Immaculate Singapore

Trip Start Oct 17, 2007
Trip End Feb 04, 2008

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, October 20, 2007

The very first impulse I got upon arriving in Singapore's Changi Airport was, "Get out the camera!".  Who does that?  But this airport is different, it's so clean and picturesque, that you can't help but doing the old point and shoot.  There are gardens, a spa, a theater, a transit hotel, free internet.  It's like a really fun mall, and I don't even like malls!  But that's not why we're in Singapore, so onwards.

Having arrived at night, we had no sense of orientation upon arriving at our hotel, but despite it being in a fantastically central area which was bright and clean we did figure one thing out right away:  our hotel rented rooms out by the hour, if you know what I mean...  If you don't, well, go ask mum or dad to explain it to you. Never mind, everyone was friendly and families and tourists alike stayed there, so we didn't think twice about it (maybe only once), and stayed.

Our first day we walked and then walked some more.  We're gonna have smokin' legs by the end of this trip.  To cover the longer trips we got tickets for a hop on/off shuttle and traveled around the city that way.  We went to the Lao Pa Sat hawker market which is one of Singapore's original food markets.  There we tried sugar cane and lemon juice (YUUUMMMYYY) which is made by grinding the sugar cane stalk right at the stall, and mixing it with freshly squeezed lemons and lots of ice.  Yes, it does taste as good as it sounds!  We also walked along Orchard Road, which you could say is the main street in Singapore, full of restaurants, clothing stores etc etc.  On Orchard Road we stopped for a peek at the Orchard Hotel, where Scott did work experience way back in 91.  In Chinatown we went to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple,  where I had to cover up a bit more with a sarong (the lady at the entrance tied it for me, I had NO idea how to get it to stay on) and we offered a candle for our safe journey .

A highlight of the day, and the you're-a-tourist-you-have-to-do-it-just-accept-it activity was going to the Raffles Hotel.  This is a historic hotel in Singapore where (are you ready for this) the Singapore Sling was invented at the Long Bar! Yes, of course we had a Sling at the bar!  Particularly if it was frequented by the likes of Clark Gable back in the day... maybe a bit of the glamour wore off on us.  Not.  We also tried to go to the hotel lobby, as we'd heard that it was quite beautiful inside, but alas, we were stopped at the door, because Scott wasn't wearing pants.  No lobby for you!  I just wondered how the guests in their suites go back and forth from their rooms, uh, I mean suites?  Don't they wear shorts?  Do they have separate entrances to bypass the lobby?  Ah, the mysteries of the rich and famous...

Night time led us to the Newton Circus hawker's market.  Once inside the vendors provided a cacophony, very, very, very firmly urging you to purchase food at their stall.  It's a blast!  Now normally I would become upset if I wasn't addressed in any way by someone when I'm with Scott, but when there are an overwhelmingly large amount of vendors trying to sell you their satays and all they yell is "Sir!", I think, bring it on!  Only my Sir has to answer, giving me more time to closely study the menu. Oh, the strategy! In the end, we bought Singapore satays (wow, the flavour), murtabak (a roti with meat and onion in it), and baby Kai Lan in oyster sauce (only my new, most favourite vegetable!) from a lovely lady name Gina (stall number 46 if anyone ever goes).  We washed it down with a nice, frosty, big (650ml) Tiger beer and soursop juice, which is a fruit like guanabana in Colombia.

Ok, I'll stop talking about the food, but it's just so gooooood.....  We then walked back to our hotel via Little India which is celebrating the Deepavali Festival, and wow, the lights!  Beautiful! All the streets are lit, there are markets stalls everywhere, people packing the streets...

Also on the agenda was Sentosa Island, Singapore's' resort island, where we could also step on Asia's most southern continental point. We went to Sentosa by monorail, and returned by cable car which goes up HIGH in the air, and I mean HIGH.  Skyscraper high.  It was a bit daunting once in it, but worth the views, and upon arrival (good timing too), Scott kindly informed me that the cable car had snapped once, carnage ensued, etc etc.  But there were survivors. Ok, then, point is, we enjoyed the trip, all is still attached.  However, that was nothing compared to the oh so unique experience we had on the island:  fish reflexology.  What is this, you ask?  Can you even guess?  Well, you wash your feet, then proceed to a large pond full of little Turkish fish that think your feet are a feast from heaven and go berserk eating your dead skin cells!  Weeeeeehhhhhhhhhhh! (that's my squeal).  You don't even have to put your feet in, just put your feet above the water, and they all squirm over eagerly over to where you are, ready to attack like tiny dead skin loving vampires!  I can't even describe how I felt when I saw this and then put my FEET in there, but there was a lot of squealing, screaming (as soft as I could, it was a spa), wriggling, holding of my head in my hands, holding my breath.... I had to exercise incredible willpower to keep my feet in. Scott, of course, got all this on tape, no doubt to use as blackmail one day.  Then it was his turn.  Similar reaction as me, but then he wished he'd gone to the pond with the more aggressive fish (the one where they take chunks, not nibbles). Tough Guy.  Show off. Regardless the end result is fabulous!  Feet as soft as....a baby's bum?  Can't think of another simile.
So that's Singapore! I've devised a canaussie rating of new foods and experiences from 1 to 5, 1 being blah, 2 so so, 3 ok, 4 very good and 5 excellent must do/have again or recommend!  Here goes:
Fish reflexology: 5 for weirdness and results
Baby Kai lan: 5
Soursop juice: 4
Singapore Satays: 5
Murtabak: 4
Sugar Cane Juice: 5 (must be with lemon)

Till next time! xo
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mcompton on

Mmmm...dead skin cells
So can you buy those fish on the American black market and set up your own little fish pond/spa at home? That would definitely cut down on the pedicure budget...

milkita on

Oooh, skin-eating fish
Always wanted to try that. Wow, amazing that you did. It didn't hurt, right?

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