06.07.2017 - 08.07.2017 30 °C
we found Singapore to still be a vibrant bustling city with amazing new buildings and great parks and open spaces. We arrived at 6:25am and got an uber into town. Our room wasn't available until noon so we went walking, and walking and walking... (mostly in the right direction). Patrick took us to Orchard Road only to find most shops didn't open until 11am! However we did stumble across an amazing official information centre. Great staff there and really clever apps that not only help you plan your itinerary but also to print an A3 double-sided colour version of it with maps - for free! Stephen there also told us how to use the Metro and where to buy tickets which was just 5 minutes away. We had a snack of chicken and pork pot stickers at the mall there (one of 29 in Orchard Road). Very nice too!
We caught the train back and then grabbed a 90 minute nana nap before heading out again.
in the afternoon we went to Merlion Park then meandered around to Marina Bay Sands hotel (WOW!) and found how to get to the top without paying $26 bucks each to go the the observation deck. The views are phenomenal. OK the drinks were exorbitant but we had a pleasant couple of hours there before going to the Gardens by the Bay next door. These were another WOW! Two amazing indoor conservatories, one containing a variety of plants from all over the world and the second a virtual rain forest. These are absolutely amazing structures covering literally hectares of space and the Cloud Dome has a (highly) elevated rainforest walk which is amazing. We then watched the supertree sound and light show which is a must-see and quite spectacular.
We were too buggered to walk back and grabbed another uber, stopping at a local food market before hitting the sack at 9:30. Patrick reckoned we had walked 16ks so with very sore feet, rest was certainly in order. :-)
A ten hour sleep set us up reasonably for Day 2. We have the metro sussed by now so grabbed a train to Dhoby Ghaut (Red Line) and transited to the Purple Line to go to Harbour Front to get tickets to Sentosa Island. It would be fair to say it exceeded expectations. Despite being overrun with tourists (it seems it is Asian school holidays) we didn't really need to queue too long for anything. We grabbed some bikes and spent an hour and a half exploring the island including a visit to Fort Siloso which was fascinating. One negative - these bikes needed some TLC and should be in better working order than they were. We then had a well-earned rest at Maccas before doing the cable car (amazing views), Madame Tussauds (much better than I expected) and the Tiger Sky Tower, a revolving platform that goes up 131 metres to give you 365 degree views of Singapore. We only scratched the surface and I can see why the 2 Day pass is so popular. We went back to the hotel were I had a workout and a swim whilst Julie and Pat aquainted themselves with the barman Best, a real character for sure! We ventured to Orchard road again only to be amazed at the phenomenal number of upmarket malls, with extremely pricey merchandise, all which seemed to be busy. Plenty of money somewhere!
We ventured to Chinatown and Little India by metro - rail service is great. Chinatown was the better option with plenty of stalls offering the usual array of cheap and cheaper goods and the vibe was more authentic - we bought a selfie stick - yes we did!!! That didn't add much to either economy at $15.60, a fan and two bottles of water. In the afternoon we found a group of expat bars on Boat Quay where quite a number broadcast the Lions/AB test. We selected Charlies Tapas Bar where we joined a mainly Lions supporters group for an entertaining game of footy. The result was fair - a shared series and the ABs kept their Eden Park record intact. We then took an uber to Changi airport and tried to fill in the five hours before takeoff to Milan. All in all a very worthwhile stopover in Singapore.