Saturday, March 24, 2018

16-Hour Singapore Layover


We combed the narrow alleys of Bugis Street Market and went straight to our main purpose. It was almost noontime and Bugis Food Village was packed with hungry diners. We went straight to our favorite hawker food stall and grabbed our bowls of yong tau foo laksa. We had 16 hours of layover in Singapore and we weren't even troubled by it—because food trippin' in the city is always a good reason to hang around longer.

It was right after our simple backyard wedding in February when me and my buddy embarked on a two-week honeymoonish adventure in Australia. We planned to cover key cities in the country and got a sponsored deal from Scoot on our flight.

Book your trip to Australia with fares as low as PHP6,417!
Our Manila to Sydney Scoot flight had a 16-hour layover in Singapore and we weren't complaining. In fact, we loved it!

It was half past nine in the morning when we touched down at Singapore. Changi Airport is a destination in itself and we could've opted to just stay there and finally explore the amenities and shops on all the terminals. But no, we chose to get our passports stamped and have a full day of wandering around the city for the nth time, going back to our favorite places and exploring new spots that we missed before (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Singapore).

The mid-noon sun was piercing through my skin as we emerged from the MRT Station. I haven't had a decent sleep for almost twenty four hours and the heat was killing me. But I was focused on our goal for that day.

Walking along a familiar path, we treaded towards our destination—the New Bugis Food Village.

Yong Tau Foo Laksa Singapore
Yong Tau Foo Laksa (SGD6)
We reached our favorite hawker food stall and managed to get ourselves some piping hot bowls of yong tau foo laksa. Even just from the first sip, there’s this feeling of consolation that took all our weary away. It’s totally my comfort food when I’m in Singapore.

We walked around Bugis and set off on another 'getting lost' adventure that afternoon.

Walking past a busy Buddhist temple, I was caught up on the extreme heat that day. It was literally dragging me back at the comforts of the airport, with its AC and massage chairs. I was about to give up when my buddy mentioned that we could chill somewhere with kopi ais. My eyes lightened up instantly.

Banh Bao and Kopi Ais Singapore
Big Bao (SGD1.60) and Kopi Ais (SGD1.20)
After an hour and two glassfuls of iced coffee, we moved on. The sun was starting to dissipate into the thick clouds which made walking bearable.

Singapore Street Art
SG Strollin'
We passed by an old Catholic Church, a funky street with graffiti and the Singapore Art Museum. It felt like we're Singapore first-timers as we discover new places on our random stroll.

Singapore Art Museum
SAM (Singapore Art Museum)
A Singapore-based friend of ours recommended that we should check out CHIJMES, whatever that was. We used our ever-reliable online maps and realized that we're close to it.

It was four in the afternoon when we got there. The facade of an old church greeted us as we entered its gated premises.

CHIJMES Singapore
Beautifully-restored CHIJMES
CHIJMES is an acronym for Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School. Located at Victoria Street within Singapore’s central business district, it served as a Catholic convent in 1852 and an orphanage house in 1855. The whole complex was restored in 1996 as an entertainment center.

CHIJMES Singapore
CHIJMES at dusk
It's cool how they transformed it into a hangout spot where you could have a relaxing meal or enjoy happy hour while having a nice view of the century-old historic building complex. Theatrical performances, recitals, and even weddings are also held here.

We found a lounge area where bean bags and hammocks were scattered on faux grass. I slumped into one of the bags and my body perfectly moulded into it. In no time, me and my buddy were dead to the world, during happy hour.

CHIJMES Singapore
Lounge Area at CHIJMES - it's for free!
Maybe it was because of the exhaustion from lack of sleep or the relaxing ambiance that led us to an hour of uninterrupted sleep, not minding our stuff that might be stolen from us, well, we were in Singapore so that's quite an assurance in itself.

Rodel, one of our closest buddies who's now based in Singapore, collected us from CHIJMES. He'll treat us for dinner and we got thrilled by the mere mention of legit Malay dishes.

After a train and a bus ride, we reached Spize Restaurant at Bedok area (three train stations away from Changi Airport). It was seven in the evening.

Spize at Bedok Singapore
Spize@Bedok
There was this strange feeling as we hopped off the bus. It felt like we weren't in Singapore anymore. It resembled like those quiet streets in Melaka, Penang or Langkawi in Malaysia.

The place was packed with diners who seemed to be not leaving anytime soon. Nobody seemed to be in a rush. Apparently, Spize@Bedok opens from 12:00 noon up to 3:00 in the morning, perfect for late night cravings.

Spize at Bedok Singapore
Iced Horlick Godzilla (SGD4.90)
The moment I was handed the menu, my eyes drooled as all the Malay dishes I crave for was there—choosing what to have for that night posed as the biggest challenge though.

We had everything for sharing and the feast included; Nasi Goreng Ayam Sambal (SGD6.90), Nasi Goreng Seafood (SGD6.90), Mee Goreng Pattaya (SGD7.50), Prata Bomba with Cheese (SGD4.50), Roti John Mutton Special (SGD6.50), Chicken Shawarma Wrap (SGD7.20), and Iced Horlick Godzilla (SGD4.90) for drinks.

Spize at Bedok Singapore
Nasi Goreng Seafood (SGD6.90)
Spize at Bedok Singapore
Nasi Goreng Ayam Sambal (SGD6.90)
Spize at Bedok Singapore
Prata Bomba with Cheese (SGD4.50)
Spize at Bedok Singapore
Mee Goreng Pattaya (SGD7.50)
Spize at Bedok Singapore
Roti John Mutton Special (SGD6.50)
Spize at Bedok Singapore
Chicken Shawrama Wrap (SGD7.20)
We loved everything, like all of it. And I am not exaggerating, we truly enjoyed every item on our table. Spize@Bedok is another addition to our favorite food places in Singapore. We will definitely be back here really soon.

We bid our farewell to Rodel as we got off from the train. We had time to spare at Changi Airport and decided to check out the electronics store at Terminal 2.

My buddy bought one of his cameras at the airport some years ago after realizing that it's cheaper there compared to the Philippines or even in Thailand. I got myself, finally, a compact camera bag that fits perfectly well inside my bag right before we went to our assigned gate.

Singapore to Sydney via Singapore
We're going to Sydney!
Layovers can be stressful and tiring, but if it's in Singapore (whether you're staying at the airport or going downtown), it will never be a problem.

It was fifteen past one in the morning when the boarding process started. We are going to Sydney in Australia and it's my very first time to set foot outside Asia. Still, I was daydreaming about the yummy food we had for dinner.




Singapore Art Museum
8 Queen St., Singapore 189555
Contact Number: (+65) 6589.9580
Admission Charges: Adults – SGD6 | Students – SGD3 | Senior Citizens – SGD3 | Children under 6 – Free
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents – Free
Operating Hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every Mondays to Sundays | 10:00 am to 9:00 pm every Fridays

CHIJMES
30 Victoria St., Singapore 187996
Contact Number: (+65) 6337.7810
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 3:00 am every Mondays to Fridays | 8:30 am to 4:00 am every Saturdays and Sundays

Spize Restaurant
336 Bedok Road, Bedok Shopping Complex,
Singapore 469512
Contact Number: (+65) 6337.7493
Operating Hours: 12:00 noon to 2:00 am every Sundays to Thursdays | 12:00 noon to 3:00 am every Fridays to Saturdays





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