Saturday, 3 October 2015

Singapore Tourist {Part 2}

Now I’m going to try a new style of post. After some “constructive criticism” from my man, he very kindly pointed out that the Singapore Tourist {Part 1} writing style was not dissimilar to a 5 year old talking about their summer holiday: “we did this and then we did this and then we did this and after that we did this…”

I hate to say it, he had a point. So I have a new plan. Tell you what we did. Show you some pictures. Plan? Plan!

When I left you in part 1 we’d had a pretty exhausting fun-filled few days already but the man and I were determined to pack as much as possible in before treating ourselves to a Sentosa day and the Formula One.
This is what we did.

This amazing green space may not be quite as big as Hyde Park but it holds it’s own on the history front. From being the home of the Malay royalty who once ruled, to the location chosen for the British surrendered to the Japanese in WW2 and more recently the home to art galleries and concerts alike, it is well worth a visit.

The Colonial District

Unfortunately most of the Colonial area of the city centre was shut off. The Grand Prix street circuit was well and truly set up and so the majority of Historical buildings (almost all of which are named after Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore), museums and places of note we either closed to the public or inaccessible. 

^Mr Raffles himself, surrounded by F1 shizz

The rain Raffles Hotel

We had planned for the sightseeing and museums to take us all the way to the evening, to tie in perfectly with an aperitif at Raffles but when we surfaced from lunch, it was still raining. So we headed to Raffles early. I’ve already posted about this INCREDIBLE hotel but I though the rain was worth a mention - it’s pretty impressive!

Orchard Road

The Bond Street of Singapore. If you want to shop, you’ve found the place. The road even has a website. Particularly famous are the ION and Paragon shopping centres and the Tangs department store - a must visit. MY favourite part? the Macarons from TWG Tea. Naturally we bought 24.

The MacRitche reservoir is surrounded by luscious rainforest which stands in stark contrast to the busy city. We opted for the reservoir hike and tree top walk (13km plus a lot of step to a good view) but there are loads of different routes available, or you can just wander along the boardwalk pathway built into the edge of the water. There are usually monkeys and all sorts of wildlife but they seems to be deterred by the rain.

We, foolishly, were not. It is safe to say that by the end of the hike I was better than if id stepped into a shower. We also had to take some drastic action to rescue the camera from an early death.

Night Safari 

Potentially my favourite “thing” of the trip (Grand Prix aside). Seriously.

I’ve never been to Singapore Zoo - which is meant to be pretty good, I mean, they have a polar bear. I know! - but I am so glad we opted for the Night Safari. We arrived at about 8.30pm and were treated by amazing fire eaters. My man (always one to “give it ago”) volunteered himself to join in but sadly this is where the photos ended (we should have left the camera in the rice for longer but you’ll be happy to hear, it made a full recovery).

I’d suggest taking the tram tour first which takes about half an hour. It gives you your bearings and an overview of all the animals. Then the fun begins. You wander through, sometimes open cages never more than 3m from the animals (depending how shy they are feeling). I know its a weird thing to say, but bats are amazing. And really cute! (you can call me crazy if you want). We spent about two and a half hours doing the circuit before grabbing an Uber home at about 11.30.

Visit the Night Safari. You won’t regret it.

Arab Street

We popped to Arab Street for dinner one evening. perfect for lunch or dinner, the main street is rammed with tables all complete with the beautiful setting of the Sultan Mosque in the background. The best baba ganoush I’ve ever had. You could easily spend an hour wandering the surround streets which are crammed with higgledy piggledy shops welling rugs, cloths, lanterns and all sorts of treasure.

Ce La Vie

The incredible bar on the bow of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Arguably the best view of the city. A bit pricey (think £16 per drink) but you’re paying for the view - which is incredible. and what a view. It was the day before the grand Prix practice started so the entire track was lit up. that and the national stadium left the most incredible glow over the city. There is a dress code for the evening so make sure you check their website before you go.

Eating Local
If there was ever a country to eat local, Singapore is it. The have so many Hawker Centres (Hawker = street food seller) the you have to try at least one. I would recommend Lau Pa Sat or Newton Food Centre but any street vendor will serve you a decent dish for a very good price (think £2.50 is expensive). Equally, we opted to dive into the food halls of a number of shopping centres during our visit and as a consequence had the best Gyoza I’ve ever had.

The F1…

… had well and truly taken oven when it came to the weekend. All week we had seen cars, competitions, black and white checkered flags and we could not BE more excited. We collected out tickets and waited for the Friday to roll in.

Phew! that was a lot. But hopefully you spied something you like? we’re over half way on the Singapore front, just Sentosa (literally referred to as “The State of Fun” ?!) and the actual Grand Prix to go - then I promise I’ll shut up about Sing-vegas!

Hope you enjoyed! And have a beautiful Saturday, what ever you are doing!

CB x

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