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Published: January 7th 2019
(Cj writes): This is the fourth time we’ve been to Singapore, and our third joint trip (I met Nik and Solli here for a fun-filled week last June, and Steve came years ago when it was an astonishingly exotic destination). Yet we’ve managed to go to some new places as well as old haunts. Old haunts: Chinatown and Clarke Quay (aka ‘Tourist Central’). New discoveries: Kampong Glam and Little India (which smells like Rajasthan as soon as you set foot there) and Sim Lim Square, actually a tower block crammed to the gunnels with shiny tech shops. SC - we also managed to get up to the top of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel. A stunning observation deck we we watche the sun go down and the the Marina Bay light show from above.
Similarly we saw the different light show at the Gardens OnThe Bay last night...something we had missed previously. Excellent! Finally we travelled out on the train to visit the Chinese Garden, with some Bonsai that were over 300 years old, and a Japanese Garden. All very nice but frankly it was too hot too really enjoy.
FOOD: On our first night we ate simply
- deep fried pork tonkatsu (a Japanese dish: pork escalope dipped in panko crumbs - absorbs much less oil than ordinary crumb), served with gutsy miso soup, steamed rice and the bright yellow pickled radishes that I love. The next night I introduced Steve to a steak house that Nik and I discovered - only five minutes up river from Clarke Quay, but much better food, and much better value too. Last night we walked a few minutes in the other direction from Clarke Quay - towards the Straits - and had a beer (‘Little Creatures’ IPA, an Australian brand that we enjoyed in New Zealand as well. SC visited the actual brewery in Fremantle, WA) on the river front at Boat Quay, and then ate a really very good Italian pasta a few doors down. Steve knew the area from way back, but it was new to me.
Today we’re finding things to do that don’t end up with me getting too hot (ye gods, it’s like a very hot steam bath outside at noon, which means ... yes, yet another shopping mall. (SC I have enjoyed some Tech shopping here... New phone, new ipad!) There are more
shopping malls per capita in Singapore than anywhere else in Asia, apparently: Vivo Mall is the biggest with 7 floors and 4 food courts, and incorporating the Harbourfront MRT Station (gateway to the playground Sentosa Island) in its depths. We have no more luggage space - in fact Steve’s main suitcase is terminally ripped due to excessive volume of contents, so if we buy anything it will be a new one to get him home! We fly at midnight (already looking forward to 14+ hours in the air ... NOT!). This has been a very long holiday - the longest either of us has ever done - and we’re both ready to go home (oh the wonders of Hive! Our respective houses will both be warm by the time we get there).
Best memories for me, in no particular order: being woken on Christmas morning by a very excited Solli; watching the New Year fireworks; the stunning Mayan archaeological site Palenque in Mexico; splendid steak dinner in Guatemala City; long chats with Nik; playing Uno (a card game) with Solli; jet boating through stunning scenery in Queenstown NZ; exploring together. SC would add dolphins and whales to that list.
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