Visa Runs are the best excuse to see a new city

If you are an expat then you know what a visa run is. While living in Bali, we did a three day run to Singapore. My husband had already been there because our visas were different for a while, so he knew what we should do while there. We really did put 36 hours to good use!

These are All the Things we did in Order of Appearance:

  • Kinetic Rain Sculpture at Changi Airport
  • Fort Canning Park
  • Haianese Chicken and Rice
  • Little India
  • Roti and Curry
  • MRT
  • Gardens by the Bay
  • Super Tree Grove
  • Light Show at The Grove
  • The Helix Bridge
  • Bayfront Walk
  • Chulalangkorn Elephant Statue
  • Chinatown
  • Mango Lassies and Biryani Rice
  • Thiong Bahru Hawker Center
  • Bak Kut Teh
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Cloudforest Conservatory
  • Giant Durian

Tuesday AM

We arrived on Tuesday really early in the morning and went straight to the visa office which was impressively perfect. After that we took a walk because we couldn’t really check in to the hotel until a couple hours later.

Really close to the visa office is Fort Canning Park. We did a half round on the trails, Big Kiddo chased some butterflies, I complained about the heat and heavy backpack, and Small Kiddo wouldn’t walk more then 10 meters. When her stroller broke at the beginning of the year, I really should have gotten a new one! Apart from my being a whiner, the park really made for a nice walkabout.

After the park we went to get Ba Kut The Soup but the place was closed due to Ghost Month Celebrations so we had Haianese Chicken next door, it was really nice and tasty and the water chestnut drinks were great too. The kids running off towards the street was the usual commotion, while we tried to eat as fast as possible.

At this point I was almost dying from the backpack and the 11 kilo kid I was carrying but everyone else was happy so I sucked it up. We crossed the street on an over pass and through a cute store in a mall with some great bags that caught my eye and some beanbags that totally caught Big Kiddo’s eyes and fingers.

We Went downstairs, got a taxi and straight for the hotel in Little India. At this point the kids were getting a bit tired, and hadn’t eaten much but thankfully there was a shop with cut up fruit right outside the hotel and the kiddos feasted on some cantaloupe before we all took a much needed three hour nap under the AC on “really cold”.

marina bay sands

Tuesday PM

We all woke up in the usual order; the little one, me, dad, and then the oldest would’t wake up, he must have been so tired! Dad and little one went for Roti and Curry while I tried to wake up her brother. I managed to wake him up with minimal effort and took him to the Roti place where he had a nice cold glass of sugar cane juice. After everyone was feeling better, not hungry or thirsty or tired, my son announced that it was time to go to Gardens By the Bay.

Three MRT trains later we get to Bayfront Station and to my son’s content, there was a great long mirrored tunnel with rainbow paintings for him to run across. We then went up the stairs (I took the lift) and to the park, the sun was setting and the trees on the Super Tree Grove were starting to light up. Big Kiddo was more than excited about this, he had seen videos about the Gardens before taking the trip to Singapore and it was difficult to contain him from running like a maniac!

The waiting time for the OCBC Skyway was 60 minutes and we arrived at 7pm so that was ticked off the to do list thankfully, since waiting one hour is way too much! The Super Tree Grove was full of people, a lot of them laying on the ground; to me they looked like they were just waiting for their turn to go up on the walkway. We idled around for a bit, the kids sat on the ground to eat some snacks and then we got the greatest gift Singapore could give the little ones; an amazing colorful light show with music. Turns out it was part of the 50th year celebration of Independence and it was the most awesomest thing we could have seen, but unfortunately the little one got scared and wanted to go back to the hotel.

The Garden by the Bay, Singapore

We left the Grove when the show was over and made our way to the conservatories to check the opening times, it was getting late already so we figured we should go the next day.

We went back towards the Marina Bay Sands and crossed The Helix Bridge full of blue spiraling lights that obviously amazed the kiddos. We walked all around the bay and the sights were pretty incredible, if you like cities! The Marina Bay Sands building is pretty insane looking and the Art Science Museum shaped like a flower is quite impressive.

By the time we excited the bay front walkway I was pretty darn tired, and everyone was getting hungry. We walked some more, past the elephant sculpture that King Chulalangkorn from Thailand gave to Singapore when he visited. We continued until Chinatown and took an MRT back to Little India, where we got some mango lassies and Biryani Rice before passing out in the hotel at around 11 pm.

Wednesday AM

Thank Goodness for thick curtains! We slept in until around 9 am and it was heaven. My son woke up insisting that we had to go to the conservatories NOW, which made it difficult to have breakfast at the Hawker Center in Thiong Baru. We managed some noodles and pork before a walk around the neighborhood.

There was a little street with really amazing coffee shops and cute stores. I liked that little street, so did the Kiddos. After coffee and an amazing Strawberry Custard tart with crackly caramel, we went for Bak Ku Teh and I was getting pretty tired and annoyed at the heat and weight of carrying my daughter so lunch was difficult for me. Dad took them to the corner to play while I stuffed my face with food trying not to choke.

Wednesday PM

By then it was time for my husband’s work meeting at the city center so we grabbed a taxi and made our way. I can tell you that by then I was extremely tired but the kids were happy so I tried to not crack under the pressure, although I think I did a little. At around 4 pm we made it back to the Gardens by the Bay to visit the Cloud Forest Conservatory that my son was so keen on seeing. It truly was amazing the way it’s all set up inside a glass dome building. There are two conservatories and from outside the kiddo’s said it looked like a bra, so that was it’s nickname, “the bra”!

Time to get to the airport! We took an MRT back to the hotel to pick up our backpacks and grab a taxi. The ride to the airport was a bit overwhelming with our son being overexcited and uncontrollable. Thankfully they found a fun little playground in the terminal and burned off more steam. We also went to see the Kinetic Rain sculpture and the Giant Durian!

He fell asleep on the plane right after takeoff and his sister a bit later. After landing in Bali we managed to make it home without much hassle and by then my legs were killing me. It was all worth it! Singapore is amazing and now our son wants to go back because he says he didn’t do enough!

Looking to take a trip to Singapore? Check out some ideas at Singapore-Guide