Fish and Chips and Tiger Beer - heaven!
Singapore Travel Blog› entry 217 of 658 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.