Despite being considerably tired of the long never-ending English winter, I was not prepared for the assault of heat that Singapore had in store for me! The Republic of Singapore is a modern city-state island country that is nearly always above 27ºC, with an average relative humidity of 83%! It looked amazing flying in – it has one of the top two busiest shipping ports in the world.
Shortly after I arrived after a sleepless flight, my friends took me to China town where we ate lunch at a hawkers centre – an open-air complex that has many cheap food stalls. We had a classic chicken and rice, some pork soup dumpings and a strange rice cake, along with a very sweet coffee. The cuisine in Singapore is representative of the ethnic diversity of the country – it is influenced by the native Malay, as well as Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, and some English traditions. My Dad lived in Singapore for 2 years and he makes the best satay sauce I have ever tried!
We visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a temple and museum nestled among the bustling streets of China town. It is visually stunning inside; full of many bright golden Buddha statues and an illustrated history of Buddha.
Before we went home we had reflexology inside a shopping centre. Talk about painful! I nearly cried, but I assume it is good for me? I had a laze about the pool at their condo which is as lovely as a resort, then we went out for dinner at Afterglow, a raw vegan restaurant. The food was delicious and very creative – meatballs that tasted like meatballs but were made with dates and mushrooms, nori rolls, nut-cheese platters and raw lasagne, plus exceptional raw cheesecakes.
Despite the jet lag I managed to stay awake till about 11pm, then we got up early in the morning to do yoga in the park. I was very glad I had been doing Bikram yoga before I left England because it was so hot! The slight breeze did not offer much reprieve from the heat. Afterwards we went to Little India to have some food and do some grocery shopping. We visited the Indian temple, which was very elaborate on the outside yet simple on the inside.
After we had gone home for a change and had another swim, we headed into town to have a walk around the Asian Civilisation museum. It was free for us because a lot of it was under repairs We still managed to see a very impressive collection of artifacts. We walked via the Singapore Parliament house, which is an odd looking mix of military and tropical island. Afterwards I had a quick walk around the Gardens by the Bay. I saw the famous Marina Bay Sands, the 2nd most expensive building in the world.
We had a reasonably early night as we were up at 6am the next morning to go for a 12km walk around a reservoir. About half way through my walk it started raining like crazy – which was fine by me because it was super hot. I saw a monkey while on the tree-top walkway.
After another swim, I met another friend for a cocktail at the famous Raffles hotel. The hotel was gorgeous, with a real colonial feel to it. We both had Singapore slings and ate peanuts and threw the shells on the floor!
Then I was off the airport. It was a quick trip, but definitely a great way to break up such a long flight to NZ!