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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Singing the praises of Singapore

(Lloyd and Carys) Initial reminder to those reading, some comments below would be great, so we know we aren't operating in a vacuum!

(Lloyd) Wow, what a place, and to think my only knowledge of Singapore before the last 24 hrs was dropping chewing gum on the floor is a capital offence - that is an urban myth right?  Although chewing gum has been locked away for the duration of our stay.

Couple of initial positives:

Lonely Planet Guide say taxis are a problem to get - that is nonsense - they are everywhere, reasonably priced, and drivers friendly and helpful.  Learnt all about 'Kraki' ( you had to be there) and a variety of other local landmarks.

Easiest the most navigable of Asian cities I have visited, from a very selfish point of view, the colonial influence mean English still a first language, which for Neanderthals like us (apart from multilingual Chrissi) was a fairly easy city to adapt to when brain not functioning after a long flight.

View from breakfast at the hotel this morning, Clarke Quay, and the city beyond that we needed to get out and explore.  After around 8 hours sleep for some last night, no time for pool which was a change.  There was a big City to take another look at.  Strolled out into the heat, taking in a couple of the colonial history, Hill Street Police Station had a lot of info about the criminal influences from the 19th Century that seems to have been well and truly reversed in this day and age.  You can't even throw away your chewing gum don't you know, and yet it was gangland central in years gone by, known as the 'Chicago of the East'

Raffles the other obligatory stop as we spent a fortune on a round of drinks (we knew that was coming) and it had been budgeted for!  #Singaporesling

(Carys) Day started of by me waking up at possibly the latest time I have ever woken up, 20 to ten, yes I'm an early bird - bear in mind I hadn't gone  to bed until 1:30 ish in the morning. When I saw the time I felt really disappointed, as I'd aimed to get up early and go for a morning-swim by the pool. No such luck though, as breakfast closed at 10:30, so straight off to food it was....

Food....ahhhhh....breakfast. My stomach is rumbling just reminiscing about the delicacies that had been laid out. Sausages, bacon, eggs, cereals, pastries. Even curry! I didn't have any, however both my parents did. The thought of the curry for BREAKFAST made me want to throw up just there and then.

Anyway, I stuffed my face until I could eat no more. Mmmm, what a treat it was! After breakfast I went to examine the pool, and unfortunately, it looked lovely. I wished I could have gone In it, but there are many more times I will get to 'swim.' My idea of 'swimming' generally means lounging around in heavenly blueness.

After the 'breakfast of my dreams,' we headed towards the famous, historical Raffle'ss Hotel. It took us ages to get there as we kept going left, left, right, right, left, right, left, left, right, left, right, right, right and on and on and on! When we eventually did get there with sweat dripping down our hot foreheads, we went for, what dad calls, 'the most expensive drinks of our lives.'

It was lovely inside the bar, and air conditioned to! Air conditioning is like a treat for tourists in Singapore. If you have never visited, and do go some day, always over prepare yourself for the excessive humidity and heat of the small, island country.

(Lloyd) With such a short time in the City we then took a duck tour (last done in Boston) both fun and informative.  Quality education system, environmental thinking, high technology all features of this City State.  Infact it could be a template for the globalized city of the future, thinking ahead both in terms of its structure, population and mind set.  A pleasure to be shown around, and see how so many cultures have assimilated in what appears a non judgemental and progressive way.  Scenery not bad either!

(Carys) After Raffles we wandered over the City Center Sector for our  'Duck Tour.' Now, some of you may be confused as to what this is. Basically, It's a  tour on a bus that drives around Singapore, and then turns into a boat, as we go onto water.  It was so  much fun.

The scenery was just unbelievably beautiful, and our tour guide was funny, kind and very helpful. I learnt ALOT of new, interesting facts, like how Singapore is in the top 4 financial centers globally and they have to pay some people to have children as their population isn't growing required rate.

(Lloyd) Lots of walking followed in the afternoon heat, down to China Town where we got a sense of old time Singapore, and very old time Asia, particularly the temples - spent a few moments in the mindblowing  Buddah tooth relic temple which was something out of some movie or other - thinking Monkey Magic.  A bit of street food on Food Street, chicken noodles (but of course!) and plenty more photos.  Further walking back to Clarke Quay, and then taxi to the airport.  Now lounging there, blogging in very relaxed surrounds.  Singapore airport beats Heathrow so far for me.  Don't forget to vote in the poll below :)

(Carys) After thee Duck Tour we took a long and tiring stroll in the burning heat to 'China Town.' On the way we saw a praying temple, then we walked down to visit a different temple, for Buddhism. Me and my dad went inside to admire the fabulous architecture - gold, reds and yellows everywhere. There was some sort of ceremony going on, and the Buddhist seemed to be praying to the humungous, lovely statues of the Buddha ahead of them. We left soon afterwards as not to disturb their peace.

Then we walked down to 'Food Street' in 'China Town.' We all shared a plate of chicken curry noodles and a plate of  chicken rice - I enjoyed the chicken curry, but didn't try much of the chicken rice as I don't really like rice.

Next, we walked all the way back to our Novotel, collected our baggage, caught a cabbie to airport and now here we are. Only 1 hour away from going to our plane. ....

What is everyone is doing back home?