Day 13 – Last day in Singapore & End of Trip

Check out was at 1pm, normally 11am but we were able to score late check out since we got our room late! We basically spent our whole morning in the hotel room, taking our time and slowly packing. We weren’t flying out until 11pm so we had plenty of time to kill.

We checked out exactly at 1pm and stored our luggage at Marina Bay Sands’ luggage storage. The best part about MBS’s storage was that you can use your luggage ticket to take one last shower in their gym facility before we pick up your luggage and fly to the airport. Pretty much a game changer so you don’t have to worry about sweating in the Singapore heat as we explore.

Surprisingly, the first thing we did was walk around the mall instead of food since we had plans for afternoon tea at 3pm. I wanted to buy last minute souvenirs or shop a little but the mall was just full of luxury brands, ones that weren’t meant for the average consumer. It was perfect that we had to walk through the mall to get to the ArtScience Museum. Basically killing two birds with one stone since it aligns with our schedule.

The ArtScience Museum is definitely on my list of favorite museums. I didn’t get any pictures of the museum itself but it was beautifully shaped like a flower. There were two exhibits we wanted to check out – Future World: Where Art Meets Science and Marvel Studios’ Ten Years of Heroes.

We started with the Marvel Studios exhibit. I am a huge marvel fan so much most the information wasn’t new to me. It was more of a exhibit to celebrate all the movies in the past 10 years leading up to Infinity Wars which we already seen. I would only recommend it, if you’re a big marvel fan!

I would say the main attraction would be Future World. The exhibit itself explains a lot, art created with technology.

We sped through the exhibit pretty quickly since we had an afternoon tea reservation at Pollen. Future World is perfect for kids since there were so many areas with interactive art created just for them. If I had kids this is the perfect spot to bring them in Singapore. Next stop was Garden by the Bay for afternoon tea and because we haven’t had the chance to visit the Flower Dome or Cloud Forest yet.

We walked to the mall from the museum to get to back to MBS where we took a shuttle to Flower Dome. The restaurant we were having afternoon tea was inside the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. I was surprised that we were able to get last minute reservations since we weren’t able to the day before. Pollen was right by the Mediterranean Gardens in the Flower Dome. It was the perfect setting for tea and it basically felt like we were somewhere in the country side.

Our amazing spread at the Pollen

Our afternoon tea spread was beautiful. Absolutely made for pictures. They taste even better than they look! I highly recommend afternoon tea at Pollen, if you get the chance to visit Gardens by the Bay. If you eat at Pollen, you get free admission to the Flower Dome so it’s definitely worth it!!

After our lovely tea session, we took a stroll around the Flower Dome. It’s insane how many different species of plants they have from all of the world. It’s one of the biggest green houses in the world and you don’t really notice it when you’re inside the Flower Dome because of all the beautiful plants

After Flower Dome, we went to Cloud Forest. Cloud Forest is more of an educational dome, letting visitors learn about forests located high in the mountains. You wouldn’t believe that this is a man-made mountain when you see it in person.

Cloud Forest was more of a short hike compared to Flower Dome. You just follow the path that brings you up and eventually loops back down to the exit.

We only had a couple of hours left in Singapore before we catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur to head back home to New York. Since Jacqueline didn’t get the chance to see the Merlion, we decided to take a short Grab ride to Merlion Park for one last activity.

I personally think it looks nicer at night when everything is lit up, but you just can’t capture the overall beauty of the Merlion and MBS at night.

Before we head to the airport, we took a nice refreshing shower at the Marina Bay Sands gym. Nothing feels better than a cold shower after a long day of activities in the Singapore heat.

The flight back to New York was rough, mainly due to our long layover in Malaysia. It was one of those airports where you wouldn’t be able to get through security until the gate for your flight is open. We spent 8 hours+ on uncomfortable airport chairs – which makes my lists of things I would never want to experience ever again.

I can’t believe it took 44 days to wrap up the last post of my Malaysia & Singapore post. Better late than never I guess! (It has been a busy month with a lot of big changes). I definitely need to visit Singapore again someday. 3 days was just not enough to get the most out of it.

P.S. I’ll be heading to Rhode Island for 3 days, so the blog will continue! I promise I’ll try to share my adventures with y’all ASAP!

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Day 3 – Last few hours in D.C.

There were two more spots on our list before we started driving back to NYC. After checking out, we drove to Union Market, which was too far for us last time in D.C since we didn’t have a car.

Union Market was a food hall that reminded me a bit of Chelsea Market in NY but with outdoor seating, ping pong and a beer garden.

Outdoor seating Beer garden area

It was the perfect weather for a drink, unfortunately I had to drive, so we browsed the market. There were so many options and a variety of shops that sold more than just food. It would’ve been amazing to try everything in the market, but we had dimsum reservations!

I heard about Maketto and their unique take on dim sum so I had to make a reservation since we were in town. Maketto isn’t you typical restaurant, it was also a cafe and a streetwear fashion store. There were tables where you sat down to eat, a bar, a cafe upstairs and in the middle was apparel on display. Definitely appealing to the hypebeast lifestyle.

We ordered 4 dishes to share and it was definitely more visually appealing than traditional dimsum. It doesn’t taste like your typical dimsum, (I personally prefer this more) but it is light – leaving you a bit hungry after you’re done. The turnip cake stir fry was my favorite. I love turnip cake, but this was the BEST turnip cake I ever had.

Chinese dough sticks with soy milkShanghai potsticker bunsTaiwanese Oyster Omelette Turnip cake stir fry – MY FAVORITE!

Just thinking about the turnip cakes and looking at a picture of it makes me drool.

Maketto was our last stop and meal in D.C, it was time to drive back and it was a long one. It was a wonderful short getaway for Memorial Day Weekend!

Day 4 – Last day in LA

It’s our last full day in LA and we’re not staying another night in our Airbnb since Emily and Kevin are flying out around 7ish. We didn’t want to get charged another night for 5 people when it was just 3 of us. Our original plan was to stay at our friend’s spot before we fly out at 8am the next day, but we decided to just stay at a hotel near LAX (for comfort reasons).

Our morning consisted of cleaning up and packing. I’m going to miss the views from this Airbnb.

I’m going to miss waking up to this view.

The view as the sun is setting.

The view after the sunset.

Even the buildings next to us are photogenic.

One of my friends wanted to get something from the dispensary, so we all took a trip to one with a license. Visiting one is definitely an experience – there was a lobby with an armed guard and a window where thy checked our ID. After we were vetted, there was an entrance with two doors we had to get through (one door had to be closed and locked before the next door could be opened). Once we got to the actual room where they sold products, it was very much like a pharmacy. I enjoyed window shopping since I had no idea that they basically sold marijuana in almost every form possible – from edibles (chips, gummies, mints, brownies cookies, etc.) to lotion. Of course, pictures weren’t allowed and there was an armed guard that would enforce that rule.

Our last breakfast/lunch was at Blu Jam Cafe, a popular brunch spot known for their French Toast.

I got the Eggwich and we got the French Toast to share.

We all enjoyed our food, it was delicious. If this was in NY, it would definitely be one of the brunch spots that I would often go to. What makes the French Toast great, is the crunchy texture from the cornflakes.

After brunch, we had to take advantage of the beautiful weather on our last day. We took a Lyft to Venice Beach. I had to show everyone my favorite spot before the actual beach which was Venice Canals. I LOVE how walking around the Canals felt like you were in some special exclusive part of the world. Oh how I wished I lived here or at least had the chance the stay in one of these homes.

I love this view of Venice Canals.

Can’t keep myself from drooling over these homes.

Ugh these houses would not be possible NYC.

Next up, Venice beach but we didn’t go actually do anything beach’in since the weather was a bit to nippy for that.

Venice beach vibes.

We took a long stroll on the boardwalk, stopping by a skating park watching skaters do tricks and a couple of view points. Our plan was to walk all the way to Santa Monica pier, but we didn’t have time for that since two of us had to catch a flight soon. We ended up getting drinks and bar food at The Brixton on the corner of where Brandy lives before chilling at his place as he drives Emily and Kevin to the airport.

We got to meet his roommate as he was hanging out in the living room with his dog. After a couple of hours, we all got pretty exhausted and we didn’t think it was the best idea to just crash at his place. We wanted to shower and feel refreshed for our early flight, which led us to staying at Holiday Inn near the airport.

I feel like every time I come back to visit LA, it starts growing on me. Originally the first time I came to LA, I hated it. Maybe it was a mixture of the company I was with and the situation (our flight got delayed a day because of a snowstorm in NY). The second time I went to LA was two years ago, and that was a road trip from San Fran to LA with great company. We also drove down the Big Sur. This trip was with some of my closest friends since High School. To my surprised, as a group we haven’t done much traveling together. The last two trips was to Disney World (~7 years ago?) and a cruise to the Caribbean (~5 years ago?). Hate to say it, I think I’m starting to like LA and I will miss it.

Day 13 – [The End Of] Tokyo

I can’t believe our trip is already coming to an end. Two weeks flew by so quickly. We are now on the Narita Express heading to the airport to catch our flight. The feeling of leaving this wonderful country isn’t going to sink in until we are 39,000+ feet up in the air.

Like many others who fell in love with the country after visiting, I know for a fact that I will be coming back. There’s so many things I haven’t been able to do just in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto alone. I can’t even imagine how much more there is to see in other parts of the country. I’m grateful I was able to spend 2 weeks here. It’s a wonderful end to the year as this was the last big trip for 2017.

I wish I have blogged my trips earlier. Especially since I been traveling so much over the past 2 years! Big trips like Peru and Iceland. Adventurous domestic trips like driving down California from San Francisco to LA and loads of hiking in Arizona and Utah. Even smaller trips like exploring Seattle, Vancouver, Boston and D.C would have been fun to blog.

Thank you everyone who followed my Japan adventure. I really appreciate that there are people out there reading my posts even though I’m not the best writer! Cheers to the next trip!

For my everyday adventures – follow me on Instagram! @KennethChong_

Cheers to highball!

I will not be totally inactive after I get back to the States. A lot of updates need to be made that I haven’t had the chance to since everything was done on my phone.