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Published: January 15th 2023
After breakfast on January 4th we got a Grab to the bus station for our overland journey to Singapore. We travelled through the green lush countryside to the border. The cheap alcohol I bought in Langkawi for my cocktail making was getting more expensive as I had to pay customs duty 😉 We finished the journey in the north of Singapore and got a taxi to our hotel,The Scarlet in Chinatown. Perfectly located with a handy indoor food market near the end of the road as well as Maxwell MRT station.Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 22nd this year so the shops are busy and the streets are being decorated in preparation for the year of the rabbit. We were given a corner room which didn’t have windows as the street is on a hill but it had plenty of lights and a well stocked fridge which was replenished daily 😋We sorted ourselves out and went for a brief wander around the neighbourhood.The wonderfully named Buddha Tooth Relic Temple adorned with Chinese lanterns was at the end of the road and we had dinner at Ju Fu Fang in the food market.
The next morning we headed down to
Gardens By The Bay and Marina Bay. Wonderful landscaped gardens, 2 main lakes, sculptures, 2 shell shaped conservatives and the iconic Supertree Grove are in the GBTB. The Marina Bay Sands hotel with its viewing deck and infinity pool overlook the bay. We walked around some of the 250 acres GBTB then had to shelter from a heavy thunderstorm under a bridge ☔️Steph had managed to book a slot for the viewing deck so we headed up there for sunset and to watch the Supertree Garden Rhapsody music and light show on one side then the Spectra Light and Sound show with choreographed fountains on the other. We got the MRT back via dinner at the Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre which is housed in a restorec Victorian building.
On Friday we went to the Botanic Gardens to visit the National Orchid Garden. Opened in 1995, it has over 600 species and hybrids on display. The colours are stunning and there is a VIP area where orchids named after State Visitors and other VIP’s are displayed.The UK is well represented with Margaret Thatcher; Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana amongst those with orchids named after them. We also saw
a Monitor lizard and a crimson sunbird, the national bird of Singapore.
Our next stop was the Night Safari which is the worlds first night zoo. Openec in 1994 it enables the visitor to see nocturnal animals at night. We did a tour of the park on the tram and then walked the 4 interlinked trails. It was a pretty surreal experience walking around in the dark and trying to spot animals and birds.
On Saturday we visited the Battlebox in Fort Canning park. Built in 1936 this underground building was the control centre of the British Army in WWII and where the difficult decision to surrender to the Japanese was made. It is a fascinating place with lots of authentic artefacts to look at and original film to watch. After being underground for a couple of hours we walked down through the park to Clarke Quay to have lunch. We then made our way to the historic area near the bay for a walk around Raffles and a cocktail at the roof bar at the National Gallery before heading to the GBTB to enjoy the Supertree show up close. We went to the Observatory on the
tallest Supertree to view the area from up high and the start of the show then went to lie down at street level to enjoy the rest of it. We had a late dinner at Maxwell Food Court before packing as we had an early start next day.
Up before 7 to check out and head to Singapore Zoo for breakfast with the animals.We were the first to arrive so got a table at the front and tucked into the buffet breakfast. More people arrived and then the stars of the show, 2 cheeky Orangutans came down to enjoy their food on nearby branches. There was also a Coati, a huge iguana and a Green parrot. We were able to take pictures and get up quite close the the animals. We had a wander round the rest of the zoo before going over to River Wonders, the river themed zoo and aquarium It is also home to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, Giant Pandas on loan from China who welcomed a baby boy Le Le on August 14th 2021. We hoped to see one, two or, optimistically all three but were aware that mum, Jia Jia, is very shy
and the toddler sleeps a lot, However, we were in luck and saw all 3.
We headed back to the hotel for a shower and then to the airport for the long journey home after an incredible trip with so many highlights.
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