Whirl- wind Singapore
En route to India, I decided to have a stop over in Singapore. On Monday 4th March I flew from Townsville to Sydney then Sydney to Singapore. While waiting on my flight in Sydney, I met an Australian lady who lives in Singapore, she suggested Little India and Chinatown, also the local lime juice.
My flight from Sydney was heading all the way to London Heathrow it was really weird to be getting off the flight and this time the flight left with out me and I am still 9500 miles from home.
The hostel were brilliant at giving directions and information about late check in, I felt really happy and excited to be going somewhere new.
The hostel was very clean and funky looking in the way you imagine Asian/ Malasian things to be. The only quirk that wasn’t very cool or pretty were the toilets with a shower, almost over the top… Not quiet sitting doing your business with the shower dripping on your head, but everything got wet once the water started.
Learning to be spontaneous with my travelling I didn’t plan anything for Singapore, apart from meeting a friend in the evening, so I rocked up to reception and said, what can I do with just one day in Singapore. They were lovely- go to Littlie India, Chinatown and Orchard Road (considered the best shopping street in the world). There that was my plan and I’d be told by a lovely girl in my room to go to the Botanical Gardens and visit the Orchid Garden.
First stop walking to Little India. I stumbled across this beautiful Temple
I watched other people just going in and wandering around so I joined them, removing my shoes and loving the cold tiles on my feet. It was a very special place, food was being made, coconuts burned with oil and people were praying plus the number of bystanders just enjoying the escapism into a different world.
I thought if I see more places like this in actual India I will be happy.
I loved the colour, the fairy lights and the simplicity which sounds odd because it’s so decorated but it wasn’t like a church were you felt you couldn’t touch anything, people were touching during prayer they weren’t offended by intruders and it was all pristine and proper it was used and loved.
I loved walking around the street, so much colour and so many people. but nothing like what actual India will be like I am sure.
This canteen had small stalls selling food. There was a caged bit which made me laugh as it’s humans who are in cages not animals in Singapore.
Next stop was Chinatown. I got off the train and I was hit by the smell of all the canteen kitchens delights, I decided to go for a place that had a big cue, must be good and tried to decide what i wanted to eat. I ordered number 4- “do you like it hot?” the lady asked “no” I said, she laughed and spoke in another language to her colleague. “Oh dear I thought” never mind it was tasty and came with free miso soup or something like that.
Lunch was $3 (Singapore Dollars) which is about 1 pound 50p. I order the Local Lime juice. As I sat devouring my lunch trying to use chop sticks like a pro, I looked round and noticed that I was the only white person in the whole place. it felt brilliant, I thought I’ve stumbled across something that none of the guide books write about, of course I hadn’t but for that moment I was an exploring and discovering new land! Chop stick-ing like a pro, I dropped one of my chop sticks, disaster, luckily I had a soup spoon and scooped up my few remaining noodles.
Feeling full and proud of myself I went for a wander down Pagoda Street which has a market, full of tourist crap. At the end of the street
another temple and a snaking yellow flare. I followed the flare to the end of the road and realised it was a dragon for Chinese New Year.
After strolling down a few streets and stopping to buy a pair of much needed turquoise sandals (12.50 pounds) I decided it was time to go to the Botanic Gardens and the haven of the air conditioned metro.
Arriving at the Botanic Gardens I saw I sign pointing me toward the Orchid Garden and I followed it. I kept following it, along long paths with no sign of light until I finally arrived, when I noticed the map I had walked the whole length of the garden.
The Orchid Garden was beautiful and I enjoyed taking photos of all the beautiful orchids. I especially enjoyed it because my mum and sister in law both love orchids. I found the type that were on my brother and sister in laws wedding cake.
(The dark purple ones at the back.) I really liked seeing the flowers in different stages of growth and how they bloom.
Bird of Paradise start like this
Finish like this
After my long walk I decided I deserved some retail therapy so I walked to Orchard Road which by some twist of fate was also signed in the Botanic Gardens, knowing what these signs are like I thought it might take a while, another 30 minutes and twice stopping for directions I found the famous street. It’s not like a high street we know, oh no, it’s 4 lanes of traffic with loads of shopping centres rising up from the ground, many of them start underground. It took me two hours to try and work my way diagonally across the first cross roads to get into one particular mall. I gave up, winding through rabbit burrows seeing the same shops over and over again. I didn’t part with any money.
I was meeting a friend at Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling, as this is where the cocktail was invented. I decided to try out my chopstick skills again in a restaurant called ‘Chopsticks’- no bother chop sticking like a pro and no droppage this time! Browsing through the menu I decided to try a new drink- Avocado Snow- very popular apparently, it’s an avocado thick shake, yes avocado and ice cream… weird, this could seriously put me off avocado for life. It wasn’t too bad,
With being trapped in shopping malls underground I was pleasantly surprised that my walk to Raffles was in the setting sun
Red sky at night, Lucy’s delight, India in the morning!
Arriving at Raffles, like a tourist taking photos,
I noticed the valet staff all dressed in fancy uniforms and guest looking very dressed up, I looked down to my Velcro sandals and all day sweaty t-shirt thinking, uh oh, will they let me in?! I had elegant tea cups on my skirt, maybe that would be enough… Lovely Mei arrived and she knew exactly where to go and we walked into the Long Bar
Not so elegant and Velcro sandals were welcome. Especially good for crunching across the floor as you walked on all the peanut shells that are thrown on the floor. It’s THE thing to do!
Sorry mum for the hanger things falling out of my top…
First Sling in Singapore and it was delicious.