Visiting Singapore

We’re back from our awesome vacation! We spent 2 weeks in Southeast Asia and it was AMAZING! We had to make a little change to our schedule, due to Bangkok having some heavy political protests going on. We didn’t want to deal with having to avoid protest sites, as well as the complications it was causing to public transportation. No worries though we plan to make it there eventually and do a whole trip centered in Thailand. So instead we headed to Cambodia in it’s place.

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First let me tell you my least favorite part of the trip was the 25 hours of travel to arrive/leave Singapore. Our first flight took us to Newark, NJ where it was snowing and delayed our flight by an hour while they de-iced the plane.
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After we finally boarded we were off on the second leg of our journey 16 hours to Hong Kong. We had an hour layover, but still had to rush to make it across the huge Hong Kong airport to our connecting flight. We made it in time and set off on our 3rd leg, a 4 hour flight to Singapore.

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Just to give some perspective we left at 11:15 am on Saturday 1/25 and arrived at 1:30 am Monday 1/27. Singapore is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time here in Florida. Since they’re ahead you have to add that onto the 25 hours of travel time, meaning we lost a day and a half in travel.

Adjusting to the time change, luckily, wasn’t that hard since we arrived in the middle of the night. We just went to bed and woke up around 9 am. We were good to go for the rest of the day. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out a sleeping schedule for the flights, but in the end I don’t think it really made a difference.
Officially in SINGAPORE!
We choose to make Singapore our first stop, because we have Family living there currently and it was our home base for the two weeks.  I probably could have planned it out a little better, but I had already bought the plane tickets to/from Singapore before we planned our other stops.

If you’ve never been to Singapore It’s very modern and pretty much just like any big city  in the States, except 100x’s cleaner. They’re very strict on their littering laws and you can’t buy gum anywhere there, so you won’t find it on the streets or under tables there. A little example of their strict laws: You can’t eat or drink on public transportation. If you do you run the possibility of being fined up to $500. Due to this their buses and trains, basically any public transportation is very clean!

Our First adventure, well after resting from our day of traveling, was a food tour. We went in a small group there were only 6 of us and our guide. We started at this small restaurant near China town. At this first stop we ate frog legs and porridge, stingray, and some stir fry noodles and beef, with some kind of bread. It was all pretty good although I didn’t care for the porridge.

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Second stop was for Indian food and then we ended at the fruit stand trying a bunch of local fruits.
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The HUGE fruit up top (with my hand for perspective) is called jack fruit, the bottom left is a mangosteen, the glove is because of the Durian (bottom center). It has a really strong smell that will stick on you if you touch it without protection. It’s so bad it’s not allowed on public transportation. One last interesting thing we taste tested on this tour was Bird’s nest. YES, you read that right, they eat bird’s nest over there. It was really sweet and interesting.
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There are lots of Buddhist temples all around Singapore. We stopped in a couple of them throughout the day as we passed them. Some of them you weren’t allowed to take pictures while inside, others didn’t allow you to touch anything if you weren’t Buddhist. Some looked like a temple from the outside and others just looked like a normal building. It was all fascinating. One thing they all had in common was we had to take our shoes off to walk inside.
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Our cousins, who so graciously invited us to stay with them, have an anniversary very close to ours. We all decided that meant we needed to have a night out to celebrate. They planned a joint celebration of dinner out and then dessert at the chocolate bar at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This hotel is huge and world famous! It has three separate towers and then across the top of the towers it looks like there is a boat resting. On top of that boat structure, something like 57 floors up, is a beautiful infinity pool, a night club, and the location of the chocolate bar.

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The views of Singapore all light up in lights from the top of deck of the infinity pool are beautiful. The pictures give you an idea, but it’s just something you need to experience in person. We finally made it to the Chocolate bar and it was not just Chocolate. It was breads, cheeses, baked goods, coffee, tea, and of course lots of Chocolate. You could load up with as much or as little as you want. There was outside seating where you dined just overlooking the city landscape. There was a menu of fancy drinks, the one I went with was called the Singapore Sling. I figured it was an appropriate choice for the evening. We had a great night celebrating!

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Next up was a visit to the Gardens by the Bay. This is a huge park that includes, two super domes that are actually huge green houses, I believe. We didn’t go inside the green houses because the were expensive. There was a huge playground for the kids that had one of the biggest splash pads I’ve ever seen. As it’s pretty much always Summer in Singapore it was packed!!
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The location of the The Gardens was right along the water. Across the water was a beautiful unobstructed view of the Downtown area of Singapore. One of the main attractions of the skyline of downtown was the Singapore Flyer.
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The highlight of our visit to Gardens by the bay was the Super Tree Grove. These were huge tree sculptures, with a walkway through them near the top with great views of the city.

 

The last garden we visited was the Chinese Garden and Turtle museum. It was not as cool at the Super Tree Grove, but it was pretty. The turtle museum was cool and we got to feed the turtles. It was actually quite funny watching the turtles swimming is a mass group to get the food. Those cute little turtles can hustle when it comes to food.

 

 

Our last stop before heading home was to see the Singapore Merlion. It’s a big deal over there and there’s more then one around town, but this one seemed to be the most popular. It’s a creature that is half lion, half mermaid (you probably figured that out though). I’m really sure of the significance of this figure though.

 

 

Next up our adventures in Cambodia . . . . 

 

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