Singapore is a big bright and shiny city! I covered a lot of territory, I only wish I’d had a little more time…
On a visit to Clarke Quay on the Singapore River, a renovated and spiffed up historic district, we walked along the water front where there are bumboats tied up. Until the 1970’s the bumboats carried cargo from ships to warehouses on the banks. Now electric bumboats ferry tourists up and down river and warehouses and shophouses now house trendy shops, pubs, bars, and restaurants. We ducked under the awning of a brew pub for a beer and to wait out an afternoon rainstorm.
Where there’s water to play in…who can resist?
A walk along Orchard Rd., a famous shopping mecca, was a bit overwhelming especially when coming out into the glitz from the LRT station below. Orchard Road = Hyperactive Singapore. So many lights, so many people–overload for a Vermont woods woman!
An evening in the Arab Quarter, Kampong Glam, was relatively peaceful and full of color and crazy wall murals. This is one of the conservation districts where shophouses and other buildings have been renovated. It’s now full of local designer boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, but its Maylay and Middle Eastern essence shows through. We had a nice Middle Eastern meal at a sidewalk table.
This sign that I noticed while walking to Kampong Glam became the familiar landmark I used to find my way back to the hostel.
I spent a good part of an afternoon at the Botanic Gardens in the Ginger Garden and the Orchid Garden. Amazing! I could have wandered for hours more and would have done so had it not been for a long downpour complete with a roaring thunderstorm with spectacular lightning. Thankfully I got to the orchid garden pavillion just as the bottom fell out. When the thunder and lightning subsided, I took off my shoes and sloshed my way through streams of water to the visitor center. When it was all over, I found my way to the LRT station.
I hooked up with friends of mine from New Orleans who were visiting Singapore at the same time as me. We did lots of walking around. Among many things, we saw a great exhibit at the Singapore Art Museum which is housed in the restored historic 1855 St Joseph’s Institution, a Catholic boy’s school run by the La Salle Brothers.
In our wandering we also took in part of Little India, passed by Mosques, Hindu temples, Catholic Churches, Colonial Buildings and old shophouses and stopped to sample some interesting fare along the way.
My last night in Singapore we went out from the hotel where my friends Ben and Libby were staying near Chinatown to catch New Year’s Festivities. We passed by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, but missed the chance to go inside.
We walked through a beautiful Hindu Temple, what amazing colors and characters!
We stopped at a puppet stage and followed puppeteers into a Chinese Temple across the street.
This is the year of the Snake!
We fell in with the crowds and walked along a main thoroughfare that was blocked to traffic and got within viewing distance of a great huge performance stage and decided to go to a less crowded side street to find a spot to sit and eat. Wow, there was a lot going on!
What a city! Clean and safe. I headed back from Chinatown to the hostel just before midnight without a worry. When I got up to the street from the LRT station it only took a few minutes before I located the Bird’s Nest sign landmark to find my way back to the hostel. Though I missed seeing fireworks, I could hear the booms bouncing off buildings on my walk back.