A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

we’ve gone floral

I am just so happy that Mr. Sandman came along last night coz I really was in need of a good night’s sleep. It felt so good, I can honestly tell you that. When we wake up, it is almost 8 AM and although we snooze a bit longer, we just can’t stay a whole day in bed. It is our last day here in the Lion City and we definitely want to make the most of it.

But we can’t do that without a good breakfast of course and just like yesterday we opted for the French toast with bananas. Once downstairs, we immediately noticed that all the seats outside were taken by a group of Malaysian people and although this necessarily wouldn’t be such a bad thing, they just sat there and claimed all the seats so that people who wanted to have breakfast, including yours truly, had to go and sit inside in a small room where the air-conditioning is working overtime.

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Not happy about it all, we decided to check-out first so that in the meantime maybe the group would leave, but as soon as we were back, they were still outside … bummer!

As we wanted to say something about it, the friendly receptionist guy of 2 days ago is there again and notices that we wanted to sit outside. He doesn't understand it, but he has a small conversation with the people anyway and moments after he comes back and assures us that there isn't going to be a problem coz it seemed that the group was due to leave anyway. He's a real sweetheart and knows how to spoil his clients with just simple things, that is for sure.

With an empty plate in front of us and some energetic food into our system, there is nothing else left for us to do than to enjoy our last day here in the city. After all, we’ve already checked out half an hour ago.

Today we planned to go and visit the Gardens by the Bay and because it is such a beautiful hot day, we decided to walk all the way towards it.

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Unfortunately today it is not only a hot day, it is a humid one as well and by the time that we reached the Marina Bay area, I felt like I had been swimming with my clothes on. Boy, never in my whole life I had sweat so much as during this walk, but looking at things on the bright side of life, maybe I lost some weight in the process! Wouldn’t that be great!

As we arrived at the Marina Bay area we decided to have one last look at the Merlion, that lion / fishy statue that vomits water … I could say nicer things of course but hey, this is just the truth, who comes up with such things anyway. Although, if I have to be honest, we Belgians aren’t better either coz we have a little boy in the nude that pees water / beer or anything else as long as it is liquid, not something to be proud of I know, so maybe it is better to tell people next time I am a Malaysian, but I don’t think they would buy it! ;)

Anyway, after this quick photo stop, we walked further along the water and about half an hour later (more or less), we finally arrived at our destination, but it wasn’t without a bit of hardship. Just like the subway incident, this time we had to look for the entrance of the gardens as well. It seems that the Singaporean are not going to make things easy for us tourists, but I have to admit, the walkway to the gardens is really beautiful, but beware coz you can’t have fear of heights and I know what I am talking about.

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Our first garden we visited was the Supertree Grove and finding it wasn't all that hard, finding the ticketing office is a bit harder, but than again, 2 people sitting under an umbrella can hardly be called an office can it?

At this garden you also can’t have fear of heights, but since I am trying to do something about it, I go along and although I don’t feel all that safe up there, I must admit that the views are really awesome and worth all the trouble.

Once back on "terra firma" we walked a bit around a few gardens and ended up at the 2 domes, but since the weather was still fine, we decided to go and look up the Chinese, Malay and Indian garden and many more of which I already forgot the name of. I must admit that I sometimes expected more flowers but on the other hand, maybe it wasn’t really the season for all these flowers. The hibiscus flowers all over the garden looked fine though and the frangipani made sure the place smelled really, really good.

With all this hot weather, we were more than lucky to find an ice cream vendor and although the flavors sounded all a bit exotic, the rose vanilla was more than delicious and just what I needed with these temperatures.

Sadly enough this didn’t last all that long coz after a few minutes we saw it all change from sunny, into light clouds to even very dark ones, so rain was really coming our way.

This made us think it was the best time to visit the domes after all and as soon as we got our tickets, it started to rain. That is what I call perfect timing!

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We first went to the Cloud Forest of which the key element is the major waterfall and although it is strangely enough very cold inside, I soon forget the cold because of all the strange exotic flowers. It is really a nice dome.

Second one of the day is the Flower Dome, but although they housed magnificent baobab trees, the flowers inside weren’t really all that special and most of them could be found in our country or surrounding ones anyway. I know this sounds a bit selfish coz people from other continents find these kind of flowers maybe just as exciting, but if I have to be honest, I have to admit that I expected more of this dome and in the end I found the 28 Singapore dollar you had to pay for those 2 domes just a bit expensive. Of course I know that they have to water the plants and everything, but this is just my personal opinion.

After getting out of the second dome the weather was still cloudy with a few raindrops and for us this meant it was perfect timing to say goodbye to the gardens and went back on our merit way towards our hotel, but not before we had one last stop in Chinatown to have some lunch. Yesterday we saw a Thai restaurant which we liked very much and upon our arrival they didn’t let us down, the food was really good and with full tummies we just strolled around the market street more to have a look at the different shops and more importantly, to spend our last Singapore dollars. We even had a quick look inside the Sri Mariamman Temple. A few years back we couldn’t because there was a wedding going on, but now we had enough time to wonder around this place. I can highly recommend it coz the colors are so beautiful.

Still craving for some dessert, we spend our very last dollars on a strawberry sundae of Mac Donalds and I have to admit that our last „bucks” were wisely spend coz it was really yummy.

Back at the hotel, we went straight to the swimming pool and made sure our last minutes here in Singapore were well spend. Sadly enough about an hour later, we had to leave the hotel as well and after we changed into another set of clothes, we went back to the reception and asked for a taxi, which arrived a few minutes later.

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Although they warned us that there was lots of traffic, we made it at the airport well in time, so that we could even have an early check-in and which in turn made it able for us to have a closer look at the many shops inside the airport. But like all things, even this came to an end as the time for boarding came closer and closer and our Airbus A330 awaited us for the flight all the way to Brisbane.

With about a 40-minute delay because of the bad weather, we could finally leave Singapore behind us and once airborne, the meal service started. I was’t really in the mood for a hot meal, but dessert isn’t really something I decline often, especially if it is eatable and together with some Australian sparkling wine, I hoped to get some well deserved sleep, but not before watching one more movie. After all I wanted to be very tired.

This time my choice was "Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy", an action movie with strange creatures, lots of witty humor and of course great music. What can I say, I just love the 80’s music and of course, the racoon „Rocket” was great to look at. All in all an entertaining movie.

As soon as the movie ended, there was nothing else for me to do than try to sleep, after all … it has been quite a long, long day and since I was really looking forward to arriving in Brisbane tomorrow morning I just closed my eyes!

Posted by Ils1976 05:44 Archived in Singapore Tagged skylines flowers singapore sightseeing asia Comments (2)

Singapore in a relaxing way


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It’s a little after 8 AM when we wake up and sadly enough I didn’t sleep at all. I woke up a couple of times during the night and in a way it seemed to last forever. I guess the jet lag has won the first round, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he has won the entire fight. Instead of moaning about it, I decided to do something about it and today was as good as time to begin with „start to run” as well. It is my first lesson, so I am glad that I survived it about half an hour later. I am just so out of shape! Tania needs to do a bit more since she already underwent the first 10 lessons and boy, can she run. I can only hope that by the time that I reach lesson nr. 10, I can pick up the same speed coz now I look more like a turtle than a bunny!

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Once back at the hotel, we first had breakfast and because we were urgently in need of a shower, we decided to just take the biggest bathtub there is and went for a swim as well, it felt like a bliss. The morning went by so very fast and when we finally were ready to explore the city it was already noon.

A few years back we also visited the city, so this time we wanted to do it more in a relaxing manner. Now that we got the idea on how the use the subway, we took it all the way towards Little India where we had a stroll through some of the streets and found some yummy food in the process. And that wasn’t the only thing we found. Ever since Vietnam I wanted to do ear candling and miraculously enough, we found a massage parlor which did this kind of thing. So the opportunity awaited us and we grabbed it with both hands. Half an hour later I can say that it wasn’t all that unpleasant and it really did clean my ears, but my hearing wasn’t better, so no real miracles here!

From India we walked all the way towards Arabia or more precise, Arab Street, but this was kind of a disappointment. I expected more of it, but luckily we walked in the wrong direction (without knowing it) and ended up in another massage parlor where we escaped from heavy rainfall and enjoyed a sometimes „relaxing" foot massage. It felt like walking on air when we arrived back on the street, it really felt good and I just can’t wait for the next massage. Bring it on!!

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As it was getting darker and darker already we decided to go all the way back to the Raffles hotel, which was a bit overcrowded, but on the other hand, I guess it is always like that.

Not yet in the mood for a cocktail, but more for some real food, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant we tried out a few years back and boy, it was still delicious.

With the sun (not that we had seen it for most of the day) entirely gone, we walked all the way back to our hotel, but not feeling completely tired yet, we decided to have another look at Chinatown and to be more precise, the market near Temple Street, but for some reason when we arrived, it wasn’t as popular as a few years back. Maybe it isn’t really the season yet, but I remember it more being fully crowded, now it looked so sad coz although most of the shops were open, there were still many of them which were closed as well. 

By the time we arrived back at our room it was already pretty late, but updating this blog made it even later, so by the time it was almost 1 AM, I said goodnight to Tania and closed my eyes. I guess Mr. Sandman won this battle.

Posted by Ils1976 05:36 Archived in Singapore Tagged buildings singapore sightseeing asia Comments (2)

still on the move


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It’s 1 AM in the morning when we finally reach the transit zone of the airport and although not much is open at that moment, we do manage to find a Burger King and if you are hungry, you can’t pass on such an opportunity so, we ordered some fries with chicken thingies.

With our tummies filled, we slowly walked back towards the boarding gate and about an hour later we could finally board on our Boeiing 777 and let me tell you one thing, Airbus is the best, Boeiing sucks majorly. I personally think that Mr. Boeiing should go and have a look at the competation coz his airplanes aren’t the best around. Although the interior is still the same, we quickly found out that we had ample space and unlike the previous flight, this one was completely packed, no seats were left untouched so to speak.

Me and Tania made the best of it and as soon as we got our drinks (which took a while I might add), I selected a music list which could get me through this 8 hour flight and I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

I was surprised that I actually dozed off from time to time, but as I woke up again, we still had 3 hours to go. It seems this flight was going to take forever, back to the music it is.

Luckily however, time went by and about 3 hours later, we safely landed into Singapore, the Lion City.

Getting through customs is not all that difficult and goes rather swiftly, the same can be said for getting our luggage, but taking the subway is a totally different story. How difficult can it be, you can ask yourself!?

Till now we never had troubles and last time we visited Singapore we took a taxi, now I know why!!!!

Finding the MRT wasn't too big of a problem, but getting a ticket, now that is something entirely different. First you have to take a ticket from a ticket machine which doesn’t except a credit card. This means you have to find cash money. Not all that difficult of course, but than when you finally find an ATM, you receive only large notes and when you want your ticket, make sure you have small change coz they don’t except anything else! If this isn’t nerve-racking, I don’t know what is. Luckily we found someone who could change some money and after more than half an hour walking from one place to another, we finally hold our single ticket in our hand, live can be sweet sometimes!

We still needed to wait for a couple of minutes and of we went, towards Clarks Quay, where our hotel is situated. I must say that I was surprised to see the distance between the airport and the centre of town, we even needed to change lines a few times but in the end we made it to our hotel about an hour later. I guess taking a taxi would have been a lot easier, but that’s something for later this week!

Thanks to our friendly receptionist, we even got an upgrade (basically just a standard room WITH window) and thanks to his fast service, we could drop off our bags immediately and a little after 5 PM we were back on the streets again, ready to discover the Lion City for the second time around.

Sadly enough it started to rain but it's not like the both of us were made out of sugar (some saying we have in Belgium), so we took our chances and started walking all the way towards the Marina Bay area.

It still keeps to amaze me how big those skyscrapers look like and the darker it becomes, the more I love to gaze at them. Simply one word comes to my mind … amazing!

It is almost 10 PM when we finally arrive back at hour hotel and after walking for such a long time the only thing I want to do is sleep and that is just the thing I am going to do!

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Posted by Ils1976 05:15 Archived in Singapore Tagged night singapore lights airport walk plane asia Comments (2)

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