Arrived in Singapore after a days travelling and arrived at our lovely Hostel, 'G4' in the heart of Little India via a conversation with my bank who have decided that this was the point at which that my transactions had become 'Unusual', thank goodness Joey was there to bail me out! First impressions of Singapore are that this is a lovely city, clean, certainly very well organised with transport that runs every few minutes with very efficient air conditioning, thank goodness! The hostel is really nice, the bathrooms are a bit odd in that they are in with the Laundry and kitchenette area, but certainly a really nice place to spend a few nights!
After a very lazy start to our first day here, especially when you consider the time our bodies are meant to think it is, we head off towards the main street of little India. It is an attack on the senses, so many colours of fabrics in the shop windows, spices outside every shop giving the most incredible aroma with all of the incense sticks linking the streets with traditional music pumping out of car stereos and shops, all really nice. The streets are all colourfully decorated for the Diwali festival! The first of many temples that we will visit on this leg of the trip was Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, as we were inappropriately dressed we didn't go in on this occasion but the building is really lovely and we admired it from the outside! In the evening the area comes alive with people looking for a place to eat, we had a lovely curry in one of the larger curry houses and watched the world go by outside.
As we needed to book our bus ticket for Melaka, Malaysia we needed to head towards the Kampong Glam area of Singapore where we set eyes on the world famous Raffles Hotel! Its such an impressive building, absolutely gleaming, with gorgeous gardens that looked as though they were cared for daily, if not hourly, the hotel is currently covered in gorgeous red christmas decorations, which took us by surprise! They had clearly commissioned the decoration of the road as everywhere you we looked there were red garlands, very pretty! An impressive Roles Royce set outside the hotel, hopefully next time I come here I will be staying at Raffles ;) Keep dreaming Susannah!!
Further along the street we stumbled across our first row of stalls, they have such lovely things, its going to be hard to resist from now on in I think! After successfully booking the ticket to Melaka and having a lovely meal of rice and soup in an alternative food store we went onto see City Hall, the old justice courts- that were based on the design of Saint Paul's in London- the statue of Mr. Raffles himself and the Merlion fountain, which is an imaginary creature that is half fish and half lion, that spurts out water into the river! We then visited the Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, incredibly impressive building inside and out. In the rooms above the temple they have a very informative exhibit on Buddha, which was really very interesting! That was about enough of walking around so we went into the main streets of China town for a drink and a look around all of the stalls!
The second day was mainly reserved for going to the large gardens that Singapore has to offer along with the Orchid gardens and a visit to Orchard street. Orchard street, like outside Raffles, is absolutely covered in Christmas decorations, they have colour themed the streets which is cool, the decorations are certainly impressive, take note London! It was so weird to see that many decorations at the beginning of November, in a very hot country, but has made for some lovely photos!
The Gardens are absolutely stunning, very green, no doubt helped by the enthusiastic rainfall experienced here! There are loads of interesting statues and modern art structures coupled with beautiful flowers. The Orchid garden is absolutely massive and they have thousands upon thousands of orchids in there, Joey and I got ever so slightly snap happy with the camera! Apparently my camera has a 'Flower Mode', so the photos look pretty cool. Afterwards we made our way back to Chinatown to buy some long skirts, clearly we do not have the correct attire for here, but they are very pretty, as well as being functional! And we managed to haggle too, I am not very good at this, when things compare to being cheap at home its hard to ask for things to be reduced but apparently things are marked up by 50% so you have to do it, I am sure we will get more practice in these coming weeks. After having some ice cream and contemplating dinner I had stupidly exclaimed 'two days and no rain, what are the chances'- next minute the heavens opened and down came the rain, which did little to clear the air, its 85'F by night with a 'feels like factor' of 104'f and 94% humidity, at 7 in the evening, phew!! Silly me!! Had a great time here, but, next stop Malaysia!