Blogs from Singapore, Asia

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Asia » Singapore April 20th 2014

3 whirlwind nights in Singapore....where to start?! We started with an 8 hour flight to Dubai. I'd managed to get us seats together 'in the middle in the middle in the middle' of the plane, which I soon lived to regret. 2 wonderfully robust gentleman appeared either side of us fussing with their bags. I found myself praying that these gentlemen were hovering over the seats Behind us. But no, no. Hayley and I were rapidly condensed to a seat and a quarter. After the cramping, invasion of personal space and constant elbow/jaw bashing, the seats 'in the middle in the middle in middle' we're definitely not a great plan. STA had sold the 'quick' stopover in Dubai as 'just long enough, not much waiting around'. In hindsight I fear STA failed to mention that we ... read more

Asia » Singapore April 14th 2014

4thApril Singapore We arrived into Singapore on a very hot & humid morning. This is the third time we have been here in the last few years but the first time we have arrived by sea. We berthed at the brand new cruise terminal which has recently opened within sight of the metropolis of Singapore city. The skyline here is dominated b the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which we have seen from a basic structure to the completed building. We went up to the viewing platform on our last visit (2011) where there are amazing views of the city. The amount of building has not ceased and they are reclaiming more and more land from the sea to accommodate the need for space. An island republic in the Malay Peninsula, Singapore has come a long way ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown April 11th 2014

This morning I took a combination of subway and bus to the Jurong Bird Park. (See photo) This is basically a zoo, but dedicated solely to birds. It has a series of walk-thru aviaries as well as birds that are apparently out in the open air. I'm not sure how they get the pelicans, storks, and others to stick around... The park turned out to be more engrossing than I expected. The birds seem very well cared for and quite active. Even the raptors were hopping and flying in their large enclosures. I have seen a number of different species of penguins and flamingoes already on this trip, and I saw more today. (See photos) I attended one of the shows. I generally don't like performing animal shows, but this one was at least semi-educational. (There ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown April 10th 2014

Today I finally got around to doing the thing I most wanted to do in Singapore: visit the riverfront and the old colonial area. Singapore is an island located at a critical intersection between China (and the Far East) and India (and the Middle East and Europe). It has served as a trading port for centuries. It was a British colony from 1818 to 1959 (I think). Since independence it has become an economic powerhouse through trade and attracting high tech jobs through corporate tax breaks. Despite its modernizations, the old colonial center is still mostly intact. So I started my day at the grand old hotel know as The Fullerton. (See photos, including one that shows the koi pond under the main stairs.) Across the street from the hotel is the Merlion fountain. (See photo) ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown April 9th 2014

This morning I started the day at the Chinatown subway ticket office. I bought a three-day tourist pass for the subway and bus system that allows me to travel as much as I want. I used it to travel to Little India which is the equivalent of Chinatown, but is where the Indian community is based. I was there to join a walking tour and it turned out that about 15 other people had the same idea, so we were a bit larger than ideal size for a walking tour through a crowded urban area of market stalls and narrow sidewalks. Still, it worked out all right and the guide turned out to be very good. She was born here and, although she did not disclose her age, she claims to remember when Indian washer women ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown April 8th 2014

This morning I woke up without a clear plan for what to do today. After breakfast, I checked the weather report and decided to go to the Singapore Zoo. It is supposed to be one of the best in the world, so I was looking forward to it. The zoo turned out to be pretty darn good, IMO, but they do things a little differently from other zoos I have been to. The first thing to say is that it is located in the tropics, so the flora, as well as the fauna, are different. The grounds support remarkable growth of trees and other plants and the hot, humid weather makes many species we consider exotic to feel at home. The zoo specializes in primates and they have a very large troupe of orangutans. Generally orangs ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown April 7th 2014

I was up early this morning (a little before 4 am, in fact) so I could make it to the Perth international airport for my flight to Singapore. I got to use the Qantas lounge and that was nice - they even had a barista on duty to make espresso drinks. Before leaving Australia I exchanged my thirty seven leftover Australian dollars for Singapore dollars. Each one is worth a little less than a US dollar. The flight was smooth and we got into Singapore on time. There are a series of steps one must take when arriving in a new country (Singapore is the name of the city AND the country). By the time I got through passport control and collected my bag, cleared customs, used an ATM to get local currency, stopped at the ... read more
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Asia » Singapore March 29th 2014

Set off on an 8 day trip that takes me to Singapore for one night, then onto Sydney for one night and then back to Singapore for two more nights before heading home to London. Usually this is a 9 day trip with two nights spent in Singapore initially but on this occasion I got to position out as a passenger which meant I had one less night. Not complaining, was absolutely loving life being treated to this. Had couple wines and watched the film Twelve Years a Slave. I'd just finished reading the book, it's such a sad and horrific story. Probably wasn't the best idea watching it on a plane as I got bit emotional. I then slept for the entire flight and missed the meal services. Oh well. Got to hotel in Singapore ... read more
View of Marina Bay from my balcony
Boat Quay
Just try it...

Asia » Singapore » Chinatown March 28th 2014

Our day began with a beautiful run in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. These gardens are what the entire island of Singapore was once made up of. They are one of the only few areas that are protected by the provisions of the World Heritage Site recognition within Singapore. The locals not only use these gardens to get their daily exercise and walk their dogs:) but they are considered to be healing and tranquil. We found them to be both. (Sorry, no photos as we could not run with our camera. I also wish that we could have "scratch and sniff" on this blog to share with you the aromas that are prevalent throughout this area.) Our next outing this morning involved a trip to an older part of the city to purchase our bus tickets to ... read more
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Asia » Singapore » Orchard Road March 27th 2014

We finally arrived in Singapore about 12 hours apart from each other, myself at 2:30 in the morning, and Chastity got here just before 2pm. we spent the afternoon wandering around the city, It was a hot and sunny afternoon ( 32 degrees celsius) and about 90% humidity. Included below are a few pictures from our walk and dinner. Both of us are really feeling the jet lag catching up so this a short entry!... read more
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