A Travellerspoint blog


Our last day in south east A!

History, orchids, reunions and night safari!

30 °C

Where have the last 9 months gone!!

We would need to make our last day in Singapore and South East Asia a good one.

First stop was The National Museum of Singapore which is by far one of the most impressive museums we have been to on this trip.


We headed straight for the Singapore History Gallery. Normally it would cost S$10 each but lucky for us we had turned up on an 'open house' day and it was free. We were each handed our own device with earphones, which allowed us each to select our own journey through the exhibition.


We went through a curtain and found ourselves on a bridge in a room with floor to ceiling screens showing impressive images of Singapore, its people, lifestyles, buildings and wildlife. What an introduction!


You could either select to go through the exhibition based on events or on personal stories. I decided to go the personal story route but soon changed my mind and joined the others on the event route as I didn't feel I knew enough about the history to get the significance of some of the stories being told.


We made our way through Singapores history from Raffles (known as the modern founder of Singapore), secret societies and opium dens to the Japanese occupation during the Second World War. There was so much information and even after 2 hours we hadn't got through all! It was time to move on though!

Next stop was the Botanical Gardens!


We had managed to miss the rain whilst in the museum, which was doubly good as meant it was still overcast so not too hot from the sun.


With a variety of different gardens, including one dedicated to all things ginger :) , there was plenty to explore.


The gardens are most famous for The Orchid Garden, it was only S$5 for this colourful treat.


Some of them looked really weird... (this one was named after Margaret Thatcher in the VIP Garden)


Or had smiley faces!


It is also a very popular place for wedding photos!


Dan was fascinated by the leaf that looked like it had a plant painted on it! And clearly was having a mad moment...


The clouds had got darker and we could hear the distant rumble of thunder, after spying one of these signs too we thought it might be best to call it a day.


After freshening up from our humid day in the gardens it was now time for another epic reunion! Fiona, an old friend from university now lived in Singapore with her husband Nav and I had not seen her for 7 years! We d arranged to meet them for dinner along with Manda as well who was here in her home city too. Perfect timing.

We met outside Masjid Sultan, a beautiful mosque which I believe is the largest in Singapore. It was very impressive as it came into view at the end of Bussorah street.


We had a great catch up over kebabs, hallumi cheese and humus at a Turkish restaurant and a few quick drinks.


It was lovely to see you all :)

Dan and I didn't have long as we had to rush off for the Night Safari!!


This is one of the first attractions people would mention to us when talking about Singapore and we had heard good things so needed to check it out for ourselves. It is definitely a unique zoo experience. We spent a couple of hours exploring the dimly lit trails not knowing what we might find around the next corner. From squeaking otters and munching porcupines to leaning giraffes and sleeping leopards.


And there were Tigers too!


It was really hard to take photos of the animals in the dark as its hard to get focus without the flash, so I am very pleased with this shot :)


It was midnight by the time we left. What a way to spend our last evening in Singapore.

A huge thanks to Hache for having us to stay, its been loadsa fun :)

Next stop Australia!!!


Posted by doyledan 06:41 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Exploring Singapore

sunny 32 °C

After a hearty breakfast at one of the cafes along Robertson Quay we headed out to explore more of the city.


This is a novel way to try to deter people from doing graffiti by putting paper up on the walls of subways with art, which can then be removed and replaced with new art.


Singapore is known for having strict laws that can result in fines or time in prison for things that police at home wouldnt bat an eyelid such as no eating or drinking on the subway, littering and chewing gum. Apparently if a bike is stolen then signs go up and the area is cordoned off like you would expect for a murder investigation. I just remembered that on the plane there was a couple sitting infront of us who were having a cheeky look at porn on their iPad! I wonder if they knew that pornography is illegal in Singapore! Could be a bit of an embarrassing call home if you ended up in jail for that.


We may smirk at the strictness of some of these rules but Singapore is by far the cleanest city we have been in.

As we walked along the river the heat was already getting oppressive. You would think we would be used to the heat by now but Singapore seems to have its own type of heat, I guess due to the additional humidity, and it wasn't long before Dan resorted to our trusted Angry Birds umbrella for some shade.


Think we could all have used a refreshing dip in the river too!


Our first stop was the check out the Fullerton Hotel which had once been the General Post Office. We had already seen it lit up at night but now wanted to take a look inside.


It was just as impressive inside with a grand staircase leading down over a huge coi carp pond. Not too shabby!



Now every cool kid knows that your hat should be as bling as the city that you're in!


This is the Esplanade Theatre on Marina Bay which is also known as 'The Durians' due to the aluminium sunshades that cover it that make it look like the famously smelly fruit.


Who said trees don't have hearts?


The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore. An animal from legend it has the head of a lion and body of a fish, representing Singapores history. The fish represents the time when the area was called Temesek which means 'sea' and the lion head represents when the city was renamed Singapura which means 'Lion city'.


We were wilting in the heat and got a bit of shade walking along the Helix bridge (the longest pedestrian walkway in Singapore at280m) to find relief in the airconned shopping mall at the Medina centre.


Which had an ice rink!


And a river where you can go on a boat ride!


We'd admired the Marina Bay Sands hotel and decided we should go to the observation deck to see what views it offered over the city.


With our ticket we weren't able to go into the roof top gardens or pool area. That was just for guests of the hotel, unless you came early and joined one of the morning tours, but if you craned your neck around a corner you could check out how the other half lives!


Still needing get a few more bits for Australia we decided to join the hoards of shoppers on Orchard Road, which is famous for its plethora of shopping malls.


After successfully finding some jeans it was definitely time for a few beers...


and a visit to Little India for a curry!!


Posted by doyledan 03:54 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Hello Singapore!

Reunions, cable cars and the wow factor!

Our final stop in SE Asia would be Singapore!

Some people might question why we didn't go there before Indonesia but it was with good reason. By putting it at the end we could coincide our visit with when a friend from home was moving to Singapore. Another epic reunion awaited us!

Having stocked up on duty free gifts we went to get our bags,


only to be left waiting at the carousel with Dans bag nowhere insight. As that drama was resolved and his bag arrived I noticed someone waving frantically in our direction. It was Hache who had come to surprise us at the airport :) what was to follow was a fun night of catching up on news from home, her time moving to Sinapore and our adventures.


We had some great local food...


And having been without decent wine for months, we may have got a bit carried away...


Which resulted in a lot of kangaroo onesie fun


Have you ever had crisps made from purple potatoes?


The next day a bit worse for wear we set out to explore some of the city, stocking up on some local grub at one of the many food courts.


Check out these gardens! So cool!


Our first stop would be China town and as we walked through from sky scrapers to old style shop houses it was like being in a giant film set with changing scenes that didn't quite seem real. Kind of like in the Truman show as everything feels like it has its exact place. It definitely didn't have such a built up, bustling feel to it that was so impressive about Hong Kong.


As none of us were in the mood (or in any state) to be looking through all the different things at the stalls or haggle we decided to opt for the cable car ride instead where we could just sit back and take in the city without the hecticness. To be fair as we had been to China and several other China towns on our trip we didn't really need to get anything anyway.


The cable car takes you to the top of Mount Faber (which really should be described as a hill), over the harbour and across to Sentosa Island. As it was an overcast day and drizzling the views weren't as spectacular as maybe they could have been on a clearer day.


But it was quite cool to get a birds eye view over Sentosa island


And of this gigantic cruise ship! Complete with mini golf, a driving range, swimming pools with slides that come out off the ship and a helicopter pad!


We jumped off at Sentosa Island to take a look around, I had not realised that it was one big playground, with casino, theme parks, water parks and aquarium. It was also where they have Singapores Universal studios. I really should have read up on it more, not exactly the best place to be hungover and with not a large budget! But it was fun to see and if we were back in Singapore on a different trip I might check it out properly.


After all that excitement and walking around in the humidity it was time for a nap before we took on Singapore at night.

We were glad we had some new clothes as we knew that flip flops and shorts were not the dress code required to get in the roof bars.

Singapore is known for its great food and we headed to Satay Street for some...can you guess...that's right satay!


Outside on the street was stall after stall of satay sellers, all advertising the 'best satay'. There was also an impressive building where inside was a selection of other food and drink you could get too but we opted for chicken, beef and prawn satay, which was delicious!


Suitably stuffed we made our way to Level 33. Daniel and Hache were amazed that there was no queue. We think as it was a bank holiday weekend that a lot of people had actually left Singapore for a long weekend which worked out well for us. Within seconds we were in the lift and sitting at a table outside with this amazing view of the city, just in time for the light show! WOW!!



From our vantage point we could look down on the famous Fullerton hotels, and decided we would move on to Fullerton Bay hotel for a cocktail.


We could get used to this!


Posted by doyledan 21:44 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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