Singapore

Singapore

I think Kylie and I had the longest Valentine’s Day ever – unfortunately in this case, just a lot of time in planes and airports. We had a long stopover in Sydney and had planned to go into the city. But it turns out we would have had to pay a $90 ‘arrival fee’ each – so we decided it wasn’t worth it.

Eventually though we arrived into Singapore and were met by the friendly face of Shenwei.

Shenwei

Arriving into a hot humid climate is always such a shock, even though you know to expect it. It’s like walking into a wall of dense fog – the air is so thick and the heat just presses down on you and leeches you of your energy. We keep on falling into the trap of trying to do too much (at least, too much in the heat of the day) and then feeling utterly knackered. We really need to turn into night owls.

We had only two and a half days in Singapore but managed to fill them with culinary delights. We navigated our way through a hawker centre and enjoyed the ‘best’ Hainanese chicken rice, and oyster cake. One night we gorged ourselves on chilli crab and honey-oatmeal crusted prawns, washed down with tiger beer in Chinatown – thanks to our gracious host Shenwei!

Maxwell Hawker centre chili crab

We saw some of the obligatory ‘must-sees’ in Singapore – like the Durian (esplanade theatres on the bay), Merlion statue, a few temples (Chinese, Hindu, and a few mosques), and wandered along Orchard Road and the harbour-front. We visited the Botanic Gardens (lots of photos of trees taken for my tree-fanatic uncle Cliff – will email them through at some point) – quite pleasant to wander around, and some interesting plants and cute turtles. And a pleasant afternoon was spent in Arab town at a corner Turkish tea and shisha café.

laksa mosque bontanic gardens shisha

A strange observation – Singaporeans seem to be obsessed with Angry Birds (computer/phone game for those of you not in the know :P) – we saw so many people wearing Angry Birds t-shirts, and Kylie’s latte was even served with an Angry Birds character drawn in the foam.

angry latte

Singapore is such a funny place. On one side, there’s the stringent laws on littering, and the efficiency and orderliness of the MRT (subway), and the finest hotels and the haute couture shops lining the harbour-front and Orchard Rd; while on the other, there’s the bustling hawker centres, and grubby alleyways of Chinatown, Arabtown or Little India. Singapore’s residents are quite a mix too of course – expats, South Indians, Malays, and Chinese being the most noticeable groups.

Orchard Road

Now we’re in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo) and have five days here. Another post to follow soon about Kuching.