Singapore Part 2
Trip Start Jan 23, 2012
49Trip End Jun 09, 2012
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We landed in Singapore on time at 10.30pm, and the 30-degree heat was certainly a shock to the system! As soon as we collected our baggage, we caught the MRT train to our hostel at Clarke Quay, checking in at midnight. We were fast asleep only a few minutes later!
The following day was a bit of a whirlwind! During our previous visit with Karen two months before, we didn't manage to see much of the Chinatown area. Luckily, our hostel at Clarke Quay was just a stone's throw away
First up was Food Street, which, as the name suggests, is the place to be of you're after some grub! The street is packed with food stalls which are closed by day, but, as with everything in Singapore, the street comes alive at night!
We rounded the corner at the bottom of food street to find hundreds of Chinese souvenir shops packed into pretty much every building! We then wandered into the local shopping centre, called People's Place, which was absolutely packed with Chinese businesses - electrical retailers, masseuses, money changers, food/spice retailers, you name it. This place was huge!
After wandering around for a good hour, we then headed over to Clarke Quay to explore some more, and spent the next hour in awe of the cool, colourful bars lining the riverfront, and the undercover shopping/bar area which was hosting a concert later that night!
We then headed back to the hostel with the intention of popping out for some food (and to watch the Clarke Quay concert), but I fell asleep shortly after and slept for the next 12 hours straight through to 7.30am
The following morning, we checked out of our hostel after our free breakfast and headed out to explore one last time before our flight out to Bali. We headed out to the financial district near Marine Bay sands, and wandered the streets for a couple of hours, admiring the incredible architecture, numerous shopping malls and food/drink options available in Singapore! We slowly headed back in the direction of Chinatown and stopped at a local hawker centre for some lunch.
Hawker centres are a Singapore institution and they came into existance thanks to Singapore's street food vendors. Back in the early 1900's, there were hundreds across the city as they gave out-of-work locals a way of making a living and gave the locals cheap food to eat. However, as most moved from street to street to sell their food, they had no running water and consequently poor hygiene meant locals often fell ill from the food and they disrupted the growing Singapore traffic. Soon, the city devised a solution - hawker centres. Essetially, they are giant food courts, and street vendors were moved here to source, prepare and sell their food. It gave them a safe, clean environment to work, and they're incredibly popular to this day. Both Soph and I ate like kings, devouring a chicken katsu curry and a chicken rice for little over £3! Here's a tip - always pick the vendor with the longest queue - obviously if it's food is popular, the food will taste great and will almost certainly be fresh!!
Soon after our delicious lunch, we headed to Singapore airport to catch our flight to Bali!