You may remember my post “Cocky Club Zouk” from Kuala Lumpur – about the supposed best nightlife spot in the city. Neither Michael nor myself were particularly impressed. But as it turns out, Zouk KL is actually just the little brother of Zouk Singapore, where it all began. Zouk has won the Singapore Tourism Board’s “Best Nightspot Experience” award 6 times in total, ranking consistently on DJ Magazine’s list of Top 10 clubs in the world. At the moment it’s #9.
This I had to see.
So although I woke up late feeling a bit under the weather (almost considering staying in), well, as the day wore in you can probably guess how it went 🙂 I ultimately succumbed to temptation when, after getting home from a quick shopping trip to Sim Lim Square, a group of 4 female backpackers from the UK overheard my mention of Zouk. They liked what they heard and suggested we go. So I ran to the convenience store, grabbed a handful of drinks, and hailed a cab across town.
It turned into just about the most unexpected night of the trip.
Zouk itself was fun, but nothing all that mindblowing – the gem encounter in fact took place outside during a short break from the action. Although I don’t smoke I do often find myself in the smoking area at clubs – simply because they’re outdoors, away from the music, and offer a quick escape from the sweaty packed interior. Plus they’re consistently great for meeting new people as everyone’s hanging out and chatting rather than jumping around to the music.
It was here that I met Nazreen, a local Indian out with some friends. We chatted for a bit before someone called her to leave – apparently she was with a much larger group out for a multi-stop circuit of the big city’s nightlife. But rather than saying goodbye, her and her friends invited me to join.
“Sure, why not!” 🙂
They led me outside, past all the Ferarris and Mercedes, and into a chartered van all to themselves. It’d been commissioned specifically to escort them from venue to venue – as it turned out they were celebrating a wedding, and their close friend, a wildly successful Indian millionaire living in Singapore, was sponsoring the whole thing. Next stop: the rooftop bar at the Marina Bay Sands!
As outrageous and extravagant as any Las Vegas casino, the Sands’ defining characteristic is its rooftop “themepark” – a bar, pool, and oasis built 80 stories in the air and spanning its trio of towers. It’s the very same spectacle I’d been marveling at just one night earlier – who could’ve guessed that 24 hours later I’d be standing at the top.
Here I was introduced to the remainder of their group, consisting of Bollywood moviestars and multimillionare businessmen; they ordered bottles of Grey Goose like it was water, making sure to keep every drink topped off. I was the only non-Indian there, but I barely even noticed: everyone was fantastically friendly and welcoming. Especially Sankar, the man behind it all.
We stayed up there until just after sunrise – even when closing time came the hotel kept things running just for us. Then around 7 we headed downstairs to a suite they’d rented out for the evening. The fun continued until nearly 10am – less than an hour before I had to checkout of my hostel. It was now Sunday morning, the day I’d arranged to switch lodgings. So exhausted and disheveled I said my goodbyes, hurried downstairs, bolted for a cab, and arrived with just seconds to spare.
Sadly my new bed wouldn’t be ready until later that afternoon – but by this time I was too exhausted even to stand. I checked in and plopped down on a beanbag in the lobby, not moving a muscle for the rest of the day.
What a night.
A big thanks to Nazreen, Sankar, and everyone else who made my only weekend in Singapore so memorable 😀
Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place on February 19-20th.