Saturday, May 21, 2016

Singapore: A Fine City Full of Even Finer Food

My Experience

Hi everyone! I traveled to Singapore this month and stayed there for two weeks so I'm writing this blog post to share my experience about my time on this tiny Asian island. Singapore is located in Southeast Asia off the southern coast of Malaysia. The residents of Singapore are diverse, mostly consisting of but definitely not limited to ex-pats of China, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. It was interesting hearing people speak because everyone, for the most part, knows a little bit of the languages associated with these countries and they communicate by mashing all of these languages together. Singapore is a global finance center and is also one of the safest cities in the world. The climate is tropical, with an average temperature of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit and an average humidity level in the low 80s. Adjusting to the climate was a little difficult, especially since most of the apartments don’t have air conditioning (including the apartment where I stayed). The streets are clean, for the most part, since littering is one of the many fineable offenses in the country (Singapore is known as a "Fine City" for a reason). Aside from being fascinated with the cultural differences of the country, I’d have to say that my favorite experience was tasting all of the food.

The Food

The food in Singapore is as diverse as the people. My advice to you if you ever have the chance to visit Singapore is to never be opposed to trying a new dish (unless you’re allergic, of course). No matter where you stand in the city, there’s bound to be a dining facility within walking distance and from what I noticed, they were always packed. There are numerous Hawker Centres located throughout the city, which is where a majority of the locals go to eat. They open around 5 in the morning and most of them close between lunch and dinnertime. The Hawker Centres were my favorite places to eat, not only because the food was inexpensive, but also because I felt like I was getting the local experience. I tried a variety of foods, including popular Singapore dishes such as Chilli Crab, Laksa, Chai Tow Kway (also referred to as “Carrot Cake”), Sambal Stingray (also known as Spicy Banana Leaf Stingray), Chicken Rice, and the list goes on! If your mouth isn’t watering yet, here are some pictures of the food and drinks that should do the trick!

Hokkien Mee and Mango Smoothie
Dum Biryani
Sambal Stingray
Black Carrot Cake - I had this almost every morning for breakfast!
Soy Milk and Grass Jelly
Wheatgrass Juice
From left to right: Kopi O – coffee with sugar and no milk; Kopi C – coffee with unsweetened evaporated milk and sugar; Kopi O Kosong – coffee with no milk and no sugar
Variety of juices at a juice stand on Bugis Street

Would I Ever Go Back to Singapore?

The answer is yes. Even though it was a little difficult to adjust to the culture when I first arrived, it was even more difficult to separate myself from the sunny climate, the easy transportation system, the diverse group of friends I made, and last but definitely not least, the delicious food!

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