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Asia » Singapore
July 16th 2008
Published: July 25th 2008
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We arrived in Singapore about 11 hours after we got on the train at Jerentut in Malaysia. The train was incredibly slow and at each stop people got on/off the train to have a look around, buy food and generally slow the journey even more. We also had some mechanical issues which meant we stopped somewhere between stations along the way for about an hour and a half, luckily they were solved when someone was genius enough to suggest using a 30cm meat clever from the kitchen...hmm I'm sure we didn't need whichever cable they cut?

Scott's friend Bill was waiting for us at the station when we arrived which was nice and handy. We jumped in the car and headed off towards his house (which he shares with two other guys) in Jurong West. Bill lives in one of the many identical multistory residential buildings that cover Singapore and after 2 days Scott and I were still struggling to find which building was his! We stayed up late chatting and catching up.

The following morning Scott and I slept in while Bill headed off to work after only a few hours of sleep. We had just showered and dressed when he arrived home at about 11am. After a quick lunch at the hawker centre near Bill's, we headed to the Jurong Bird Park. The bird park was pretty good, full of, surprisingly, lots of birds. After walking around the whole park we sat down and watched the birds of prey show which was amusing as the birds were not being particularly cooperative.

After the bird park we went to a lookout for an awesome view across the coastline of Singapore. The whole coast is basically a massive shipping yard/oil refinery. I'd only really seen the Melbourne port which doesn't even compare to the sheer size of the Singaporean one. From the refinery we headed back to Bills apartment and then out for a walk around his area. Just around the corner from his apartment there are a few hawker centres and shops. We spent a while walking around and looking at/trying various foods and drinks.

Bill's Bangladeshi flatmate had offered to cook us dinner - biryani rice and chicken curry which he made from scratch. I doubt many all male share houses in Australia have a mortar and pestle in their kitchen! Dinner was amazing and we ate with our hands which was a bit of a novelty. We didn't succeed in rolling the rice into nice little balls, but managed not to make too much mess!

After dinner caught a taxi Clarke Quay which was buzzing by the time we arrived at about 11:30. Clarke Quay is packed with bars and restaurants and is absolutely full of locals and expats! One of the bars had wheelchairs and hospital gurneys instead of chairs and the drinks were served in IV bags or syringes...hmm. We ended up walking towards a park where some guys were flying like a remote controlled kite covered in LED's. They were so maneuverable and they guys flying them could make them do all kinds of awesome tricks. One guy actually crashed his into the river while he was showing off...expensive given they were about S$800 each!

The following morning we set off pretty early. Bill showed us his office and took us to look at the refineries which are absolutely massive. We then drove to Mt Faber and, after climbing the mountain to admire the view, caught a cable car across to Sentosa Island. The cable car was pretty cool...it passes over lots of construction sites, including the new casino complex which is still in the very early stages. On the island we caught the bus to Underwater World where Bill and Scott fed the stingrays and harassed star fish/small sharks. We left Sentosa Island after Underwater World and headed to Chinatown. Chinatown was similar to every other Chinatown...full of cheap clothes, souvenirs and fake stuff. After Chinatown we headed to the Raffles Hotel for the obligatory Singapore Sling. We actually went into the Raffles Museum before we headed downstairs for the cocktail. The museum was pretty good, it was full of old newspaper clippings, letters to/from the Raffles, clothes etc. One of the newspaper clippings described how the Raffles doorman was attacked by a wild pig and how he had been sent away for "repairs"...hmm. We eventually made our way downstairs to the courtyard and bar to buy our drink. The cocktail itself was really nice! (And so it should have been for $22!!)

By the time we were done at the Raffles, it was basically time to eat dinner then head to the train station. We ended up waiting quite a while for our satays (they were really busy) so only made it to the station with 5 minutes to spare...the train left about an hour and 20minutes after we hopped on..


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