We woke up in Singapore and headed out. It was hot and humid. Singapore like many cities is split into areas. Our hotel was by the river. We decided to follow the river path and see where it took us. It was a long winding path all the way to the harbour. The scene was a mix of old buildings, skyscrapers and riverside restaurants.All the restaurants were shut. It appears nothing much opens before noon. At the harbour it was busier. Lots of modern buildings. On the far side of the harbour is a massive structure. It is three skyscrapers side by side with a boat traversing them. Apparently it is a restaurant and viewing tower. We put it on our visit list.
The harbour has some interesting buildings including the new theatre which looks like a fruit. The harbour itself was full of floating balls.
As we explored the area we found the 'Fountain of Wealth'. This is the largest fountain in the world. Next we found the famous Raffles hotel. Named after Thomas Raffles who started the process of turning Singapore from a fishing village into the city it is today. It is a very colonial looking building. As we were dressed like a couple of aussie bushwackers we weren't sure if we could go in. Jill approached the man organising the taxis. 'Is there a dress code to go in for a drink' she said. 'Yes madam' he said. 'If you have money you can go in,if you don't then you cant'. It seems they don't care what you wear as long as you spend money. We will visit another day. The walk back to the hotel took in the parliament building and other civic buildings.
We seemed to have walked all day. Back to the hotel for a brush up then out for dinner. Before we went out we went for a drink in the hotel bar. It was happy hour. I can only assume that the rest of the day is suicide hour. My pint of Tiger beer was £10. No thats not a mistake Ten Pounds. Guess where we wont have another drink?
In keeping with most cities it all looks so different at night. Neon lights abound. We found a riverside restaurant and had a lovely meal. I had seared black cod and Jill had a prawn and scallop skewer.
We have wooden shutters in our hotel room. It is pitch dark. We were clearly tired as we didn't wake up until 10.15am.
Day two and we headed for Little India. Wake up call. What we had seen of Singapore so far was great but very western. Not here. This was like being in Calcutta (do they still call it that?). Tight little streets with open front shops. The overwhelming smell of spices. Hustle and bustle. Pop pop mopeds everywhere. It was great.
Just walking along the street was a challenge. Shop fronts blocked the footpath. Cars blocked the roads. We explored for ages. In the Little India arcade Jill bought a pashmina. She then had to wander off with the owner to pay. Will they take her as a white slave I thought? How much will they pay me? Anyway 15 minutes later she returned.
Lunch was in a small cafe. Turns out the lady owner had lived in England for 10 years and was Singaporean. We had a nice chat.
After a hot and sticky day we returned to the hotel to freshen up. Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant in an open air courtyard. We had Garlic prawns with rice and noodles. Oh how I love being in the land of proper prawns. They were massive. 14 prawns roasted in garlic with rice and noodles with extra prawns. Yummy we looooooove prawns.
After a gorgeous relaxing meal it was back for bed. Exhausted but really quite taken with Singapore.
This morning we got up earlier. I've had a grotty cold and the heat was not helping so we decided to use the underground more today. We went to the harbour and to the top of the Sands skypark. This is the boat on top of 3 hotel towers at the marina. Wow, what a view. The whole city is laid out beneath you. We've been up a few skytowers but this was amazing.
From on high I said to Jill 'I can see the start grid for the Singapore F1 Grand prix'. When we got back down we ventured off to find it. It's a boy thing but when else would you get to stand on the grid or pose outside Jenson's garage. Cool.
It was another scorcher so refreshments were called for. Off to the Long bar at Raffles for a couple of Singapore slings. What a fab place. We sat at the bar eating from a big bowl of monkey nuts. Its tradition to break the shells then toss them on the floor. Jill said ' Dont look round. You'll never guess who is sat behind you'. It was......................... have a look at the pics and see if you can guess. Answers on a postcard to...........
After hob knobbing with the celebs we went to Chinatown. As you might imagine it is big and busy. Another fab day. We will be sorry to leave Singapore. It is an elegant place with lots to see. It is also very polite. No gobby yoof, no drunks. People even apologise when they bump you on the underground. It is described as a 'fine' city. Mainly because everywhere you look is a sign saying how much you will be fined if you , spit, loiter, swear, drop gum, litter, ride on the path etc etc. Pickpockets get a mandatory 3 years in jail and four lashes. Drug dealers are executed. It kinda says 'dont do it'.
Tomorrow we are bound for Bangkok for a couple of days. We like Bangkok.