New Year's Day - My 1st Full Day in Singapore

Singapore Travel Blog

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One of the many bridges over the Singapore River.

For some reason, I've always been an early riser.  New Year's Day was no exception.  I took a quick shower, in part because there was no hot water.  Actually, there was hot water, I simply turned the temperature control the wrong way.  When I tried the other direction, it seemed colder so I went back; apparently I really wanted to get out and explore.  2 quick points about Singapore early on New Year's Day: 1st, nothing is open; the coffee shop at Swissotel and Starbucks were all I could find until late in the AM.  2nd, the quays are still trashed; I think the entire city might have been down at the riverfront last night, celebrating.  In a way, I'm glad I saw the after effects; it helps me to keep perspective about this City/State.

My first order of business was to find a quick bite to eat.

Looking South across the river.
  It didn't occur to me that most everyone would sleep in today so I passed the Swisshotel and thus had to settle for a cup of coffee & croissant from Starbucks about 30 minutes later.  Before I could locate breakfast, I found myself on the north side of the river.  A quick check of my guide book (Lonely Planet) & I was off, looking at statues, sculptures and bridges.  By the time I secured what would be my breakfast, I was famished (and perhaps a little hung over).  Thankfully, there was no breeze and I had the good sense to avoid the shade. ;)  Shortly thereafter, I found the Merlion and the largest crowd I would encounter for the rest of my stay.  Next, I headed into Chinatown via the Central Business District (CBD).
The Merlion

Chinatown was strangely soothing.  It might have been the temples or simply leaving the multitudes but, after the Merlion, I was in a great mood and not yet exhausted from all the walking I was about to do over the next 3 days.  Initially, I basically followed the walking tour from the Lonely Planet guide but rapidly found my own ways.  It turns out though, that their walking tour is a fair beginning.  As I cris-crossed the neighborhood, I noticed that I periodically found myself back on their suggested route.  Indeed, many of the photos I posted map to the 'points of interest' they list.

After spending the majority of the day in Chinatown, I consulted my guidebook again & saw that I had, during my 'quest for breakfast', completed roughly half of the Colonial Distric walking tour so I decided to go ahead and trace the 1st half of the tour.

Another view of the Merlion
  That meant crossing the river over one of the many distinctive bridges, most of which are interesting enough on their own.  It was late afternoon by the time I made it back to the quays and I desperately needed a beer.  A side note: Beer prices vary wildly in Singapore, depending on the establishment you chose/Caveat Emptor!  Having recharged my batteries, I was once again off.  Some time later, I had the brilliant idea of going back to my hotel & taking a short nap before showering and going out for dinner.  When I woke, it was morning; I guess I was tired...

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One of the many bridges over the S…
One of the many bridges over the …
Looking South across the river.
Looking South across the river.
The Merlion
The Merlion
Another view of the Merlion
Another view of the Merlion
Another view of the Merlion (in th…
Another view of the Merlion (in t…
Thian hock Keng Temple interior in…
Thian hock Keng Temple interior i…
Thian hock Keng Temple, left of ce…
Thian hock Keng Temple, left of c…
Thian hock Keng Temple, right of c…
Thian hock Keng Temple, right of …
Thian hock Keng Temple exterior
Thian hock Keng Temple exterior
Thian hock Keng Temple from across…
Thian hock Keng Temple from acros…
View down Telok Ayer Street.
View down Telok Ayer Street.
Siang Cho Keong Temple.  Notice th…
Siang Cho Keong Temple. Notice t…
Club Street in Chinatown.
Club Street in Chinatown.
Club Street in Chinatown.
Club Street in Chinatown.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Sri Mariamman Temple
St. Andrews Cathedral
St. Andrew's Cathedral
Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles @ R…
Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles @ …
Looking North across the river
Looking North across the river
Looking North Across the river
Looking North Across the river
Tan Si Chong Su Temple.
Tan Si Chong Su Temple.
Close-up of one of the columns in …
Close-up of one of the columns in…
Singapore
photo by: easyjobrob