Bindi Blessings

Trip Start Feb 12, 2008
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Trip End Feb 26, 2008


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Flag of Singapore  ,
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Its really hard to sleep past 6 am for the first few days when arriving in Asia. So it was an early start to our one full day in Singapore. It really is a clean city, and Maureen chewed gum almost the whole day ( she didn't spit it out on the street though) and was never issued a fine or arrested. For all of you that do not know about the rules in Singapore it is known as "One Fine City" because there are fines for almost everything. Jaywalking, Littering, chewing gum, spitting and the big one, having or selling drugs....thats the big one. They actually wont fine you for that one, the punishment is death. So we were on our best behavior,....except for Maureen and her gum chewing rebellious behavior.
We first visited Little India which was fascinating. The sounds and smells of the incense were enough to make me already start thinking about how much I would love to venture to the real India...( I can already feel my mother worrying about me...) We were lucky enough to visit our first Temple, the Temple of a Thousand Lights on a day that they were having an  important ceremony. Just walking in there was like being transported into another world. There was music and alot of candles and incense, and we were the only tourists there. There was a ritual of spreading food, it looked to a paste or curry onto a fountain , and then the worshipers would immediately wash it off. Everyone was waiting in line to be blessed , so Maureen and I joined in and received our own red Bindi mark on our foreheads and were blessed by a holy man, he wished me a good life....how could it get any better!
We visited more of Little India and a Muslim Mosque, we had to wear robes that were provided for us, and we were the only tourists there as well .
So after all that culture it was off to the famous Raffles Hotel to get a look at the high life. That really is an amazing Historic Hotel. It looks like a sort of toss between an old southern mansion, and a tropical bungalow on the beaches of Miami. Maureen really wanted to go to the famous long bar and have one of their Singapore Slings....how could you go all the way to Singapore and not have one? I had read that they were way expensive and the hype was just that, so I went along for the experience of watching her .I am not sure what the most any of you have ever spent on a single drink, but lets just say, I could of stayed a night in my bungalow on stilts in Koh Chang for the cost of that one Singapore Sling ( it was $20 including the 10% service charge) which wasn't the nicest service when our waiter realized that her cheap friend ( me) wasn't going to be ordering anything and just there to keep her company...yeah for him. Maureen said it tasted like barely spiked kool-aid , was her exact description I recall. But sometimes you just cant put a price on such an experience.
The day ended with another "must do"...The night safari at the Singapore Zoo. It was amazing! It was a tram ride thru the Zoo after dark when all the night animals are out and in their natural environments.  That zoo is huge and they really do let the animals roam wild, some of them came right upto the tram! The  ride was spooky and romantic , it was valentines day after all! And they do celebrate here as well! Hallmark would be very happy about that. The highlight for Maureen was the Lions, we got really close and heard them roar. My highlight was the flying Squirrel. It flew over the top of us and almost hit me in the head....very cool.
We left our hotel at 8 am, and didn't make it back until after midnight. The night ended with a Chinese Dragon dancing to the sounds of a live band complete with drums outside on the sidewalk, under neath our hotel window...( it is Chinese new year celebrations all month) We were so tired that we didnt hear a thing.
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Comments

bombayteddy
bombayteddy on

sling it out!!
Your experience with the Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore reminded me of mine, 5 years ago (almost to the day!)....
I was staying with friends at the Grand Hyatt and dragged them across town one afternoon to sample this 'legendary' cocktail. Having had (and made!) a few of these elsewhere in the past, I was SHOCKED to be served a pre-mixed, bright-pink concoction, which looked....and tasted!....exactly like cough-syrup. I would have thought serving pre-mixed drinks was only to be expected in an informal diner or pub; NOT in a place that pretends to be an 'institution'....and cant get its signature-cocktail right! I daresay the flight-attendants on Singapore Airlines do a MUCH better job of it!
As for the bar itself, one could only describe its decor as a contrived imitation of 'colonial' culture. Coming from India, a country with its fair share of colonial and palace hotels, I know authenticity when I see it!
And when I attempted to give some feedback to the Manager of this establishment, I was met with the most snooty and supercilious of attitudes, prompting me to write to the hotel on returning home.
I am still waiting for their reply....

WanTing on

Hi!! I know this was posted back in 2008. I just happen to read this while browsing around travelpod.

Just to let you know, no one's gonna fine you for chewing or possessing gum in singapore. Only when you litter by spitting or sticking it anywhere, or actually own cartons of chewing gums which are viewed as "possible intention to selling chewing gums here". So go ahead and chew gum here. Just don't dirty the place and you'll be fine (pun unintended XD )

Do walk around the heartlands if you come here again =D

singaporehotelcom on

Every one like to go away the tourism, i have to collect the details for above this post in Singapore travels and hotels managements.

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