Saturday 7 May Singapore

After a good night’s sleep, we were picked up from the foyer of the hotel for our 4 hour Singapore City Tour, which was included in our Stopover. We enjoyed our tour that showcased the history, multi racial culture and lifestyle that is Singapore. Being an island, Singapore cleverly, and by necessity, has maximized their limited land-space by building car parks, shopping malls and their rail network underground. We were surprised to see large neon signs throughout the city providing information on the number of empty car spaces available at all of the public underground car parks.

Our tour actually commenced at Chinatown and took us around the Civic District past the Padang Cricket Club, Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall.
Our first stop was at Merlion Park where we took photos of the Merlion, an 8.6 metre mythological creature that is part lion and part fish, with its fountains spilling into Marina Bay. We also saw the Victoria Memorial Hall and Clock Tower, which chimes like Big Ben.

We made our way back to Chinatown to visit the Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples on the island built with donations from the early immigrant workers from China. Although this was not a particularly large temple, we were interested to see the shrines and detailed carvings inside this restored place of worship. The temple caters for Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism and is referred to as an open temple that people of all faiths are welcome to visit. It was interesting to learn that the temple is built on what was once the original shoreline and demonstrates how much of modern Singapore has been built on reclaimed land.

Our next stop was at the National Orchid Garden within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which has 60,000 orchid plants comprising of 400 species and more than 2,000 hybrids. We saw a palm tree called a Nibung Palm that is used to build houses and the spikes were used for darts. We visited the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House where we saw many rare orchids, including fragrant species of orchids. From there we walked to the Cool House, which is where they grow plants that are native to the mountains in South East Asia. We enjoyed our visit, wandering along the pathways lined with beautiful orchids.

Our final visit was to an area known as Little India, where we saw lots of colourful shops displaying their wares, including fruit and vegetables and garlands of freshly made flowers used to adorn their images of their deities. We were also treated to the fragrances of the spices and herbs that are used to create the various curries.

Although we had a thoroughly informative and interesting morning, we were very pleased to be delivered back to our hotel at 1.00pm because we were both finding Singapore’s humid climate taxing.
We had a delicious pizza at Prego’s Restaurant in the hotel. Richard asked the waiter for a very tall glass of beer as he was very thirsty. Smiling broadly, the water returned with a half yard glass filled with ice cold tiger beer – 1.4 litres! After topping off our lunch with cheesecake and coffee/tea, we spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the view from our lovely room.

In the evening, we had a wander around the Raffles Tower Shopping Centre, which is incorporated in the complex comprising of three hotels: The Equinox, The Swiss Hotel and our hotel, the Fairmont. We found a Harvey Norman shop, so we had a look in it and then had a buffet dinner at the Café Swiss before returning to our room to get organised for our early pickup to the hotel for our flight to China.
We have enjoyed our brief 2 day stay in Singapore (the City in the Garden) and we will definitely be coming back for more exploring.


One Response to “Saturday 7 May Singapore”

  1. Katharine says:

    Love the photo of Dad with the beer. I’d like to know how on earth he drank it. Looks like he needed to be on tippy toes!

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