A Swingin' Singapore Sling

Trip Start Sep 06, 2009
Trip End Oct 30, 2009

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The 13 hour flight from London to Singapore was a tough one. I didn't sleep much the night before and not much either on the flight there, so I was exhausted by the time I got to Singapore. But once I got to my friend Rayan's appartment, I slept for a few hours and that did the job. I had a great time with Rayan. He showed me a lot of places on the first day, including Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, the Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City, which was very good with the laser show, Little India and Chinatown, where we visited 2 temples and also got our fortune told, in this strange ceremony which involved a lot of shaking of sticks on our knees! The best place was the Esplanade. This was the best place to see the Singapore skyline at night-time and it was beautiful.

We also went to Raffles Bar and we had our Singapore Sling cocktail for 27 SGD/about 15 euros. Expensive or what, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'll never forget it. There was a bar upstairs which had a jazz band on and the place was swingin"!

I also went to the Botanical Gardens on my third day there and good God, it was like a sauna. 35 degree heat, with the sun shining! I only stayed an hour but the Orchid garden there was lovely, with all sorts of shapes and colours of orchids. Very nice but I could feel myself
baking in the heat, so I had to get out. What I really found strange was the fact that it's 25/30 degrees heat, even at 11pm in the evening. It's totally alien to me, I've never experienced that before.

I wanted to do the Singapore Flyer. It's like the "London Eye", only 30 metres higher. I got there by taxi and took the "flight" with 4 people from Hong Kong. It was great. It was a cloudy day and overcast. Apparently you can see Malaysia on a good day. But still, it was clear enough to see everything else, such as the Formula 1 racing track and the Esplanade. There were good views of the city from that vantage point and it was blessedly airconditioned, as it was hotter today than yesterday.

I stayed in Singapore too, for two nights on my way back to Amsterdam. This was at the end of October and they were just starting to put up the Christmas lights and decorations. They were wonderful. By the ION building, on Orchard Road, just as you come out of the MRT station, are steps with this "staggered" water fountain, where the water jumps up, from one step to the next and is lit up with illuminous green, purple, red and blue lights. It's unusual to see it "staggered" like that and even more beautiful at nighttime.

On my very last night there, I went for a Seafood buffet dinner, to the Concorde Hotel, (right beside the Somerset metro) with a friend of mine, Doreen. The food was gorgeous and so well prepared and presented. There was a mixture of raw and cooked seafood: raw oysters, scallops, cooked crayfish, salmon, tuna etc. If you're a seafood lover, go there for an excellent spread of the crustacean kind.
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