A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Final day in Singapore... Still really hot.

sunny 38 °C
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Last night we decided (Chelsea decided) we should swap bunks because of the air con blowing directly on the bed so last night Liam nearly caught hyperthermia.... Chelsea turned it off at one point but an old asian man just got up and turned it back on.

We decided to go and see China Town today. On the way we had a walk around Fort Canning Park, a park in central Singapore that used to be used as a fort. It was the hottest day today and walking around the park was hard. It is like a small area of rainforrest in the middle of the city. A relief from the traffic but not the heat. The park is full of weird and wonderfull plants and trees, some of the trees are huge and look like they are out of Jungle Book with big vines hanging from them.

We really loved Chinatown. It is full of small shops and pedestrianised streets lined with shop keepers selling souvenirs, lanterns, jewellery, trinkets and resteraunts and eateries. We had a walk around and stopped off at a shop selling iced fruit juices. I had mango and Liam had apple and they were freshly juiced and delicious in the heat. All the shops have traditional shop fronts with shutters and are really colourful and old.

After our drinks we walked on to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple which was absolutely amazing, the highlight of the day. The temple is a huge red building with several stories and is ornately decorated. When you walk inside there are several gold Buddhist figures at the front with masses of people worshiping. Monks sing into microphones along with repetitive bells and people chant along with them. The room is vast and the walls are decorated with thousands of small Buddhas. Each Buddha is devoted to someone and there family. Within the temple there is a roof garden, a worship room as well as a museum explaining Buddha and displaying relics. Round the corner we also visited Thian Hock keng temple which was not as vast but equally ornate. It was green with beautiful carvings of dragons. Inside there were shrines to different Buddhist figures where people left insense sticks.

At the night we decided to visit the Singapore Museum which was really interesting. It had several works by contemporary South East Asian artists. We then went back to the hawker market (yes we have been every night) to try a different dish. Liam had Laska a spicy noodle soup which had tofu and cockles in it. Chelsea had some Ho Fan noodles with pork, mushrooms and crispy wontons. We both agreed it was the best meal we had eaten so far.

Tomorrow we are crossing over to Malaysia on the bus. We have really enjoyed Singapore but are tired out and ready for something a little slower paced.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore Comments (3)

First Day Singapore

sunny 35 °C
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Our first night sleep was great for Liam, air con kept everything nice and cool. Chelsea however was too cold and was kept awake by the guy in the room with the loudest snoring known to man. After two strong brews and sweet coffee (not sure about this), toast and chocolate cereal we headed out.

We saw the Sri Krishnam Hindu Temple and the Kuan Yim Temple. The Hindu temple is very impressive, the facade is deorated with brightly coloured carvings of Hindu figures. People collect incense sticks from the outside stall, light them and enter the temple whilst rocking the sticks back and forth around head height.

We walked through the city streets past the Raffles Hotel and War Memorial Park, towards the Marina. The buildings around this area are huge, the streets are wide and full of traffic and the sidewalks are lined with tropical trees. In between the skyscrapers there are old colonial buildings from when Singapore was a British Colony. The city feels a bit claustrophobic, really hot and humid, surronded by giant skyscrapers and manic traffic.

We had a stroll down the Marina promenade, bought a drink and sat watching the tour boats go back and forh. The area is very prisitine, the streets are constantly being sweeped and the buildings are clean cut and act like giant mirrors. Following a bridge over the Singapore River we went to see Merlion, the fountain that welcomes visitors to Singapore. We then had to make a pit stop at a souvenior shop for Chelsea to but some plasters for her little toes.

For lunch we decided to find another Hawker market and shared a plate of smoked duck with noodles, which was delicious. One the way we stumbled across a buiding pumping out air con so we quickly dived in and discovered in was a giant shopping centre which we walked around ten miuntes before exiting back out into the furnace that is Singapore.

Making our way back to the area our Hostel is in, we called at the Bugis Market for a drink, you can choose from an array of iced fruit juices for a dollar. We both got lime. As a detour on the way back we decided to venture into the arab quatre, and we saw the Sultan Mosque, which was imposing set inbetween the small shop fronts of the arab quatre.

We made in back to the hostel just in time for a massive thunderstorm, which lasted more than an hour, got washed and changed and headed back out, We made our way back down to the Marina front to see the Gardens by the Bay, These are 50 metre atrifical solar powered trees that light up various colours in the dark, and they were beautiful. They are set in a real garden, a welcome relief from the madness of all the traffic. The skyline opposite on the Marina at night is amazing, our photos do not do it justice.

After a long walk around, we made our way back towards Raffles Hotel and caled into the Long Bar for a predictabel Singapore Sling, Each table in the bar had a box of monkey nuts to help yourselves to and we were encouraged to throw the husks onto the floor. Feel sorry for the preson responsible for sweeping up as the floor is covered.

On our way back to the Hostel we called back to the same hawker market as yesterday for something to eat. Chelsea asked the lady working their what was good and was advised a noodle dish which turned out to be the exact same she had yesterday, Ooops.

Tomorrow we plan to take it a little easier after all the walking of today, we are going to head down to China town and wander round.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore Comments (8)

Hurray we are here!

semi-overcast 30 °C
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Finally arrived in Singapore after an horrific 46 hour trip and after two whole minutes in the room Liam declared he now hates hostels and won't stay in one again. (With good reason, it is cramped sweltering and you have to put your own bedding on - Liam). The hostel is actually fine, clean, with free wifi and breakfast and we will be staying in one again...

Saudia airport was an experience, 17 hours wait on the worlds most uncomfortable chairs being stared at from all angles. It wasn't all bad though as the airline provided three meals for us free of charge. Plesant suprise. On the other hand we will never get used to squat toilets.

When we arrived in Singapore (and after a much needed shower) we went for a walk around little India where our hostel is. It is so unbelievably busy and HOT. I can't decribe how hot it is, its like walking into a sauna. The traffic is constant and the walkways are just an assault course of scooters, tables and washing machines.

There are some amazing temples littered between the chaos and an amazing place to eat on every street corner. We eventually decided on a stall in a hawker market and both had a bowl full for 7 dollars. We strolled around the streets, saw some Christmas lights and had a drink whilst deciding on our course of action for tomorrow.

It's been a manic few days and having not slept in a bed for two days we are looking forward to getting some rest before tomorrow.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore Comments (3)

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