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Published: December 4th 2017
Cloud Forest conservatory, Gardens by the Bay
"Encore un article en français" - allez-vous dire... Eh bien oui ! Je ne relis aucun de mes articles (a priori, ça vaut mieux) et apparemment (comme on me l'a rappelé récemment !), mon niveau de français fluctue selon la fatigue et semble très anglicisé ! Au vu de mon niveau de fatigue ce soir, je préfère donc ne même pas essayer ! (et aussi, je suis à l'aéroport et j'utilise un ordinateur avec clavier QWERTY et taper les codes pour les accents, c'est long !).
Apologies in advance for the quality of this article (even though I never read through any of my articles once written so I should probably apologise for them all!) and the length - it is my first time using a computer to write a post so I might go a bit crazy! It is the middle of the night here and we are in Singapore Changi airport, our flight to Bali is in 5 hours and we are enjoying the many things to do here. Changi airport is indeed told to be one of the best in the world with many facilities including free cinemas, shopping malls and even a swimming pool.
we went to Singapore. We couldn't take it in Malaysia anymore, so we didn't want to stay there to wait for the situation in Bali to get better. And we loved it! After more than two months traveling in Sri Lanka and Thailand, a big modern and clean city is incredibly refreshing!
We took a cable-car to Mont Faber, where we took in a very nice panorama from a viewpoint and rang the Happiness Bell! We met a very nice woman from New-Zealand but who lives in Australia - she actually almost rode her bike into me - and chatted to her for half an hour about our lives and the things to do in Singapore. She offered to meet up and do something together once we get to Sydney!
We then took the cable-car to Sentosa, the island off Singapore - named 'the State of Fun'. It was very nice although we did not take part in any 'fun' attraction as they were pretty expensive. Thinking back, it looked a lot like what we expected in Palm Jumeirah, one of the Palm-shaped islands in Dubai. We saw the biggest statue of the Merlion, a half-lion half-fish creature
which is said to protect Singapore. The statue is at the end of a nice path with mosaic sculptures and ponds. Then, we took a 'skywalk' (long bridge over 40 metres above sea level) to Fort Siloso - the only restored fort on Singapore - and visited it (for free!). It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it! The fort was built when trade to Asia flourished after the opening of the Suez Canal, as Singapore became a strategic location worth defending for the British! They built Fort Siloso to defend Singapore against invasion from the sea but the guns were all turned inland during the Battle of Singapore in 1942.
I found the story of the fort during WW2 fascinating. Basically (and from my understanding after reading all of the info in the fort), the UK did not spare enough men to protect Singapore as they did not think the Japanese forces were a real threat. The Japanese however, were very well trained and more numerous, they applied a blockade and the British forces had to surrender. Following the fall of Singapore, half of Sentosa island became a POW camp.
On the next day, we visited the Gardens by the Bay, a wonderful place with two impressive conservatories. We had an amazing time in there, taking in the beauty of the place. We also visited the Christmas Wonderland there, and I had a raclette (French cheese specialty) as there was a Raclette stand there!
After that, we had the best time in one of the best hotels in the world... Shaun booked the night for the wrong day (after the wrong plane disaster, he did not want me to mention this other incident in the blog!), but the receptionist just changed our booking. We had a beautiful room on the 12th floor with a balcony, view on Gardens by the Bay (it was AMAZING!!), a big bathtub, a king size bed etc. The infinity pool on the 57th floor with a view on Singapore was definitely worth it (and only open for guests!!). In terms of service, it wasn't that amazing but to date, we have not paid for the room (about 350 pounds a night) as they accidentally charged us twice (but the second time, it did not go through as we did not have enough money on the account) and then after we complained, refunded us (thinking they were refunding us for the overcharge - but actually refunding us for the only time we paid...
On my birthday night, Shaun found a great restaurant where we had an amazing punch cocktail and 'salade périgourdine' - a French specialty with duck foie gras and had duck confit - I absolutely love those and was the happiest woman! I even got a cake on the house and the waiters sang me Happy Birthday!
After that night, we went back to our Chinatown hostel (big downgrade!!) and rested before leaving for our sleepless night at Chiangi airport. Fingers crossed, we will get to Bali tomorrow!
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