Three Hours in Singapore

Our layover in Singapore was long enough that my coworker and I were able to spend a few hours in the city which by the way is very lush, green and full of palm trees; all things I did not know.

Also, things I do not know: laws of Singapore. As we were in the cab headed to the city admiring the view of the tallest Ferris wheel in the world:

Singapore Flyer

I offered my coworker some gum only to see her face tighten up and a shooing motion arising from her hands. Right. There is a ban on imported chewing gum ban. I brought contraband in my purse and almost flaunted it in public! Good thing my coworker is on top of things.
We arrived at Maxwell Road Hawker Center in pursuit of chicken rice. Chicken rice comes from the Hainan province of China. If you never had it, it’s a very flavorful dish in which a whole chicken is boiled in a meat stock making it super moist and juicy. It is served with rice that is cooked in the same stock the chicken is made with.

We picked the stall with the longest queue figuring it must be good. Indeed, the chicken rice dish was superb and a steal at $3 a plate!

Next we walked around Chinatown where I almost started jaywalking. Again, my coworker had to remind me that they kill you for that (or something like that). Chinatown was subdued compared to the ones in San Francisco and New York. There was no pushing through throngs of snap-happy tourists or disgruntled locals. Maybe just one snap-happy tourist…

Don’t judge my appearance. I just spent 19 hours in the air.

The architecture was very interesting. Below is a picture of the monument that sits atop the entrance of the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple.

These window shutters remind me of a little European town (sans the Chinese banners everywhere).

Next, we headed to a shopping area on Orchard Boulevard. There is certainly a macaron fever in Singapore. Even McDonald’s is catching it:

A little ridiculous, no? I feel like this would dilute the macaron’s awesomeness. Then again I did not try it so who knows; this may be the best creation in fast food history since Burger King’s chicken fries.

We did try macarons at La Maison du Canelé, a cute pastry store and café which sold meringues, chocolates and macarons but sadly no canelés!

These were the size of my hand!

Sadly, as good as the macarons look, they were not true macarons.

The flavor was good but the chewy consistency was off and there was way too much filling to cookie. Also, the almond flavor was non existent. It seemed more of a meringue than a macaron.

That was all we had time for. We headed back to the airport hotel to shower and get ourselves ready for the last segment of our journey to Dhaka. Compared to the 24-hours Anthony Bourdain gets for his layovers, three hours may seem paltry, but we did accomplish a lot. Singapore is such an interesting city and I hope to be back soon!

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