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Published: April 30th 2016
SINGAPORE - 2nd April
This was the end of the first leg of our cruise from Sydney and there was going to be another turnaround of passengers.
Like Hong Kong we were only here for one day instead of the normal two, and as we have been here and done most the sights we knew what we wanted to do.
Our aim was to visit The Gardens by the Bay - so more on that later.
Singapore has a wealth of attractions and over the past 5 plus years we have seen the Marina Bay Area grow from reclaimed land to what it is now.
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the focal point with its boat shaped roof top sitting on three blocks.
The city has come along way since Sir Stamford Raffles founded it in 1819, it's a city of colours, cultures cuisine and contrasts.
Speaking with guests before arriving in Singapore it shows how many things there are to do, it is very compact but you do have to be organised to fit in the attractions.
There is something for everyone including a visit to Universal
studios on Sentosa Island.
The island can be reached by cable car from Mount Faber (we did this route a few years ago) or there is a frequent monorail service.
There is Chinatown, Little India and Arab street, so you can see theses different cultures in all their authenticity.
There are museums, botanical gardens, zoological gardens, Chinese and Japanese gardens.
There are even Mosques and temples!!!
Then of course there's Raffles Hotel where you have to visit the Writers Bar and order the famous Singapore Sling, you only need one at the prices they charge!!!
The Waterfront is the heart of the city and is found along the shores of the Singapore river, Boat and Clarke Quay are found here and this where superb restaurants have sprung up.
You can dine al fresco and enjoy the atmosphere of these popular spots. You can choose from Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Korean, Japanese, European or even a takeaway hamburger - it's breathtaking.
At the mouth of the Singapore river is the 8 metre high Merlion, the tourist symbol of Singapore. Over the Bay you can
see the Marina Bay Sands hotel, the Science Park and the huge Singapore Flyer.
We only had one goal on our visit and that was to see The Gardens by the Bay, two years ago on the second day of our stay there was such thunderstorm and rain that we couldn't visit.
A short taxi ride for a few Singapore dollars took us straight to the entrance.
After a short audio tour which took us down past the greenhouse domes, through to the Indian, Malay and Chinese gardens, past the Colonial garden, the Web of Life, the World of Palms and the Secret Life of Trees.
The central part of the gardens is the Supertree Grove with its Skyway (a walkway 22 metres up).
These Supertrees come to life at night with a spectacular light and sound show.
This is an award winning garden, the Flower Dome is in the Guinness Book of Records (Worlds Largest Glass Greenhouse) and has been awarded World Building of the Year.
There is too much to see and after a cup of coffee, there are 13 food outlets, including McDonalds and Pollen (Jason Athertons Michelin
starred cuisine) but no Starbucks thank goodness we opted to look at one of the two domes.
The Cloud Forest was our choice and as we entered the misters came on which gave the whole place a rather surreal effect. There is a 35 metre man made mountain and waterfall.
A lift and a few stairs take you to the top and then it is a slow walk down from the highlands amidst orchids, pitcher plants and ferns.
I hope the pictures do it justice.
After the cool of the Cloud Forest, the heat and humidity outside hit you like a brick wall, so walking around the bay was going to be too much. We detoured round the Kingfisher lake and headed back to the ship.
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