Drop in for a Singapore Sling

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End May 18, 2013

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This is our final destination on our trip, before heading back to Brisbane.

It is somewhat ironic that it should be our last destination as, back in 1978, it was the destination for our very first overseas trip together. (I know it is hard to believe because we both look so youthful!) Prior to marriage, kids, mortgages and running our own transport company, we caught a British Airways flight to Singapore and combined this with Bali, in what was the first of many adventures.

We still recall being hit with the extreme humidity which is such an essential part of this country which lies virtually on the equator. We remember drinking gin at Raffles, booking a night tour of Bugie Street only to sleep through the wake up call, and riding in rickshaws alongside buses in the busy streets. Singapore must be to blame for giving us a very large dose of the 'travel bug' – something which is still with us thirty five years later!

Singapore is still dripping with humidity – something which was even more obvious to us this time around, as we arrived from a northern hemisphere winter. It does take some getting used to! Orchard Road is still the shopping hub of the city but now it is full of shopping malls – most of which house high end designer shops – Gucci, Prada, Tiffanys – name any designer label and it’s our bet that they will have at least one shop in Singapore. The city no longer has the smell or the chaotic traffic of other Asian cities, nor does it have the very cheap prices.

Instead, Singapore presents as a modern, clean and very liveable city. In fact, one local person we spoke to said that its skyline changes every six months as construction on new buildings and infrastructure continues, apparently unabated by the economic problems of so many other countries.

Raffles is still there, so we had another gin. This time, however, we stopped at one because of the prices of drinks in the famous Long Bar. We couldn’t find the old cricket ground which we thought used to be nearby! The rickshaws in the city streets could no longer be found, so we walked or opted for taxis instead. Gluten free restrictions meant that the food hawkers were a bit risky for Del, so restaurants were the order of the day. The food, by the way, was still excellent and the choice was amazing.

We also visited the marina precinct which has the most amazing hotel –Marina Bay Sands, so we spent a thoroughly enjoyable few hours exploring this area (which we do not recall at all from three decades ago!)

Given that we only had two nights in this city (and most of the first day was getting over jet lag) we have vowed to return again to Singapore, and not wait thirty five more years before doing so. We did not even get to see Sentosa Island again and we would have loved to spend more time immersing ourselves in this cosmopolitan Asian hub. As a stopover, it was fantastic.

So now, after twenty weeks away, it is time to board our flight home to Australia. However, don’t think that our blog is over. We have decided to write an epilogue, summing up the whole experience. For our blogs to date we have largely taken it in turns to write about a particular place while the other person edited. For our epilogue we will each do our own. We will only see each other’s when it has been published. Should be interesting!
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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