Singapore seen through the eyes of an expat

Today we’re sharing a guest post written by Marie Hernandeza travel blogger and journalist from New Jersey that is now living as an expat in Singapore with her husband. In this post, Marie shares her favourite spots in Singapore, including where to eat and what to see and do.

Singapore seen through the eyes of an expat

As an expat living in Singapore, I’m constantly asked how life is for me thousands of miles from home. Originally from New Jersey, I can’t deny that the change was a big one.

I’m a travel enthusiast and a beach and hot weather junkie, so moving far away where the average temperature all year round is 80°F was not at all painful. But culturally, economically, and socially the changes were something I needed to get used to.

Like all new ventures everything was exciting! I spent the first six months exploring my new country, getting to know it’s people, culinary delights, and customs.

Then I settled into life on this small red dot and absolutely fell in love.

Singapore is a melting pot of several Asian countries. Although founded by a Brit in 1819 named Sir Stamford Raffles, it was originally conquered and occupied by the Japanese. She gained her independence in August of 1965 and has been a rising star in the financial world ever since. Some of the world’s biggest banks reside in Singapore, as it is one of the safest countries.

That doesn’t come without a cost…it was just voted the most expensive city in the world to live!

Although there are a growing number of expats from around the world moving to Singapore, the majority of her residents are a mix of Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Indian. And as such, Singapore is famous for its love of food and is a haven for fine dining gourmets and street food junkies alike.

Walk down any street and you’ll find local food served in Hawker Centers. (Open-air complexes typically found near public housing estates) Every mall often has more restaurants and eateries then they do stores.

A few of my favorite places are Lucha Loco an excellent Mexican restaurant that offers a fusion of Mexican and Asian. They have a great atmosphere and are an up and coming trendy place to hang out with friends.

Capricci is an Italian fine dining eatery owned and operated by Massimo Squaro. His 20 years experience and passion for food shines through in the delectable dishes served at his charming restaurant.

My ultimate favorite and one that I recommend whenever someone is visiting Singapore is Mezza Nine. It’s located in the Grand Hyatt and offers diners literally hundreds of culinary delights. With its nine different dining experiences; steam basket, deli counter, wok, grill, seafood, Thai, yakitori, sushi, patisserie counter and a martini bar there is something for every palate and it is impossible to leave less than satisfied.

On the cutting edge, Singapore has some of the most remarkable architectural designs. One of my favorites is the Marina Bay Sands (pictured above). Internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, from Las Vegas, designed the spectacular hotel/convention center/shopping center/restaurant/casino/theater and it truly is an amazing sight to see.

My favorite thing to do is to ride to the top and take in the breathtaking views from the Sky Park. You gain a sense of how extraordinary Singapore is when you get a 360° view of her.

Another marvelous architectural feat is the ‘Gardens By The Bay’. It’s an attraction that encompasses three spaces where you’ll enjoy Super trees, a waterfront garden, and a vertical garden that generates it’s own solar panel and rainwater that acts as a ventilation system for the whole park.

The most amazing thing to me…it’s all enclosed in an air-conditioned space! Now, how can you have plants from every corner of the world and successfully grow and display them in air conditioning? It’s simply remarkable!

Sentosa is another of my favorite spots. It’s an island resort that includes a long man made sheltered beach, two five-star hotels, two golf courses, Universal Studios, South East Asia’s largest aquarium S.E.A., Resorts World Sentosa, which has a fantastic theater, and much more. The theater is exceptional and I’ve seen theatrical events like The Lion King and Wicked.

There is no shortage of things to do or places to see in Singapore and its central location to some of the world’s best tropical islands makes it an awesome base to do research for my blog. In my 4 and a half years here, I’ve never been bored.

Singapore is brilliant at keeping up with the demands of an ever-changing world and I am happy to call her home…for now.


Author bio: Marie Hernandez is a travel journalist/blogger, the founder and author behind SeriouslyTravel. Originally from New Jersey and now living in Singapore, she and her husband travel throughout South East Asia discovering the beauty of “the other side of the world”. Her desire is to inspire everyone to explore the world; even if it’s just in your own back yard. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.