Day 30 Thursday Day 31 Friday
On Thursday we flew to Singapore. The advantage of leaving from Christchurch was that, being a small airport, check-in wasn’t three hours beforehand. We arrived in Singapore about 6pm (local time) in the teeth of a torrential downpour. This is to be expected at about this time every day – we are in the monsoon season. The hotel is large, busy and impersonal – quite a contrast from the places we have become used to.
OK- new city so what to do. We had some ideas and had been recommended to go to the Botanic Gardens, so we popped on the bus ($1.20 each, that’s about 60p), the gardens were free and they were brilliant. We could get used to the heat walking slowly under large trees, plenty of shade and slowly take in the place. So...what did we see? Loads of ginger plants (there’s a photo), a lake with fish, turtles and a rather large lizard swimming about, Jeremy Paxman was filming for a series to be shown next year, large trees and ferns. For refreshment it was fresh pineapple and a slice of carrot cake.
Then off to the shops.
We were dab hands now at the bus thing so took the bus to the main shopping street – Orchard Road. It stretched on for miles! The stores were huge and most of them led on to shopping malls, some on seven floors. It makes Bluewater look like a corner shop. We can think of some people who could spend a week here (and I mean spend). Some really top places....Cartier, Gucchi etc but in other malls were interesting small stores. I could have had shirts by the dozen from the many tailors offering to make a shirt in a day; cameras were cheap, as were laptops (approx £280). We popped into one camera shop to buy a video tape (kids you’ve been warned), and nearly came out with a lens filter – the price started at $60 and got down to $35 by the time we left.
Then some lunch and we were spoilt for choice although we gave “Pig Organs soup” a miss. In one of the malls the whole of one floor was taken over as a food hall and you could point to what you want, which made it a bit easier.
evening, a trip to the Night Safari to see the animals at night. This was an organised coach trip. It was great fun and to be recommended. Unfortunately no photos cos it was too dark. We also had a good view of the Singapore Christmas lights (five miles of them) which made for a great show.
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