A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Singapore and way beyond!!!!!

29 April 2017

Off to Singapore today for a quick three day stop.

Sometimes people ask how we choose where to travel: wish/bucket lists, suggestions and sometimes I'll just see a photo and think "I just have to go there". For research, we do find travel books are good resources and a good source for travel books is the library. Luckily for me, the Pima County Library (Tucson) has a large, current travel book selection which includes most countries. Fodor's, Frommer's are good basic books but I'm more inclined to National Geographic, Rough Guide and Lonely Planet and then again, there is the internet. There are so many blogs and websites that have great info.

You might ask why Singapore! Yes, we've been here before - twice actually - but Brenda has not. We had planned our Borneo trip for May 3rd-7th, and we needed to work around those dates.

My thought process was: where would be a good stop for convenience, good food and some nice sites? Singapore's Changi Airport is a huge hub and actually one of my favorite airports. From there it's easy to get down to Indonesia. Also, Singapore has great food and is easy to navigate with only one drawback. It's expensive. We're staying at the Mitraa Hostel in LIttle India. I booked a 4 bed dorm for the three of us but they gave us a 6 bed dorm (same price) - cost is $90 per night and as far as Asian prices go - that's expensive (for us).

A mix of old and new - describes all of Singapore

A mix of old and new - describes all of Singapore

Our spacious dorm in Singapore

Our spacious dorm in Singapore

Little India - Singapore

Little India - Singapore


We arrived about 730pm, got settled and headed out for some sustenance. It's Saturday night and the streets are teeming with people of every shape and color - locals and tourists a like. Just down from our hostel, on facing street corners are two groups of food stalls. We've learned that you always look for the place that's busy. One side of the street was full, so it's across that street where we grab the only empty table. These areas are occupied by five or six different food stalls that share the same tables and the same beer girl. An enthusiastic, smiling man beckoned us to his stall. The dishes looked good (each about $5Sg = $3.50 USD), we order. This is all new to Brenda so we explain: you order food from the stall that suits you and then give them the table number. We had asked for beer so we are approached by the "Beer Girl", we give her our order and she delivers. Each person is paid independent of the other.

After dinner, we start the trek down the Serangoon Rd, passing every type of shop imaginable. After a bit, Jim decides his leg is bothering him and he heads back to the room. Brenda and I have a bit of energy left so it's off to see what little gems we can find.

30 April 2017

With Singapore being two and a half hours behind Sri Lanka and the fact that our room is quiet and without windows, we woke up and find we've missed breakfast. That's ok. As Brenda and I perused the shops the previous evening, we saw one restaurant that was really busy and through the window Brenda saw someone eating what Brenda described as "a tree". It was actually a cone dosai. With that dish in mind, we made it back to Komala Vilas for brunch. So glad we did - next to string hoppers, dosai is one of my favorite dishes and this place had some that were new to me. We enjoyed our brunch a plain dosai, kama dosai and kama dosia with onions - all really good.

Plain dosia made with lentil flour

Plain dosia made with lentil flour

Rawa Dosai - a spicy semolina dosai

Rawa Dosai - a spicy semolina dosai

Our last visit to Singapore was five years ago and JIm and I enjoyed a nice afternoon at the Gardens by the Bay, which at that time, were quite new. They have enhanced the gardens in the last five years. Exhibits there change frequently and the current one is "Tulips". It's a nice way to pass a couple of hours and gives easy access to the Marina Sands Hotel (for a quick peek). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_by_the_Bay

Gardens on the Bay - Flower Dome and Cloud Forest

Gardens on the Bay - Flower Dome and Cloud Forest

Gardens on the Bay - Flower Dome

Gardens on the Bay - Flower Dome

Wooden Art - Gardens on the Bay

Wooden Art - Gardens on the Bay

Gardens on the Bay - Van Gogh in Tulips

Gardens on the Bay - Van Gogh in Tulips

Large Ceramic Flower

Large Ceramic Flower

Another Amazing Piece of Art

Another Amazing Piece of Art

Another interesting piece of art inside the Flower Dome

Another interesting piece of art inside the Flower Dome

Marina Sands Hotel from inside the Flower Dome

Marina Sands Hotel from inside the Flower Dome

Misting the upper areas of the Cloud Forest

Misting the upper areas of the Cloud Forest


It's also just a quick MRT (metro) ride way from Chinatown and that was our destination for dinner. Wandering the street, we stopped to check out a menu and was summoned in by a very enthusiastic young waitress. The dishes, authentically Chinese, brought us back to your days in Wuhan.

Our finally destination for the night was going to be Clarke's Quay to take the harbour cruise. An awesome way to see the cityscape all lite up. Sunset in Sri Lanka was about 6pm but here it's about 7pm. So,we were a bit early. Rethinking our plans, we head back to the hostel and will do the boat cruise tomorrow - our last night in Singapore - hope it doesn't rain!!

01 May 2017
Happy BIrthday to our sister-in-law Ann Burke!!

Again we slept in...it's also laundry day today. Fortunately, the hostel has a washer ....and a dryer (not often seen). In other places, we've used their laundry services or washed out a couple things as we go but once we get into Indonesia, we won't have time to send out our laundry...and we REALLY need to get some done.

With laundry done, we're off for our last day in Singapore. Brenda took the lead today and she thought the Singapore National Museum would be nice. What a great choice. The museum is very deceiving. From the outside, it looks like a period building but expands to a huge area with great exhibits. Admission for those 60+ is $10Sg , otherwise $15. Brenda got an early birthday present from the man behind the desk.

Singapore National Museum

Singapore National Museum

Our next stop was supposed to be a small boutique shopping area but it didn't live up to expectations so it was off to the MRT. On the way, we saw that we were passing the famous Raffles Hotel. It was built in 1887, named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the man who founded Singapore and is now part of Fairmont Hotels. It is also where the Singapore Sling was first made. We decide to stop in and "maybe" have one. Well.....NO...not for $36 per drink. I'll make one when we get home and we'll toast Singapore....for a whole lot less.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel


Evening came as the lights along Clarke's Quay glittered against the city backdrop. Not a rain cloud in sight. It was as mesmerizing as I had remembered. The forty minute ride brought us through the the quay areas with the Marina Sands Hotel the highlight.

Singapore at Night

Singapore at Night


Our trip to Singapore had come to an end and it was time to get back to the hostel, pack and get ready to start "Part II" of our adventure.

02 May 2017

Currently writing from the hotel in Semarang, Java, Indonesia. We flew in from Singapore (via Jakarta), met up with friends from Utah (Wayne Wurtsbaugh and Linda L'ai). The five of us will travel tomorrow to Borneo for a klotok (small boat) trip through the Tanjung Puting National Park to see Orangutan (among other animals) in their natural environment. Might not (read: probably won't) have internet until sometime on the 7th...But I hope to have some really great photos to share. Check out: http://www.orangutanapplause.com/orangutan-tour/

Posted by pjburke 08:37 Archived in Singapore Comments (3)

Back up North...ern Hemisphere that is!

Singapore

rain

14Jan2012 - It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted much. Singapore and Bangkok were quick visits and the internet service in Myanmar was slow to say the least. I resorted back to my written journal for this portion of the trip. I hope you enjoy my reliving our last month and I’ll bring you to Bali very shortly.

Note: as I try and download photos, I find that Bali internet service is a bit slow. Photos will follow soon- I hope!!!


18 December 2011

Dropped the van off yesterday – we’ll actually miss our little hovel. It wasn’t the most glamorous vehicle, quite the contrary, but it got us from place to place – and boy, some great places we saw.

Our last night in NZ was very quiet. I’m not sure if the rain followed us, or we followed it but it stayed around for the last day to wave good-bye.
0900 and we’re on our way to the airport and by 1130 we were on our way to Singapore.

The flight was long (about ten hours) but uneventful, when we arrived, of course, it was pouring rain.

The directions I copied to our hostel (Five Stones Hostel) were good, except I left off just “one little piece” and we wandered in the rain for a bit, finally finding it but looking more than a bit soggy.

With regards to my husband, hungry = grumpy, so after dropping our bags in our room (with a real bed), we wandered down the street towards Chinatown and a little local food. It’s gotten to a point where Chinese, Asian and Indian are our “comfort foods”. My shrimp wontons with noodles, Jim’s nasi goring and a couple of Tiger beers (for $19Sg=$14USD) really hit the spot. We’re back in the zone!!!

19 December 2011

Woke up to pouring rain but with a suggestion from Jane (at the front desk), instead of trying to walk around, we opted for the hop on-hop off bus. We were able to get a deal – 2 days for $25SG – which included any bus on any line (there are three) and a boat tour of the inland quays and harbors. Our first stop will be near the Myanmar Embassy. We decided to check and see if it was possible to get our visas in Singapore instead of Bangkok (just because we’re here). After getting lost (just a little), we found the embassy but there is a sign out front stating that it would be a three day wait. We know we can get our visas in one day in Bangkok, so, nothing ventured, nothing gained!! Off to lunch…where to go??? Back on the bus and we got off in Little India. We were going to stop at one place, there were quite a few people, but no one had food, only coffee. Guess we’ll move on. Jim saw a small shop on a corner boasting the “Best Biryani” in Singapore. Sounded good to us! Walking in, Jim asked for a menu. “No menu, only biryani!” OK!! “Chicken or Mutton??” We decided on one of each. Small place, one cook, one waiter and one hell of a biryani! As you can tell by the photo – it doesn’t look like much but it was so good. We could smell the spices walking in. This will definitely hold us until dinner.

The rain was holding off for the most part – a little sprinkle here and there – so we wandered around Little India. It reminded us of Little India in KL (Kuala Lumpur).

Our next stop was one of the markets: I was looking for clothes, not food but there were both. Being in need of some new pajamas, Burkit Market was recommended by Jane. It’s huge, three stories and packed with clothes kiosks. After about two minutes, I knew I would get nothing accomplished with Jim in tow. I told him, “Meet me out front by the durian in about 30 minutes”. If I couldn’t find what I was looking for in 30 minutes, I’d look somewhere else. Lo and behold, I did find what I was looking for but there was no one around, so I thought – I’ll look some more and then come back – bad move. Looking some more wasn’t the problem – finding that first stall again was. By that time, the crowds were even getting to me. I met Jim and we made our way to the bus stop getting on just before the skies opened up again.

Deciding that Singapore must be just beautiful at night, we made our way over to Clarke’s Quay. It’s quite close to our hostel. (Not sure if I noted it or not but Five Stones Hostel is in a great location, about five minute walk to Clarke Quay in one direction, about ten minutes to Boat Quay in the other and Chinatown about five in the other.) It was raining, but not hard, on our walk over. We checked in and got on our boat for the harbor tour. Unfortunately, we were one of the last on and all the seats under the canopy were taken, but it wasn’t raining very hard. Yet!!!! In the ideal, front seats of the boat, with my umbrella over our heads and Jim’s shielding our legs, we saw Singapore at night, or at least most of it. The tour is only about thirty minutes long. About five minutes in, again, it started to rain. No, it started to pour. Fortunately, it’s pretty warm in Singapore because by the time we got off we were drenched.

Isabelle and Jane were at the front desk when we came it looking like drowned rats. They found it hard not to laugh. After all, it’s only rain. We changed clothes and headed off to one of the Night Markets for dinner.

Singapore is great for food. We wandered from kiosk to kiosk, picking out a little of this and a little of that, leaving satisfied but not stuffed.

20 December 2011

Singapore to Bangkok

Since this was our first trip to Singapore, we scheduled our flight out to give us the day to explore. We decided to head over to the harbor front to explore some very interesting buildings. I’ll let the architecture speak for itself. (…as soon as I can get them downloaded. Austin, you would love these buildings).

After a morning with no rain (how could that be??),we headed to the airport by taxi – the quickest taxi driver we’ve had in a long time. We thought it would take about 45 minutes – I think we were there in 20 minutes. Checked in and headed to the lower level for dinner at the employee cafeteria. Great food at good prices.

Arriving in Bangkok late (about 2330) we opted for a taxi and again (in the same day) another great (read: quick) taxi driver. We were into Wendy House before midnight.

Posted by pjburke 22:38 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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