Our Far East adventures are nearly over...🙁

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February 5th 2018
Published: February 8th 2018
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Tuesday 6th February 2018

Awake at just after 7am feeling refreshed after yesterday’s marathon around Singapore. Just so much to see and do. Sarah went off to put the laundry in the machine.....leaves less to sort when we get home. Then it was showered and dressed and off out again. Today will be a day at Singapore Zoo.......we don’t usually visit a zoo but this one is world famous for the way it’s set up, the research they are involved in and the way the animals are treated and looked after. Firstly we called in at the money changers at Little India and then headed out of the city on the MRT to Ang Mo Kio, then it was hop onto the number 73 bus which takes you to the front door of the Zoo. Singapore is getting boring..........😆, everything just works! You get to a bus stop and within minutes a bus pulls up, you get to the MRT and head to the platform you want and again within minutes the train is pulling in, we have never waited more than 4 minutes for either.......you get off the MRT and if you need to get on a bus again it’s there. So seamless and very impressive how it all links together. Also everywhere is just so well kept, litter free and tidy. This is a really great beautiful city. Before we boarded the MRT we went to a great bakery in the mall above the underground and bought some pastries and coffee for breakfast and then once we had eaten we headed down to the train........no food or drink allowed on the platforms or trains. 🙂 The Zoo is a good way out of the city and you change from the MRT to the bus at a big interchange and even then it’s another 12 mile journey.......but a great way to see a different part of Singapore. Arrived at the Zoo and set off to explore. Again the Singaporeans have got it right, beautiful lakes around the Zoo, lovely walks and lots of different zones, Africa, Australasia, Reptiles, big cats, bird sanctuary, the frozen tundra.....yes it was a tad chilly wandering around in that zone. The whole zoo had been very well designed, everything looked as natural as possible with no cages just ditches, water and natural looking barriers. We also had never got so up close and personal with the birds, bats and especially the Orangutans. You can really appreciate and understand why this has to be one of the best zoos in the world. We arrived at 10:45pm and didn’t leave the place till just before 5:30pm. Managed to get some great pictures as well. The Zoo is one of a number of things that you can visit in the area, there is a bird park, night safari area and also river exploration trips. Check out the pictures to understand what we mean. Then it was back into town and we both thought that when we left the Zoo; which was at a time when many were leaving as well, that the bus to the MRT would be packed and queues everywhere. No.....we strolled to the bus stop and the bus pulled in, jumped on board, sat down and enjoyed the ride. Eventually we found ourselves back down on Clark Quay, a vibrant area on the river with lots of bars and restaurants. Enjoyed 2:1 beers for an hour or so before deciding to take the boat trip on the river and out into the Marina Bay to see Singapore by night and the laser show. Only one word for it stunning. The skyline at night was great but when the lights and laser show started it just blew you away. Well worth the money. Again pictures don’t do it full justice. Lightshow over we jumped onto dry land and strolled thro the waterside bars and back onto the MRT and bus to Serangoon Gardens jumping off at the food Hawker area called Chomp Chomp. Time for supper. We wandered around the different food stalls and started with chicken satay, followed by a couple of wraps stuffed with spicy veggies and ended up with some prawn noodles. We managed to visit 3 different stalls but again there are so many it can get confusing. A short walk home and back indoors by 10:30pm after another full on day.

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Our penultimate day in Singapore. Spent a bit of time packing so as we don’t have to do it this evening, then time to plan the day. Think it’s a day of just jumping on the MRT and perphaps revisiting a few places ........just so many! Off to the MRT/Bus Interchange and first stop was Mcdonalds.....not for food but for tea.....they do a good cuppa. Then we strolled to the bakery next door and purchased breakfast which we sat and ate before jumping on the tube. There is no food or drink allowed onto the MRT or the bus. We headed firstly back to Little India for a look around and also explore the hugeness of the Mustafa store. On 6 levels and has so much stuff rammed in its difficult at times to walk around. It sells everything and we mean everything. Sarah was after some material, well so much choice it was mind boggling. Eventually managed to decide on two lengths of Sari material each at 6mtrs long.....will see what is created. John purchased a pair of sandals and then we just wandered from floor to floor marvelling at all the items for sale. Then it was time to continue our walk thro the streets of Little India and we ended up in Tekah market which was another huge area on five floors with a wet market, fruit and veg area, clothes stalls, household goods etc. Again just so much stuff. Also a whole floor dedicated to different stalls selling all variations of Indian food. Decided it was time for a snack so ended up at a tiffin stall and purchased a Dosia plus a refreshing sugar cane juice drink. The lunch was like a thin pancake stuffed with onion and chilli, accompanied by some dips. Then we jumped on the MRT and onwards for a couple of stops to Chinatown. Again a wander around before it was mid afternoon and time to sit and relax with a beer and do some people watching for a couple of hours or so. Nice cold glasses of Tiger beer went down well as did the two curry puffs we had afterwards. More wanderings sampling the various free food offerings to tempt people to buy. Back on the MRT at around 7pm and off to the Swisshotel and the Bar Rouge on the 71st floor. Time for cocktails and our last Singapore Sling for this trip whilst watching the sky darken and fantastic views of the city. We do like a good city skyline for sure. Just as we were leaving a guy came up and asked are you John Middleton...err yes, he then said his name was Colin and he was at St John’s school in Cyprus in the early 70s, the same time as John was there. They are both friends on Facebook and Colin lives and works in Malaya and was in Singapore on business and had found us after seeing our Facebook post saying we were in the bar at the Swisshotel. It’s a small world!! Had a brief chat and said we must meet again sometime.....maybe if we are out in Asia again or possibly in Cyprus as Colin comes over now and then. Time now for supper and we headed to Clark’s Quay and found a restaurant with a table right on the edge of the river. Enjoyed a huge meal of satay style prawns to start, followed by beef with noodles, a whole Chinese style roasted chicken plus fried rice, plus a couple of beers and glasses of wine. We were stuffed. Time to head back to our bed, again we ended the day at McDonald’s for another cup of tea! Home, brief chat to Ronnie and we headed up to our room. John checked in online for the flight, they were trying to tempt us with upgrades for Business class but the price was not tempting at all! Then it was time for some internet surfing and catch up on what was happening with our log cabin project before tiredness took over.

Thursday 8th February 2018

Time for all good things to come to an end and we were up and at them at just after 6am this morning, showered and finished the last piece of packing before saying farewell to Ronnie and starting the long journey back to a very cold and wet U.K. Stepped outside and it was still dark as we boarded the bus to the interchange and onwards to Changi Airport, No dramas on the way except Sarah found young persons wallet on the platform so John hot footed it up the escalator and handed it in. Arrived at Changi and checked in was smooth, in fact very smooth.....upgraded to business class! Seats 1E and 1F......we are nearly on the pilots lap. It must have been Sarah’s hat she was wearing! But what a great way to end our Far East travels. We wandered around the terminal and we were both looking for some nice polo shirts we had spotted on our outbound journey over 3 weeks ago. Managed to find the shop and decided to have one each......it must be our lucky day as if you buy 2 you can select another for free. We really must by a lottery ticket this weekend! Boarded our Airbus A350 and found our seats 💺 and immediately asked what drinks we would like plus also hot towels to wipe our sweaty brows. Take off was delayed due to an issue with the cargo, then further delayed as it’s the Singapore Air show and we had to wait until they had finished a display before we had a slot. Oh dear, never mind an extra 90mins to be spoilt! Whilst waiting we perused the a la carte and drinks menu. Meal orders were taken.....eat when you want sir. Susan our personal cabin attendant was there to make sure we enjoyed our flight. Sarah had the Arabian meze for starters whilst John had the grilled prawns.....then tenderloin of beef followed by cheese and biscuits. For pre lunch drinks it was a rose champagne for Sarah whilst John went for a Cuba Libre followed by champagne with the meal and port to enjoy with the cheese and biscuits. Ended the meal with a nice espresso coffee and a baileys. Have to say the champagne never stopped flowing throughout the flight and the service was very good indeed. Enjoyed the experience. As we were delayed taking off from Singapore we only had an hour to catch the onward flight to Heathrow, no problems at all and we made the departure gate with ease. It really must have been our or should we say Sarah’s day because as she went to board the aircraft she was asked if she would like another upgrade and take the last business class seat left. She did twitch for a minute but John said take it and enjoy! So off she went and sat upfront whilst John was in the galley at the back. Another amazing experience for Sarah. Flight this time was in a Boeing 777, which was a nice aircraft but we both agreed the Airbus had the edge. Nice smooth flight, landing at Heathrow at 8pm and by the time we had gone thro passport control, collected luggage we were in our Premier Inn room at 9pm. We did plan to eat this evening but we were to full from the meals on the way home so it was just cups of tea all round.

So there we have it, our Far East adventure has ended and its back to normality whatever that is. We have had a really fantastic time exploring three countries; Myanmar has to be seen and was a real experience and we are so glad we visited. Vietnam and returning to Hoi An was great, we just love this pretty town. Finally there was Singapore, what a city and one we will return to. All our accommodation was good, each in its own way, mostly small family run places but the service was always with a smile and they really could not do enough for us.

If anyone is thinking of travelling to the places we have visited and want to know more then le us know, we would be happy to help! For those that have read the blogs you deserve a medal. 😄

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