Singapore – In addition to traveling to Japan, I spent a few days in Singapore to visit the famed Evolve MMA school that is home to many fighters from the OneFC circuit. The country is rather small and you can see most of it in a few days. The biggest attraction is the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands. Many people travel here for either business as it’s a big hub for finance or food since Singapore is a unique country where several cultures are blended together.
When arriving, you’ll land in Changi Airport which is rated as the top airport in the world for four years in a row. Depending on which terminal you are in there are several things you can check out:
- Kinetic Rain
- Cactus Garden
- Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi
- Water Lily Garden
- Orchid Garden
- Sunflower Garden
- Enchanted Garden
- Entertainment Deck
- Movie Theater
- Koi Pond
- Butterfly Garden
- The Slide
- Central Galleria
- Heritage Zone
- Save a map of the MRT train system on your phone. There are taxi’s all over the city but it is much more efficient and cheap to use the train system.
- Since Singapore is close to the equator, be prepared for humid weather with occasional thunderstorms.
- If you want to use your cellphone in Singapore be sure to either reserve pocket Wi-Fi ahead of time online or have a phone that is unlocked that will allow you to use sim cards from Singapore.
- Most shops and restaurants take cash only (especially hawker stalls), so be sure to exchange for lots of cash at the airport.
- Most of the tourist attractions are located close to each other so map out where you would like to go ahead of time.
- If you’re planning to visit the infinity pool, be mindful that it is for hotel guest only. The hotel says that check-in is at 3pm on their website but I was able to check-in at noon. This all depends on when your room is ready.
- Save money by eating at the hawker stalls and family-owned restaurants. The food is much more authentic and way cheaper.
- Train stations have multiple exits so based on where you’re going, make a note of which exit you need to take to avoid getting lost.
Places to Visit as a Tourist
Singapore is not too large of a country but there are many things to see as a tourist. Food is really cheap and fresh and nightlife is abundant. Here are a few things to check out while you’re in the country:
- Marina Bay Sands
- Clarke Quay
- Merlion Statue
- Hawker Stalls
- Little India
- Sentosa Island
- Singapore Flyer
- Night Safari
- Gardens by the Bay
- Jurong Bird Park
- Cloud Forest
- Waterfront Promenade
Of course there are many specific spots at each of these locations I enjoyed so if you are looking for specific recommendations shoot an email to me at http://bjjbug.net/contact-us/
- Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.
On this trip, I visited one of the locations of the highly rated mixed martial arts academy in Asia, Evolve MMA. The closest location to where I was staying was located in PoMo Mall.
The facility is fairly large and has great amenities such as showers, towels, and gi rental. Upon entering you’ll see their apparel shopping area and private training mat area on the left. After signing the waiver and paying the drop-in fee you’ll be given a tour of the facility. On the walls you’ll see several framed photos and bios of all the Evolve MMA fighters and instructors.
Towards the back of the academy there are two mat areas. When I was there, one was used for Muay Thai while the other was for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
After changing into my gi, class started with a cardio warm-up. The class for that particular day was taught by World Champion Teco Shinzato. The focus of the class was various wristlocks since some of the students were getting ready to compete soon in a tournament.
After being shown these techniques, we were partnered up with various students to drill. I had the chance to work with JB, Barbara, Tiah, and Richard who were all high level students that also provided great advice.
As usual, we finished up the class with a few sparring matches. I was able to get four rounds in before my stomach started growling since it was past lunch time. Overall, I had a great experience. I stayed a good 20 minutes after class to chat with the other students too about Singapore and they gave tons of recommendations as to what I should check out during my stay.
If I’m ever in Singapore again I would definitely visit again to train. Maybe an evening class since I heard those are packed full of students.
Singapore has dishes from many cultures as well as their own staple dishes. There are just too many restaurants to name so below are a few items I would recommend trying:
- Chicken Rice (Hainanese)
- Chili Crab
- Katong Laksa
- Roti Prata
- Oyster Pancake (Omlette)
- Singapore Fried Carrot Cake (Savory)
- Roasted Duck
- Curry Puffs
- Dim Sum
- BBQ Sting Ray
- Water Rice Cake (Chwee Kway)
- Mee Goreng
- Mee Siam
- Various Indian Dishes
- Fresh Coconut
Photos from Singapore:
A great place to visit to sightsee and enjoy good food. Singapore is very humid so that was my only complaint but the infinity pool made it worth it. Great transportation is present throughout the city and good people all around.
Singapore – November 2016
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