Singapore Day 1: A walk in the clouds

I’m feeling nostalgic today, so what better time to write about experiences passed. It’s been six months since Trevor and I went on our amazing Singapore holiday, and I still think about it so often.

After our glorious but anxiety provoking long weekend in The Philippines (which you can read about here), we arrived in Singapore on Tuesday, 19 February. What a contrast! It’s not hard to see why it was voted the World’s Best Airport at the 2013 World Airport Awards.  Trevor sorted out getting a SIM card while I used one of the countless free Internet stations to catch up on some correspondence.

We caught a taxi to our hosts’s apartment, and the whole way I was like a kid at Christmas. Look how green everything is! We’re driving on the left side of the road! The driver speaks English! And he isn’t driving like a maniac! The buildings are so beautiful! Everything is so modern! The air is so clean! The flora reminds me of Cape Town! Sheesh, I’m exhausted!

The first evening was spent just relaxing and planning the week ahead. Our hosts, Jennifer and Scott, suggested some fun activities to squeeze into our itinerary.

Day 1 in Singapore started off with the Singapore River Cruise. We boarded a bumboat and were taken around the river. It was interesting to see the contrasts between “old” and “new” Singapore from the water. Pre-recorded video commentary was used to point out significant structures and landmarks, and a general history of the area was also given.

After the cruise, we headed to the Singapore Flyer. We decided to be proper tourists and, instead of taking public transport to our next destination, we’d just walk. Luckily Trevor had a SIM card and Google Maps, and after an hour of somewhat directed aimless wandering, we arrived at the Flyer.

There was a nifty food court at the entrance, so we sat down to some grub, and fed the scavenger birds (which you don’t see in Korea). There was lots to see in the courtyard of the flyer, and Trevor had fun matching up his tribute tattoos to the Chinese Zodiac displays. Eventually we made our way up to the Flyer, and this is where I first learned that Trevor is – shall I say – sensitive to heights. The kid was a trouper though, and we had lots of fun seeing Singapore (and Indonesia, as a matter of fact) from above. The tinted-glass capsules meant we were sheltered from the unforgiving sun, and it was a beautifully clear day, so we could see everything we needed to.

In the evening, Scott and Jennifer treated us to a night on the town. After supper we got all dressed and pressed, and made our way to Raffles Singapore, the hotel that houses Long Bar, which is where the Singapore Sling was born. And yes, that’s exactly what we had! After a round of drinks we hopped on a bus and headed over to 1-Altitude, the world’s highest open-air rooftop bar. Oh my word, the view! The bar is 64 stories up, which is no joke. I remember looking down at the ground, but not feeling so high up. I suppose my body had no point of reference for just how far off the ground it really was. After dealing with popping ears and jelly legs, we took in the view. Scott and Jennifer pointed out some of the significant buildings around us (all far below us!), and we also got to see the long line of cargo ships waiting to dock at the port. Apparently some of these ships wait around a month for their turn! It was really cool to see Indonesia’s lights in the distance.

Definitely a great first full day in Singapore! I had a feeling it would get even better…

To see all the photos from Day 1, click on the Merlion:

The Merlion as seen from the River Cruise. Click on it to see the Flickr album of the whole day.

The Merlion as seen from the River Cruise. Click on it to see the Flickr album of the whole day.

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