Having previously shared this article on the BeMyGuest travel blog, and with the Singapore GP coming round again this year, this proud Singaporean and F1 fan really wants to share with a wider local audience about celebrating this great event and Singapore at the same time!
F1 Night Race Singapore Grand Prix – Better than being a celebrity in Singapore!
The list goes on…featuring household names, international celebrities, living legends…what other similarities do these larger than life idols share in addition to being ridiculously famous and boasting millions of Twitter followers?
They were all in Singapore last weekend!
Singapore was host to dozens of stars as part of the Singapore Grand Prix F1 Night Race weekend.
So was I; I played host and chief entertainer to my international friends from Malaysia and Japan who visited Singapore for the F1 Night Race, thanks to BeMyGuest who distributed exclusive Singapore Grand Prix packages, as part of a short weekend getaway.
That’s where the similarities end.
Unfortunately for the abovementioned rich and famous, they did not get the same privilege my guests received – a uniquely local experience not to be found in all the glitter and dazzle afforded by the popular hangouts like ME@OUE and Amber Lounge graced by the likes of Paris Hilton and David Beckham.
From Wednesday to Sunday, I gave my guests an insight to the melting pot and global hub that is Singapore, something that stands in contrast to their respective home cities. As a self-appointed ambassador for Singapore to promote everything wonderful and amazing about my home, I took pride in showing the visitors the greatness of my city and they also witnessed first-hand how everything and anything were right at our fingertips here in Singapore!
I may wear rose-tinted glasses when it comes to publicizing my glorious country, but my guests were certainly impressed in the few short days that they stayed here – they loved the people for their modern ways and diversity, the literally thousands of different delicious food options that spoilt them for choice, the first-class orderliness as well as infrastructure (they had no complaints with the public transport even during crunch time before and after the finals of the Singapore Grand Prix!), and certainly the numerous local activities served up for entertainment. One single gripe was something that will resonate within other Singaporeans as well – our climate was seriously not cool (pun intended).
Singapore, home of state-of-the-art attractions and fascinations, demanded that my guests paid a visit to some of these of course. Everyone loved the new River Safari, and thoroughly enjoyed the local cocktails and a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline from the world’s tallest roof-top bar in the heard of Singapore’s financial district.
Having dutifully paid tribute to some of Singapore Tourism Board’s prized destinations, I ensured that I dished out to my friends from abroad the unique local charms and lures.
My tailor-made and custom itinerary introducing Singapore through my eyes is of course a closely guarded secret but just so you know, I delivered many a SHIOK culinary experience as well as some culture surprises for the Japanese and Malaysians!
Before a tear-jerking farewell (Who knows when we will meet again?), my international buddies warmly thanked me and my other local hosts-friends and shared with me their favourite local experiences.
Here are their recommendations –
1. Slurp up and DAH (bottoms-up in local dialect) the award-winning Singapore Tiger Beer
Indeed, Tiger Beer can be found in almost any city in the world today, but enjoying a glass of Tiger Beer filled with ice, with foam over-flowing in a kopitiam (local community coffeeshop) is truly a unique local experience that is best enjoyed in the Singapore heat!
2. Savour and MAKAN curry chicken laksa
Only in Singapore do people enjoy queuing up and forming lines so much so often, and this odd trait must be “suffered” by all visitors before a meal – it is believed that the longer the line, the better the food is supposed to be! What was concluded was that the waiting time built up a great appetite and this was proven right because the particular dish (leave us a comment if you want to know where to find this famous curry chicken laksa!) which made us wait more than 30 minutes for was rightfully to-die-for!
3. Snack on Cone-Dosai if you have “itchy-mouth”
In Singlish (Singaporean-English) we refer having the munchies to having an “itchy-mouth”, which calls for a snack! No snack or fast food comes as close to being a novelty and fun dish like the Cone-Dosai which must be had at any of the longstanding vegetarian Indian restaurants in Singapore’s Little India.
4. Walk on the wrong-side of the law (almost) in Singapore
Singapore, famously (or notoriously) known for its strict laws, and not for nothing being nicknamed A ‘FINE’ CITY, especially against drugs and most tobacco products, is home to street vendors that sell mild narcotics. Before you get the authorities all over me and my friends, these are licensed vendors, with the proper authorization to sell the natural narcotic – betel nut. Served up in mint leaves and other spices, betel chewing can leave one with a mild narcotic effect!
It was greeted with widespread disappointed when 1 World Fest, an international music festival organized in conjunction with Singapore F1 Night Race, was cancelled last week, but it may be for the better after all – we indubitably don’t want Snoop Dog/Lion/Cat/Mouse to be all drugged up from betel chewing!
It was with great pleasure that I had this opportunity to showcase my beautiful Singapore to my international visitants, and to experience the island like a local and see our nation through my eyes. I also want to thank them for being such great company; I cannot visualize playing host to Miley Cyrus and her twerking ass (thank goodness she did not visit Singapore for the F1 Night Race weekend)!
Will you be attending the F1 Night Race this year? Are you excited for the quieter races, or can’t wait to see J.lo and John Legend? Share your photos with us by tagging us on instagram @ShiokSG!