First stop in South East Asia

Trip Start Aug 14, 2010
Trip End Aug 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Travellers Inn

Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We were happy arriving in Singapore but we weren’t happy about the heat here.  It was unbelievable!  Luckily enough this city has a metro system which we always love, it makes it so much easier to make our way around the place.  Arriving at our metro stop we headed up the road to the hostel.  The walk was only about five minutes but it seemed like a lot longer in the heat and humidity… carrying rucksacks on your back in this heat is very difficult!  Anyway, when we arrived we were greeted by the very friendly middle aged couple that run the hostel and they showed us to our six bed dorm.  Beds and lockers are assigned here, which we were happy about as it makes it so much easier when we’ve a bunk together with the lockers beside it, as opposed to having two top bunks on opposite ends of the room with lockers beside other people's beds.  We never understand why some groups of people travelling together insist on taking all the bottom bunks and use lockers that are clearly not beside their bed! 

Having checked in we sat back and enjoyed the air-con planning out what we wanted to do in this city.  That evening we decided to head to Hard Rock for dinner and a few drinks, it’s tradition at this stage!  We love our Hard Rocks!  Singapore’s one is located in the Orchard Road commercial district.  This place reminded us a bit of New York with it’s massive high-rises, flashing screens and shopping malls.  The following morning we set out early after our free breakfast of tea and toast, well it’s better than nothing!  

During our time in Singapore we managed to see everything that we wanted to see and do everything that we’d planned to do.  We went for a wander around Little India visiting the Sakaya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, also known as the Temple of a 1000 lights, which houses a 15m high seated Buddha, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Leong San See Temple and Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple.  You cannot wear your shoes into any of these temples and so shoes were left on the shoe racks outside or else scattered on the pavement outside the temples.  

We also went to Arab Street where we saw the Sultan Mosque.  From here we continued on down to the Marina and Merlion Park where we had a perfect view of the Marina Bay Sands towers, the art gallery and a few other architecturally distinctive and attractive buildings.  Typically, it was just our luck that the Merlion was partially covered in scaffolding so we couldn’t see it totally but sure there was nothing we could do about that.  We did however satisfy ourselves with the smaller Merlion located just behind this one!  While here we got stopped and interviewed by a group of teenage school children who were studying tourism.  That was quite funny because the teacher was busy trying to make the kids ask us questions prompting them and they were so embarrassed talking to us! 

We also went for a bit of a stroll down and around Chinatown.  While in Chinatown we visited some more temples including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.  This was where we spent the most amount of time as it was very impressive.  You can keep your shoes on here and only have to take them off in the sacred spaces and devotion areas.  You do, however, have to cover your shoulders and knees but we were prepared for this.  We’re pretty sure it’s going to become a running theme that the shoulders and knees must be covered!  We first took a walk through the main floor where there are a thousand Buddhas.  We then visited each of the five floors including the top floor where what is believed to be a sacred tooth relic of Buddha is held.  While in Chinatown we also visited the Thian Hook Keng Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple.

We spent one evening on the Night Safari.  This was basically a night time zoo where you get to see nocturnal animals along with some other animals, birds and reptiles.  Arriving at the Night Safari the queues for the tram and show were huge so we decided to do some of the walking trails first.  We took the Fishing Cat Trail where we saw lots of different animals, most related to the cat family in some way.  We saw a fishing cat in action as well as lots of mousedeer, which we’ve never seen before, as well as impressive striped hyenas.  We then continued on to the Leopard Trail where we saw lots more animals, including obviously a leopard (very cute!) and took a walk through the bat cage and flying squirrel cage.  We then took the tram to the end where we saw lots more animals including the Malayan tapir, Asian elephants and bearded pigs and this then led us to the show.  We must say the show was a huge let down.  It was so bad it was cringe-worthy!  After the show we took the first part of the tram tour which we had missed out on and along the way we saw even more animals!  It was a pretty good night though and it was definitely a different take on a visit to the zoo!

We also spent a day at Universal Studios out on Sentosa Island.  This was very easy to get to as it was on our metro line.  From the last stop on the metro we hopped on the monorail that goes across to the island for only MYR3!  We arrived nice and early and only had five minute waits for the first few rides we went on.  These included the highlight of the day, Battlestar Galactica, two rollercoasters that twist and turn around each other.  The other usuals were here including Revenge of the Mummy, Shrek 4D, Madagascar, and of course no day at Universal Studios would be complete without Jurassic Park!  We loved it anyway!  That evening we did visit another Hard Rock café, this time it was the Sentosa one.  We were still soaking wet from the Jurassic Park water ride and we must have looked a right state after being in the theme park all day but it was a bit of craic and well there’s nothing like a good Hard Rock dinner to fill the empty stomachs of two big kids!

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