Singapore Day 2: Orchard Road, Chinatown, And Central Perk
Our second day in Singapore started with a free breakfast courtesy of the eatery that was a few blocks away from where we were staying. They let you chose between a plate of pork bun (popularly known in the Philippines as siopao) or a plate of toasted bread with two hard-boiled eggs. The toasted bread combo always won for me because of the delicious spread. It tasted like sweetened butter with a fruit jam but I couldn't guess what fruit it was. I thought of asking the lady in charge if I can buy a jar of it somewhere so I can take it back home in the Philippines, but I guess it was their own mixture.
After breakfast, we prepped for another full day of wandering. Orchard Road, Chinatown, and Central Perk Singapore were on our list of must-go places that day. I mainly wanted to go to Orchard to check out Naiise and Library @ Orchard. These two places came highly recommended as a "place you shouldn't miss visiting" by Abbey Sy — one of the local artists in the country that I'm a fan of.
The popular ice cream sandwich! I think it's a must to indulge in this while in SG
Getting to these places was a bit of a challenge, I must say. From Serangoon, we took the train to Orchard. Then we walked several blocks, relying only on Google Maps. Since I didn't have a Singaporean SIM card with data, the directions that we were following weren't accurate. We went back and forth and probably in circles too around the same area that Google Maps was telling us, not realizing that these places were inside Orchard Central (which was a shopping mall) until I spotted Naiise's signage.
Naiise is a freakin' wonderland for someone who loves cute and quirky knick-knacks like me. Plus, most of their stuff is made and designed by local artists. I wanted so much to buy a lot of things but I only ended up buying two postcards: one with a foldable cut-out of Marina Bay Sands and another one with a cute design of the White Rabbit candy — the one with an edible paper coating (lol I don't know the exact term for it).
If Naiise is a wonderland for people who fancy cute stuff, Library @ Orchard is a paradise for bibliophiles. It's beautiful how much Singapore's government give importance to reading that they built a library inside a shopping mall. The place has two levels of oddly but beautifully designed shelves of books. I believe they have a copy of every title you can think of. If leafing through books and magazines isn't your thing but you still want to stay in a quiet place to study or do work, it's a great place to do all that. The best part? The place is free. I can't help but feel jealous knowing that the city library we have in my city (Cagayan de Oro) is in a depressing state.
After Naiise and Library @ Orchard, we went to Chinatown to check out the shopping and hawker stalls. It was a busy place but I kind of like how it was. People were doing their own thing and I enjoyed seeing all of it. What I enjoyed the most was the cheap (by their standards lol) things on sale. We decided to buy our souvenirs there because most shops have deals like 6 fridge magnets for 10 SGD or 6 keychains for 8 SGD. I even bought myself a super cute passport cover for 7 SGD which was such a steal for me.
Checking out one hawker stall after the other was a surreal experience. I've heard about these things a lot of times before and it was cool that I was able to finally see what it was all about, in person. The variety of food we saw was incredible. It's a bit of a challenge to decide what food to eat and which stall to buy it from because of how seemingly endless the choices are. From egg tarts to Peking Duck soup, they have it all.
Okay, I'm not gonna lie. Looking for Central Perk Singapore was tiring and a bit frustrating. I actually wanted to give up because, from Chinatown, we walked several blocks to reach Central Mall. It was tough finding the mall too but it was all worth it when we finally saw the Central Perk logo. It was time to release the fangirl!
I started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S a month ago and I'm taking it a bit slow. I'm already on the 7th season and I'm such a huge fan of Monica and Chandler. Imagine how ecstatic I was to finally visit this themed cafe! It's the closest thing to being on their actual set. My crankiness and tiredness totally went away.
We ordered their frappes which were named after the main characters. I had the Monica one since she's my favorite character and my friend coincidentally had the Chandler drink. I ended up begging him to exchange drinks because mine was too sweet and zesty (since it was a mainly a cranberry drink) for my taste.
The cafe plays episodes of the series, projected on a white screen. They also have a souvenir corner where you can take photos in Monica's kitchen and Chandler and Joey's room. Rachel's wedding gown and tons of other iconic things were on display too. If you watch the series and saw all these stuff, you'll laugh and remember the scenes.
We wrapped up the day by not talking to each other during our train ride back to Serangoon because of how jaded we were haha. Day three will be up soon! 😉