Mr. Selfish and I spent three jet-lagged days in Singapore. Since we hadn’t been before, we wanted to hit the highlights of Singapore.

First, we wandered around Chinatown (since the hawker centers are there) and visited the Tian Hock Keng Temple. The temple was built in the 1840’s after the influx of Chinese immigrants arrived. Although the main temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea and protector of all seamen, the back temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy. 

Singapore 072Chinese Temple Singapore 076 Singapore 079 Singapore 084

Next, we walked to the Clarke Quay and took the riverboat cruise. It was quite expensive and short, so I wouldn’t recommend it. However, we did catch our first glimpses of the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands (more on these later).

Singapore 139 Singapore 144 Singapore 149 Singapore 155

Once we finished the riverboat cruise, we walked to Fort Canning Park, which is right next to Clarke Quay. Formerly a military base, Fort Canning Park is now a park.

Singapore 168 Singapore 177Park Singapore 182 Singapore 183

The next day, we visited the Merlion proper. The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion head and a fish’s body. It is Singapore’s national mascot since Singapore originated as a fishing town and its original name (Singapura) meant “lion city.” From the Merlion, we had a good view of the Marina Bay Sands, which is the building shaped like a surfboard. It is a casino built by the Las Vegas Sands that was opened in 2009 and cost $8 billion to construct. Mr. Selfish and I didn’t visit the Sands this time around but will visit it when we return to Singapore in March. 

Singapore 221Singapore 227Singapore 222

Lastly, we walked to the Asian Civilization Museum, which was a surprisingly large and informative museum. There was even a large collection of art and displays from Vietnam.

Singapore 276Museum Singapore 241 Singapore 250 Singapore 256 Singapore 272 Singapore 273


Mr. Selfish and I will be glad to return to Singapore in March. Not only for the hawker stands but to enjoy drinks at the top of the Marina Bay Sands.