This is one of many statues of Buddha lying about Singapore. They are popular with the locals who seem to rub their hands all over them, then over their faces and arms, presumably as a sign of good fortune.
More photos to follow - few internet places allow me to upload them over here
Having been in Singapore for about 10 days now, we have become quite used to the way things work around here. The place gives the impression of a man-made island, there's a fair bit to do here but none it was 'naturally' here. It is especially beautiful though, as you may expect if given the chance to build from scratch.
We have now visited the zoo, which is similar to most zoos - lots of animals and all that, including a very clever trained sea lion called Patrick. It was the Night Safari that evening which was very spectacular though - a tram led you around the rain forest at night, past animals in their 'natural' environment such as elephants, leopards, lions, deer(!), hippos, and tigers.
This is the Merlion statue on Singapore, with a city backscape. Half lion, half fish!
There was nothing to stop these animals getting to the tram so I guess they were well trained. The show afterwards demonstrated how these animals perfomed in the wild at catching prey etc. During this they managed to lose "Maggie" in the audience and the instructors were tearing up and down the isles trying to find "her". Only when they did find her did everyone realise that "Maggie" was a giant python. Urch!
Other spectacles include the Singapore Botanical Gardens which were very pleasant, if a little hot to be wandering about them. The separate Orchid Garden is worth a visit as this is what Singapore is apparently known for, and if you go on a Sunday, an orchestra will serenade you around. Which is nice!
The Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam and the Buddha Tooth Relic Chamber in China Town are also places worth visiting.
The sultan mosque in Kampong Glam.
Although I wasn't allowed into the mosque, it was worth seeing from the outside - very Arabian. The temple we were allowed into and this was where they were keeping the tooth relic of Buddha - this is not a piece of tooth, rather something (a small white marble) that represents it. It was kept in a room with solid gold paraphanalia on the top floor, such as a Buddha statue, lanterns, and the floor itself which you could buy it seemed. The top was an orchid garden with a massive rotating drum in the middle. One held onto the rail around the drum and walked with it as it rotated - I believe this is where sins were repented, or something.
Sentosa we visited today. This is a small island to the south or Singapore that has been built into a kind of theme park (as if Singapore wasn't one already!) There are luges and skyrails, a look out tower, and a Songs Of The Sea show which pyrotechnics, lights and lasers, and jets of water.
Harbour Front, Singapore. Taken from the Sentosa Express on our way over to the island of Sentosa, which lies to the right of the picture.
This was as corny as it sounded, especially with eight over-happy people running about on the beach making exaggerated limb movements. The Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon were worth it though. Very clever tricks performed by the dolphins with barely any input from the trainers which was impressive. The animals at Underwater World were worth seeing too - these included strange fish that swam vertically, funny little eels that stuck their heads out of holes and snapped at things, and Japanese Spider Crabs which were disgustingly huge, and which apparently could get huger, 3m span was the adult size - wouldn't want to catch that on the end of a crabline.
Sentosa also houses the infamous Singapore "Merlion". This is a creature with the head of a lion and the body/tail of a fish and is the mascot of Singapore.
This is one of many strange fish at Underwater World on Sentosa. It disguises itself as coral so as not be eaten. Looks like it's made of crystals.
It's quite amazing to look at this 100ft lit up statue at night, why they chose this as their mascot though I don't know. Apparently legend has it that someone in Singapore reported a lion on the loose, this story spread and slowly but surely this lion lost its body and grew a fish tail, so there we go!
Rhodri will be arriving to join us tomorrow and shortly after that we will be moving to Malaysia, which is probably where you'll next hear from me. Hope everyone's well :-D