I Loved Singapore

Singapore Travel Blog

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I flew from Malaysia to Singapore after visiting a friend in Kuala Lumpur. I was in awe of the beautiful airport that welcomes visitors and return locals to Singapore. It was roomy, clean, and organized. From the airport I took a taxi to my first lodging, the York Hotel. The York is located near Orchard Ave, up a hill a bit from the famous street. I was pleased to find I had an upgraded room to a suite.  I set off on foot to Orchard Ave. and checked out the shopping malls there. I was amazed at how many stores were there, not only along the street, but in a vertical way also. The malls seemed to reach for the sky! The Lucky Mall, which is mostly below the street level had the best prices and owners willing to deal on prices. I bought a camera, and some silk clothing for myself and as gifts to bring home. The other malls were full of interesting stores, but the prices were high. I knew the conversion of Sing dollars to American dollars, and there was no saving on prices in Singapore. Actually I could buy many items for less money in the U.S.  I was impressed with the small restaurants within the malls and had a delicious dinner at one.  The walk from Orchard to my hotel was only three blocks and I didn't mind the uphill walk. It was warm and humid but that didn't bother me at all. Most of all, I felt totally safe on the streets of Singapore even late in the evening.

One of my favorite places was the Botanical Gardens. That was a beautiful oasis in the midst of a bustling city.  There is no fee to enter the gardens, only to go through the orchid gardens.  As I meandered through the Botanical Gardens, I noticed how quiet and peaceful they were. Stepping off the main path takes a visitor to the lakes or on lower paths surrounded by high green foliage.  I sat on a bench right next to Swan Lake and looked at the animal life there. I saw large turtles, and beautiful swans.  There was a sculpture of a large swan in the middle of the lake and I took many photos there.  Moving on, I got to the gift store that is at the entrance of the orchid gardens. I didn't go into those gardens because I had been in the orchid gardens of Kuala Lumpur, but I regret that now. I enjoyed the gift store more than any of the malls. It had many nice gifts, jewelry, and great items to bring back to my family and friends. I mosied on to Symphony Lake next. There is a large, slightly sloping area of lawn the drops to the lake.  Families were sitting on the lawn eating lunch or reading or just enjoying each other. In the middle of this lake, there is a structure with a stage and lighting. The symphony actually plays there and visitors can sit on the lawn and enjoy the music. Unfortunately there was no performance when I was there.  I sat down with a cool drink and enjoyed the scenery.  As I moved on, the sandals that I had recently purchased began to hurt my feet, so I took them off and walked in bare feet. I guess that really surprised Joan, a lady who asked me if something was wrong.  I explained and we walked on together towards the end of that path and the gate that leads out of the gardens. I felt as if I'd known Joan for years; she was very friendly. I told her I had to be sure to catch the correct bus, and she not only helped me with that, but when we got to Orchard Ave. she took me down to the MRT station and showed me how to use the subway to travel around the city. 

I took the MRT to Clarke Quay that night for dinner. Clarke Quay is brilliant at night--all lit up with lights and music is playing.  I found the food very expensived there, but I didn't really check all of the places to eat. I wanted to eat right next to the Singapore River and watch the boats pass as I ate.  This area is bustling with excitement.  Stores are open at night, bars are plentiful, clubs abound, and there are many people out walking along the river. I did the tourist thing and took a boat ride down the river and back. Actually I sincerely enjoyed it, seeing all the lights there.  The boat driver asked if he could take my camera, and he took my picture. 

The next day I took a taxi out to Sentosa Island and stayed at the Rasa Sentosa Hotel. The view from the balcony there was gorgeous. I ate breakfast there and it was included with my hotel stay and was very good. My big disappointment was that there was a lovely beach on the property where the sea was calm, but a sign warned against swimming due to jellyfish. I had made the reservation at the Rasa Sentosa specifically to swim in the ocean. I walked along the beach at night and got my feet wet. No one was ignoring the sign and swimming.  One day, I just got in up to my waist and cooled off but got right out. That would be a good beach to net, but they hadn't done it yet.  I saw the light show over the water one night which was pretty, but a very tourist activity. It was't worth the cost to see it.

I never got to the Raffles Hotel, the Japanese Gardens, Chinatown, or Little India all of which I wanted to see.  Four days was definitely not enough time to see all of Singapore. 

Coming from Malaysia, this city/country was a welcome change. Most people wore western clothes, the restrooms were free and had western toilets in them, and the streets and public transportation places were all extremely clean.  I felt comfortable wearing shorts in the warm weather, and not having people stare at me for doing so.

I want to go to Singapore again as soon as I can.
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