Last week, we had a rare evening free on a weekday from work and actually had the energy to head out of the house. So on that rare occasion, we took the kids out for a walk at the iconic Marina Bay in Singapore. Debra and I realised that it was the first time we took a stroll along Marina Bay and in Marina Bay Sands together since we got married!
It was a little adventure for us because we rarely get time to visit a place just to stroll around with no agenda. We are always going somewhere to buy groceries, run errands, shop for supplies, have a family meal and visit someone. We had an awesome time and here are some tips that made our trip great:
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR TIME AT THE BAY
Dress comfortably! You'll soak your clothes with perspiration in the 80-100% humidity and hot 28-30°C evenings (82-86°F) as well as 35°C (95°F) afternoons! Wear shoes that support your feet if you are intending to explore the entire bay. Bring a stroller if you are taking the little ones! Bring along your camera or remember to charge your smart phone so that you can snap away at the picturesque bay. I took all the photos on this post using my Huawei P20 Pro mobile phone without a tripod.
1. The food options inside Marina Bay Sands can get quite expensive. If you are able, have your meals at nearby malls such as Marina Square or Suntec City!
2. Bring your own drinks/water bottles. The Marina Bay Area is a tourist/financial district. Naturally, the price tags are not that budget friendly.
3. Take the public transport. Take trains on the Circle Line & Downtown Line to Bayfront Station to directly access Marina Bay sands.
4. If you are driving, visit on a weekday evening. Park at Singapore Flyer after 6pm for only $2 per entry!
ROUTE WE TOOK
We started off at Singapore Flyer because Matthias loved looking at the giant Ferris wheel and parking was also cheap. The kids were amazing by the lights and sheer size of the wheel!
We took a 15 minute walk from the flyer across a small section of the F1 track towards the Youth Olympic park which connects Marina Bay Sands via the Helix Bridge (World’s first curved double helix bridge). Along they way, you'll get to see beautiful cityscapes and Singapore's icons such as the Art/Science Museum, Marina Bay Sands, The Merlion, Fullerton Hotel and the Esplanade. After enjoying the enchanting views of the bay, we spent the rest of our evening in Marina Bay Sands.
FUN THINGS TO DO
1. The kids will enjoy the Digital Light Canvas display! It is an interactive light canvas display where the screens on the floor respond to your footsteps and touch. The display is accompanied by music and a giant light sculpture above. Since its Christmas time soon, the light sculpture displays a crystal tree.
Do note they charge S$5 (free for children under 2 years old and FutureWorld: Where art Meets Science ticket holders)
2. Window shopping in a mall like The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is pretty intriguing for young and old. Its a luxury mall and the shops do put in a lot of effort in their shop displays. The kids were surprisingly quiet while we walked around. I guess they were feasting their eyes on all the shiny, glitzy glamour. Matthias the foodie was particularly interested in how the chefs were making dumplings at Ding Tai Fung Restaurant.
3. The highlight of the night was a light, music and water show at the event plaza along the promenade! It happens every evening and is free of charge! Do try to get to the event plaza 10 minutes before show time to get a seat because it can get quite crowded. Don't get too close to the front because you can get wet from the fountain spray and the music is pretty loud too.
Sunday to Thursday – 8:00pm and 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday – 8:00pm, 9:00pm and 10:00pm
Our travels have brought us to numerous cities of great significance and historical importance. Those were amazing experiences we will never forget but the countryside is something of a different league.
The countryside is good for your soul.
It was one of the best decisions we have made to escape the city just for 2 days in Wales. We had one of the most amazing countryside breaks! We drove 140 miles from Nottingham to Dolgellau. It took us about 3 hours through the motorway for the first part and then the smaller winding country roads. Dolgellau is situated in the Gwynedd county in the north-west of Wales.
We were quite tired from the drive and had a peaceful rest that night at Y Meirionnydd. After decades of living in a city, we do sometimes forget how nice it is to have a quiet night free from the blaring sirens and noisy vehicles. We loved our time at this hotel and the staff were really hospitable. The breakfast was an absolute delight! Take a stroll around this little town and enjoy the beautiful stone buildings.
We checked out in the wee hours on our second night because we were rushing to Duxford for an appointment. The staff was very kind to prepare a breakfast pack for our long drive to Duxford because we had no breakfast the following morning. Amazing!
Our little escape to the country bought us to Cregennan Lakes. We took a 5 mile drive from Dolgellau and had the most surreal time trekking around the awesome place. The clouds were low that day which meant we couldn't really get nice shots of the clear waters and its pebbles below. With no other human in sight, we had the company of the landscape and an occasional sheep.
The ABSOLUTE silence was refreshing. The experience of such magnificent natural beauty brought healing to our souls. In the stillness of this awesome place, we found peace. If you need a place to find inspiration for your new book, painting or blog, we strongly recommend coming here! The place is even more stunning when it is sunny. We hope to visit again when the sun is out!
You can also visit the following from Dolgellau:
The rest of Snowdonia National Park
Hike or walk up Cadair Idris
If you are in the UK for a vacation and need to break from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a drive to Dolgellau and visit the Cregennan Lakes!
Like this post? Check out our travels to:
Small town Gem: Loughborough, UK
The craziest road trip from Singapore to Phuket
When you think of a UK or England destination to visit, London is the first that come to mind! We've got that covered HERE! Loughborough is relatively unknown to most but it is definitely a gem! Most people get scared by its 12 letter name when they first see it. It is simply pronounced as LUFF-BRUH :)
This tiny university town is about 3 hours to London via the M1 motorway. It is only 1hr 35 mins via East Midlands Trains from London St Pancras station.
What is so special about this small town?
This quiet university town was where I had one of the best times of my life. Studying at Loughborough university was an amazing time of growth, learning and healing. Loughborough is a simple town with amazing quiet spaces where I was able to reflect and feel at peace. The slower pace meant I often sat in Queen's Park and read for hours. I learnt to appreciate beauty of a duck, snowflake and the autumn colours. I even had time to build a snowman!
If you are looking for a quiet getaway where you can be away from crowds but still enjoy the comforts of civilisation, this is a great place!
Relax at the Queen's Park and visit the Town Hall for some theatre, art and music!
Check their site for the schedule and booking details! www.loughboroughtownhall.co.uk
Don't miss awesome produce at the Farmer's Market held every second Wednesday of each month between 9am and 3pm at the town centre. Another key event is the historic Loughborough fair that is held early November every year! You get some exciting fair-rides and food!
My favourite Fish & Chips in the whole wide world can be found in Loughborough!
Visit: Trawlers Catch at 92 Ashby Rd, Loughborough LE11 3AE, UK
Must order: COD FISH AND CHIPS!
They are open only 2 hours for lunch from 12-2pm (Tues to Thurs). They open mostly in the evenings from 5-10pm (Mon to Sat).
The most therapeutic part of Loughborough has to be the Great Central Railway. If you love trains, steam engines and everything antique, you MUST visit this place. This mainline heritage railway offers historical steam/diesel train rides all the way to Leicester North and back. You get special events such as steam galas, Peppa Pig, Bonfire Night, Wartime Weekend and Santa Specials!
Train geeks (like me) can even get to drive a locomotive, dine in the train and bring your whole family on an excursion. You get to enjoy views of Charnwood waters and the beautiful countryside! Check out their website for train and event schedules/ticketing details:
Next time you need a quiet, relaxing, therapeutic place to visit in England, head to Loughborough!
London is a wonderful place to fall in love. There is always something you can do as a couple or family. If you are looking for a list of amazing things to do together, do check out our first part that covers some of the most romantic and fun activities/locations.
Couples and family that eat together, travel together and make memories together will stay together! In this post, we talk about 3 of the most enchanting experiences you can have together as couple or family.
#1 Most enchanting experience - Watch a Musical together!
Check out London's West End for some of the longest running musicals in the most beautiful London's enchanting Mamma Mia, The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera. You can watch a musical every single night you spend in London as long as you have the budget and plan your ticket bookings before hand. If you can, book online before hand from well-reviewed sources. Try not to entertain the street touts who sell you tickets (usually at exorbitant prices). Get to the Theatre early and enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful buildings. The experience of watching a live play is most magical and emotional!
#2 Most enchanting experience - Spend a relaxing day at Hyde Park!
I would rank Hyde Park among the BEST parks in the world. You would think, "Hey! you guys have Gardens by the Bay in Singapore don't you?". Yes we do. The problem is, you cannot walk for 15 minutes without soaking your shirt with perspiration in the year-round tropical heat/humidity. I hear Brits complaining about how miserable their weather is all the time while studying in Loughborough. I do admit my ears do hurt when it gets bitterly cold but I love it that you don't need to perspire or feel miserably sticky most times of the year. Okay I need to stop rambling about the weather (a habit I've picked up in the UK!)
Walk along The Serpentine (Lake) and watch the swans, ducks and geese! If you are visiting between March to October, you can get into a paddle boat and soak in the views from the calm waters. Find a shady spot and have a picnic! The juxtaposition of a green, peaceful and quiet place right in the middle of busy London makes it such an enchanting experience.
Debra and I LOVE this park to bits. We basically just sat on a park bench together, stared into the stunning open space and lost track of time.
#3 Most enchanting experience - Spend a day at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Debra and I have such fond memories of enjoying this amazing winter/Christmas spectacle together. You can enjoy rides, games and amazing food at this fair! Best part: FREE ENTRY!
When we brought Matthias to Winter Wonderland in Singapore last December, we showed him our London photos and wanted to give him an idea of what we were visiting. Sadly, he was utterly disappointed and called it 'Winter RuinLand'. The scale of the London Winter Wonderland is just humongous. You get full scale roller coaster rides and countless little huts and family friendly rides
We enjoyed some amazing hot chips, sausages and mulled wine while strolling along in the winter cold. It was a comforting feeling that is beyond description. It may be a little difficult to stay away from all the very attractive candies!
It is certainly somewhere a couple or family can do together and make wonderful memories together. The weather may be cold but the festivities and being with your loved ones warms the heart and soul.
Coming soon: Posts on our trip to Nottingham,Loughborough Manchester, Cambridge and Wales!
Enjoyed this post?You can read about our New Zealand adventures HERE!
The great lure of London took us 10,841km (6736 miles) across the globe from Singapore. It is a trip that we often look back (with a little heart ache) with the hope of returning soon. London is a beautiful city. I would even argue that London is a city of love. (Paris is wonderful but just not my cup of tea).
I became acquainted with London while studying at Loughborough University. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the quietness of a small town, a city boy with itchy feet couldn't sit by the fire all through the long, wet and cold winters in England. That resulted in dozens of train trips down to London. This time however, we were visiting London the first time together as a married couple.
Singapore is well connected to London and flight prices are pretty competitive. You can get Sale tickets for as low as S$800++ for a 13.5hr flight.
Flights from SIN to LHR worth considering:
Direct flights: Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Qantas
1 stopover: Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia Airlines
Most of the time, I fly Qantas (QF) and British airways (BA) because I avoid connecting flights as much as I can. You can get economy tickets on QF and BA at between S$1390++ and S$1800++ depending on when you book the tickets. Singapore Airlines (SQ) START at S$2100++. I don't think the better service from Singapore Airlines justify paying an average of S$500 more. Business class is at least $3000 more on SQ compared to BA.
We caught the British Airways 11pm flight which is in my opinion the best timing to get over jet lag. You board the plane, have your dinner, watch a movie, sip your wine, wake up and its morning in London!
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.