***This is part 1 of my “Big Fat Indian Wedding” trip report detailing a recent trip to Singapore and India***
2. United Global First Lounge at SFO
3. Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Lounge at SFO
4. Singapore Airlines First Class San Francisco to Seoul
5. Singapore Airlines First Class Seoul to Singapore
6. Conrad Singapore
7. Eating Singapore Part 1 – Flowers, Supertrees, and a River Safari
8. Eating Singapore Part 2 – Hawker Stands, Chili Crab, and Kouign Amanns
9. Dinner At Singapore’s Best Restaurant, Restaurant Andre
10. Premier Lounge at SIN, SilkAir Economy Class to Hyderabad
11. Part Hyatt Hyderabad
12. Exploring Hyderabad
13. Etihad Airways Business Class Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi
14. Etihad Premium Lounge at AUH
15. Etihad Airways (Jet Airways Config “Jetihad”) First Class Abu Dhabi to San Francisco
You might be wondering why I’ve come out with another trip report with the word “fat” in the title. Well, as I mentioned in my last trip report, I live my life a quarter-pounder at a time.
See, everyone prefers a certain style of travel. Some people like leisure trips, where they sit on the beach, sip margaritas all day, and polish off a couple books. Others travel for culture, spending their days at historical landmarks and museums. And others seek adventure, jumping off tall buildings and into shark-infested waters.
The best way I can describe my style of travel is “fat”. It’s related to but not quite the same as culinary or foodie travel, where you’d visit a destination to learn about the history of food in that area and to sample the local cuisine.
Instead, fat travel is where you eat as much as humanly possible on each and every flight, indulge in the hotel’s free breakfast, eat 5-10 square meals a day, and return home 10-15 pounds heavier than when you left. It also helps when you’re flying First Class and that airplane food includes caviar and lobster.
The whole reason for this trip started with an invitation to my coworker’s wedding in Hyderabad, India. Because Hyderabad is literally halfway across the world from San Francisco (12.5 hours time difference to be exact) and because my coworker made it clear that you can see everything you need to see in Hyderabad in less than a day, I figured that it’d be a good opportunity to plan a stopover.
Flush with Singapore Airlines miles, it only made sense to have that stopover be Singapore and I outlined the math behind that booking here.
For many, Singapore is the culinary capital of the world. I’d rank it as a close second behind Japan. But Singapore certainly did not disappoint, and we made sure to indulge in signature dishes like chili crab and Hainanese chicken rice.
While there’s quite a bit to sightsee in Singpore, we spent more time at the hawker stands than anywhere else, stuffing our faces with delicious bowls of laksa and minced pork noodles.
We also managed to sneak in a fine dining experience at Restaurant Andre. This was by far the most inventive meal we’ve had anywhere in the world, evidenced by the “bake your own cake” dessert as an example.
My only gripe about the food in Singapore? It’s way too salty. In fairness, that was due to the constant stream of sweat dripping off my face and into my food. But in all seriousness, the weather in Singapore is nuts, and you’ll want to be prepared to experience a level of sweating that you didn’t realize was humanly possible.
The Indian wedding was a multi-day event that left little time for extracurriculars, but we did manage to sneak out for a day of sightseeing around Hyderabad. For those that haven’t been to an Indian wedding before, they are really fun and would recommend making some single Indian friends ASAP as an investment in one day being invited to an Indian wedding. Plus, you get to dress in cool outfits and try out new dance moves.
It’s well-known that you can find good value in South East Asia, but I was blown away by the prices in India. We booked an enormous and beautiful suite at the Park Hyatt for about $175 per night, and were taking hour-long Uber rides across town for less than $5.
Finally, on the way back I decided to burn some American Airlines miles and fly West through the Middle East on Etihad. Except it wasn’t really Etihad, and instead the Jet Airways-configured little brother that’s been nicknamed “Jetihad” and widely considered to be inferior to big brother. I may have been the only person out there excited to try Jetihad, and the final verdict is that this is a perfectly acceptable First Class experience and in my opinion, certainly not worth an additional layover on top of an already ultra long-haul 16 hour flight.