Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What can I tell you about Singapore...?

Well I can tell you that it it’s hot, humid and 6 days/5 nights here have just flown by. Partly the reason that time has flown by here is that on the first day, Fiona & I spent an extraordinary amount of time sleeping, almost 18 hours...! I guess leaving Africa just takes it out of you...

Day two in Singapore was spent lying around the pool at the hotel, doing nothing more strenuous than listening to the iPod, reading the paper and magazines, and ordering beers. We took advantage of a whole day of sunshine at a time when all the forecasts said rain and even thunderstorms. It’s the rainy season here, but being so close to the equator means that every day has the potential to have a rainy season and a dry season, and I guess we were just lucky.

Day three and the rainy season was back... We spent the day touring the city on the free hop-on/hop -off bus, hopping on when it was raining and off when it stopped, I think we did nearly 2 complete circuits. Managed to get to wander over to Boat Quay during a lull in the rain and conveniently find a pub the moment the rain started to get heavy, where I enjoyed an unexpected pint of ‘Old Speckled Hen’. We had a recommendation of an Indian restaurant in the middle of Boat Quay, but there seemed to be a handful of them nearby, so we plumped for the one near the middle that was open, (Khusbu), and enjoyed a very nice meal.

Day four and it was back to the dry season, back to the very hot, very sunny and very dry season. Fiona spent the morning shopping, which is not hard to do in this air-conditioned nirvana for shopaholics, as there is appears to be major shopping mall on every corner. In fact on Orchard road I would go as far as saying that there is a major mall on every corner and in every building in between, plus under the street and possibly overhead.

After lunch we continued our tourist activities with a trip out to the new, and somewhat startling, Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, hotel & casino, which stands like a set of massive cricket stumps, overlooking the city. The resort element of this huge complex sits at the top of the three, 60 storey towers, on an interconnected platform, that houses an excellent observation deck, and possibly the world’s most impressive set of infinity pools. Unfortunately the pools are only open to the hotel guests, as both Fiona and I would have happily taken the opportunity to get out of the thick and clammy heat and cool off. Back to ground level and then straight back to our hotel to make the most of our somewhat less impressive, but equally cooling, pool complex.

Day five rolled around and we thought it was time to check out Sentosa Island, a sort of resort destination for Singapore, for which we had some freebie tickets for some of the attractions. We planned our journey to make the most of the various free buses and arrived on the Island in the sweltering midday sun, almost melting into a puddle as we wandered somewhat aimlessly around this sub-Disneyland type theme park. I would imagine this is the sort of place that families visiting Singapore would dream of, offering over-heated parents the chance to off-load the kids onto the various attractions whilst they lay on a man-made beach somewhere. Suffice to say that Fiona and I were reaching for the bus timetable to see when the return bus would be, within 15 minutes of arriving. With a couple of hours to kill we did manage to ride the chairlift to the lookout point, and then go up the Sky Tower for a great view back across to the city, before the weather broke and the cooling and refreshing rain set in. An interesting place, but we were back in the city for a very late lunch before heading back to the sanctuary of our hotel for the evening.

We won’t be doing much more than packing today, as this is our last day in Singapore and we will be making our way to the airport later this afternoon, and then back to New Zealand by tomorrow morning. It’s funny, this being the last day of our holiday, I should be feeling a bit sad, but instead there is a sense of comfort in knowing that we will be back home soon, and back to the routine of our normal life.

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