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SingaporeGo to Slide Show

Go for the food


My friend Mark was posted to Singapore for his Job.  Mark spent a year in Japan when he was in univeristy and I always felt bad that I didn't go visit.  This time around we really couldn't be excused for not visiting - we were already going to Hong Kong and Singapore isn't that far away.  Singapore isn't that big of a country so we only booked a few days for our visit.  It was time well spent.

Markets

Singapore sits at the confluence of several cultures - there are strong Chinese, Indian and Malay influences and many smaller touches from British and Japanese culture.  Markets are a great way to see and undestand those influences.  Like most Asian cities I have visited, there are western familiar super markets, but there are also produce and wet markets often with a cultural speciality.

Bitter Melon Dried Red Chilli PeppersJackfruit

Orange Ginger RootStacks Of Banana Leaves For Sale Snake Gourd


Durian Store
Singapore has a bit of reputation for Durian.  Durian grows well in this kind of climate but most of the durian you will see comes from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.  Durian is for sale all over the city - from tiny parking lot stands to dedicated produce stores that are overwhelmed by durian displays.  Most places will sell more than one variety and then more than one grade within some varieties.

Racking Up The DurianBroken Open Durian


  Eating Durian In Front Of Louis Vuitton
The reputation part comes from Durian's smell.  Some people find it pleasent, many people don't.  Some people compare the smell od durian to that of urine.  Either way, the smell can be strong and it gets out - we had a very well wrapped (in celophane) container of durian and within minutes you could smell it inside our taxi.  Needless to say, you can't buy raw durian in shopping malls or hotels - it would probably drive away too many people.

John Enjoys Durian


Hawker Stands

There is an amazing degree of stratification of eating in Singapore.  Perhaps the cheapest way to eat (and often great tasting too) is to visit a Hawker Center.  These open air markets are filled with self contained stands that each sell a specialty.  Each is generally run by a family or as a small business and the prices are very reasonable - $5 can get you a decent lunch. 

Having Lunch At The Hawker Stand
Some stands take their food to nearly high art - often specializing in just a single dish.  The classic example is "Chicken Rice" - most markets will have a stall that sells it but there seems to be a consistent debate about where in the city sells the best chicken rice.  Stalls recognized as the "best" will have consistently long line ups of waiting customers even when a neighboring stalls have no customers at all.
 
Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice StandChicken Rice From Hawker Stand



Dosa On Banana LeafRoti Prata With Curry Sauce
Being such a mix of cultures, there are foods you can find in Singapore that are hard to find anywhere else.  One of the most common foods I found in Singapore I hadn't seen anywhere else was "Roti Prata" - a strechy flat bread (often stuffed) that served with a curry sauce.  You can find "Roti" in a number of places in Vancouver, but it's no where as good as the "Roti Prata" I found in a singapore.  Another new to me dish was Popiah - presented like a sushi roll, crunchy and soft with lots of taste, it was definitly a favorite of mine. 
Popiah



Outdoor Restaurants

Mark With Beer And Peanuts
Singapore is a hot country.  Many people (especially foreigners) would be content to go from air conditioned hotel room to air conditioned taxi to air conditioned mall and spend a minimum amount of time feeling the outdoors.  Some restaurants (especially in tourist zones) have nearly empty patio seating and a very full, very air conditioned indoor seating area.  Outdoor restaraunts (often spilling onto the sidewalks) aren't air conditioned but that doesn't mean the food isn't premium.  We decided to try Sin Huat Eating House (yes - that one you saw on TV).  It's famous for it's Crab Beehoon but makes a number of excelent seafood and Asian inspired dishes.



Roast Pork And SausageRoast Pork Dipped In Chilli SauceSnails With Green Onion SauceCrab Bee Hoon
 
Scallops Frog Legs With Chicken Essence

I'm vegetarian so there was very little for me to eat here.  I wound up going to a vegetarian exclusive place across the street and spent 1/100th the bill at Sin Huat Eating House and got a very nice Vegetarian Laksa. 
 

Street Vendors

Ion Orchard Entrance
Singapore has a lot of shopping.  A lot.  More than you would think would be reasonable for such a small city.  Vancouver has two Starbucks split by an intersection on Robson Street, in Singapore we saw the same luxury brand store on two sides of the Orchard Road.


A Real Ice Cream Sandwich
We were quite surprised to see a street vendor, right on Orchard Road.  He was selling traditional ice cream sandwiches (ice cream on real bread) and he had a lineup.  Like all good street vendors, he was highly portable - his cart was on wheels and it would take only a moment before he could move on.  Of course we tried it.

Cutting ABlock Of Ice CreamWrapping In Sweet Bread

Some Temples

Colonial And Modern Architecture
If it was possible, we probably just would have eaten all day every day.  Sadly, that isn't possible.  Singapore does have some cultural attractions (read temples) so we decided to do some walking around.  Helen being 6 months pregnant and swelling up in the ankles, we couldn't walk very far. 
 


Placing Incense In Burner Charm On Incense In Burner
We call Hong Kong home base so I didn't have high expectations about a chinese temples in Singapore.  We wandered into Thian Hock Keng Temple - it was small (and almost deserted) by Hong Kong standards but the Singapore style of everything looks new and clean made this a sharp looking temple.

Incense Burning

While wandering around Little India we stumbled into Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.  This temple was busy - lots of people were coming in to take advantage of the services.  People were very friendly to foreigners just wander around taking pictures of stuff.

Top Of The Temple Giving Out BlessingsButter Candles

We weren't complete slackers - we did visit an art gallery but they weren't so keen on having photos taken.

Jurong Bird Park

Caribbean Flamingos
I am a sucker for anything with an admission fee.  In my mind you haven't really experienced a place until you have been scalped by the local tourist attraction.  That said, I'm generally not a big fan of zoo's or aquariums.  I've never been to a bird park so I thought I would give the Jurong Bird Park a try.


I don't consider myself a birder.  Sure, I keep a list of birds I've seen but I'm not birder.  In my "I'm not birder" experience, birds are generally small, brown and far away just before they fly even farther away.  I was trying to figure out how Jurong Bird Park could make a show out of birds.  Short answer - editing - they only show big and mostly tropical birds. 

Yellow Billed StorkMarabou StorkShoebill

OstrichCassowary
One of the exhibits I really liked was the "Dinasour Descendents".  These are the largest flightless birds in the bird world.  These are birds that could do some serious damage if they decided they didn't like you.  Each species has it's own holding area but you can get a real eye to eye sense of the bird.

Rhea

I was also impressed by the Lori Loft - an 8 story cage you can walk into.  There are many birds insider and if you are lucky they will come by the human areas to grab a snack.  These are the kinds of birds you can find in pet stores but seeing them in a social environment (and obviously healthy) doesn't make me feel so bad.

Black Capped LoryRainbow Lorikeet

There are a few problems with the bird park.  The owl exhibit is a depressing.  Singapore is hot - durring they day you expect 33°+ all day.  There are a few exhibits close to the entrance (and cooled) that are very popular but much of the park is accessed by walking and not cooled and given the lack of people, tourists just don't make it.  Oh, and don't look at the big predators - seeing a Bald Eagle in a cage made me really sad.

Clarke Quay

Always the sucker for the ticket booth, we had to do a boat ride out into the harbour and back.

River Cruise BoatTall Buildings In Business District

Mark With The Merlion
The boats leave from Clarke Quay - kind of a tourist/expat special economic fleecing zone  - and they navigate through the Central Business District and then out into the bay past the iconic "Merlion".

John And Helen With The MerlionMarina Bay Sands Casino Under Construction

Waterfront Restaurants
It's great to get outside and see the city from a difference perspective.  It's kind of taster plate for some of the areas in downtown.  One of the shores is lined with small outdoor restaurants that I wished we had the time to walk through.  The large offshore casino project was nearing completion and I wonder how it will change Singapore.


Fountains At Clarke Quay
We didn't stay in a Singapore for long and I'm sure there was a ton of great food we missed.   Singapore is great iconic city to visit and I'm glad we did.  Thanks Mark for hosting!

Alan Helen John And Mark At Clarke Quay





Chicken Rice From Hawker Stand
Tags: food porn
Dosa On Banana Leaf
Tags: food porn
Mark With The Merlion
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Dried Red Chilli Peppers
Tags: market, peppers, produce
Mark With Beer And Peanuts
Person: Mark
Stacks Of Banana Leaves For Sale
Waterfront Restaurants
Location: Go To...
Orange Ginger Root
Tags: produce
Roast Pork And Sausage
Tags: food porn
Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice Stand
Cutting ABlock Of Ice Cream
A Real Ice Cream Sandwich
Tags: food porn, ice cream, street food
Giving Out Blessings
Rainbow Lorikeet
Racking Up The Durian
Tags: durian, fruit, market
Frog Legs With Chicken Essence
Tags: food porn
Wrapping In Sweet Bread
Scallops
Tags: food porn
Ion Orchard Entrance
Altitude: 41m (134 feet)
Location: Go To...
Charm On Incense In Burner
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: incense burner
Crab Bee Hoon
Tags: food porn
John Enjoys Durian
Person: John
Snake Gourd
Tags: market, produce
Cassowary
Popiah
Tags: food porn
Top Of The Temple
Eating Durian In Front Of Louis Vuitton
Person: Helen
Rhea
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Marina Bay Sands Casino Under Construction
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: construction
Butter Candles
Tags: fire
Durian Store
Tags: durian, market, neon
Fountains At Clarke Quay
Alan Helen John And Mark At Clarke Quay
Roti Prata With Curry Sauce
Tags: food porn
Black Capped Lory
Tall Buildings In Business District
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Ostrich
River Cruise Boat
John And Helen With The Merlion
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Jackfruit
Tags: fruit, market
Placing Incense In Burner
Tags: incense, incense burner
Broken Open Durian
Tags: durian, fruit
Shoebill
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Bitter Melon
Tags: market, produce
Snails With Green Onion Sauce
Tags: food porn
Yellow Billed Stork
Caribbean Flamingos
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Having Lunch At The Hawker Stand
Colonial And Modern Architecture
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Roast Pork Dipped In Chilli Sauce
Tags: food porn
Incense Burning
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: fire, incense
Marabou Stork
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: food porn(11), market(6), produce(4), fruit(3), durian(3), fire(2)
People: Mark(1), John(1), Helen(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > Singapore

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