After Neil spent a week traveling around India he flew back to Abu Dhabi and spent one night with us. On the evening of Nov 3rd, Bec, Neil, and I flew on the B787 Dreamliner bound for Singapore. We arrived early the next morning and headed straight for the Marina Bay Sands Hotel where Rebecca would be attending a conference. Rebecca had an afternoon session to attend so Neil and I walked over to the nearby 101 hectare Gardens by the Bay. We arrived at the Flower Dome just as it started to rain. We toured the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest Dome and then climbed the OCBC Skyway in Supertrees Grove before heading back to the hotel to spend the afternoon lazing by the iconic infinity pool on top of the cantilevered SkyPark overlooking the Singapore skyline.
That evening, the 3 of us headed over to the Raffles Hotel, the birthplace of the Singapore Sling. We sat up at the Long Bar and were served this classic drink which was created sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender. The Sling is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. After our cocktail, we strolled over to Clarke Quay on the Singapore River. We found a lively Chinese restaurant and ordered the famous chili crab. We hopped onto a river taxi and headed downstream back to our hotel.
On Friday morning, Neil and I watched as a chef hand pulled our breakfast noodles in front of us before we sat down to eat. We made a stop at the ArtScience Museum then took the Mass Rapid Transit (or MRT) over to Chinatown where we checked out the busy shopping streets and went inside the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. From there, we took the MRT and a bus to get to the Singapore Zoo. The zoo slates itself as the World’s Best Rainforest Zoo and we were impressed by the animals and its well-maintained “open” enclosures. Later on, Rebecca met us at the zoo and we did the Night Safari together. We headed back to the hotel for a late dinner. We sat down in the terrace lounge of Spago by Wolfgang Puck and sampled a battery of delicious share plates.
The next day was Rebecca’s last day of the conference so Neil and I headed for Orchard Road, known as an upmarket shopping district. We then stopped at the hawker centre under the Singapore Flyer for a quick lunch. We walked back to the hotel along the waterfront and saw the Merlion, the city’s mascot, then Neil packed up for his long journey back to Calgary. Rebecca had an afternoon break from the conference so we were able to say goodbye to our friend Neil together.
That night, we celebrated Rebecca’s birthday a few days early as I wouldn’t be in Abu Dhabi on the big day. We had a cocktail at Adrift by David Myers then dined at Osteria Mozza by Mario Batali. We started with an order from the Mozzarella Bar, burrata with bacon, marinated escarole, and caramelized shallots. For our mains, I had the orecchiette with sausage and swiss chard while Bec went for the tagliatelle with oxtail ragù.
On Saturday, Rebecca and I had a coffee and a swim at the rooftop infinity pool before we had to check out. We then headed over to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and had the most delicious dim sum at Din Tai Fung for lunch. We had a quick wander through the Casino and Bec won a little dough on the Sic Bo tables. We caught a cab to the airport, but had to say goodbye to one another as I was off to Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo and Rebecca was returning to Abu Dhabi.