Spent 4 days in Singapore from 1/2 - 5/2 and because the public transport is so darn good in Singapore I was really keen to get a dayrider ticket and just whizz around on that, getting off at whichever stop and exploring that way. Some of the tube stations which were of interest was 'Little India', 'Chinatown' and 'Raffles Place' just to name a few. The Singapore version of 'Oyster Card' is an 'EZ Link card'.
On our first full day we had a look and wander through The Fullerton Hotel, got a good view of the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel (the one with the infinity pool on the roof!), saw the Merlion and went on the Cable Car. When were walking around looking for somewhere to eat and stumbled accross a Rugby union game taking place on a public field; as you can imagine Nathan was thrilled! It was a young Singaporean side vs an older Expat side. Also that night England were playing their first game in the 6 Nations against Ireland so we asked someone there if they could reccomend where to go to watch it and
they told us to try 'Boat Quay' :)
A friend whom I met whilst working in Greece, Adrian, was also visiting Singapore when we were there so we arranged to meet up. I hadn't seen him since Greece (4 years ago) so it was so great to see him and catch up! He and Nathan got along really well too which made me happy! As we weren't using our mobile phones there, it was hit or miss whether we did meet Adrian on the first night because I'd sent him a message on facebook then had to leave without him acknowledging it - so we weren't sure whether he'd got the message and turn up! I went as far as scrawling his hotel's number on the back of my hand and calling his hotel on a payphone at the tube station, to leave a message saying where we were going next incase he missed the last message! But then he showed up, yippee! We then went for dinner at a 'hawker centre' called Lau Pa Sat - which is basically a cluster of food stalls which sell a whole variaty of different foods, there is loads of plastic garden furniture for you to sit on and eat at! I love going to them, the food is always good, generally cheap and there's so much choice. I am now drawn to eat at places with plastic furniture. I had been told about a famous Singaporean delicacy 'Chilli Crab' which I'd missed out on last time we were in Asia so I was determined to try it this time! It was pretty expensive for Asia - $25 singapore dollers = £12.50 (we normally ate for $5). The guy brought x2 different crabs of different sizes over, I opted for the smaller one as it was cheaper and I wasn't sure if I'd fully like it (not knowing from ever trying it before). The crabs were alive which was kinda weird... but I tried not to think about that! And to summerize - it was absolutely delicious! I do not regret being so indulgent; it tasted great and its another box ticked.
After eating we took a long walk round to Boat Quay via the vibrant Chinatown. It was dark at this point and the streets were bustling with Chinese Night Markets, street food vendors and hundreds of tourists.They had bright yellow and red lanterns strewn along the middle of the streets up above our heads and the traffic, it looked so cool. By the time we got to a pub at Boat Quay showing the rugby, I was pleased to sit down and have a drink but did really enjoy our wander around Singapore at night. The England game was starting a midnight Singapore time (8 hours ahead of UK) so we stayed there till gone 2am to watch it. The bar was on quite a lively strip on the Marina front, we sat outside and had a really nice view of the skyline, as it was dark all buildings had their lights on and it looked expecially lovely across the water.
For the rest of our time in Singapore the weather was still hot and humid but also overcast with a high prospect of rain; it so isn't fun touristing and walking around exploring in the rain :(
On our second full day in Singapore it was raining and we moved to a private room because of all the annoying worker men in the shared dorm room. We were closest to Little India, so we went there for a wander and some food. We had curry, rice and a banana served on a banana leaf (saves on washing up I suppose and biodegradable!) but it wasn't too great. We were disapointed because in the Little India in Penang, Malaysia the food was amazing - #letdown! Also I personally didn't find it as 'Indiany' generally as in Penang. We got some burfi (an Indian sweet) and got the tube to for Orchard Road. I'd heard that it was a 'shopping mecca' in Singapore and quite famously known so wanted to go see what it was all about. Got my photo taken with a sign saying 'Orchard Road' but everything else there was just generic shopping, posh shops, high street shops - plus it was still raining so everything outside looked generally grey :( .
That night we skyped both our families back home and went to a hawker centre within walking distance to where we were staying think it was called Lavender Hawker Centre. There was another kind of crab that I wanted to try called 'Black Pepper Crab'. In the Lonely Planet Guidebook it said this hawker centre was one of the less touristy ones in Singapore and when we got there I could tell this by the prices! The Black Pepper Crab I ordered was double the size of the Chilli Crab I had the previous night and only $4 more! I really like crab and I really love black pepper so I really enjoyed my meal. On the walk home from the hawker centre, we saw a cafe place advertising 'Pig Organ Soup ' - err, gross!
On our third full day in Singapore, we got up early and got a train, bus and boat over to Pulau Ubin - a small island off the coast of the mainland of Singapore. We'd read that it was a nice place where you could cycle around and it would be a cool break away from the city - I found this to be true. I really enjoyed the cycle in the fresh air, being surrounded by nature as opposed to skyscrapers! There was wasn't much to see aside from trees/ jungle but did see lots of beautifully
coloured butterflies. We also saw x2 cute puppies (loved them) and stopped off at a beach where there was lots of tiny crabs
making balls of sand.
That afternoon we went to a waterpark called Wild Wild Wet, the weather was still overcast but it was still a lush relief from the humid heat. We spent a good few hours messing around in there, personal faves in there were a huge bucket of water which tipped over onto our heads and also this huge slide where we had to sit down facing eachother then go down this vertical, high slide! That really made my stomach flip and was kinda scarey too!
That evening we met up with Adrian again to go for a drink in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, we got all the way there and found out the bar had been booked out for the evening. So instead we got a taxi to the Raffles Hotel - this is a really famous place - and had a few cocktails in here. There is a tradition in the Raffles Hotel Long Bar from the colonial days where you eat peanuts there and then throw the shells on the floor afterwards - you shoulda seen the place! There were peanut shells
covering the whole floor! The cocktail 'Singapore Sling'was invented there so we all had one of those and they were really delicious, it was like art in liquid form. The bar was beautiful inside, the decor was all proper old colonial designs. The fans on the ceilings were actual brown hand-held fans, shutters all on the windows. My description doesn't do it justice, just go there if you can! I also couldnt believe my luck when I saw that they had a band playing that night (a Monday night) there was a saxophone player, x2 singers, x2 guitarists, a drummer and a pianist. The lady singer speciality was Tina Turner and she sounded exactly like her! They were all so talented and so friendly, some of them came over to introduce themselves and speak to us after their set. The Sax guy let me have a photo taken holding his sax - my favourite instrument!
If we go back to Singapore, I want to stay at the Raffles Hotel - I love the old school glamour! During sleeping hours that night, I was poorly and blamed the excessive peanuts that I had consumed!
The next morning (5/2) we had to check out our room as we were flying to Perth that evening. Nathan was amazing and buzzed about getting things sorted while I tried to catch up on lost sleep and rest <3 <3