When we landed, we went back 2 hours in time and as we were so late I only had 2 hours until my next flight. Luckily my next flight was in the same terminal building (i.e. I deliberately made sure I booked a flight that didn’t involve changing terminals as changing in Jakarta is a nightmare). So that was easy and quick.
And time for food. Massive fail. I had no cash. There were no ATMs airside. And nowhere would take credit card. So. Hungry.
It took an hour to fly to Singapore and my bag came out really quickly. And yet again I was stopped by customs. Every single time I land in Singapore I get pulled aside. Never any other country. And everyone around me was being waved through. They scanned my bags and the woman asked me if I was carrying pepper spray (like what?!). I was so confused by the question and she waved me on.
I could get the train to the city. But my bags are now so heavy I can barely walk with them…! So getting a taxi.
That was the theory anyway.
I have never seen such a long taxi queue in my life.
But I joined it.
Taking 45 minutes (!!!!) until I reached the front.
It was now 9pm and there was no traffic, so we zoomed through and to where I was staying in Chinatown. Last time I was in Singapore, 3 years ago, I saw the most beautiful building. Totally covered in greenery, palm trees, flowers and grassy stuff. It was a hotel. And this time I just had to stay there.
It was incredible. Even the inside was beautiful. My room was big and had a view of the greenery and the city. The last time I ate was 14 hours ago. Hungry doesn’t even cover it. So I ordered a takeaway – vegan tempeh burger with satay sauce, sweet potato fries and fried banana. Literally amazing. Food delivery through an app is so awesome.
I hadn’t quite appreciated my view in the dark last night.
This morning it was incredible.
I had a view right out across the city. I could see the river, the Fullerton hotel, the city hall, the court, the esplanade, everything. Even out the other way, from my front door I could see the southern part of the island and lots of temples. Literally amazing.
I was up early, so went to the pool to beat the crowds. The view from here was equally as amazing. The same direction as my room (my room being literally just above the pool). But with the skyline reflected in the infinity pool. Large bird cage style booths were dotted around to sit in. All so beautiful.
I headed out about 8.30am and had a quick wander around Chinatown. It was quiet. Just a few people popping in and out of the nearby temples and mosques. I even found a few that I hadn’t been to before. I stayed near to here and wandered around these streets three years ago. I spent a while thinking about everything that had happened in three years. So much.
For breakfast I went to an Australian style cafe. They served cocowhip – a coconut water based soft serve ice cream that looks amazing. We don’t get it in England. And I’ve wanted to try it for so long. So ice cream for breakfast it was! They only had macqui flavour (a purple berry). And I had nuts/goji berries, raw brownie and salted caramel sauce on top. It was so good.
Next stop – the bay front area. This is all the newly developed part of town. I missed the gardens by the bay last time I was here, so needed to go! The garden area was huge. Made up of lots of mini gardens, each with a different theme – the Malay garden, Chinese garden, Indian garden etc. The super trees in the middle – which are the metal tree sculptures which look a bit like massive baobab trees. Plus several glass houses. After wandering around some of the gardens, I headed to the glasshouses. I was a bit disappointed by the dry glasshouse. None of the plants were native. It was all South American and African – like cacti, baobab trees. And in the middle was a large Christmas scene. Christmas trees and poinsettia. As well as Christmas music. The steamy glasshouse was a bit better. More local plants. Pitcher plants. Orchids. A few hibiscus, but not many. There was a large waterfall and walkways suspended in the sky. I spent a couple of hours wandering around before heading back to the tube.
Next up, some shopping. I went up to the Suntec mall and had a wander around. I had some lunch – sushi filled with avocado, lettuce, jicama, green beans and rice noodles. It was so good! I also went to the supermarket here. All shopping malls have a supermarket. This one was Giant – a Malaysian brand. I bought lots of fruit and snacks for the plane tomorrow. I got so carried away I forgot I was going to have to carry it all quite far back to the hotel.
Then I wandered along to the next shopping mall. Raffles Place – everywhere is connected underground, so I didn’t even have to go outside.
The first time I was in Singapore (9 years ago!) I stayed just above this shopping centre. And wandered around the food court here a lot looking at all the unusual food. That was the first time I had travelled by myself and to Asia. A lot has happened since then….! A few of the shops were the same – the amazing supermarket. But most of the food stalls had changed. I made my way back to the hotel and got back at 3pm, just as it began to pour with rain and a thunderstorm. That was lucky.
I went to the gym. Went for a swim. Then did nothing. Had a bath (because I could!) and just admired my view. I was feeling hungry. And ordered some food through an app again. This time Indian, as there are so many Indian people here and the food is amazing – just like being in india.
I massively overordered. I had ordered a vegetable thali (which is a dish for someone who can’t decide what to have, you get a tiny bit of lots of things – perfect). But this wasn’t a tiny bit of things. I had quite large tubs of things. A big tub of coconut chutney. Big tub of an orange curry. 6 smaller tubs of various curried vegetables. 3 milky things I put to the side and didn’t touch. 4 dips. Rice. 2 chapati. A popadom. And a dosa masala (but this one wasn’t very good, it was a bit oily). Craziness.
I barely ate a few bites and was full already. It was delicious though. And just like being in India.
Sunday 27 November 2016
I got up early for one final swim in the pool. It was freezing and raining. I’m so sad to be leaving. I got a taxi at 8am and despite the road closures because of a triathlon (we had to take such a long way around), I was at the airport and checked in by 8.40am.
The airport is great. I had a wander around the shops (struggling to spend my last bits of money!) and to the butterfly garden.
My flight was at 11am, back to London. I don’t enjoy daytime long haul flights. Can’t sleep and so boring. Then 13 hours of watching tv. Being bored. Trying to sleep. Being bored. Eating. Bored. Writing. Bored. Eating. Photos. Bored. Long.