Solo Travel to Singapore + Bali

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After months of planning, it was time for my first big solo adventure to Singapore and Bali. I’m glad I booked all my flights with Singapore Airlines because they are absolutely incredible! Above average legroom in economy, hot towels, stainless steel cutlery and well-seasoned food. My highlights were the Dreamliner aircraft with tinted windows (yes, tinted windows) and the pork noodles for breakfast. They can get all my coins for future travel to Asia, because who wants to suffer through a 13-hour flight?!

36 Hours in Singapore

With only 36 hours in Singapore, I wasted no time in exploring the city. The Raffles Hotel is under restoration until 2019, so no Singapore Sling for me! Instead, I went for dinner and ate one of the best pork dishes I’ve ever tried at a random restaurant in Chinatown. I chose the busiest spot and although it was loud and crazy inside, the food was so good.

Gardens By The Bay, Singapore

 

After dinner, I explored one of the ‘must see’ spots, Gardens By The Bay, which is really beautiful at night. I love how safe it is to be out alone at night as a solo traveller in Singapore. I was out alone until after 11 pm which is something I avoid in most places.

It was a toss-up between visiting the zoo and going on a foodie adventure, so I left bright and early for breakfast at one of the hawker centres. I was pissed to discover that Anthony Bourdain’s favourite breakfast spot in Singapore was closed on my only day in the city. I always have a plan b, so I ate at a popular noodle eaterie instead. I’ll definitely share more on the food centre experience because it’s definitely an experience!

World's Cheapest Michelin Star Dish

Several places in Singapore have received a Bib Gourmand, but I had to try the world’s cheapest Michelin Star dish: Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle.

I spent my afternoon wandering around the Botanic Gardens which is Singapore’s first UNESCO site. It’s so picturesque and peaceful. I had so much fun exploring the tropical paradise until sunstroke got the best of me.

Botanic Gardens, Singapore

On my way back to the hotel, I visited Hajii Lane and stocked up on sheet masks. I waited for the sun to go down, before having dinner at a nearby restaurant to try one of Singapore’s national dishes – Hainanese Chicken Rice. Suddenly feeling more energised, I ended up staying out late on Orchard Rd and going for dessert. It was a visit, but I had a great time In Singapore and was looking forward to my next stop: Bali.

Bali

Landing in Denpasar was hell on Earth. I was ambushed by taxi men as I came through arrivals. They follow you through the airport even after you decline their services. Ironically my taxi driver in Singapore told me that foreigners often get a culture shock when they leave to visit other Asian countries. I insisted I’d be fine because I’ve been to Asia before, but low and behold, my words came back to bite me.
I ended up switching on my data roaming and booking a Grab (the Asian Uber) to avoid paying the 400k (£20) they quoted me at the airport. The driver wanted to meet on the 5th floor of the carpark, but since I was not trying to get snatched, I met him at the entrance instead. I later realised he was trying to avoid an altercation with the local taxi men who are very territorial. One of the guys scratched the side of his car and yanked one of the doors open as got into the vehicle. Complete madness, but worth it for the 187k fare!
Note: if you’re wondering why I didn’t book a transfer. The internet said getting a taxi at the airport is easy and affordable. The internet lied. My advice would be to either book a transfer or use Grab straight away.

Ubud

Ubud was my least favourite place due to the remoteness and reliance on the local (extortionate) taxi drivers. I enjoyed how pretty and serene it was and being able to see the local customs and traditions, but that’s about it. I planned to practice yoga but ended up eating, lounging by the pool and indulging in spa treatments instead. The Bali Swing experience was definitely the main highlight of Ubud and another ‘tick’ off my bucket list. I’d try another resort area next time as a place to relax, but for first-timers, it’s worth visiting.
Infinity Pool. Ubud, Bali

Canggu

I absolutely loved Canggu! It wasn’t until I arrived here that I really fell in love with Bali. I spent my time eating at the different restaurants and cafes on the strip and trying out new cocktails at night. My hotel was in a great location on the strip so I was able to walk everywhere. I wish I could have spent more time here, but I made the most of it by exploring as much of the area as possible. The beach was a short walk from my hotel and although it was dirty, it relaxing to hear the waves and enjoy the sea breeze.
Canggu, Bali

Seminyak

Seminyak was my final stop in Bali. You can tell it’s a touristy area because all you hear in the street is ‘Taxi ma’am? Transport? Massage? Shellac toe?’ I spent most of my time shopping, eating, visiting beach clubs and spending even more time at the spa. Spa services are so cheap in Bali I booked a treatment every other day.
Canggu has cute resort wear boutiques and Ubud is known for its authentic silk kimonos, but Seminyak is a fashionistas DREAM. I left for breakfast at 9 am and didn’t get back to my hotel until 4 pm with several bags. Everything was reasonably priced: snakeskin bags, leather slides, silk dresses, linens…I was in heaven! I would go back JUST to shop.
Sunset at Ku De Ta. Seminyak, Bali
Whilst shopping I met two lovely American ladies who invited me to dinner at Ku De Ta. I had the most amazing night with great food and great company. Ku De Ta is a beach club/restaurant/bar with a beautiful oceanfront setting. I arrived just in time to watch the sunset and really soak up the atmosphere. It was also a highlight for me as I stepped out of my comfort zone as an introvert and made new connections.
After checking in and out of four hotels, it felt weird to be going home. Almost.

Layover in Singapore

With just 7 hours in the country, my layover in Singapore was a carefully executed mission. I rushed over to the next terminal once I landed, strategically leaving my bags where my final flight was departing from. Then I hopped straight on the MRT and headed to Lime House Caribbean restaurant for dinner. I previously met the founding chef in London and made a note to visit during my trip.
I was immediately greeted with dancehall music and an extensive rum menu which put a smile on my face. For starters, I had the fried macaroni cheese balls. They come with a dipping sauce, but the waiter treated me to their homemade hot sauce which was delicious! For my main course, I had oxtail with rice and peas, followed by banana cake for dessert. I had no business eating a three-course meal before my flight, but the food was good! I want to go back to experience the bar/lounge upstairs which I didn’t get see to due to time constraints.
Oxtail at Limehouse, Singapore
Lastly, I did the one thing everyone must do in Singapore: go for drinks at the Marina Bay Sands Skybar. I arrived just before sunset and the view was breathtaking. Pics don’t do it justice! I had an amazing time in both countries, but Singapore really captured my heart!
Skybar, Marina Bay Sands. Singapore
6 Responses
  • Char xo
    September 20, 2018

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! Bali sounds overwhelming from when you land?!? How did you find it being out and about on your own?

    • Megan
      September 20, 2018

      The airport scenario was definitely a shock, but after that it’s fine. I should have arranged a pickup really! Going out and about on my own was completely fine, I took taxis after dark or kept the walking distances very short (and in busy/well lit areas) for my own peace of mind.

  • Munachi
    October 22, 2018

    Brave soul! I love that you did this, I’m currently in Bali and will take up some of your suggestions. Can’t wait for seminyak shopping

    • Megan
      November 3, 2018

      Thank you for reading! I hope you had a wonderful time in Bali!

  • Jennasworldview
    October 28, 2018

    MegFabulous
    Reading this makes me want to book flights asap!
    Bali has always been on my list but now Singapore sounds like somewhere I need to be.
    I do not know how I would cope with doing it solo, but it sounds you had an amazing time.
    I love that you met two American ladies and they invited you out to dinner. Also that Caribbean restaurant omg I would love to visit.

    “One of the guys scratched the side of his car and yanked one of the doors open as got into the vehicle. Complete madness, but worth it for the 187k fare” – LOL This is very wild but these taxi men do not play games!

    Thanks for sending me your post girl, I enjoyed it.
    Happy Sunday Queen

    Jenna
    xoxo
    https://jennasworldview.com/2018/10/23/free-flow-in-barcelona/

    • Megan
      November 3, 2018

      Thanks for reading Jenna! Definitely visit Singapore, it’s worth it for the food and views…also it’s only 2 hours from Bali. I’m more than happy to share recommendations and tips on solo travel if you need it. Megan x

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