Trip Start Sep 19, 2002
129Trip End Sep 22, 2003
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16/2 After our walking exploits of the day before we had a late start and decided to head for Clarke Quay. We thought it would be nice to arrive there by river taxi and so followed the directions from our Rough Guide to the relevant MRT station. When we came out of the station there was no water to be seen let alone a water taxi. We wandered aimlessly down a few streets to no avail and so I decided to ask. I approached a lady at a food stall and said "Clarke Quay?". She said "Hot tea, welly nice". As my charm with the ladies obviously wasn't working we moved on. We asked again but only got sent back the way we had come. Eventually we found the right place only to be told we had to take a cruise to get there which would cost $16 each (6 quid each) which I though was outragous and so we took a normal taxi instead.
Clarke Quay is basically just a small shopping area next to the river but as it was Sunday it was flea market day. Flea market sounds quite interesting but it was only really a car boot sale! I did manage, however, to buy my 5th pair of sunglasses for the trip. Dissapointed with Clarke Quay we took a wander along the river and saw a few temples etc. We also came across a tent where there were hundreds of excited kids crammed in. On closer inspection it turned out to be a competition for spinning tops - if you ever had the game Battling tops you will know what I mean. My height again worked against me and I was not allowed to enter. Exhausted we returned to our hotel room to watch Shanghai Noon - when in Rome and all that.
17/2 First task for the day was to try and sort out our flight home from China (don't worry we're not coming home yet). We had tried throughout Oz to change the date but all the flights always came up as booked. One trip to BA at Changi airport and all was sorted.
From the airport we headed for Changi Prison museum. This involved taking our first bus. As with everything else here even taking a bus is hi-tech. When you get on you simply swipe your travel card and do likewise when you get off. This then deducts the correct amount of money without even having to speak to the driver. While you are on the bus you can sit back and watch satellite tv! The museum was really interesting telling the story of the prisoners of war held there by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. The stories of torture and murder were really moving as were the tales of the local chinese helping the POWs despite knowing they would get a beating. Throughout this trip we have learnt so much more about the 2nd world war in this part of the world and have found it both fascinating and frightening.
After the museum we headed back to town and caught up with our emails before looking for food. We came across an American restaurant run by Chinese people serving pasta?! Every time someone new walked in all the staff had to called out in unison "Hi welcome to Breeks" which got a bit annoying after a while. What were we doing eating western food I hear you ask. Well we figure this could well be our last chance for a while as it will be rice and noodles for some time me thinks!