Fish and Chips and Tiger Beer - heaven!

Singapore Travel Blog

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Serangoon Street in Little India, decorated for Deepvali

People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

Our journey from Melaka to Singapore passed by comfortably and had a tinge of amusement when we saw a 'no durian' sign posted on the bus. After our experience between Semporna and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo, when our bags were locked under the bus with a bunch of durians, i have hated the things ever since, as it took months for the smell to leave our belongings! Arriving into Singapore bus station smell free, it was a 20 minute walk in the sweltering heat to Ali's Nest Hostel and by the time we arrived, it had become essential to take a shower!

Our hostel was located in Little India and as it was the middle of Deepvali, the streets were bustling and decorated with lights.

Supreme Court
After wandering around for an hour or so as the streets lit up and really came to life, we decided to find a bar to go and watch the football at. Not realising that the clocks had gone back an hour in the UK, i became extrememly agitated that nowhere had the game on, and as we had given up and decided to just sit down and have a beer, a channel was changed, the Arsenal vs Man Utd game came on and everything became clear! The match ended 2-2 and after a few Tiger beers it was time for bed.

Sunday was a busy day of walking and sightseeing, as we headed for the Central Business District (CBD) and surrounding areas.Our first port of call was to St Andrews Cathedral, which was holding a service, so we didn't bother going inside. Just around the corner are the impressive colonial buildings that make up the City Hall and Supreme Court, where all those chewing gum spitters no doubt meet their maker! It was a pleasant walk around the padang, which is where the Singapore Cricket Club houses its matches and like at Malaysia's Merdeka square, i'm not sure how the batmsen concentrate in such splendid surroundings! 5 minutes further along and with skyscrapers towering above us, we made it to the Esplanade Bridge, where the views of the CBD on one side of the river and Marina Promenade on the other were simply breathtaking.

Singapore river with a view of Esplanade Bridge and the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (spiky Durian building) and Marina Promenade in the background
The jagged Esplanade - Theatre on the Bay building was a real eye catcher, with its spiky roof and i could understand why the locals had nicknamed it 'The Big Durian'! A walk through the nearby park to look at the war memorial was followed by a fleeting visit to the Raffles Hotel. As the sun was beating down, it was decided to take refuge in an air conditioned food hall for half an hour, to rest and plan our assault for the afternoon.

Wandering through Singapores streets is a real delight and every corner that you seem to turn offers a different perspective of the architecture, in what was fast becoming one of my favourite cities. It was nice to be able to head to Fort Canning Park in the afternoon to take a lazy walk through the gardens - although we didn't want to go into the resevoir there to cool off, as the sign indicated that we might run into a spot of bother :) Exiting the park we came across a nice looking fish and chip restaurant and as this is probably the food i miss the most, we stopped to treat ourselves.

Shot of the impressive Central Business District skyline
Obviously it wasn't as good as my local chippy, but it temporarily satisfied my cravings :)

Our afternoon continued in Chinatown, which i thought was really beautiful, with some lovely quiet back roads and the impressive Chinatown Heritage Centre. There were also a couple of touristy streets serving up what looked like pretty good food, although i was still stuffed from lunch! After taking a quick look at Sri Krishnan Temple and Kuan Im Thong Hood Che Temple, we headed back to the Esplande Bridge and decided to take a look at the Merlion Statue that was mentioned in our guide book, and ended up pretty pleased that we did. This is the area where most of the postcard pictures are taken and offers magnificent views on both sides of Marina Bay.

Singapore river and its impressive sklyine
Although exhausted, a walk along the river was too tempting an opportunity to miss, before finally calling it a day and submitting to catching the subway back to Little India! Julia cooked up some food in the hostel kitchen and we went out to a small restaurant/bar afterwards to knock a couple of well earned Tigers back. As the rain came tumbling down, the choices were to get soaked going home or get drunk... we got home dry and late :)

The following day was no less hectic, as we set off in search of the rest of Singapores treasure trove of architectural gems. Our assault began in Little India, where we visited the various Hindu and Buddhist Temples including the Sri Veeramakaliamman, Leong San See, Gaya Temple and Sri Srinivasa Perumal. Heading west brought us to the Islamic Mosques of Malabar Muslim Jama-Ath Mosque, Hajjah Fatimah Mosque and finally Sultan Mosque, Singapores largest.

Beautiful street near Chinatown
Just to get a Christian fix, the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was situated only a few blocks away, so we paid it a quick visit and were left wondering how many more religions we could appease in the day :)

Singapore is a relatively expensive city for South East Asia, but Julia was determined that we should visit the shopping mecca of Orchard Street in the afternoon... just to window shop you understand! Thankfully i managed to drag her away before she ran up the debt of a 3rd World country! Although it was fantastic to be walking everywhere, we again succumbed to the subway to get to Sentosa Island, which is located in the very south of the city/country! Unfortunately they had shut the walkway over to the island and we weren't too keen to pay for the boat over, so sat and looked at the Carlsberg Tower and cable car from the other side.

Merlion Statue and the Central Business District
We headed back to Orchard Road to watch as the street lights came on at dusk and then i dragged Julia on another massive walk around the city, so as i could photograph all the buildings as they lit up. Although we were both exhausted, i have no doubts that the mission was well worthwhile, personally i think the pictures prove it :) The evening was finished with Dinner in Chinatown and after catching the subway home, there was nothing left to do other than sleep!

It was sad that we were leaving on Tuesday, as the country had really caught my imagination. The simple fact of the matter was that to do anything else was going to cost a lot of money and could be done in most other countries for a third of the price.

Chinese Theatre Circle
But travelling on a budget, you kind of get used to making sacrifices along the way, so the aquarium and zoo etc will be left for another day! We still weren't sure where we were heading, so caught a bus to Johor Bahru, which is the first town near to the Malaysian border.

Deats says:
Hi! Thanks for your comment :) Singapore sometimes gets mixed reviews from travelers, but personally i love it. Whats not to love!? The only downside is its a little expensive by SE Asian standards and obviously its not very big - although this is also its charm! Hopefully i can come back one day and visit the places i missed last time! Have a great week :) Regards, Phil
Posted on: Aug 18, 2010
shynq says:
i love your blog! stumbled upon it while i was researching on the trans-siberian, what an amazing trip you have had, totally envious! out of curiosity i just had to check out your entry on singapore and it's always interesting to hear what travellers have to say and how they see my country. it helps to inject some fresh perspectives or reminders for me. sometimes it is inevitable that one tend to not appreciate the country after living in it for too long. kudos to your new life and future travel! cheers
Posted on: Aug 18, 2010
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Serangoon Street in Little India, …
Serangoon Street in Little India,…
Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Singapore river with a view of Esp…
Singapore river with a view of Es…
Shot of the impressive Central Bus…
Shot of the impressive Central Bu…
Singapore river and its impressive…
Singapore river and its impressiv…
Beautiful street near Chinatown
Beautiful street near Chinatown
Merlion Statue and the Central Bus…
Merlion Statue and the Central Bu…
Chinese Theatre Circle
Chinese Theatre Circle
St Andrews Cathedral
St Andrews Cathedral
City Hall
City Hall
Interesting skyline
Interesting skyline
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (s…
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (…
Supreme Court and City Hall
Supreme Court and City Hall
St Andrews Cathedral
St Andrews Cathedral
Guy trampelling cans next to the w…
Guy trampelling cans next to the …
War Memorial
War Memorial
War Memorial
War Memorial
War Memorial
War Memorial
Raffles hotel
Raffles hotel
National Museum of Singapore
National Museum of Singapore
Funny sign at Fort Canning resevoir
Funny sign at Fort Canning resevoir
Pretty flower in Fort Canning Park
Pretty flower in Fort Canning Park
Pretty flower in Fort Canning Park
Pretty flower in Fort Canning Park
Plant in Fort Canning Park
Plant in Fort Canning Park
Plant in Fort Canning Park
Plant in Fort Canning Park
Skyscrapers in the Central Busines…
Skyscrapers in the Central Busine…
Skyscrapers in the Central Busines…
Skyscrapers in the Central Busine…
Sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture of Singapore
Sculpture of Singapore
Boat sculpture
Boat sculpture
Boat sculpture
Boat sculpture
Painting at Thian Hock Keng temple
Painting at Thian Hock Keng temple
Sculptures at Thian Hock Keng temp…
Sculptures at Thian Hock Keng tem…
Dragon carving at Thian Hock Keng …
Dragon carving at Thian Hock Keng…
Thian Hock Keng temple
Thian Hock Keng temple
Painting at Thian Hock Keng temple
Painting at Thian Hock Keng temple
Chinese Theatre Circle
Chinese Theatre Circle
Street in Chinatown
Street in Chinatown
Float in Chinatown
Float in Chinatown
A view down Singapore River
A view down Singapore River
A view down Singapore River
A view down Singapore River
Sculpture on the banks of the Sing…
Sculpture on the banks of the Sin…
A view down Singapore River, looki…
A view down Singapore River, look…
Merlion Statue with the Esplanade …
Merlion Statue with the Esplanade…
Merlion Statue with the Esplanade …
Merlion Statue with the Esplanade…
Merlion Statue with the Central Bu…
Merlion Statue with the Central B…
Underneath the Esplanade Bridge
Underneath the Esplanade Bridge
The Esplanade Bridge with the Espl…
The Esplanade Bridge with the Esp…
View down the Singapore River
View down the Singapore River
Malabar Muslim Jama-Ath Mosque
Malabar Muslim Jama-Ath Mosque
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Sultan Mosque
Sultan Mosque
Carlsberg Tower on Sentosa Island
Carlsberg Tower on Sentosa Island
Armenian Church
Armenian Church
National Museum of Singapore
National Museum of Singapore
A view down Singapore River, looki…
A view down Singapore River, look…
The Esplanade Bridge with the Espl…
The Esplanade Bridge with the Esp…
Marina Promenade
Marina Promenade
Me at the Merlion Statue with the …
Me at the Merlion Statue with the…
Fullerton Building
Fullerton Building
Street in Chinatown
Street in Chinatown
Street in Chinatown
Street in Chinatown