This past Christmas I went on a short (but amazing) family trip to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Because it was a cruise for half the time, we only got to spend a couple days in Malaysia and Thailand, and most of our time was spent in Singapore. I never thought I would ever want to live anywhere outside of North America, but after this trip I would definitely move to Singapore in a heartbeat!
Singapore has become one of my favorite destinations that I’ve visited so far (besides Venice and Santorini). It has the hustle and bustle of a big city, but everything is relatively close by. It is also the cleanest and safest city I’ve ever been to which is a huge bonus for me! My sister and I spent a lot of time roaming the streets and shops, looking for good deals and yummy eats. The food was delicious and street food was so much cheaper, compared to home. Our first day during the trip, we rang in the new year at the Siloso Beach Party which had similar resemblances to raves or house festivals. It was one of my favorite NYE events so far, and it left a great first impression on us! We spent the rest of the time eating and shopping our way through Singapore. I loved the variety of food from fine dining to the street vendors, and the shopping was great!
Places to visit in Singapore:
– Marina Bay Waterfront
– Marina Bay Sands Hotel (although we didn’t get to visit this gorgeous hotel, it was highly recommended from our friends)
– Bugis Street Market (yummy street food, market, and shops)
– Sentosa Island (amusement park, beaches, and also the location of our NYE event)
– Hawker Centers in Singapore (very cheap and tasty local foods in an open air complex; usually open late or 24 hrs)
– Haji Lane (vintage boutique shopping with some really unique shops)
– Orchard Road (high end stores and international stores)
As for Malaysia and Thailand, we stopped over these places on our cruise so I don’t have very detailed experiences to share. However, the short time spent in both places definitely made me want to revisit Asia again for a longer period of time. In Malaysia we went to both Kuala Lumpur and Penang. One of the highlights of Kuala Lumpur was hiking up the steps of the beautiful Batu Caves, roaming with monkeys. The interior and exterior structure of the caves were breathtaking. We also got to roam the city and enjoy more food from the street vendors. Penang, Malaysia, had a completely different feel than Kuala Lumpur. It resembled a small local beautiful island with gorgeous views and resorts. The beautiful resorts set up along the coast made you feel like you were in paradise with the waves lapping against the white sand beaches. I particularly enjoyed this stop because this place had pockets of historical sites and modern luxury as well. Lastly, we spent the least time in Phuket, Thailand. Over there, my sister and I went cave kayaking and visited the beaches for the day. The cave kayaking was exciting and had breathtaking views. We kayaked through dark caves roaming with bats and monkeys to get to the outdoor lagoons surrounded by greenery and cliffs. Overall, this vacation gave me a small but good taste of South East Asia, and now I’m itching to go again for another extended trip!