Aug 12

Singapore: Our first Asian stop spoilt us with food, fun and fast trains!

Before I start on how much fun we had in Singapore. We had a couple days before catching our flight out of Australia. We took a short flight from Cairns to Brisbane and stayed with my Mum and Dad’s old friends, Delia and John who moved to Australia 25 years ago! Pretty much, when I was born. They kindly offered to put us up for two nights. We arrived to a roast dinner, fabulous company and a great nights sleep. We spent the next day booking up hotels in Asia and meeting their cute grandkids, we caught up in the evening with Delia and John, then went to watch their local football (soccer) team play. Tom loved this! He so wanted to have a kick about. They drove us around the area and showed us the harbour. It was very pretty, In what seemed like no time, we were back on a plane heading to Singapore – the life of a traveller!

It was a good flight on one of those two storie planes, we sat next to a girl from the UK who was making the beast 24 hour flight home after seeing her boyfriend for a holiday, so we had some chat and ate so much food – Quantas is awesome! It was around 8pm when we landed, so we picked up our bags and headed to go grab a shuttle to our hotel. We arrived to a bustling, atmospheric street with a food market across the road. The hotel looked cool, it was kind of an old boutique style in Little India. When we opened the door to our room, we laughed. It was tiny and had no windows. Pretty standard for Singapore from what we have heard.

The next day we headed out to find the closest MRT to go into the city centre using good old google maps. We had brekkie at a cool food market, most of the Singapore signage is in English, but this food market wasn’t, so we made our decision according to the pictures. We had French toast with Kopi, a very sweet coffee drink made with evaporated milk accompanied by some char sue pork buns – tasty and all for £1 each! We were very happy. Fed and watered, we made our way down to the MRT station. Cool, modern and efficient, we never had to wait more than two minutes for a train to come.

We decided to head to the harbour front station, which was the gateway to Sentosa Island. Here we were lead through a massive mall, the biggest I have ever been in, to the monorail that takes you to the Island. We hopped on for a few quid and explored the Island. It’s has a ton of fun things to do, but we opted for the cheapest, being the Skyluge. We queued up with all the kids, where we put on our helmets and took to the sky on the chairlift to the top. Tom had never been on one before, so he was loving it. One of many firsts!

Once down, we joined the queue to pick up our luges. This queue took forever but it was worth it. It was insanely fast going down and really grippy! As soon as we started, it was over, so we went for another go. I intended to go faster and beat Tom, but he was bombing it down! After this we grabbed some water, it was the hottest I had felt since we started travelling so we headed to bottom of the island where there were some lagoons and beaches, this is also the most Southern point of continental Asia.

We jumped back on the monorail and went to get some lunch at Food Republic, a huge food market that’s themed on traditional Asian street food. There was so much choice, it took us ages to decide. I went to the steam bar and grabbed some char sue sandwich buns – they were the best I have ever had and Tom went for a miso soup – which with hindsight, was a little warm! There were also some amazing Asian bakeries here too! We were hooked on the food already – we saw a little stand making coconut patties and grabbed a couple for a few cents, these came on little leaves and were really tasty.

After this, we headed to The Marina Bay Sands to take a look at this epic hotel. The modern architecture in Singapore is amazing, so sophistaed and dwarfing in size. It was amazing and the view is stunning but the pool was incredibly busy, we’re not sure how relaxing it would be to stay there with all the tourists looking at you like monkeys in a cage (Tom and I being some of them behind glass)!

We grabbed the metro train home, pretty exhausted after our adventurous day. The next morning we wanted to explore the suburbs of Little India and Chinatown. These are so easy to find as they are literally called Little India and Chinatown on the stations. We walked completely the wrong way from our hotel for 20 minutes until both of us realised, but we found another station pretty close attached to a mall – so breakfast and trasport were sorted in one fell swoop. It was too hot to be above ground. Getting into the metro is bliss!

We went to Little India first and it was like a mini version of what I imagine a snippet of India to be. We wondered the little streets and admired the many beautiful temples and mosques.

After here we went to Chinatown. My second favourite Chinatown after San Francisco. Again very representative of China and lots of great market stalls and gifts. Here we had a chilled beer, that was cheapest yet by far! We chatted about how much we love Singapore revelling in the new found cheapness of food and alcohol!

We took a walk into a cool temple and then grabbed some lunch. Steamed rice and more buns, way more than hooked on them by this point. In Chinatown, we attempted our first haggle on a wide angle camera lens for Tom’s Canon. We didn’t buy it in the end as it wasn’t a very good lens, but it was good practice. He started on such a ridiculously high price, twice the cost it would’ve been, even in UK. Got to love how they barter though.

We booked our coach to Maylasia online and went to go and find where we would pick it up from. It was £15 each for a 5 hour journey which was cheap when compared to the Greyhound. We window shopped the gigantic Vivo City – they have so many cool different shops in Singapore. A huge shop on the National Geographic channel, everything from clothes to furniture to travel canvas’s and a cool shop similar to a pound land, but way nicer, we could have bought so many presents from here for people but fitting things in is always a problem! There was a vinyl toy shop, Hello Kitty world that my Niece Chloe would have loved. I bought some Johnson’s Baby cologne, fed up of smelling of soap, this was the smallest cheapest you can buy – it makes you smell like a baby! The weirdest shop was a pet shop with cafe, it had a pet salon inside it. We saw a cute white curly puppy who had just had his hair cut and pampered – he didn’t look too happy about it though as he was shaking. As he turned around to look at us, he was a spit of my old dog Barney. Barney used to shake when he would go to the groomers too. This made me sad and there were too many cute puppies in cages, so we left. In singapore dogs are treated like humans, outfits on little dogs – very well treated, Tom had to buy a new bag as his strap broke, so we did the transfer and dumped a load of stuff in the bins.

On our last day in Singapore, we grabbed our bags, slung them onto our backs and then walked to the metro. HOT! We were so impressed with our bus. It was a double decker, leather seated, air con beast. With movie players in seats. We even got a meal. I went veggie and had rice with nuts and soy plus a tasty spicy samosa, Tom remained carnivorous, which means you get deep fried fish heads. It seems that they love them here! We did sit right at the front, but the driving was a bit too mental and seeing all the near misses makes you feel a little sick, so we thought it was best not to know and headed further back. We had to get on and off the bus with our luggage about 4 times to go through Customs, but we received lots of stamps, which was cool. Also gave me a chance to pee – Introducing the drop hole toilets, the more we see them, the more they are hygienic. Although most don’t even have loo roll holders, you use a water spray. We were now definitely in Maylasia, the signs had less english and you could just see the culture was more Muslim. It was exciting!

Singapore was great and I would come back in an instant! The people are friendly and the food was delicious. It did have a similar vibe to Hong Kong about it. As the sight of the Kuala Lumpur skyline and Petronas Towers came in the distance, we became pretty excited, then we halted to a stop! Traffic. The wait started.

Miss you all lots, not long now!

Fi & Tom xxx

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Tune in next time for our Kuala Lumpur experience and see our photos from SIngapore here