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Singapore

A city of juxtapositions

Story by Karolina Szczur January 11th, 2015

the city

Singapore is quite a unique place—small, tucked in between Malaysia and Indonesia, in the heart of Southeast Asia but not really very Asian. New York claims to be one of the biggest melting pots of nationalities and it sure is, but Singapore doesn’t stay behind either. Four official languages, at least seven major practised religions and strong emphasis on multiculturalism make the city-country very interesting to explore.

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chinatown

A friend once told me—”All big cities have Chinatown”. An idea that’s natural in the Western world and United States, yet somewhat odd to me. In Singapore this part of the city gains much more authenticity, different from the imitations that can be found outside of Asia.

I was enchanted by the richness of colour and the temples.

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Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Flower dome

Marina Bay is a home to many touristic attractions, one of them being botanical gardens—Flower Dome. Within one of the biggest columnless greenhouse we’ve found a plethora of flower species and visitors with selfie sticks.

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cloud forest

Imagine entering a gianormous greenhouse, as if it was a part of futuristic, long-distance spaceship. That’s how Cloud Forest feels like—a beautiful dance of modern architecture and nature.

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artscience museum

We’ve been lucky enough to be able to make it for Da Vinci: Shaping The Future—one of the most well put, interesting and interactive exhibitions I’ve ever seen. Da Vinci was always fascinating but seeing authentic pages from Codex Atlanticus left me completely stunned.

Reflection of the ArtScience musem building
Da Vinci exhibition
SARS virus
Da Vinci exhibition
Max Ogden building things

cat café Neko no niwa

You might already know how I love cats. Cat cafes are definitely something new that can be mostly found in Asia (although there are a few in United States as well—Portland and Oakland). Places where you can have a drink and make new purring friends. Most of the animals are rescue cats available for adoption. We started off with first one to open in Singapore—Neko No Niwa.

Still curious about Neko No Niwa? Check out this Exposure post by Mancini Tan.

Very excited Max before entering the cat cafe
Jia Jia
Luna and Emma observing a bird outside
Robbie
Demi
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Robbie
Luna
Jia Jia

cat café company of cats

Another cat cafe we’ve visited (twice!) was Company of Cats—slightly smaller than the previous one but still amazingly friendly.

Meringue
Pusheen pillows and nice interior filled with light
Daisy
Elliot is learning JavaScript thanks to Max
Elliot posing with Max reviewing his JavaScript in the background

coffee

My favorite coffee spot was definitely Nylon Coffee Roasters followed by Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Artistry and Maison Ikkoku. Singapore has definitely a lot to offer if it comes to coffee.

Symmetry
Symmetry
Common Man Coffee Roasters
Common Man Coffee Roasters
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
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Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Max
Feross

cocktails

Singapore is definitely a place to indulge yourself in cocktails. Right after arriving to our hotel we were taken to one of the most interesting bars—Spiffy Dapper. Gritty, with 20s feeling and amazingly friendly owner, who greeted us with free drinks. Another time—midday break at Club Street Social.

What takes the crown of the best speakeasy I’ve ever been to—Operation Dagger. Five cocktails (also beer and wine) with no description of alcohol used, just a teaser of the taste notes. Australian bartenders claimed that they worked on recipes for couple years and I’m not surprised at all—it was genius.

Gin-based drink at Club Street Social
Ben Schwarz
Club Street Social
Mikeal ordering another round
Cocktail at Operation Dagger
Operation Dagger

food

Singaporean cuisine is a mash up as the country’s culture—but a delicious one. I wish I had more photos of all the delicious and sometimes bizarre meals we had, but I was busy with putting them in my mouth.

Best eats? Waffle Slayer because name and bizareness of squid ink bacon vanilla ice cream waffle Ben ate, Tippling Club for amazing food and interesting way to serve it, Ippudo because I love ramen and the chain from New York, Lau Pa Sat Market for authencity, Din Tai Fung because who can say no to dim sum.

I enjoyed the humidity and waking up to sunshine and palm trees—would love to be back to explore Singapore more. The trip wouldn’t be as fun if it wasn’t for Ben, Mikeal, Max and Feross!

Ang Ku Kueh!
So many pastries!
Waffle Slayer
Squid ink bacon and vanilla ice cream waffle at Waffle Slayer
Footnote: Canon EOS 6D with 50mm/1.4 and 17-40mm F/4L. Processed with VSCO.
Singapore