Singapore Day 2 (13.07.2012): Singapore is an amazing country and city. At only 42km at it's widest point it is too small to even have a capital. To make up for the lack of space there are a multitude of skyscrapers. Singapore is a former British colony and was once part of Malaysia. As our tour guide today stated: it is a city of immigrants making it very multicultural but at the same time the official language is english and it is very westernised.
This morning we decided to give our legs a rest and make the most of westernisation, heading straight for the city sightseeing tourist bus. After embarking on all four routes which included a tram and boat tour, we had seen the key sights of Singapore, albeit it briefly! We have explored China town, the Arab quarter, the civic district, the esplanade, orchard road etc.. I apologise for the the state of the photos (when I can load them, the Internet is rubbish here and only works on my phone), it's a big challenge for me to take photos from a moving vehicle!
The great thing about the tours was that whilst we may not have visited each place properly we had a great tour guide who has told us much about this wonderful country. Apparently one cannot afford a car here, there is a 100% car tax and the need to pay for 5 year leases. The aim is to reduce the traffic in the city, indeed Singapore is to blame for the introduction of congestion charges.
Alcohol is expensive here too. Around £5 a glass on average but more in up market places. Damn I miss that 12p Vietnamese beer!
On disembarking from our tours we headed back to the hostel for a brief shower and change. It was nice to get slightly dressed up for a change! First stop was the five star Raffles Hotel, one of Singapore's most famous landmarks and also the birth place of the Singapore Sling cocktail. After much deliberation over the price we decided we couldn't leave without trying a Singapore Sling so we handed over $60 (£30), purchasing the most expensive drinks of our lives, trying to forget about our travel budget. I am pleased to say it was worth it. The bar was amazing and the drink fantastic. We left with a card containing the recipe and stocked up on the free nuts so we didn't feel so bad! They give you monkey nuts, the shells are all over the floor. If you put them in a neat pile the waitresses just sweep them onto the floor. I am unsure why.. I must look it up!
We also left Raffles with some random poster from the shop. We just couldn't resist. Oops!
Next stop Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino: owned by the owners of the Las Vegas Venetian. Exciting stuff! We headed up to the Skypark first of all for an amazing view over night time Singapore, catching the fountain show from the top. The lights are amazing.
Unfortunately our passports were locked up in our safe so we couldn't go for a gamble! We shall def be heading there tomorrow night though. Tomorrow we plan to have a day of fun on Sentosa, a entertainment island. It seems we are making the most if being somewhere westernised! It's play time! We did catch a few temples today though so we aren't all bad!