I’m just back yesterday from four days in Singapore to celebrate my birthday. It was a great trip, though dealing with the humidity was certainly difficult.
On arriving on Tuesday I hit the ground running, taking off to the Asian Civilisations Museum. I was fortunate enough to arrive just-in-time for a tour of the museum which was fantastic, the guide provided great insight into a shipwreck around 960AD carrying significant stoneware goods to the Middle East. She told us that Europeans wouldn’t learn how to create stoneware for another 700-800 years. Unfortunately I had become a tad dehydrated and needed to head off for something to drink and eat, so I never did finish my visit here, I guess when you’re not from a humid country you need to ensure you’re suitably hydrated when heading out, and carrying water on your person. Having been up since 3am I ended up having an early night.
Wednesday I headed out to the Singapore National Museum, the entrance cost for all galleries was SG$26 and well worth the cost. I started with the history gallery which was brilliant, taking you from Singapore’s early history through various colonisations by Europeans, occupation by the Japanese during World War II and effects on the population, transition to nationhood in 1965 and building of the modern Singapore. Other exhibits focussed on childhood toys and periods in Singapore’s history, including further depth of Japanese WWII occupation. I very much enjoyed my visit here, it is so worth paying to see all exhibits, they’ve done such a good job of making an interesting story. Sadly I didn’t have time for the basement exhibits as I had to return to the hotel for my River Safari tour.
In 2016 I visited the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, both were great experiences, especially the Night Safari which I would happily again. I didn’t do the River Safari, my sister and husband done this on their honeymoon and enjoyed, so I wanted to check it out upon my return to Singapore. I took a tour to visit the River Safari, thus I had 2 hours once there to experience it, including the Amazon boat ride. Of the three zoo experiences I would have to say it was my least favourite, though it was still enjoyable. I did enjoy the pandas exhibit, but the boat ride was a tad quick and so speedy that you really didn’t get much chance to see the animals and photograph them (or the sunlight blocked your ability to do so).
This evening I headed off to Little India to partake in Diwali festivities, it appeared so too did everyone else, there was so many people here that evening. I had dropped by the Mustafa Centre on the recommendation of a friend, lordy that was a mistake, I could barely breathe whilst trying for find ‘Nutmeg Balm’ for my step-mother, and I never did find any. I headed across the road for an Indian meal, ordering Chicken Biriyani, Garlic Naan and Onion Prate (not sure of spelling). The meal was so delicious, it could only have been improved by seconds.
Thursday I had planned to head off to the Botanic Gardens again, all plans got thrown out and instead I headed off to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens near Jurong East. The heat and humidity on this day was so oppressive I only lasted there about 1.5 hours, I might have done better if there’d been an airconditioned restaurant / facility to cool down in for a bit, but sadly no. The gardens I did manage to visit were fantastic, they’ve done a wonderful job, I can’t believe there’s no charge to visit. I loved the bonsai trees.
That evening I headed off to Chinatown for dinner and perhaps a bit of shopping. I did manage to find my step-mother’s Nutmeg Balm here before heading into a Sichuan restaurant for dinner. Dinner was lovely, a spicy ribs-based meal, dumplings and greens, I was so full I could have burst.
Friday arrived all too quick, another year older, though somehow I am still 21. I had decided again to change plans and headed off to Starbucks for breakfast and a venti Frappuccino. Afterwards I headed off for some shopping at Suntec City, took forever to walk there and it was an utter waste of time, I arrived for 10am, the advertised opening time, yet it seemed all the stores had forgotten and almost nothing was open. I discovered another Starbucks and had another Frap, a few more stores had open after I’d finished yet still most were closed. I gave up and left. I never did end up buying myself a present whilst in Singapore, I think that will shock everyone.
For lunch I headed off to Lau Pa Sat, originally was going for dinner but I discovered they were open for lunch. I hunted for the famed Satay, seems that’s only a 7pm onwards treat, utterly gutted. I ended up ordering lemon chicken, I swear I came so close to chipping a tooth it was so hard and horrid, has turned me off ever returning to this venue.
I concluded my day by returning to Gardens by the Bay. I do love this attraction, at SG$1 Billion it was a bloody good investment, the domes are just fantastic, especially the Cloud Forrest Dome. After visiting both domes I headed off to the Supertree Grove to go up the walkway before heading back to the hotel. The queues were long, but eventually I got up there, and just 1 minute later the 15 minute light show commenced, it made the 30 minute wait (and sweating the Nile river) so worth it.
Back at my hotel this evening I ordered the chicken satay I’d missed out on at Lau Pa Sat, spring rolls and cheesecake, all was amazing.
Had a great time in Singapore, sweat a million buckets, but enjoyable experiences.