On our first day in Singapore (Sunday) we took the subway to the riverside around Raffles Place and Clarke Quay. This is the area where Raffles landed and founded the city and is on the edge of the colonial district, with its fine architecture. It was interesting to see that there is yet more building taking place and it took us a while to get our bearings, despite the fact that it had been only 1 ½ years since our last visit.
This evening we went back to the same area for dinner at an Italian restaurant right on the edge of the water – where a cooling breeze made it comfortable.
On Monday we spent just over two hours in Chinatown, part of it in a torrential downpour. We were able to dodge most of the rain by visiting many of the tiny shops filled with enticing souvenirs and finished our stroll with a late morning coffee.
On Tuesday we took the subway to Little India and walked the length of the main street there. We saw a couple of Hindu temples, one of which we went in and viewed the magnificent decorations. Lots of people were inside as this is festival time for Hindus.
We also visited Mustafa’s department store, an institution in Singapore, which seemed to be bigger than ever. There are five floors in two huge buildings and each is crammed with goods of every description. We walked from there to the Muslim Quarter to view the Sultan Mosque. It then started to rain a little so we made our way to the nearest subway station and back to the hotel – by which time the usual early afternoon storm was in full swing.
For our final sightseeing day in Singapore we went to Marina Bay and visited the new Garden at the Bay complex. This is a huge plot of reclaimed land (just filled in on our first visit in 2000) on which a large garden area has been laid out in park-like fashion. The outdoor area is very nicely presented with broad walkways and beautiful gardens (Chinese, Indian, etc), although walking in the full heat of the day is not recommended! However, the highlight of the new area is a two glass-domed complex under which are plants, trees and other flora from many different areas of the globe, all presented in very natural surroundings. And it is completely air-conditioned throughout! It is similar in concept to the Eden Project in England but done in a manner that seems to fit this fantastic city.
Tomorrow (October 30) we head for home!