Lifestyle

How Mikael Daez Spends 48 Hours in Singapore

This popular tourist destination still has a few hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.
IMAGE Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board
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As a travel vlogger and foodie, Mikael Daez likes to go off the beaten track. “It’s not like I’m averse to tourist areas, it’s just that when I’m there on my own, my priority is to feel the beat of the city and go to local areas,” he says. While Singapore may seem like a pretty touristy city, Daez never gets tired of going there—apart from visiting his best friend, the country’s vibrant culinary scene allows him to pursue his passions for food, coffee, and travel. Here, Daez shares how he would spend 48 hours in Singapore.

FRIDAY

12:30 p.m. Coffee Kick
If you feel like having breakfast for lunch, head to Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Shop (150 Tyrwhitt Rd), which serves Papa Palheta coffee. “The cold brew with milk there is special,” Daez says. “It’s not your usual cold brew with milk—they have a heavy cream mixture which just sweetens it slightly and gives it an amazing flavor. So unique.” He also enjoys Chye Seng Huat’s muesli and friands, which come in nutella, blueberry, and raspberry flavors.


1:30 p.m. Hit the Shops
No trip to Singapore is complete without shopping. Check out the curated fashion items at Kapok at the National Design Centre (111 Middle Rd) or get a ready-to-wear suit at Benjamin Barker (Orchard Cineleisure, 8 Grange Rd). “I like their stuff so much and [wearing it] makes me kind of unique in the Philippines because it’s not here,” Daez says of Benjamin Barker. Try and resist the urge to buy everything at Naisse (Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Rd.), a novelty shop that sells all kinds of quirky and cute items.

 

5:30 Sunset Drinks
Have a pre-dinner drink at the rooftop of Potato Head (36 Keong Saik Rd), a collection of bars and restaurants housed in a heritage building in Chinatown. “[It has a] nice view—it’s like Z Hostel on steroids. Great burgers,” Daez remarks.

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6:30 p.m. Australian Barbeque
Burnt Ends (20 Teck Lim Rd) is one of the most popular restaurants in Singapore, so unless you’re willing to spend three hours waiting outside (which Daez would gladly do for good food), make sure to reserve at about a month in advance. Sitting at a countertop table and watching Chef Dave Pynt smoke, grill, roast, and bake your dishes in four-ton dual cavity wood ovens and elevation grills certainly makes for a memorable experience.


8:00 p.m. Manhattan Bar
After dinner, head to Manhattan Bar (Regent Hotel, 20 Cuscaden Rd), which topped the list of Asia’s Best Bars for 2017. “There are a lot of Filipinos there, they’re very nice,” Daez adds. Always good to chat up a compatriot behind the bar.

 

10:00 p.m. Sober Up
After a night of drinking, Daez’s hangover food of choice is the dumplings at 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi (126 Sims Ave), pronounced Wan Dou Sek. It certainly helps that the place is open 24 hours.

 

SATURDAY

7:30 a.m. Early Start
Grab breakfast at Common Man Coffee Roasters (22 Martin Rd), another one of Singapore’s most popular cafes. “Go there early because if you don’t, you’re never going to be able to get a table,” Daez warns.

9:30 a.m. Time Travel
Take a day trip to Pulau Ubin, an island off the coast of Singapore. “I’m not super big on history or museums but I was able to appreciate this because it’s like Singapore stuck in time,” Daez says. “However Singapore was 30 years ago, 40 years ago, that’s how Pulau Ubin is. They don’t have the [tall] buildings. It reminds me of a regular Filipino province which is unheard of ’cause that’s not how people know Singapore.”

If your schedule allows, book NParks’ monthly Kampong Tour, which will take you around restored houses from the 1960s, the vegetable and spice gardens of Sensory Trail, and the beautiful lake at Pekan Quarry.

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3:00 p.m. Nature Walk
After a leisurely lunch, join NParks’ Chek Jawa Wetlands tour. Volunteers will guide you down a scenic 1.1-kilometer boardwalk and help you spot the marine life, then take you to Jejawi Tower where you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of Pulau Ubin.

7:00 p.m. Eat Like a Local
End the day with dinner at Fishball Story (73A Ayer Rajah Crescent), located in Singapore’s residential East Coast. “We like fishballs, you see them on our streets. There, they have their own version and it’s noodles topped with fish balls and fried fish skin, and it’s just amazing,” Daez says. “It’s super good and they have their own version of fishballs made with real fish. I think ours is just 99 percent extender, but we like it that way so it’s different!”


 

SUNDAY

10:00 a.m. Free Fall
After breakfast, go for one last adventure by trying simulated skydiving at iFly Singapore (43 Siloso Beach Walk). You’ll get to jump into a wind tunnel and experience the feeling of falling from 12,000 to 3,00 feet, all while enjoying a breathtaking view of the South China Sea.


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Angelica Gutierrez
Angelica is currently Editorial Assistant for Esquiremag.ph.
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