Hello Again, Singapore!
Last October 2022 was a memorable month. Apart from the fact that it's the birth month of my adorable twins, it was also the month when I bid my close-to-four-year-long stint at theAsianparent goodbye and took a 3 week long break to recharge before I joined my current company -- Profriends. I embraced this break with glee as this doesn't come often. Not wanting to waste time, Paul and I decided to take the twins on their first out of the country trip since 2020. They've travelled to Taiwan and to Singapore before but since the pandemic, they've been stuck at home for 3 whole years. We didn't want to tire ourselves out as well with planning and navigating around an unfamiliar land so Singapore just made perfect sense as it's our second home. We went there with the most flexible itinerary that I've ever created. Basically, our objectives were simple: Meet our friends/family, EAT, check out the theme parks in JB and in Sentosa, EAT, relax and revisit our favorite spots, EAT, EAT, EAT.
Using the travel miles that we have accumulated (and will soon expire) throughout the years of not travelling, we went for Singapore Airlines as our airline of choice for this trip. You also all know that Paul and I just love travelling via SQ too. We love the wide legroom and seating area, the superb service, the delicious meals, the impressive entertainment collection and more. It always feels like the start of your vacation as you step into the aircraft. I'll dedicate one entire blog post to tell you more about our flight via SQ and the meals that we enjoyed as well.
It sure feels so good to be back. We can't help but reminisce about the time that we used to live in Singapore and we didn't had kids then. Life was so fast paced, we were always on the go -- rushing to do a million and one things. Somehow, travelling with kids has forced us to take it easy. Never fill your itinerary up as believe it or not, you'll probably only be able to accomplish half of it. This time, I just had one main location per day and everything else was really free and easy. We agreed that this trip was 101% for J&L and we want them to enjoy and see the beauty of Singapore too.
You may be wondering what were the things that we had to prepare for prior to flying to Singapore. To be honest, it was a breeze preparing for the trip as the restrictions have eased up and so back in October, I just had to make sure that we just have our travel insurance, plane ticket and that's it! No need to do any COVID19 testing prior to the trip. I brought our vaxcard just for extra precaution but it wasn't really required nor were we asked to present it.
While Singapore no longer requires for one to have a travel insurance, this is something that Paul and I make sure that we have especially when we travel with the kids. You will never know what will happen during the trip and it can be such a pain having to worry about your medical expenses without an insurance. Most travel insurance are also very affordable so I highly recommend that you still get regardless if it's required or not.
Now that you're ready to fly to Singapore, don't forget to fill up the SG Arrival Card and the e-health declaration which immigration will ask you to present.
Arrival at Singapore
Changi Airport is hands down, one of the prettiest airports that I've been to. There's really something about this airport that makes you immediately feel so welcomed. Despite how huge it is with 4 terminals and a giant mall adjacent to it, you'll not find it hard to navigate around with all the directional signages that you can see all over the airport.
We decided to skip heading to Jewel on the day of our arrival and instead went straight to cousin J's house since the kids are starting to get restless. Instead, we found time to go back to Jewel the next day since we were in the East and for me, that was a good decision as we were more relaxed, we didn't had to bring our luggages around and we can take more time to go around....or so I thought. Apparently, we still ran out of time to check out the attractions in the mall but at least we got to visit A&W. Yes, priorities, my friends. Priorities.
Going around Singapore (and more)
Most tourists would take the MRT which can take them to most of the major malls and attractions around Singapore. For us though, we had a mix of bus and MRT since we're pretty used to commuting around. Even the twins had so much fun trying the different transport types. We also took a rented car when we travelled to Johor Bahru in Malaysia to visit Legoland. I truly miss Singapore's efficient transport system. One tip is to download the Singapore map as well as the SG Bus app to tell you when the next bus is arriving. Believe me, it's very accurate. Mobile data is also a must as Singapore is super technologically forward so you'll need your phone to navigate around. As for spending your way around Singapore, there's no need to bring a lot of cash with you and everything can be paid for using your credit card. If you also have a debit card (with VISA or Mastercard) that works too provided it has credits of course.
While COVID restrictions have eased up, we still made sure to wear our masks and to bring along our UV purifier. We didn't took any chances and luckily, these extra measures kept us safe all throughout our 10-day long trip. There was even a spike during this time and luckily, we were spared.
All throughout our trip, we got to meet up with old friends and enjoy our Singapore favorite dishes too. I was so happy to have plates of kaya toast with Iced Teh-C, visit my favorite stalls at Amoy Food Centre and to be treated to a delicious dinner from Mellben's! One of the highlights of the trip was when the twins attended their first ever post-pandemic birthday party in Singapore no less. L, in particular, had a ball since she got to wear a princess gown and play with fellow girl friends who are around their age. My little knight J, was happy running around the play area.
Even Paul was able to reunite with his good friend B from high school. They regularly would meet up back when we were still residing in Singapore. B is one of Paul's longest friends and I'm glad that they got to see each other after so long.
What a trip. I can't believe that 10 days was still too short for us. Perhaps, we could have spent more time with friends or visit more places. However, I look forward to revisiting again which I hope won't take another 3 years.
Watch out for my next blog entries as I'll tell you more about the Singapore Zoo, Legoland and Lego Hotel, SEA Aquarium and more!