Hiking Amongst the Treetops And Visits to Arabia and China!
Singapore Travel Blog› entry 5 of 24 › view all entries
My plan to sleep again backfired, so now I'm averaging about 2 - 3 hours a night. Surprisingly I haven't passed out yet - anytime anyone mentions getting food, I magically perk up. My love of food is an amazing stimulant! Too bad I can't bottle it. :)
V suggested that we do something less touristy (i.e., something she hasn't done before in her home country). She mentioned a "nature hike". We happily got dressed for a leisurely hike - but first had to grab some breakfast. Today we went to a curry place near the reservoir - Casuarina Curry Place - I had 2 pratas (a grilled tortilla of sorts - very tasty) with chicken roti. So yummy (and cheap! about $4) - but I still find it odd to eat such heavy savory foods in the morning, but you've got to go with the flow.
After feeling energized, we headed to the trail area. Not sure why the name of the walk HSBC TreeTop Walk didn't tip me off, but as we headed towards the top, I realized (thru V's conversation and photos along the hike) that we were literally going to walk "above the trees" and that the walk would be 6 - 7 kilometers (about 4-5 miles)! Leisurely hike my butt! Not to mention I'm terribly afraid of heights .... but I perservered. When we got to the top we had to cross a long (and I mean looooong) suspension bridge hovering above the lush and loud forest (chirping, beeping, tweeting of all sorts).
Poor V had wanted us to experience prawn mee (a spicy prawn noodle dish) but her favorite place was inexplicably closed.
V then drove us to Arab Street - a few lanes dedicated to the Middle Eastern way of life. Again, very quaint and bustling. We visited another temple there and then V walked us to one particular street which was filled with trendy boutiques, many of which were vintage shops. It was a beautiful and harmonious blending of modern and old. We spent some time shopping here. It's well worth a visit, because after a while you do get tired of all the souvenir stuff.
After our little visit to "Arabia" we went to Chinatown to change money (we needed currency for all the countries we were visiting).
Since we were un-touristy this morning on the hike, we had to balance that out with the ultimate touristy thing - which is to have a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel. The hotel is quite beautiful, built in the colonial style. We went to the Long Bar - the only place in Singapore where they encourage littering. Each table has a bowl of peanuts and the custom is to discard the shells on the floor. The drinks are quite expensive - actually I find everything rather affordable in Singapore except alcohol.
By this time, our legs were super sore from our hike and we were dragging a bit and my bug bites were getting red and swollen. V suggested we grab dinner at a Peranakan restaurant. I've never had Peranakan cuisine which was described to us as being derived from a group of a mixed Malay and Chinese descent. The food is definitely "asian", but not as sweet and spicy as Singaporean or Thai cuisine.
We had wanted to go to Mustafa's - a 24 hour shopping bazaar, but we were all so wiped out, we decided to save that for another day. Instead we walked a little around the restaurant, picked up some curry puffs from Parlor and some fruit (longines, similar to lychee, and guavas) for breakfast the next day.
All in all a very full day. (i'm sure my legs will be ultra sore tomorrow - but it was worth it!).
Oh - almost forgot - we heard the funniest thing today. Apparently the Singapore govt was concerned about the low birthrates amongst its citizens so has created a govt matchmaking organization called the Social Development Unit. Essentially they sponsor mixers and invite their single citizens to attend. But they organize the functions based on your educational level sometimes - i.e., only people with certain grad degrees can attend certain mixers, etc. Sort of elitist, huh? I guess the hope is for smart children - no dummies allowed! :) There's also a cash bonus for having children - quite an incentive, huh?