Blog for Singapore
The flight to Singapore was a fairly quiet one - I slept for most of the 2 hours! Travelling has given me the ability to fall asleep almost anywhere! Especially boats!
- I arrived in Singapore and for once I didn't have to queue to get my visa and my bag came around the carousel first! That will never happen again! I was off the plane and in a taxi in about 10 minutes flat! I think it helped I was sat in row 4! My taxi driver was really interested in my travels and told me the many rules of Singapore! My hostel is nice and clean with free wifi and breakfast! ! It's across the road from a MRT (metro) and in the suburb of little India.
I brought myself a EZ link card (like an oyster) as it makes fares cheaper! I headed to a station called esplanade. Here I ventured into a shopping centre called millenia walk - there were a lot of british shops including Dorothy Perkins! They all seemed very expensive so I swiftly left! I was searching for the Singapore flyer - the Singapore version of the London eye! It wasn't hard to find - after a brief shop in Carrefour for lunch I headed to the marina to find it. It was amazing. Like everything else here it is bigger and better than London! It is situated on top of a giant forest! Was amazing! From here I could see a building that interested me! It was a three towered hotel with what looked like a giant surfboard on top which evidently was a viewing platform. The hotel is called the Sky Parks hotel and is part of the marina bay sands complex. I walked over the bridge and paid my fee to go up the 56 floors. (£10!). The views were amazing! If I were a guest at this hotel (£350+ a night) I would've been able to use their infinity pool surrounded by palm trees. Yes that's right 56 floors up! Pretty amazing. From the top I could see the sheer scale of Singapore!
From here I headed through the marina bay sands shopping mall - this was amazing. The centre enclosed a theatre and a casino plus many shops I would dream of shopping in - Louis Vuitton, Hermes etc! I made a quick exit across the double helix bridge (another impressive piece of architecture) before heading to see the 'merlion' - Singapore'a tourist symbol! It is a strange monument but worth seeing! I then aimlessly wandered towards La Pau Sat festival market. A hawker centre in the middle of the high rise buildings! It was amazing - there was food stalls everywhere. It was hard to chose but I finally settled for spicy chicken and rice with a soup! It was delicious and cheap - £2!
After this I headed east to find china town! Chinatown is so different to the rest of Singapore. It's really bustling and they have a lot of tat on sale! I brought myself a pair of horrendous sunglasses but they were only £2 - my others broke! I headed back after a while as I had a Skype date with my mum! And Richard!
On Monday I went to Singapore zoo! It was abit of an effort to get there - 3 tubes and a bus but everything is so well organised here it was easy! Once I arrived at the zoo I walked for hours around the 28 hectare site. Stopping briefly to watch a rainforest show - which was pretty cool and different to anything I've seen before! The show was aimed at rainforest protection and they'd trained numerous animals to play a part in their play! Monkeys climbing down, birds flying around etc! Even ducks wandering about!
I really wanted to feed a giraffe so I paid the $5 but it was worth it! A kind man took my photo so I have a photo to keep! :)
I spent a while at the zoo then thought it best to head back to little India. Once I got back I ate my lunch (Singapore pot noodle! 50p bargain) and headed back out to see a few more temples before heading back up china town to get my mum some scarves!
Here I wandered up to another hawker centre - maxwell road food court.
I tried a chicken puff - very strange chicken curry mixture with a boiled egg in side! Dimesh (a Singaporean) I'd met in my hostel recommended I try carrot cake. Now I know what your thinking - the desert cake with icing on top! Well so did I. Until I entered into maxwell food court which according to lonely planet is the best hawker centre in singapore and I found carrot cake on the menu. It looked different! I asked the man what it was and he simply said 'can you see the picture'. So I thought id try it. I opted for a salty version over sweet. I have had to google the ingredients because I had no idea what was in it apart from egg! I had a bit of homemade chilli sauce on the side and it tasted good.
basically -'The name of this classic Singapore hawker dish isn’t meant to deceive; it’s simply the result of a direct translation from Mandarin.
The main components of Singaporean carrot cake are daikon (‘white carrot’) and rice flour dough (‘cake’) fried with egg, garlic, and spices. Chilli is optional and diced scallions are added at the end. If done just right the result is a savoury dish that’s crispy on the outside but melts in your mouth.
There are two varieties of carrot cake – black and white (I had white but would like to try the soy sauce version)– and most Singaporeans have a definite preference. Thick soy sauce is added to the black variety to give it its colour and extra sweetness. The white variety is eggier and is stirred less so it almost resembles an omelette.
I would recommend it!
As always my eyes were bigger than my tummy and I could only manage one puff and half my meal! The whole lot cost me £2.50 so i can't really complain! .. I then thought I'd get a cheeky ice cream as it is really hot (70cent mcds cone!) before heading back. I nipped to Tekka market at little India - it was very different again to Chinatown and I didn't like it so i headed back to my hostel!
I checked in for my cairns flight then popped my bag in storage and headed out to find the post office as I had a pretty hefty parcel to send home!
I spent an hour looking for the post office which my map failed to say was in side the lucky plaza not on the street like i thought!.. I found a random parcel unit where they tried to charge me $160! £80! Pretty ridiculous for 1kg of stuff! So I went in search of the proper post office. I finally found it and it cost me $11 which is far more respectable! Ok it might take 6-10 weeks but I didn't really need it to arrive in 6 days for £20! I then walked around some more trying to find the Ngee Ann City shopping mall. While I was walking I recognised a familiar smell so followed it. I found Abercrombie! My life was complete. Although I couldn't afford anything and I'm going to wait until USA it was nice to wander around!.. I spotted the shopping mall I was after and went to find the food court here - Takashimaya. On the bottom floor I found it and then went searching for carrot cake - I wanted to try the other variety! Success! I found a stall dedicated to the stuff! I got a black one and a drink for £2.75 which will fill me up as the portion was huge! It's a lot sweeter than the other one due to the soy sauce - but I think I prefer it. I've still no idea what white carrot is but it tastes good!
After lunch I'm heading back to the promenade to find Carrefour to buy some sun cream and some noodles for later. Am going to head to the airport about 4. Hopefully by train or bus! Depending if they let me on with my rucksack or not. Trains over here have a size limit - which I don't agree with especially if you need to get to the airport with your luggage. It's a clever way to ensure people use taxis I guess!
I managed to get to the airport using the trains - the guy at little India said I should be fine! It cost me all of 80p to get to the airport compared to the £15 taxi ride on the way here! I dropped by bag off and ventured through to the departure lounge! (where I'm writing this!) it's amazing. Free wifi, free charging stations and bottles of smirnoff vodka for £7! I have sat with my phone plugged in to save battery and easily wasted 3 hours!
I have an hour or so until my flight so I'm going to head to my gate soon!
I have really enjoyed Singapore - its been a nice surprise. I love the city and how clean and organised it is. I could happily live here!
Off to oz I go!
Love Sabrina x