Singapore — More than just a layover?

Although London had been having an absolute blinder of a summer in 2018, we had a massive urge and desire to head back to Asia for a couple of weeks. This time, we headed to two new destinations for our content library — Singapore and Malaysia!

I had technically visited Singapore about 13 years previously on an 11-hour layover back from Australia with my parents, but it was the middle of the night and let’s be honest, that’s not the best way to explore a city. Ever since then, I’ve been keen to revisit and get a proper feel for the place and see what more you can see beyond a layover.

Travel photography from Singapore
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Throughout our time in Singapore, I managed to get a whole bunch of images I’m incredibly pleased with. During the trip, I was just looking to capture everyday life and wasn’t fully sure how the narrative would pan out. Since returning and editing my images, I’ve noticed there’s just something about the clean aesthetic that I find really striking when reviewing back my images.

All images in this post have been edited with my URBAN CHROME Lightroom Presets which you can purchase and use in your own photos.

URBAN CHROME Lightroom Presets

URBAN CHROME Lightroom Presets

Edit your photos with a unique style via the bespoke Lightroom preset packs: URBAN CHROME vol.1 and vol.2, inspired by the urban life of Japan.

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I did try a new style of video to go on my channel and keep the vlogging aspect for Jelly Journeys, but unfortunately, it just didn’t really pan out the way I had hoped, so I scrapped my video. I did manage to make a photo editing tutorial from the trip though, so a lot of the footage didn’t just go to waste.

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Without fully realising it, I’d been following quite a few photographers based in Singapore over the past couple of years and had been building excitement for all the architecture I would see. Although Singapore is actually a tiny island city-state, it’s world-renowned for its incredibly strong economy and multi-cultural society. You can definitely see this influence across the glossy skyscrapers, adorned with international bank logos and residential blocks flavoured by unique and often complex designs.

Gardens by the Bay

When jetlag is in your favour, you’ve got to make the most of it. Quickly seeing the sun come up, we decided to go to Marina Bay Sands area first to get an overview of the city skyline, before we headed to Gardens by the Bay. Even at 9am before the doors opened it was swelteringly hot. We were so glad to get into the nature park, especially the Cloud Forest that’s climate controlled, making it a lot cooler than outside.

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Travel photography from Singapore
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Travel photography from Singapore
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I’ll admit that I had pretty high expectations for Singapore, basing a lot of my judgements on what I love about Hong Kong, a city with a similar history to Singapore. With all the excitement of an evening flight out of Heathrow, just like our flight to HK at the start of our major travels back in January 2016, I felt extraordinarily giddy about flying again.

Wandering Chinatown

Singapore is known for its hawker centres which are massive food courts where you can eat some of the best street food. Visiting a hawker centre is definitely a “must do” for the best way to try out local dishes and really fit into local life. Through our research for finding out what to eat in Singapore, Elly was keen to find ‘carrot cake’ and Hainese chicken & rice. Both sounded like familiar meals, but forget the basic name and give them a try!

Travel photography from Singapore
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Travel photography from Singapore

A practice we follow often when visiting local food spots, is to pay attention to the stalls with the longest queues. Take note of who’s standing in line and if they seem like locals and regulars, there’s a high chance it’s for good reason. If the line is filled with people looking like they’re seeking the latest trendy Instagram shot, you may have to research further to truly see beyond any #hype.

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Exploring cultures

We stayed at the M Social Singapore; a uniquely designed hotel that I found on Booking.com and fell in love with. The interior was designed by renowned product designer, Philippe Stark and had some of the most unique fixtures I’d ever experienced in a “standard” room — I’d highly recommend checking it out!

The hotel is also in walking distance to explore Tiong Bahru. This area was recommended to us as the ‘Melbourne’ of Singapore so many times in Instagram DMs and comments across our posts, as it’s hidden with super chill cafes and bakeries.

Full disclosure: we had no connection to M Social for this trip and paid in full as regular guests, however, the links above are uniquely affiliated to us and allow you to support our content if you choose to book through them.

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A hop on MRT to Bugis area, we wandered around Arab Street, Haji Lane, Bali Lane and Little India which is all within the same area.

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You’d think it was just routine by now, but I honestly love the logistics of flying. Sometimes I struggle to actually get to the planning stages of a trip, because I’m far too distracted about everything related to airlines, airports and the flight there!

I was happy to be flying QANTAS A380 for many reasons, but mainly for the nostalgia from when we lived in Australia. I’m still desperate to get my hands on some of their swanky pyjamas, but unfortunately, they’re only available to business and first class passengers and they didn’t take my hint when I tweeted to them 😔

Travel photography from Singapore

In three days of intense heat in July, we managed to see a lot of Singapore, but I know there’s still more to see. It was a great warm up to spend our next week in Penang, Malaysia where we experienced even more amazing street foods.

URBAN CHROME Lightroom Presets

URBAN CHROME Lightroom Presets

Edit your photos with a unique style via the bespoke Lightroom preset packs: URBAN CHROME vol.1 and vol.2, inspired by the urban life of Japan.

Download URBAN CHROME combo

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