A 24-Hour Itinerary Around Singapore, According To Layover Expert Anthony Bourdain
So you’ve got a long layover in Singapore, possibly en route from Asia to someplace in America or Europe. While there are tons of touristy places you can hang out in, we’ve got some local-approved places you definitely should check out, courtesy of food and travel expert, the late Anthony Bourdain.
Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre
What was once the chaotic culture of street carts has now been tamed and regulated inside the Tiong Bahru Market. But don’t get us wrong. The culture and the great food are still the same, with dozens of carts offering specialties and cuisines from all around Asia. But since the carts are now housed under the Market, they’ve finally regulated the running water supply and refrigeration, with strict food safety rules. Nothing fancy; just all the delicious goodness, minus the diarrhea scare.
Photo from The Travel Channel
The number of stalls inside Tiong Bahru Market could be overwhelming, so dash first for the best chwee kueh in Singapore from the Jian Bo Shui Kueh cart.
Photo from Michelin.com
Chwee kueh is a steamed rice cake topped with diced preserved radish and served with chili sauce. Jian Bo Shui Kueh is a Michelin-recommended stall that started with an elderly man peddling a chwee kueh pushcart on the streets. Now, the brand has over 16 outlets in Singapore.
Chin Chin Eating House
Tucked inside the Colonial district, which was once the heart of the Hainanese community in Singapore, is the famous Chin Chin Eating House. The restaurant is being run by the same family since 1934, and is home to the Singaporean national dish, Chicken Rice. Anthony notes that the Chicken Rice might be a little different for your palate, but it is the dish that you must try, to help you appreciate Singaporean cuisine more.
Photo from The Travel Channel
Chin Chin is certainly devoid of anything fancy, but it’s a place where the locals queue up for a good and hearty meal.
Sungei Road Heritage Flea Market by Market Gaia Guni
During Anthony’s visit in Singapore, he got to visit the infamous Thieves Market, just a 15-minute walk from the Colonial District. The Thieves Market was famous for being the oldest flea market in Singapore, where all kinds of stuff can be bought, from old cellphone chargers to clay teapots to bathroom faucets. It was basically an “anything can happen” kind of market, before it was shut down this year.
But the tradition and the culture of the Thieves market lives on at the Sungei Road Heritage Flea Market by Market Gaia Guni, where Thieves Market vendors put out their wares for sale during weekends. The market is located at 200 Woodlands Industrial Park E7, near the Sheng Siong supermarket and Hong Sun Tan Temple.
SkyPark at Marina Sands Singapore
Cap your layover with a bit of luxury and head to the Marina Sands Singapore, one of the most popular hotels in the area. Locals say that it certainly has the best view in town, whether during daytime or at night. And as Marina Sands put it, “You haven’t seen Singapore until you’ve seen it from Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, soaring 57 levels above the heart of the city.”
The Observation Deck is where you can get a bird’s eye view of the whole Singapore, from Marina South Pier all the way out to the Singapore Strait. There’s also an infinity pool to enjoy, and the newly rebranded Ce La Vi (formerly Ku De Ta Club) for cocktails.
Follow Anthony Bourdain’s complete 24-hour layover itinerary in Singapore on Anthony Bourdain: The Layover Season 1 on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Catch the premiere episodes Mondays to Fridays, 11:00 p.m.