Searching for some cold air, exploring Singapore's diverse neighbourhoods and stuffing our faces with noodles in between...


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Asia » Singapore
May 26th 2016
Published: August 30th 2016
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As we were sitting in the hotel room on our last night in Brisbane, I finally started realising that our European adventure was about to begin, actually it already has begun! We were so busy packing our house into boxes in these few weeks prior to the trip that we didn’t even have a chance to get excited about going away, not to mention research any destinations ... Now it felt very real though... And it felt even more real the next morning, when we were getting on the shuttle to the airport and the driver almost fell over when trying to lift our bags... haha! Naaah, it wasn’t that bad, but the size and weight of these bags were slightly terrifying for sure! We probably wouldn’t be using half of whatever it was that we packed there... Ah well... Just to get to Poland and we would travel much lighter starting from there...

Once again I was a bit anxious about the flight... It wasn’t Millie’s first flight but 7 hours on a plane rather than the previous 3 hours (trip to New Zealand) surely could make a difference... Many adults could easily get cranky after being stuck for so many hours in one place! And if it could be too much for some adults, I could only imagine as to what a 6-month-old could do during that time... And yet once again Millie showed us that she is simply made for travelling as there was no complaining whatsoever. And we didn’t even have to go out of our ways to entertain her either! A little attention from the fellow passengers or stewardesses would keep her entertained for a while. And the time was ticking away...

7 hours flew by, I even managed to watch a movie when Millie was sleeping. And soon after we were in Singapore. There was no other option for us then to take a taxi to a hotel, I even considered for a moment taking a bus or MRT but Millie was exhausted from the journey already (and so were the parents as well, if not more!) and walking with these bags was quite a bit of a nightmare, so no saving on a public transport this time. When I mentioned the name of the hotel, the taxi driver seemed to have no doubt where he was going, so we hopped in and were on the way in no time at all. When he pulled over in front of the wrong hotel, I wasn’t too happy... Thankfully we were in the correct neighbourhood, the correct street actually, only in the wrong part of it! It wasn’t a simple case of just turning around as there were no U-turns around, so we basically had to drive the whole street to be able to get back... You’d think that the driver would have switched off the metre since it was his mistake, not ours... Yeah, very hopeful I am... not this time... Anyway... we were too tired and it was pointless arguing for the sake of saving a few bucks, so we just let it go in the end. We quickly checked in and soon after were in our room... or our cubicle would be more like it... There was basically enough space in the room for the door to fully open but beside that the rest of the space in the room was taken by the bed... let’s not forget about the closet (just about enough space inside it to fit our pram!) and a tiny desk right next to the door... and once all our luggage appeared within this tiny space, there was really no space to do anything but to sit or sleep. When the receptionist showed us to our room, it was actually quite funny to see the expression on her face when we were trying to fit all the bags in the room and close the door behind us... let me just say she looked slightly puzzled as it took us a while! She waited patiently though and only after a moment asked us if the room was ok... Well, our struggles would have suggested that we might have underestimated the sizes of the rooms in this hotel, but beside that all was just perfect! 😉 In the end we were here to do some sightseeing rather than sitting in the room. The bed looked quite comfy and would fit all three of us so the room would do just fine.

When we finally organised ourselves in our cubicle, only then we realised that it was becoming quite late and what’s even more – we were both starving! but Millie was already deep in her beauty sleep, so going out wasn’t an option. We did spot a little food centre next door on our way to the hotel, so Grant decided to check it out. He was back in no time at all with two portions of noodles and pork. Sweet! Apparently the guy in the hawker centre asked him if he wanted some spicy sauce with it and since we do like some heat in our food, he went for the sauce in the end. Who would’ve thought that spicy in Singapore can mean ‘burning your tongue and numbing your lips’ kind of spicy? I was so hungry that I ate it all, but it took quite a while for my pumped up lips and tongue to come back to their normal volume. Lesson learnt! Mild next time please! Or with the sauce on the side...

Next morning we quickly found out how humid and sticky Singapore can be... Two metres from the hotel and I was already covered in sweat... and so was Millie, poor thing! Just to remember to keep us all well hydrated... What better way to keep you hydrated than to start the day with a soup, a fish soup to be exact... Instead of going to the hawker centre, we picked another place close to the hotel, full of locals – always a good sign I guess... And the soup was just what we needed! Too bad there was no air con inside though as the fans weren’t doing their job and as I was shuffling the soup I was slowly melting at the same time. And yet when you looked around, the other people didn’t seem to be affected by the heat and humidity at all! Ah well... The only thing that seemed to have distracted my attention from the heat was seeing Millie having fun by being a centre of attention once again. The young girls working there, just couldn’t help staring at her, one even took it a step further and picked up Millie, even joking in broken English that she was taking her with her... Very funny... but I think I might just take her back now... 😉

After breakfast I felt like I needed another shower, but thought that it wouldn’t really help for too long, so just decided to take Grant and Millie for a trip to Chinatown instead. I have been to Singapore before so knew my way around a little bit... It did
Millie making friends wherever possible :)Millie making friends wherever possible :)Millie making friends wherever possible :)

not too sure about the tweezers though?
help though that we got a very good info from the hotel about the public buses. We quickly got the bus cards and soon after were on our way to Chinatown. Millie was making even more friends along the way. Grant sat down next to some older Singaporean man who was smiling and waving to Millie constantly but who also for some strange reason was travelling with a pair of tweezers? It started freaking me out a bit when trying to entertain Millie, he basically was waving the tweezers in front of her face... Thankfully he got off a few stations later and I could relax once again...

We wandered around Chinatown, trying some local delicacies and visiting nearby temples. I am a bit of an addict when it comes to little pastries and can spot little places which sell them from a mile away so it wasn’t hard to find one in Chinatown either. I thought the names of the pastries were a bit odd, but just decided to try one – a lotus paste with whole yolk. The name kind of gives away what you should expect to see inside the pastry and yet it didn’t occur to me at all... Not sure what I was thinking at the time, probably didn’t give it much thought at all, just saw the pastries, quickly picked one and bit my teeth through it even quicker. Let me just say, it wasn’t the best pastry I have eaten and I don’t think I would like to repeat this experience. As for the temples, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple definitely stands out from the bunch and it sure is quite popular with tourists. Vibrant colours, hundreds (actually probably thousands) of statues and some kind of ceremony always seem to be happening inside.

After a visit to Chinatown we went for a walk through Clark Quay. At this point the heat and humidity really got to us. It was late afternoon already anyway, so good time to head back to the hotel. First a stop to the hawker centre to get some tasty food though. I had a look at basically every stand available there but didn’t feel too adventurous at that moment so just decided to have the same dish as the day before, only without the hot sauce this time. It was served slightly different to the take away version we got the previous evening, as it came with a little bowl of broth on the side. Very tasty and much better without the burning tongue sensation for sure! Yep, we would be coming back for more!

The following morning breakfast at the hawker centre, yep! Pork with noodles again! I think we surprised even ourselves to be back so soon! And yet the meal was getting more and more tasty with each time! Definitely not the last time we were going to eat here! That day we decided to visit the Singaporean zoo. I was there already during my previous visit but didn’t mind going there again at all. After all it was meant to be one of the best zoos in the world and on top of that I was sure that Millie would enjoy seeing some animals...Not that she would know what they were exactly but we were looking forward to seeing her reactions. Two bus rides and we were there – it was a pretty long ride as it took us about an hour, couldn’t be any easier though... I was surprised to see the entry to the zoo was SGD30 per person, quite expensive I thought to be honest. Just as I said it to Grant I overheard a couple behind us talking about the price of the tickets as well – they had a totally opposite opinion about it though as they thought it was a real bargain... I guess it depends on how you look at it... If it comes to the quality of the zoo, number of exhibits, amount of different species of animals, the size of the exhibits and the general care of the animals, it sure was a fair price for the entrance ticket as the upkeep of the zoo must consume quite a bit of money. On the other hand, when thinking about the price, the only thing I had on my mind at that moment was our daily budget... But I guess we already expected Singapore to be a bit on the expensive side so we knew our budget would suffer here... I guess we would just need to eat some cheap pork and noodles for the next couple of days then. 😉

It was nice to wander around the zoo once again, this time with my own little family. Millie might not remember anything from this place or from the whole trip at all, but I have no doubt that all these experiences only contribute to her development. Not to mention that seeing her looking around, smiling and waving to people and animals and making her cute little squeaky sounds makes me feel very happy and proud. Even though there were hordes of tourists in the zoo, it was still a very nice day. We were thinking of eating something else that evening but in the end just got lazy and decided to take the usual since you can’t go wrong with that – our favourite noodles and pork of course! We kind of knew that it possibly would be our last time there though as apparently you can get tired of eating the same thing over and over again, no matter how tasty it is! 😉

We started our last day in Singapore with a trip to Little India. We wanted to eat something at the market but the heat inside was simply unbearable – we would maybe endure it, but it could’ve been a bit too much for out little girl, so instead we walked a bit until we found a place with an air con. Pheeew... I really wonder how people cope with this humidity... Not something that I could ever get used to... I had a tasty thali and Grant had a similar platter only with some chicken as well... A good amount of heat this time, only slight tingling of the tongue afterwards... Really tasty! I wonder if you can ever go wrong with Indian actually? The combination of spices and flavours is always a fantastic feast for the taste buds... After wandering around Little India, we headed next to Kampong Glam, Singapore’s Muslim district – another side to Singapore once again... I am still amazed how diverse Singapore can be... A little corner for everyone – Chinatown, Little India, Muslim district and lots and lots of places to suit Western travellers as well... There is certainly a lot to choose from... Culture wise and food wise as well!

We were meant to go to the Gardens by the Bay in the evening as apparently there was a light and music show twice every evening but after walking around in the heat, I knew there was no chance we would last that long, so we went to the gardens straight from Kampong Glam. Once again quite a few tourists around but I guess that’s what the Supertrees were made for – to attract more tourists to come to this place. Job well done I guess! Supertrees are not the only attraction there as apparently there are some pretty impressive botanical gardens there as well. Apparently, as we didn’t get the chance to see them. We have been walking the whole day in the heat, it was time to eat something and relax if only for a moment.

We found a food court in the shopping centre by the Marina and had a gigantic but very tasty portion of a noodle... soup this time! After regaining some energy and fluids (I was feeling totally dehydrated here all the time!), we were back in the heat walking around the Marina this time. Couple of pictures here and there, some more drinks on the way, picture with the Merlion and we were off to the last stop on our itinerary that day, Orchard Road. We didn’t have any big shopping plans, just to get a weekly supply of nappies and cool off in the air conned shopping malls. Talking about priorities... 😉 They had a super loud aerobic class in front of one of the centres... I thought that since I joined one by the Mekong in Laos, I probably should’ve taken part in this one as well... Absolutely no energy this time though... Millie looked like she’s had enough for the day anyway, not that I’m making any excuses 😉. It was time to get back to our temporary cubicle home for the last sleep in Singapore... Next stop: Copenhagen!



*******

As much as we would like to have stayed close to our planned daily budget of 50 EUR (wishful thinking!), we went slightly overboard with our daily spendings. We spent on average almost 200SGD per day which is almost EUR130, with our main expenses being:

* Accommodation – Fragrance Hotel Oasis – 4 nights SGD307 = approx. EUR202

* Taxi from and to the airport – SGD40 and SGD55 (it turned out that our journey back to the airport was even more expensive than the one to the hotel as the receptionist in our hotel after seeing our luggage, booked a ‘maxi taxi’ for us, which obviously came with a higher price

* Zoo entrance – 2 x SGD33

* Average price of food – SGD4 p/p for our favourite pork noodles at the Balestier Hawker centre; SGD7.50 p/p for food in Chinatown and Little India

* Beer price when eating out – not too cheap as starting from SGD6, so I let Grant have only one (or two) during our stay there 😊


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31st August 2016
Millie making friends wherever possible :)

A natural-born traveler!
Thrilled to read that traveling with Millie is so easy except for pram and other accoutrements. I'd always heard that babies are a very popular attraction in Asia, as they certainly are here in South America. Singapore sounds delicious, great sites and food, but I'd have to go there in the dead of their winter. Poland will certainly be a cool relief after this.
1st September 2016
Millie making friends wherever possible :)

A natural-born traveler!
Not sure if there's anything resembling winter in Singapore, but it definitely would be better to go there when it's at least slightly cooler. Yes Millie behaved like a real trooper during our stay there, coping much better with the heat than I did for sure! And yes she is a people's magnet and I just couldn't be any prouder. :)
1st September 2016

That heat!
You took me right back to the heat and humidity of Singapore while reading this blog. All that talk of pork noodles has made me really hungry...although like you, I'm not sure about the yolk in that lotus paste pastry! Sounds like Millie did really well for her first time in Asia :)
1st September 2016

That heat!
It sure can be very sticky in Singapore! And I wouldn't mind having a portion of these tasty pork noodles now either ;) definitely no more yolks in my pastries ever again though! Hoping Millie will do well in 'real' Asia also, I guess we'll have to see :)

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