Saturday, February 8, 2014

Singapore!!!!

Leaving Malaysia meant getting off the bus  in Malaysia and going through customs with our passports, getting on the bus and driving about 1 mile down the road to Singapore to get off the bus again, this time with our luggage.  Luggage and bus were thoroughly inspected (well, in theory), and we were allowed back on the bus for our Singapore journey.

All that makes you kind of hungry.  As I've said before, anything is a good excuse to eat again, so off we went for our first meal in Singapore at a Chinese restaurant.  Thai kids love Chinese food as much as Americans!



This was particularly challenging as not only did my food touch, the bowl was so small that the courses actually exchanged fluids.


This is Yak, our Singapore tour guide.  He was appropriately named!


After lunch, it was off to Chinatown, and of course, a snack…. courtesy of Yak.



These are a kind of ice-cream sandwich that Yak says is replacing the Singapore Sling.
I don't think so.


This was the day before Chinese New Year, so the streets were even more crowded than usual, and the stalls were filled with celebratory items.



small figurines… mostly elephants


Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.


coconuts



don't know what this is


art students sketching the scene


more food


dragons!


what would a celebration be without street musicians?


jerky like meats


and my favorite part of Chinese New Year, the horses hanging from above, decorating everywhere imaginable!




they are beautiful!


did not buy Chinese clothes….


containers at the back of a "restaurant" for serving rice….


Protest group from China where they are not allowed to even mention this issue!



buildings...


old and new


more horses...





Buildings with parks seemingly built into the structure.



Little India
Lek had connections (of course!) and we each got a henna tattoo for $1.
The appearance is much better on an unwrinkled hand.


Little India dates back to the early 1800s when the area was colonized by Indians who were brought here as prisoners of the British Raj.


A balance of old architecture in the foreground and new in back.



The buildings were painted in beautiful colors.




Masjid Abdul Gafoor Mosque


street art lining the alleys...








Singapore students on a scavenger hunt as a part of a school activity.



Lek's friend showing us his perfume shop… Opal is the willing victim


beautiful perfume bottles


Little India is know for rich and colorful fabrics (and inexpensive).






this was only $2/meter



It must be time to eat again!  Pacek gets his turn to sit at the teacher's table.  He looks thrilled, huh?


The red chili paste was brought from home and appeared at every meal (except breakfast).



Eggs are extremely popular in Thai cuisine.  They put fried eggs on top of rice with their other dishes, and most commonly, serve an omelet with the meal.






Our next stop was Clark Quay for a boat ride…

Clarke Quay is a revitalized waterfront area with a little something for everyone...




The students ran through the fountains like a mine field; a great way to cool down!



lots of little stalls to buy things


very contemporary….



orchids everywhere


and…. our boat ride





The Marina Bay Sands has a structure on top that looks like a a ship!




The building on the left is the Esplanade- Theater on the Bay.  It's a performing arts center (much better than this picture shows), and resembles that smelly fruit I mentioned, durian.
It is one of the world's busiest art centers.  Singapore's response to the Sydney Opera House.


an informal performance while we walked through... 



(borrowed from the internet)



This amazing resort has a rooftop bar. The observation deck charges S$20 entry.  Rooms start at S$450/night (not bad considering), there is a shopping complex, restaurants, and a casino.  Entry to the casino is free unless you are a Singaporean.  The cost for residents is S$100.


more skyline….




I don't care what anyone says, that building in the middle is NOT straight!





This is the famous Merlion of Merlion Park.
There are actually 4 Merlions in Singapore, this being the largest.
This creature has a lion's head and a fish body.




The baby Merlion in the same park.


It must have been time for dinner by now….



My first, and possibly past, chicken foot.  It tastes fine, it's just the thought.






Things are a bit of a blur at this point.  We may have gone back to the hotel for the night.  At any rate, breakfast was an Asian buffet.  I started going light after all the eating I'd done...



We stayed at the YWCA Hotel which was surprisingly nice considering the image YWCA brings to my mind.



After breakfast, we walked to Orchard Road, the 2.2 km shopping street.  No bargains at these shops; they war mostly high end, although there was an H&M.

A few sights along the way...








We started at Fort Canning Park and worked our way down, past the Management University and straight down Orchard.



There are huge underground areas as well.  This place was massive!

This section was just an area for food for Chinese New Year!


Naturally I had to get one of these.  It was like a little fish waffle filled with a sweetened cream.



After 3 hours of shopping, we boarded the bus for more entertainment.




Raffles Hotel, home of the Singapore Sling.




The Singapore Flyer…..  or as I kept saying, the Singapore Sling.

A model…


the capsule



a view from the top...


165 meters above ground!

At this point, the battery in my camera died and I had only my iPhone to rely on.

While waiting, we explored an area with Chinese New Year displays.





Yes, I am a horse, and... Janie Freedman, our prospects are looking very good this year!



This one is for my daughter…. I like the "career luck is fantastic" part!



More adventures included Song of the Sea, a combination of song, lights, laser, fireworks, all at Sentosa Island.




We also went to the aquarium, the biggest in the world.  There is so much more to this marine park than the aquarium.  I've added a link for you to explore….



The final item on our itinerary was Universal Studios.  Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of amusement parks.  We arrived early so we wouldn't have to wait in line for the Transformer Ride.  Living up to all expectations, I started getting nauseous 5 minutes into the ride and had to close my eyes for the duration!


Lertluck and I had our own fun outside the Ancient Egypt indoor roller coaster ride….





Tired, no, exhausted, and ready for home, we headed to the airport.

Changi airport is one of the best in the world.  It was beautiful, clean, and had electronic surveys everywhere so you could rate the airport and suggest improvements.

My favorite was the rooftop bar…


Until next time….

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” 
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky