Friday, August 24, 2012


The stay in Singapore was busy to say the least. We stayed a little out of the centre at the rather unusual Wangz Hotel which was reasonably close to the very efficient train system.
Wangz Hotel
The Wangz Hotel with rooftop bar
wangz hotel bar
Wangz Hotel bar located right at the top in the open area shown

Our first day was spent doing an initial explore and then meeting with friends, Gene and Bee Ling and their children Lex and Riddle, getting a guided tour of the city and eating some delicious  food.
merlionThe Merlion, symbol of Singapore
Esplanade DriveIn the shade under the arches of the Esplanade bridge
marina sandsPeeking through the trees, the ship-like prow of the Marina Bay Sands. There is a 150m pool and a viewing deck up there, plus full sized palm trees.
Boat Quay editedLooking towards Boat quay on the river. The boats are no longer there but once this was crowded
Boat Quay 1A very traditional British remnant at Boat Quay Rafflesn nThe entrance to Raffles Hotel
Raffles entranceThe entrance to Raffles. Non residents not allowed
Gene and RiddleGene and Riddle at Raffles
Nick’s panorama of the Singapore waterfront looking to Boat Quay. Once this would have been filled with small working boats but since they dammed the river to provide additional reservoirs of fresh water, the boats no longer have access. Now it is just a few tourist boats.
There are a number of separate ethnic areas in Singapore, each with its own architecture, food centres, markets and temples, so we set out to explore a few as well as see some of the reminders of  British heritage and some of the extraordinary architecture of modern Singapore.
First, Little India, then Chinatown
garlandsFresh flower garlands for offerings and for decorating your bride Hindu temple entrance SingaporeHindu temple gate Hindu temple N
Deities and altars inside the temple
chinesehouse little indiaThis colourful house was the only Chinese house in Little India, owned by a wealthy merchant
The culturally and geographically confused bar in which we revived with a cool lime drink. The servers wore British kahki and solar topees and the jungle contained all sorts of animals and trees plus the delightful addition of a native American
Chinatown alley nAlley in Chinatown Singapore Hindu Deities
Hindu deities again but now in Chinatown, where we were privileged to witness a ceremony.
Temple of the Buddha's Tooth
Temple of the Buddha’s tooth with many offerings and much we did not understand

We spent some time taking a river cruise to see the architecture and followed that with a walk through Clarke Quay and a visit to the Asian Civilisations Museum. We also visited the Gardens by the Bay for the amazing space they have created, including artificial trees they are filling with bromeliads, and in which there is a light show each night. This in turn is connected to that weirdest of hotels, the Marina Bay Sands, a place that can’t possibly exist, but does.
riverboats Clarke QuayClarke Quay Singapore street lights
Fullerton Hotel Singapore, stepsThe ornate stairway in the Fullerton Hotel
Workers statueCommemorative statue on the waterfront
Police buildingsOld Police buildings converted to a new purpose
buddahA serene Buddha

Asian Culture Museum puppets
Rod puppets

Garuda Asian Culture Museum Singapore
A Garuda at the museum
We took the very efficient and clean subway system to places like Marina Bay Sands and The Gardens by the Bay which are connected by walkways.
Singapore train
On via train to Marina Bay Sands. This is the spacious interior of a driverless train.
subway to Marina bay sandsThis is the subway to the Hotel and Bay Gardens, lined with mirrors and pictures. Sydney, are you taking note? dragonfly bridge to gardens
The dragonfly bridge leading to the Gardens by the Bay and the artificial trees that will eventually be all green
dragonfly n
Dragonfly sculpture
walkway in trees
One can walk on this skyway among the trees. However, it poured rain and we took sanctuary in the hotel.
Gardens trees2 N
The evening light show among the trees
Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer
Marina Bay Sands nightThe impossible hotel
Marina Bay Sands
This is the marina Bay Sands complex, the hotel, a massive shopping mall, a conference centre and the Museum of Arts and Sciences known as the Lotus
Marina Bay Sands interior
The soaring atrium of one of the towers of the Marina Bay Sands hotel
Restaurant MBS
Restaurant in the atrium where we ate. The “lanterns” are private dining rooms
The Museum of Arts and Sciences
lily pond
There is a reflecting pool below the lotus with water-lilies
lily below the lotus
And finally, for your complete shopping experience, you must have
louis vuitton
Tentacles in the window,
 a whirlpool on the roof
leading to a waterfall below around which you may be taken in a boat. Of course!
Next episode, Istanbul.

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