Lion City - Singapore

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 20, 2009

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lion City - Singapore

We had opted to stop at Singapore to break the long, long flight to Egypt and because Singapore Air Stopover holidays give you a night in a luxury hotel for a bargain price (though not as much of a bargain as it used to be).  We stayed high in the Marina Mandarin where we had a very tastefully decorated room with striking decorative lighting.  Through the window we had a panoramic view of the harbour and downtown skyscrapers and our entrance door opened onto a balcony walkway with a view over into the hotel's spectacular atrium.  This definitely wasn't the youth hostel.  Nevertheless, our first impressions were tarnished by having our luggage more or less snatched from us before we could say anything and then having to wait for more than half an hour before it was delivered to our room.  As it was getting late in the evening and we were getting hungry, this scuppered our plans to go for a swim in the splendid outdoor swimming pool (the climate is so warm, an indoor pool would be pointless in Singapore).  This had to wait for the morning, which we otherwise spent in a leisurely fashion before walking through the city to Chinatown, which we had never visited before and where we had found out the Chinese New Year decorations were already up.  The decorations proved a little disappointing and would probably have looked better illuminated after dark.  Nevertheless, china town was full of character and life, and very crowded, with shops and store selling a vast variety of exotic products.  We eventually made our way back to the boat Quay on the Singapore River where you have to run a gauntlet of restaurateurs trying to seduce you into their establishments.  After checking out several, we selected a Thai restaurant where we had a very nice candlelit meal as darkness fell and the lights of the city came on.  We then made our way back to the Marina Mandarin for a final swim and to pick up our luggage to head off to Singapore's Changi Airport to catch the 2.20 a.m. 11 hour flight to Cairo.  This was a night we had not being looking forward to. 
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