For our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided that Singapore would be the perfect place to visit for some quality time together. After arriving at the airport, we took an hour-long journey to reach our hotel, and while we were not tired enough to crash immediately, we decided that it was a better idea to get some rest anyway. We stayed in till after lunch, eating a delicious meal in the hotel itself.

Around late evening, we freshened up and made our way to get our first taste of Singapore by seeing its nightlife. We went to Clarke Quay, Singapore’s best dining and entertainment destination, which is a colourful kaleidoscope of buildings that house antiques, restaurants, hip cafes, jazz clubs and a lot more.

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Since it was a great occasion to celebrate, we decided to make our way to the clubs to enjoy a little bit of the city we were in. We enjoyed a veritable smorgasbord of food, drinks, music and entertainment, all conveniently located in the same vicinity. After the rocking party, we went back to our hotel.

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Shopping around

The next day, we decided to do a little shopping, since we wanted to give each other a special gift to celebrate our love. We called for a taxi, and then made our way to Chinatown - Singapore’s largest historical district, nestled close to the bustling business hub. For a shopping experience that blends traditional Chinese heritage with contemporary offerings, Chinatown is a good place to visit.

The market is nestled amidst exotic pre-war shop houses, where merchants sell bales of fine silk, traditional handicrafts, and gold and jade jewellery. We also visited the large Chinese emporium, Yue Hwa, conveniently located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street. It stocks a wide array of authentic Chinese products such as tea, medicinal herbs, food, household items, antiques and traditional Chinese costumes such as the cheongsam. We also bought two gold rings for each other as our first anniversary gift.

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One shopkeeper told us that the best time to visit Chinatown was during Chinese New Year, when Chinatown Food Market would be abuzz with activity, from lion dances to Chinese opera performances.

You will also find several shopping centres in Chinatown. The malls not only sell a wide selection of Chinese products, they also offer up a range of affordable electronic goods, textiles and discounted cosmetics and clothes. We bought some clothes and cosmetics as gifts for loved ones at home and continued exploring the city.

If you’re keen on looking at unique curios and searching for interesting souvenirs, don’t miss Ann Siang Road and Club Street, where you can explore chic local boutiques such as The Little Drom Store and egg3.

Nature bonding

After spending the best time together as we were shopping, we made our way to the last destination on our list - Singapore Zoo. It was the best zoo we had ever visited. There were almost no cages and the ledges and cliffs were perfectly landscaped to separate the animals from the visitors. Friendlier animals such as orangutans simply swung about in what can be described best as a park wide treetop playground in the sky. It was an absolute joy to see them happy in their little world.

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We then looked for a nearby restaurant as our first dinner date outside India and we loved the Warton noodles and flavours of the food that the restaurant offered.

Before biding Singapore adieu, we decided to visit Merlion Park. It was spellbinding! The sweeping views from Merlion Park across the expansive Marina Bay area were beautiful. We clicked several pictures at the park and after spending fine quality time at the sight, we had to go back to the hotel to pack up.

Singapore gave us a reason to call our first anniversary one of the most memorable days of our lives!