my Fruli hard-hat!

Fruli hard hat

Watch out! Camera killers!

I think without a doubt, our evening at Beerfest was one of the best evenings I’ve had in Singapore. If you get the chance to go next year, I would thoroughly recommend it as it really is a good night out, and I’m sure if you are more of beer connoisseur than I am you will appreciate all the choice on offer.

The Beerfest 2012 gang

Thanks to notatourist and SingTel for the invitation and our VIP passes. 

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Eat for a Cause and Bak Kut Teh

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If you know me you’ll know I have a bit of a thing for food. I love eating food, whether at home or out and about, and I love cooking it as well. Living in Singapore has given me the chance to massively indulge my inner food geek. Although there are certain ingredients which I find hard to get hold of (and the lack of any information about animal welfare or origin – free range eggs? Cannot lah!) Singapore is a great place to be a foodie. There are some things which I am not sure I will ever try – pig organ soup is one that springs to mind – I am pretty open-minded when it comes to sampling new dishes and ingredients. I think I am one of the few people who goes into raptures at the sight of the Mustafa’s produce section! I love that I can easily pick up things that were tricky to get hold of, such as Kaffir lime leaves (which are also great in a G&T if you are that way inclined!).

I got invited by notatourist.sg to attend an event organised by NCompass Mobility called ‘Eat for a Cause’  in support of the yellow ribbon initiative, which helps rehabilitating ex-prisoners and drug addicts. To support the cause we ate at two restaurants that only employ ex-prisoners and drug addicts to help them reintegrate into society. One of the things that has surprised me about living in Singapore has been the lack of (or certainly the low-profile) of charities or social enterprises that exist to help the more disadvantaged. Having worked in this sector in the UK, it’s something I feel passionate about supporting, so I was really looking forward to going along and finding out more.

We headed up to Jalan Kayu to visit New Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh. The story behind this place is great. The owner was in and out of prison as a young man, and in his most recent stint he worked as the prison’s chef. On being released, he set up New Soon, serving Bak Kut  Teh which is his favourite dish. He now employs other ex-inmates, giving them a chance of gainful employment and an opportunity to rehabilitate. You can read more about his story here.

So what is Bak Kut Teh? It is essentially a soup with pork ribs. There are several different versions, and the broth can vary between herbal and peppery. We tried the herbal version which was delicious. The pork ribs were deliciously tender and the meat fell off the bone. I was able to get it off with my chopsticks and I’m not the most skilled at using them! The soup was served up with some steamed rice, salted vegetables and the ubiquitous chilli sauce. It was one of things that having tried, I think I would definitely eat again as its such a flavoursome dish.

Bak Kut Teh

After our Bak Kut Teh, we wandered up the road a little to get some Roti Prata which is essentially a fried flour-based pancake. I’d only had the savoury versions before, but here we ordered dessert prata. Some of the others went for chocolate but I ordered strawberry, seduced a bit by the idea of fresh strawberries nestling in a yummy pancake. Sadly the strawberry here was some kind of artificial syrup stuff (I should’ve guessed that!) so although it was enjoyable, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. We also got to try Teh Tarik, otherwise known as ‘pulled’ tea. It is a hot, milky tea drink and is usually made with condensed or evaporated milk giving it a sweet taste. The mixture is ‘pulled’ to give a frothy texture – this involves pouring the tea backwards and forwards between two containers to aerate it. Apparently this is quite a skill, with some teh tarik vendors putting on a show for their customers – I suppose similar to the showmanship that sometimes accompanies getting a cocktail in other countries!  

I really enjoyed my lunch; trying out new food, meeting new people, and supporting a great cause. I also really enjoyed meeting the people at NCompass, who did a fantastic job of arranging the lunch, but also do great work supporting expats in their moves to Singapore and lots of other countries.

Thanks to NCompass for organising the event and notatourist.sg for the invitation. 

Eating Chili Crab

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We had a surprise flying visit from a friend of Will’s who came out to Singapore on a very last-minute business trip. Whilst he was here he wanted to do some ‘typical Singaporean’ things. This included sampling the famous Singapore Chili Crab. We ummed and ahhed about the different places we could take him to sample this classic Singaporean fare. In the end, we decided to play it safe and took him to Jumbos Seafood , by Clarke Quay. We munched our way through a starter of some prawns and tofu, before tucking into a huge chili crab and an equally huge black pepper crab.

Despite the name, chili crab is not generally that spicy. It is served in a thick sauce made with tomatoes. This sauce was slightly sweet, with a slight kick of chili.

Chili crab

Chili crab

The black pepper crab is dry, but with a big pepper kick. I’d say I definitely preferred the black pepper crab as you really got to taste the crab flavour; with the chili crab the flavour is masked and you may as well enjoy dunking bread into the sauce and gobbling that up instead!

Black pepper crab

Black pepper crab

Getting into the crab can be a messy business, so be prepared to get your fingers sticky. They helpfully provide you an apron/bib type thing to cover your top, so you don’t end up with sauce all over you. This is not true of the table unfortunately, which was covered with sauce by the time we left!

Will getting ready to crunch

Handy apron

Handy apron

Eating chili crab is a great fun thing to do in Singapore with friends. It is quite a sociable dish, with much hilarity as you try to dig out all that gorgeous crab meat. Whilst not a staple dish for us since we arrived, it definitely is a taste of Singapore.

Finger licking good

Pulau Ubin

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At the start of March we had our second set of house guests – Will’s Mum and Dad. We did a fair few of the more touristy things with them (Raffles, the Night Zoo, Marina Bay Sands) but we also wanted to do a couple of things that were more off the beaten track, and highlighted another side of Singapore. Their visit also happily coincided with some of the hottest weather we’ve had since we arrived in Singapore – seemingly endless days of bright blue sky and soaring temperatures.

We decided to make the most of the weather and do something outdoors. A couple of friends of ours had visited Pulau Ubin a couple of weekends previously, and raved about, so we were eager to explore for ourselves. You catch the bumboat over from Changi Point Ferry Terminal for the princely sum of S$2.50 (for UK readers, that’s about £1.25!). There aren’t any fixed departure times – the boats just go when they’re full. We seemed to time it just right, and there was one getting ready to depart as we arrived. I love being out on the water, slight spray on the face, wind in my hair – I felt oddly elated as we travelled over.

Enjoying the boat ride over

The bumboat

Welcome to Pulau Ubin!

Going to Pulau Ubin is like stepping back in time. It is described as one of the last ‘kampongs’ (villages) left in Singapore, and is supposed to be like what the rest of Singapore was like in the 1960s. Needless to say, I loved it! Such a brilliant, chilled out kind of vibe, and so wonderful to be around so much nature – even if I did acquire several mozzie bites within the first 15 minutes of arriving – the air feels fresher somehow, and its great to escape all the modern materialism of modern Singapore. I’d definitely recommend it as an escape on those days that you are feeling a bit disillusioned and fed up with Singapore.

There are loads of bikes for hire, for pretty cheap prices. We chose a more sedate option and just walked around a bit. Both Will and I are keen to go back and bike soon though, as we definitely didn’t get to explore as much of the island as we would’ve liked to. But it was fun walking around the little village bit, admiring some of the original art work, and hand painted signs for fresh seafood.

Bicycles for hire

Painted buildings

Seafood anyone?

I love this quote - it seems to embody the Pulau Ubin spirit

I loved strolling along the shady paths, spotting all kinds of local flora and fauna – which reminds me, I really need to get some kind of guide to that, as there are tons of things I don’t know the names of! There are some small buildings, near to the ferry point, which tell you all about the history of the island – it used to be famous for its granite quarries – as well as more about the wildlife you can find there. I’d like to go back and explore the mangrove areas next time.

Bananas growing by the side of the path

A sky to die for!

Starfruit (my current local food obsession)

There are plenty of places to sell you a cold drink, and we took Will’s parents to the only accommodation on the island, the Celestial Resort. There is a pretty decent restaurant there, where we enjoyed fried squid and noodles for lunch, whilst enjoying seeing all the brightly coloured fish (and a ray!) swimming around the restaurant – its set out in a little lake type bit. It was pretty relaxing to be honest, and nice to get out of the hot midday sun that was over us.

Island living

Tee hee - got to love this kind of thing!

In the end the heat defeated us a little bit (I am pretty acclimatised to the weather now, but I still flake out when it’s that hot…I’m a Brit, ok…sun is like a foreign thing to us), and we headed back to the jetty to go back to the mainland. I really enjoyed my short trip to Pulau Ubin, and I can’t  wait to go back and explore properly by bike another time. If you are looking for a little slice of peace and quiet in Singapore, I’d definitely recommend a day trip out there.

Thaipusam in Singapore

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Back in early Feb, I got to witness one of the famous Hindu festivals – Thaipusam. It is celebrated by the Tamil community, which although smaller than some in Singapore, is most definitely present on this little island. Thaipusam celebrates Parvati giving Murugan a spear, so that he is able to vanquish an evil demon.

During Thaipusam, devotees walk a pilgrimage, carrying a burden (kavadi). This can be as simple as carrying a pot of milk, but some devotees go to the extremes of self-mortification where they are pierced with spears at various points over their bodies, from their torsos to their faces. The greater the pain the devotee goes through, the greater the merit that is earned with the gods. It sounds a bit grisley, but it’s actually really humbling to observe.

In Singapore, devotees leave from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, and finish up 4km later at the Tank Road Temple. I went with a couple of friends down to Tank Road, so that we could watch the devotees arriving with their kavadis, but also see them being removed. I felt like I was witnessing something really special. The idea that someone could even bear having the kavadi attached, nevermind walk all that way in the heat, was astonishing. Even more amazing was the vibe in the crowd – so much chanting and singing, spuring the devotees on, some of them spinning and dancing with their kavadis attached.

Pictures are better than words when describing something like this, so here is a sample of some of the photos I managed to take on the day.

One of the devotees complete with kavadi

Having facial skewer removed

Thirsty work being a devotee

Another devotee arrives

Astonished me how someone can cope with this

Ouch!

All the family were there - loved the colours

A tourist in Singapore: our first visitors to the Lion City

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Friends and family visiting from home. Can anything bring greater joy to the still-slightly-green expat?!

We had our first visitors to the Lion City at the end of January. Will’s brother (L) and his friend (N) came out to stay with us for 4 nights, before heading off to Australia for a friend’s wedding. One of the great things about Singapore for me, is that so many people have to fly via it when they are going visit Asia, Australia or New Zealand, meaning a lot of people are planning on passing through to see us – hooray!

Having the guys here was just brilliant. It was so lovely to see familiar faces, share stories and jokes, and catch up on all the news from back home. We had a lot of laughs and silliness – thank you both so much for coming to visit!

As the guys were out first set of visitors, we aren’t yet jaded by the ‘tourist/visitor trail’, although no doubt we will get there at some point. We were both so excited about showing them around and showing off our ‘new’ city.

First stop was Chinatown for a bit of food. It was N’s first time in Asia (can you believe that?!) so we wanted to show him all the sights, sounds and smells of Asia, and Chinatown seemed like the best place to do that. We went to one of our usual haunts and devoured satay, Singapore noodles and many beers. Great start to the trip! The guys were pretty jetlagged so we didn’t stay all that late in the end.

The next day, we took the MRT almost the whole way across the island to Jurong Bird Park to get a bit of wildlife action. We were planning on visiting the Night Zoo later, so it seemed like a good plan to get the double entry tickets, that give you a discount.  I actually enjoyed the bird park a lot more than I thought I would. As with the Singapore Zoo, everything is done very sympathetically, so I never felt bad about the birds being in aviaries, as they were so large and well thought out.

Penguins!

Lories - love their colours

Victoria crowned pigeon

One for Miss Jackson - me at the Bird Park!

Cooling off or drying their wings - what do you think?

I loved seeing all the colourful and unusual birds that were there. It was a great treat to see so many and it made me curious to learn more about Asian flora and fauna. I think I need to buy myself a little book on it.

That evening we went to the Night Zoo. As so many people have commented before, you can’t take flash photos at the Night Zoo so unfortunately I don’t have any to share with you lot. But I LOVED it there – such an exciting and magical experience. You arrive in the dark, and the way is lit with flaming torches, and people drumming. It all feels very tribal and you can’t help but feel a flicker of excitement and anticipation as you wait to board your little train thingy that takes you around the park. The train thingy is electric so you just glide along, and then suddenly round a corner and see animals looming out through the gloom.

I know some people just sit on the train and don’t get off an explore. I can’t help but think that’s such a huge mistake. We saw so much more stuff wandering around, and it was a much more interactive experience. We saw flying squirrels, bats (yuk), and our new favourite creature – the Binturong. The Binturong is a funny cat looking creature, that is related to civets (those that make the super expensive coffee). It looks quite cute, until it bares its teeth, but the best fact about it is that its supposed to smell of popcorn. A cat that smells of popcorn = best thing ever. Anyway, GO to the Night Zoo. Its super fun and very exciting!

The next day we explored around the Marina Bay area. We walked along by MBS, over the Helix Bridge and back again. We also took a bum boat along the river. I found the bum boat fun, as I like being on the water, but I think we gave the guys more information about the area and the buildings than the tour guide did. Maybe we just know a lot more about Singapore than we thought, or we just had a particularly rubbish guide, but I wasn’t overly impressed.

Hanging out by MBS

Walkway by MBS

Helix Bridge

The Esplanade, aka the durians

The Merlion

The evening rolled around quickly, and then it was time for bar crawl, Singapore style! We started off in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling – had to be done really, and it was the first Sling that Will & I have had since arriving. I enjoyed it; the Long Bar was fun, although I can’t imagine staying for more than one drink.

Enjoying our first Singapore Sling!

We then went on to Altitude at One Raffles Place, where we’d planned to show the L & N the brilliant view from the ‘world’s highest alfresco bar’. We’d been before on our look-see visit, and were captivated by the views of the city. It made us really excited about moving here. Unfortunately, when we got upstairs, we were told that the rooftop bar was shut for a function (turned out to be a wedding). They told us they were almost finished, so we ordered drinks, thinking we could finish them upstairs. However, it was a much longer wait than we’d hoped, so we ended up doing the briefest of circuits around the outside bar, before we had to leave for our next booking.

On to Lantern Bar, on top of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Top marks for brilliant marina views, and gorgeous surroundings. We enjoyed delicious cocktails and lots of yummy snacky bar foods. The setting was just great, and the service was excellent – I have to mention it, as those of you who are Singapore residents know how rare that is!

The pool on top of the Fullerton Bay

Lanterns at Lantern!

After enjoying our drinks at Lantern, we headed back to MBS, and up to Ku De Ta for some more gorgeous views of the Singapore skyline. We didn’t actually go into the club, choosing instead to stand outside and enjoy the breezes and views. I felt strangely peaceful standing up there – I think I finally started to feel like Singapore was my home. There was a DJ playing some good tunes, so we ended up staying there late, drinking lots, and dancing our little socks off!

View of the City from the top of MBS

Sunday saw us doing what Sundays were invented for – working off a hangover by brunching with friends, and generally being lazy. Perfect. On Monday, L had to take an early flight on to Australia, but N was here until the evening so we decided to do an open top bus tour. Funniest thing ever. We learnt absolutely nothing about the history of Singapore or what certain landmarks were, but we did learn the about the best places to get chicken rice, buy Crocs, go the cinema, and exactly what roads bordered the Botanical Gardens. All this told to us by a lady with a voice that sounded like she did another job entirely in the evenings…Hilarious. I’d recommend it if you want a good laugh, not if you want to find out about Singapore! We finished up the day with a lovely steak in Club Street, before waving N off into a taxi to the airport.

Thanks guys for coming out and making me appreciate my new home town so much more. Being a tourist in Singapore really made me realise how much this place has to offer. Good times.

Chinese New Year 2012: Year of the Dragon

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Gong Xi Fa Cai! Or Happy New (lunar) Year. As no doubt all you Singapore folks know, it was Chinese New Year this weekend. Kinda hard to miss it right?! For everyone else, Chinese New Year is bigger than Christmas here – its HUGE – and a bit like Christmas, everywhere is covered in decorations and the build up starts weeks beforehand.

Chinese New Year is probably the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, marking the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. There are lots of traditions surrounding Chinese New Year, and I’ve been finding out a bit about some of the ones that Singaporeans do to make this festival special.

For starters, everywhere you go (our condo included) is covered in gold and red decorations. This is because in Chinese culture red and gold are lucky and prosperous colours. Red symbolises happiness, good fortune and joy, essential to starting a new year. At new year, small red envelopes (ang pow) are handed out, with a small monetary gift inside. These are usually given by married people to unmarried people, and by adults to children. Traditionally, the amount of money contained in the envelope should be an even number, such as S$8 (8 is also a particularly lucky number in Chinese culture), although our taxi driver who told us all about it, reckoned he only put S$2 (about £1) in his!

Before the new year arrived, every house will have been cleaned from top to bottom. This symbolises sweeping away any bad luck or problems from the previous year, to start the year with a clean slate, and hopefully better fortune. There must be a suitable period of time to elapse before the house can be cleaned again after the new year, to avoid sweeping good luck out of the house.

Houses are then decorated with red and gold decorations, and with flowers. There are a variety of flowers that are popular at new year, all of which have different meanings. Plum blossoms are very popular, and symbolise being lucky.

Now, this is Singapore, so no good set of festivities would be complete without its own set of traditional dishes and snacks. One of the things you can’t get away from here, is the pineapple tarts. These are tiny little bite-sized chunks of pastry, topped with a pineapple jam, that are sold everywhere in supermarkets and shopping centres. There also seem to have been a huge amount of Singaporean (and expat) bloggers who have taken the time to make their own. Two of my favourites are here and here. Pineapples are lucky (as the sound of the word for pineapple in Chinese is close to ‘good luck coming your way’), so as a result, not only do you need to eat sweet things made of them, but you also need to hang paper versions in your house as well! Oranges are also given, and represent wealth and good fortune.

This year is the Year of the Dragon, so we have really been spoilt for choice with dragon decorations! I have particularly loved the ENORMOUS dragon that was at the junction of Cross Street and New Bridge Road. The dragon is supposed to be particularly auspicious, as it is the only mythical animal in the Chinese cosmic cycle. People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be innovative, enterprising, flexible, self-assured, brave and passionate. Dragon people are flamboyant and don’t do things by halves.

I’m sure there are tons more traditions and symbols that I’ve missed out, but these are just some of the things I’ve noticed or learnt about during the build-up to Chinese New Year. We actually weren’t in Singapore for the day itself, instead using the four-day weekend to go to Vietnam, which I shall blog about soon (and all its various ways of celebrating the new year!). So for now, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Singapore Bucket list #1: Singapore Botanic Gardens

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Before we left the UK to come to Singapore, my lovely friend Kiri put together a Singapore ‘bucket list’ for Will & I to work our way through during our time here. I know traditionally a bucket list is supposed to be a list of things to do before you ‘kick the bucket’ (!) but you get the idea! So I would like to dedicate this post to the lovely Miss Jackson, and kick off my bucket list programme with a trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

I went to the gardens on a gloriously hot and sunny Singapore morning, the type where you wake up and the sky is crystal clear and blue as anything. Not being outside on a morning like that was, frankly, rude! I took the MRT to the newly opened Botanic Gardens stop. The MRT drops you right at the north corner of the gardens, leaving you free to explore it in its entirety. It was so peaceful just walking through the winding little paths, looking at the beautiful foliage and hearing the birds singing. It was just what I needed after having to listen to endless construction noise outside our temporary apartment. I know everyone always says that the Botanic Gardens are an oasis in the middle of Singapore but clichés exist for a reason, right?! It really is so incredibly relaxing and calm there.

There were other people out and about enjoying the morning and the scenery, and I got lots of friendly smiles whenever I passed other people who were similarly wandering aimlessly around! I had great fun admiring all the foliage and marvelling at all the unusual plants that I’d never seen, including some that had what looked like giant hairy strawberries hanging from them (see picture below – does anyone know what they are?)

I wanted to go into the Healing Garden, as it sounded fascinating; all about the different types of plants that are used in medicine. But sadly on this occasion it was shut – not sure why, but it’s a good excuse to go back!

I made it to the Visitors Centre in the middle of the gardens and sat in the shade for a little bit enjoying the trees with little waterfalls underneath them.  I was seriously hot by this point, despite having consumed a lot of water – I had got a bit lost trying to find my way – so it was lovely to sit in the shade and listen to the running water and just chill out for a bit. I then walked up to the Orchid Garden and Ginger Garden but I think a massive tour group had just arrived, as there were a lot of people there. Again, one for another day, and I’ll definitely be back to buy some orchids once we’re in our new flat!

As you walk down from the Orchid Garden towards the Holland Road exit, there are loads of little concept gardens, like one with loads of bonsai trees in it, and lots of sculptures dotted around everywhere. There is so much to see here! I walked along the side of a lake that has this amazing sculpture of birds (I think they are swans) taking off from the middle of it. There was a little pavilion with a family having a picnic all together next to the lake as well – what a great idea.

I left at the Holland Road exit, by the big gates, pretty hot by this time! I thoroughly enjoyed my morning having a little slice of peace and quiet. It was great just walking around soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells. I’ll definitely be back to continue exploring!

Flying the Singapore Flyer

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When we left London some of our lovely friends clubbed together and bought us a dinner trip on the Singapore Flyer. They bought us the full butler sky dining experience where you have a 4 course dinner in the comfort of one of the capsules, as you admire the views across the bay and the island. It was a truly amazing present, and a fantastic experience to celebrate our first weekend in Singapore.

We took the circle line down to Promenade MRT and from there its just a short walk to the Flyer. It was a little bit confusing when we first arrived, as we didn’t know where we had to go, but we soon found ourselves being ushered in the Flyer Lounge where we were told that we would be leaving in 7 minutes time! We quickly ordered a couple of cold Tiger beers to take with us, and soon we were walking through some dark curtains, ready to board! The capsule was decked out with Christmas decorations, and had four tables laid out ready for dinner. Luckily, it was just us and another couple, so we were able to enjoy a bit of romance!

The Flyer takes you up to a height of 165m, which is 30m taller than the London Eye. The views are just spectacular when you are riding the Flyer. You can see for miles over Marina Bay and also back over the island. As we’ve not even been here a week we weren’t always sure what some of the landmarks were, but managed to orientate ourselves pretty well.

It was just amazing to be sitting that high up over Singapore, tucking into some delicious dinner at the same time. And because you have 4 courses to get through, you actually get to take two trips around, so that you can fit everything in! We ate a delicious salad, some mushroom soup, a tasty steak, and then a yummy chocolate dessert with a mini macaroon.

It was such a special experience and a brilliant way to celebrate our first weekend in Singapore. After we finished our  flight we walked all the way around the bay, exploring all the way from the Flyer, along the Helix bridge, past Marina Bay Sands, along the bay to the Fullerton Hotel, before finally jumping back on the MRT at Raffles Place. We saw loads of fantastic sights, places we want to go back to eat and drink, as well as some of the elephants that were there as part of the Elephant Parade. I particularly enjoyed the Christmas decorations that they had around the bay – it really helped me to get into the festive spirit.

It was a wonderful weekend, and made me feel really excited and privileged to be living in Singapore. I’d definitely recommend the Singapore Flyer – the views are spectacular and it was such a special experience.