What a fun packed two and a half days we have had in Singapore! We arrived late afternoon after a 12 hour flight, we were waiting on the run way in Sydney for about an hour whilst the pilot fixed a warning light that came on. He said he turned the system off and on again and that did the trick! We found our hotel in Little India after a very smooth MRT ride. We found the Tekka Centre and had some very tasty and cheap hawker food for dinner with a mango lassie.
The next morning on San's birthday, we walked to Orchard Road and did some shopping. There are numerous shopping centres and malls on Orchard Road, ranging from gimmicky souvenir shops to Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger outlets but it became very clear that when Singapore builds a shopping mall they go as big as they possibly can! We went to Sentosa which is a man-made island just off Singapore. It's an incredible resort ranging from man-made beaches to Universal Studios, huge hotels and a Hard Rock Café. We explored underwater world and saw some incredible creatures, Jeff had his whole arm in a sting ray's mouth when he was feeding them. They slurped a lot and have a very long mouth. We saw sea dragons which were so beautiful and looked like seaweed. We went to the beach next and found a chilled out bar with a band and San had a birthday cocktail. We headed back into town for dinner at a famous hawker place in Chinatown and enjoyed watching a light show with a view of the city. The light show was just in front of the famous Marina Sands Bay which is a pretty new development in Singapore. We just had enough time to fit in having a Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles hotel which was a lot of fun! Singapore is one the cleanist places in the world and it's a big offence to litter, but in Raffles you must throw your peanut shells on the floor!
The following morning we got up and enjoyed a typical Singaporean breakfast; kaya toast with egg and coconut jam and very runny boiled eggs). It was delicious! We explored The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple (the most photographed building in Singapore). It was amazing how many different Buddha's they had, the colours and architecture of both temples were exquisite! We found the Merlion which is a symbol of Singapore and a hybrid fish/lion. From there we continued down to Marina Sands and explored the vast development of shopping centres and hotels. They charge $800 - $1000 per night to stay in the hotel but as you can see from the picture (the 3 towers with a boat on top) you have a spectacular view of the whole city. We explored the shopping centre which had a canal and boats, as well as an ice rink and a casino. We walked across the roof top of the shopping centre to the Gardens by the Bay. There were some beautiful views, a lake and interesting sculptures. At this stage our feet were beginning to ache so we went and found some hawker food. After some noodle soup and a beer we headed to the bus station to catch a bus to the Night Safari. This was incredible but also extremely busy. We had a 40 minutes trip on a tram around the park with commentary and saw hyenas, lions, tigers, wolves, sloth bears, buffalos, elephants, rhinos and hippos. Once our tram ride was finished we could hop off and walk around ourselves. We saw flying squirrels, possums, wallabies (one had a joey in his pouch).
Our last day in Singapore was supposed to be relaxing but it ended up being quite busy again. We held off going anywhere this morning because of the rain which was pretty torrential. Once it stopped we set off to find the Singapore Museum. We spent a couple of hours in there learning about the history of Singapore. We had a very tasty typical Singaporean dish which was poached chicken with gingery fragrant rice. Very tasty and tender! We headed to the beach on Sentosa and found the Southernmost point of continental Asia, we swam, sunbathed and couldn't believe how warm the water was after swimming in New Zealand. It was almost too warm! We went to Clarkes Quay next for a cocktail on the river and watched the sun go down. We walked back to the hotel and found another hawker place for dinner. We had some interesting desserts; San had frozen aniseed ice with sweet corn on top, Jeff had grass jelly with lychees, the grass jelly tasted like grass funnily enough! So we are packing again and getting ready for our next adventures in Thailand.