Day 11 – Exploring Singapore in the Day & Partying at Night

The first spot we explored was Chinatown and I was so excited to try Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken & Rice that I didn’t bother to check the times. A rookie mistake – it was not open on Wednesday’s.

Chinatown

I wasn’t completely disappointed since we wanted to explore Chinatown, but I was starving! Should’ve went to get dim sum instead. Instead of just leaving Chinatown for food, we decided to pick up a light snack from Old Chang Kee. Old Chang Kee sells a bunch of fried snacks like fried squid, chicken, etc. I got the chicken chunky pops with curry sauce and it was so goood. It’s like popcorn chicken from KFC but better!

Like every other Chinatown, there was an abundance of shops and food stalls. SO much food everywhere, it was great.

Funny enough, my favorite store was The Tintin Shop. I didn’t grow up with the Adventures of Tintin, but I wish I did. I just love the concept and the art of the series.

Haji Ln

Haji Lane was next and my favorite part about this area was all the cafes and street art. It was a much more narrow street, with a lot of wonderful stores. We couldn’t help but to stop by a couple stores to get souvenirs.

My favorite art in the area.

Loving these displays outside stores

We ended up getting a late breakfast at a cafe called Stateland Cafe. The food was a fusion between Japanese/South East Asian and western which was pretty interesting.

Soy & Sesame Potato Fries

Roasted Pork Belly

Herbal Duck Confit with Risotto

There was surprisingly a lot of food and we couldn’t finish half of it. The food was delicious which made it feel even more of a waste. We had to adjust from sharing between 5 people to just the 2 of us.

Muscat Street

After we left the cafe, it was the time in the day where it was scorching hot. We finally felt the heat and it was in Singapore. My sister was right, it’s WAY hotter than Malaysia. I didn’t mind it – I’m not a big fan of rain and good hot weather like this makes it feel like a real summer vacation.

Muscat Street was a few blocks over and it was where the Masjid Sultan and the Malay Heritage Centre was. In this part of Singapore, it was known for being a trading hub for the early Arab merchants and you definitely feel like you’re in another country when you’re walking down the street. It’s beautiful and definitely a surprise seeing how diverse Singapore can be.

Masjid Sultan

Malay Heritage Centre

Right around Muscat Street was a famous bakery called Rich and Good Cake Shop known for their Swiss roll cakes. Don’t be deceived by the name and how it’s a hole in the wall bakery. These Swiss roll cakes are amazing. We tried got a Kaya roll for around 8 Singapore dollars and we were expecting one slice but it was a WHOLE roll.

Definitely worth it as it was some good Swiss roll.

Bugis Street

From Muscat Street, we took a Grab to Bugis Street which I only found out because our Grab passed by it as we were going to our hotel the night before.

Bugis food street reminds me of Japan night markets. Kinda like street food but more modern than what we have been to in Malaysia. The food was interesting but the shops weren’t really the stores I would buy stuff from.

Next to the food street was Bugis+ and Bugis Junction which we’re two big malls connected. Bugis+ was the bigger and more modern mall with brand names and Bugis Junction was smaller with more mom and pop sort of shops. We also saw a Koi bubble tea shop that my sister took us to in Malaysia so we HAD to get it when we saw it. I messed up because I forgot to order the boba – it was still the best bubble tea I had.

We shopped a little and I did a lot of window shopping. It was one of my favorite malls since there were all these hobby specific shops. Collectible toys, board games, etc. It’s really fun to just look at these things. There were also a lot of arcades which reminded me of Japan.

After being exhausted from all the walking, we took a quick break at Mellower Coffee, which was a block away from the mall. I got one of the special drinks called Ondeh x Latte and it was so gooood. It was refreshing and so smooth it tasted like a milk shake.

The rim was coated with coconut shavings and after you drink half of it, you add the shot of espresso in.

After our short break, we took a Grab back to the hotel to drop our stuff off before heading to the S.E.A Aquarium in Sentosa. We got a surprise from the hotel and they sent a cake up because Jacqueline turned 26 the other day!

Sentosa

Okay, so I had no idea Sentosa was like a resort area. I knew that there was a casino and Universal Studios there, but wow it place is absolutely huge and there’s so much things to see and do. If we had more time in Singapore, I would prob stay two nights here.

We only had a hour to walk through the aquarium before closing. It worked for us as it wasn’t too crowded and that it was smaller than we anticipated. We love the whole idea of how the aquarium providing information about sustainability and teaching kids to treat the environment with respect.

Wouldn’t be a trip to an aquarium without a picture of jellyfish.

It was pretty hard getting a Grab from Sentosa especially when we were at the casino lobby area. Our next stop was Orchard Road.

Orchard Road

Tired and hungry from waiting since we had a couple of cancellations on Grab, we settled for a light dim sum snack at Tim Ho Wan at Far East Plaza. It was okay, not the best… at least I can say I tried it but I wouldn’t have it again unless I’m in Hong Kong.

We walked around a couple of shopping malls – Pacific Plaza, Shaw Centre, Scott’s Square, Tangs, ION Orchard Mall and Wisma Atria until we were out of time.

Ion Orchard Mall

We had plans to meet Jacqueline’s friends at Clarke Quay for a night out. One of them was Jess who she met when she was visiting New Zealand. The other guy was Ken who she met when he visited NYC with Jess. They grew up in Singapore so we got locals to take us out for the night.

Clarke Quay

Apparently on Wednesday’s it’s ladies night and they get to drink for free. It felt like a Friday night in NYC. Clarke Quay was a night life spot full of bars and clubs. We started the night with drinks at Red Tail Bar by Zouk. Then one of Jackie’s friends, Kevin, who was also visiting Singapore joined us as well. We went a club called Zouk, which was also connected to another club called Phuture.

It was still pretty early around 11-midnight-ish but the music was good and there was a constantly flow of people coming in. We took a couple of Jagerbombs and to my surprise they actually give you the left over Red Bull. They would never do that in NY.

We hopped to another bar after called Level Up which had arcade games, beer pong, etc. We played a round of beer pong, finished a beer tower and played the basketball hoops game before heading back to Zouk. When we got back it was pretty lit.

I thought it was going to be a slow night of just drinking at a bar and grabbing dinner afterward but it ended up with us getting back around 3am. We were originally planning to get dimsum afterwards too but Jacqueline was a little too done for that. Singapore’s night life is great.

This night pretty much set my blog posts back by two days!

Day 2 – LA

We all ended up waking up super early despite sleeping so late. It’s probably because our internal clocks were so used to EST time.We started off our day with breakfast at The Hart and The Hunter on Melrose near West Hollywood. I kind of wish I took my camera with me because I loved how photogenic the restaurant was – the decor, furniture and even the silverware.

Mushroom toast with soft scrambled eggs, creme fraiche, herbs and seeded bread.

I got the mushroom toast which was equally visually appealing as it was tasty. Definitely made it one of my favorite spots in LA for breakfast. (WARNING: I’m probably going use the word ‘favorite’ a lot in this post, just because of our activities this day.)

After breakfast, we drove to Runyon Canyon for a hike. Hiking Runyon Canyon is on my list of things that you HAVE to do if you’re in LA. It’s one of my favorite hikes and I’m jealous of how accessible this hike is compared to what we have in NY. (There’s no hiking trail that can beat Runyon Canyon within 20 minutes from NYC.)

Hiking the East trail.

We were surprised to find so many people hiking on a Thursday morning. It seems like everyone was just taking advantage of a beautiful day. Most are probably local since they were either running up or walking their dogs. Pretty much my ideal lifestyle if I lived in LA.

The first scenic spot of the hike.

The view of the Hollywood sign from Runyon Canyon.

I’m glad we got to hike Runyon since it was closed the last time I was in LA. Nothing better than a good hike with amazing views and beautiful weather.

Griffith Observatory was next on the list, but we decided to grab a quick lunch around the area first. We stopped by to check out Stamp Proper Foods and Little Dom’s first but ended up at Alcove. We sat outside and soaked up the beautiful LA weather.

I got a granola bowl and fries to share.

We got lucky getting to Griffith Observatory at what it seems to be off peak hours. There wasn’t much of a crowd so we were able to through the exhibits and take in the view at the top pretty quickly.

On the terrace of the Griffith Observatory

We were all pretty beat from hiking and exploring so before heading back to our Airbnb for a rest, we stopped by California Donuts for a dozen donuts and Trader Joe’s for a case of water and snacks.

So many options at California Donuts

The donuts we chose.

I had to get an unicorn donut.

California Donuts > Dough, that’s all I have to say. (I could be biased since I had enough of Dough donuts since vendors always bring them in at work!!!)

Back at the Airbnb, we ended up taking a 2 hour break before we headed out for dinner. Can’t come to LA without getting tacos. What better spot than Guisados in Downtown LA?

Kevin got the sampler which were 6 mini tacos.

I got the chicharron, chorizo and steak.

Guisados tacos are amazing, we’re probably going to come back here again. Tip for everyone who loves spicy food, ask for their spicy sauce and you won’t regret it!! (Unless you can’t handle it…)

Time to give LA nightlife another try, this time instead of a club, we went to Clifton’s Republic. I heard of it on VICE as they had an episode about Clifton’s being one of the oldest cafeterias, but I didn’t know it was a bar/speakeasy sort of deal. They had a rock burlesque sort of show go on when we were there, so that was interesting. The overall venue was amazing with multiple floors and taxidermy in display cases. It was very old school bourgeois type of place.

A giant redwood tree in the middle.

The coolest part about this place, is that there is a speakeasy aspect, where you get a coin like this one in the front desk.

Special coin

There’s a mirror on the second floor that you can push in as it’s a secret door and t leads to a secret flight of stairs where you drop the coin and head up to a hidden floor of Clifton’s. IT WAS BY FAR THE COOLEST THING EVER when we got up. There was some tropical themed party with a DJ on a boat.

DJ on a boat

Good drinks, good vibes and good company made it into a great night even though we were all tired AF. Our Lyft ride back was an adventure itself, wrapping up our day 2 in LA.