Friday, 18 November 2011


31/07/11 - 03/08/11

We said our thanks and goodbyes to our friend Tryn at Perth Airport Departures ready for our flight to Singapore. Approach to the check-in, reach desk, and find out that our budget carrier - JetStar - requires proof of an onward journey before they will issue our tickets. We explained our travel plan of 'just winging it', but the lady behind the counter did not seem too impressed. We had one hour to try to find an onward flight before our flight closed and we would sheepishly have to phone Tryn.

With minutes to spare we booked the cheapest onward flights we could find (in fact due to crappy internet, we ended up double booking and unsurprisingly are still awaiting the refund), took a photo of the confirmation screen and raced back to check-in. Simply showing the photo was enough proof (crazy) and we were through.

Welcome to Singapore.

Arriving at 5am, we were greeted by warm, humid air - something we would soon have to become accustomed too. Singapore is an easy city to navigate round. Thanks to it super clean, prompt underground train system. With tickets bought we hoped onto the air conditioned train and were whisked through the city to China Town (invariably the cheapest area to stay). We checked in to the Beary Nice Hostel (sic) and moved onto our air conditioned dorm. Not cheap, but a lovely place in the heart of china town.

Time to explore. It was difficult; the humidy just drains you. Thankfully we found an ice cream shop where they served pyramid shaped ice creams. Much appreciated. We were excited to be right in the hawker market area where the best and cheapest food was to be found. Hot too. We both like spicy food but our first foray into Asian cuisine was pretty firey, but delicious. We were liking Singapore alot already.

Singapore is home to many a pagoda / temple. The level of details in the design of each one was astounding. Visiting them was enlightening and a welcome relief from the intense heat. You are free to walk inside but must be modestly dressed and Katy's shorts & vest were frankly too raunchy; thankfully, some temples provide garments for covering-up all the pink bits.

In the evening when it was only a little cooler we headed down to the water front known and Marina Bay. We knew next to nothing about the area and were amazed as we rounded the curve of the river to find the Marina Bay Sands hotel complex. Looking like a spaceship has landed on top of three skyscrapers, the building was home to a hotel, shopping mall, ice rink, casino and who knows what else. Adjacent to this, another building that looks like a hand or a flower opening (it's actually an art gallery). There are many other beautiful edifices dotted around the waters edge all vying for attention but they are all now relegated into second place (until something even more amazing is constructed).

Katy tried to run one morning but returned thinking she was going to melt (hot, humid and no water fountains). It looked like she had swum back to the hostel (gathering strange looks as she did so).

We ventured onto Orchard Road, a very bustling multi-lane street. We were there on the hunt for a bar that Tim's dad used to frequent 'back in the day' we hunted high and low but could not find it anywhere (later dsicovering it was long gone). But we did find our first Marks & Spencer in a very long time. We popped in to check on what's what and Katy was pleased to note that some of her designs were present (soups taking a prime postition). If I was a Percy pig eater this is where I'd be stocking up.

Instead, wandered to Little India for a malysian curry, wife cakes and sugar cane drinks. Its all so different from Australia!

On recomendation, we spent an evening at the night safari on the outskirts of town. After a very long bus ride we arrived at the zoo and were herded into an outdoor theatre that was to be the venue for a number of nocturnal beasties from wolves, snakes, owls, a civet cat and a group of otters. Very entertaining indeed. Then onto the slowly ambling train through the grounds where we got to see lions, tigers, tapias and many more sleeping beasties. And an elephant which charged at us because incompetent tourists couldn't turn off the flash on their cameras and irritated the hell out of the pachyderms. Thats the secondtime we've been charged at by elephants... whats their problem?!

Our Singapore stop was short and sweet. Many people dislike the place but we enjoyed ourselves (maybe because it was just a few days).

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