Full tummy, full case and hopefully an empty plane

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End May 23, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I have resisted most museums over the past visits to Singapore but today I am outnumbered. At Becky's insistence and with Liz's enthusiasm, we head off to Chinatown and the Chinese Heritage Museum.

Along the way, I am able to show Liz the nearby Hindu and Bhuddist temples and an Islamic mosque - all in the one street. From there, it's an easy walk up Pagoda Street to the Chinese Heritage Museum.

This museum displays the life of the immigrant Chinese population in Singapore's early days through both displays and oral history presentations... The poverty, harsh living conditions and heavy work are very evident.

Most gravitated to the current Chinatown area and lived in three storey shop-houses with their businesses at street level and two levels of accommodation above. Usually five to six families filled the six tiny rooms, so households of around forty people were not uncommon - with one bathroom and kitchen.

The museum has the upper rooms set up in this style and how you lived as a family of four to six in one bunk room is unimaginable!

After a refreshing peach tea, we head back home where Becky suggests a drive to the northern end of the island. She has a friend who lives in another version of the black and white house.

"Seletar Camp" is the former quarters for married British officers in the RAF at the nearby airbase between 1928 and 1971. It has two storey rows of terraced houses on gardened lots in streets with names evocative of London... Edgeware Road, Lambeth Walk, Picadilly.

Today, all the houses are owned by the Singapore government and leased. Judging by the swings and climbing toys, it is popular with young families and/or expats.

By now it's 3pm... Lunchtime! And only one compulsory meal stop remains.

Hainanese Chicken Rice!

Within walking distance of 'home' is Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant... More a streetside cafe but voted THE BEST CHICKEN RICE in Singapore! With so many food outlets, it has to be good!

And it is... The tastiest chicken with plain rice, steamed greens, chicken broth, spicy condiments and delicious lime juice drinks.

All we need to do now is have a late afternoon dip, pack and get ourselves to Changhi Airport for an 11.55pm flight. The seat allocations show a half empty plane, so maybe we can be ruthless and snatch three seats across each. We've chosen seats with this potential...

Alas, it is not to be. Although many have three seats to themselves in the centre, we share two on the side. The plane is a 777 long overdue for replacing on international runs we decide... The arm rests do not fold up completely. The video system is antiquated and the handset in the arm rest is continually being knocked to on. There is minimal sleep overnight...

But the synopsis otherwise is that it has been a very successful trip...

Liz saw many, many buildings on her architectural wishlist and introduced me to them and various facts. (Remember the crenellated turrets?...)
We caught all timetabled planes and trains - which ran on time.
We came in somewhere around budget despite shopping as much as our suitcases would allow.
The offspring and dogs survived without us.
We didn't need the Nurofen or Imodium.
Our accommodation choices were all good.
We're still talking!

And so, the holiday ends. Where can we go next?...
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Jo on

I tried the free upgrade with virgin traveling to Brissy- didn't even get a soft pillow.
Catch you after you recover from jet lag- have really enjoyed your blog

Jenny K on

Have thoroughly enjoyed 'armchair travelling' with you - appetite duly whetted -now just need to find the time and the funds- maybe after #3 finishes school!

Pam Dean on

Thank you for your great travel blog. Enjoyed following your adventures...loved the photos !

reyjusuf on

Amazing trip! Thank you for the blog.

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