...and we didn't even have a Singapore Sling

Trip Start Jul 11, 2010
Trip End Apr 22, 2011

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Before and after we spent time in the Philippines, we had been in Singapore.  When we first arrived in Singapore our expectations were of new buildings, the cleanest streets, expensive shops and evidence of money everywhere.  What we found though was more a combination of our expectations, mingled with the more traditional areas of Little India and China town so much to our delight there was still plenty for us to feast our eyes on, not just one sky scraper after another (although some are magnificent to see). 

We have spent most of our time since we started our trip using the cheapest form of transport we can find which is our legs, after a few days of walking around Singapore, it was getting easier to link places together and we started to realise how small it actually was.  The first few days, we went to the Marina Bay area to see some of new additions to the Singapore skyline, one of the most amazing buildings being the Marina Bay Sands hotel/casino which is made up of three massive glass curved skyscrapers which hold a 'boat' shaped building over the top of them which is actually a 'skypark' with palm trees included. We didn't go up there but we could see people up there from the distance enjoying the incredible view they must have had over the whole of Singapore.  We walked around the whole area and took in the impressive and modern architecture of a thriving country. We also visited many many many malls, you cannot believe that one place can have so many malls, I think there are over 100 in total and you needn't walk more than 5 minutes until you find the next one, the malls are different, some more expensive, some with better food courts, some dedicated to IT, some good for clothes, anything you want to buy you can at any time of the day - Mustafa mall in Little India is open 24/7. 

We started to think about buying a laptop whilst we were in Singapore, we knew it would be cheaper and with a whole mall with 5 levels dedicated to pretty much just laptops, we were ready to do some good bargaining! We wandered about shop to shop looking at laptops of all makes, models and prices until we found one that we liked, to be honest we don't really know too much about spec but we wanted something small, portable and durable for the rest of our trip.  The one we found was an LG one which to start with was advertised for $1700 which is about GBP 850, it was very much out of our price range but we liked it so had a chat with the sales man and his calculator.  After a bit of bartering, we managed to get the laptop down to $700 which is about GBP 350, with an external disc drive, wireless mouse, leather case and canon camera thrown in for good measure - the laptop isn't out in the UK yet but according to the internet, it will be around GBP 900 when it finally makes it - it just goes to show how cheap it must be to manufacture and how much we get ripped off in the UK!  So now I have the luxury of blogging from our room instead of the internet café thanks to the IT mall Singapore - Life's Good :)

Our hostel in Singapore was located on Racecourse Road Little India, each day we walked up and down Sarangoon Road which goes the whole way from one end of Little India to the other, this was one of my favourite parts to walk in Singapore as it was a wakeup call too all the senses.  As you walk down the road, the smells of the spices are carried around the streets from the many Indian restaurants, the bright colours and intricate designs of the saris and the flashes of gold from one of the multitude of jewellery shops all accompanied by the sounds of Indian music coming from the music shops. It was a really interesting area of Singapore to see and such a contrast to the clean and ultra modern parts elsewhere and on an evening the streets were full of people wandering about (mainly men) as far as the eye can see.  Once out of Little India, the streets of Singapore were busy and wide with a distinct American feel, the pavements are clean, the buildings are modern and a coffee shop is always a stone's throw away, people tend to get on with their own business and Singapore prides itself on its multi - cultural inhabitants of Indians, Malays and Chinese. Unlike Little India, the streets aren't so busy and even at rush hour some days we were wondering where all the people were - maybe they were hiding in one of the 100+ malls?  We have heard since though that the Singapore government is starting to give incentives to young couples to have children as the population is getting quite low.

Whilst in Singapore we visited the famous 'Raffles' hotel, just from the outside for a photo opportunity, I had given up on the idea of going for a Singapore sling somewhere plush after Rob ordered a beer one night and it cost $14 - about GBP 7 - that was the last beer he had in Singapore!  Food was also pretty expensive so we stuck to about two meals a day in smaller local places, some of the food courts in the malls did good deals so we managed to have some dinners for about 10 - 15 pounds for the two of us and we got delicious and good value meals in and around Little India.  We visited the Bugis Street night market which is and indoor market made up of lots of little streets dedicated to souvenirs, street food, t-shirts, bags etc, you can spend plenty of time here just browsing the stalls and soaking in the smells and sounds.  Next door to the market there is Iluma mall which from the outside is the most amazing sight, the whole mall is covered in hexagonal lights which at night light up in patterns, a very impressive and innovative sight which still has impact in the day time without the lights.

When we returned to Singapore after the Philippines we went back to our hostel for a few more days exploring, these days we did a bit of shopping (you just can't help yourself with so many malls!) and we also went to the Marina Bay driving range for my second golf lesson from Rob.  I didn't think it would be my sort of thing but I really enjoyed it, the driving range has four levels and about 90 bays and was really busy when we got there.  We must have stayed for about four hours in all, me desperately trying to learn how to swing the club under Rob's expert supervision; I even have my own pink leather glove now too so I look the part!  It must have been embarrassing for Rob though as he's really good and most of the time I either missed the ball altogether or hit it about 2 meters, Rob seems to think for a beginner I have a good swing but I think he's just being nice!  After that we went for dinner at one of the malls and walked back through Little India to our hostel for a good night’s sleep. 

At about 2 am, with Rob already asleep, I switched the light off ready to join him, I was used to the sounds of other people in the hostel so didn't worry when I heard what I thought was rustling outside the door.  When I listened again, I recognised the sound as one of the wrappers from the ube tarts we had brought back from the Philippines, the wrappers which were in our room, in our bin!! I panicked at first thinking someone had hidden under the bed but then I thought, 'why would someone hide under the bed and then try and steal and ube tart' so I woke Rob up 'something's in our room' sleepily Rob said 'switch the light on' but I didn't dare so he did and we had a good search of the room and he told me it was my imagination and to go back to sleep.  We switched the light off and then the rustling again, this time Rob heard it too and leapt out of bed to put the light on, again, there was nothing.  For some reason as well as a normal light in the room, there was a blue light bulb so we put that on and were very quiet to wait see if it happened again, then we saw this little mouse pop under the door and then do a u-turn when it saw us waiting! Cheeky thing.  So we took our rubbish out and plugged up the gap under the door and then heard a scream from the room down the hall, funny how something so small can cause so much trouble!

The next day we decided to visit Sentosa, a small island off Singapore with lots of attractions; Universal studios; underwater world, Zoo's, theme parks etc.  We wanted to take the cable car over which would take about 30 minutes so we took the train from Little India to the harbor area, when we got there and out of the train station, it took us straight into yet another mall.  We wandered around the mall following the signs for the cable car and getting frustrated that we couldn't find it, eventually we found the ticket office only to find that it would cost about GBP 25 to ride the cable car - that would pretty much be our food allowance for the day so we decided to just see Sentosa from a distance; it didn't look real, it kind of looked like Disney World!

So that was our experience of Singapore, the next morning we would fly to Sydney and leave Asia altogether, we were starting to feel sad and wishing that we could see more of Asia as it had been our home for the last two months and we had loved everything we'd experienced so far...

So really I have to say that I'm glad I didn't get to enjoy my Singapore sling whilst in Singapore as it gives us and excuse to come back one day!
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Cat on

Great photos lovelies! 2 months have gone by so quick - glad to hear you're enjoying it so much:-)

Mom / Teresa on

Singapore is as clean and orderly as I've remembered it to be! You both look so healthy and glowing! I am sure you are now in Aussie so looking forward to your blogs from there. Take care
love you xxxxxxxx

Angela G on

Hi Candice & Rob,
Happy New year to you both. I'm so glad you are both enjoying your time away. I can't believe it has been 2 months.
I am loving sharing what a wonderful time you and Rob are having. The pictures are lovely.
Safe journey to the next part of your adventure and looking forward to the next installment.
Love and hugs to you both.
Stay Safe.
Ang xx

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