23.02.2013 - 01.03.2013
I will start by saying...I love Singapore! If you are ever getting a connecting flight through Singapore you should definitely stopover for a few days. I had heard such mixed things about the country I did not know what to expect but I was kept busy in my five days there. Singapore is so clean which is probably why I loved it so much, the MRT is really easy to use too.
My first day was spent getting my bearings, I stayed close to the Lavender station so it only took a little walk to reach the hostel. I decided to head to China Town to go to their heritage museum, along the way I found the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple which is the oldest Hindu temple in singapore, very colourful figures on the roof. Eventually found the museum, not many wanted/could help with directions, this became a pattern throughout my stay, I also found the lack of signs to tourist attractions annoying! The museum was good, I got an insight into the history of China Town with the opium use, hawkers, living conditions and of course the brothels! In the afternoon I headed over to the National Museum of Singapore but it took me about an hour to find! Along the way I came across lots of other buildings/places that were in my guide book so I didn't mind the extra walking. I found lots of churches that were the first built for different religions and CHIJMES which was the first convent . The museum was located next to/on Fort Canning Park which was built as the first botanic gardens by Raffles but failed to take off and was later relocated. After finally making it to the museum I ended up staying in there for about 4 hours, it wasn't the conventional museum and had more exhibitions and interactive rooms to explain the history. I am not sure if you normally have to pay but everything was free to go into including their headset tour of their history. All in all a really good first day!
The next day I headed out to the Vietnam Embassy to sort out my visa which I did realize you had to have! The houses where the embassy was were ridiculous,gone were the high rise flats and in their place massive mansions each with their own swimming pool! The embassy was quite far out of the city centre but was a few stops further on from the Botanical Gardens so I headed there for the rest of the day. Really pretty place as would be expected! I sat down for a while by one of the big ponds and watched a couple of black swans, whilst I was there I noticed a turtle had climbed out of the water and was having a little sunbathe! I headed to the side of the gardens with all the walks, il just seemed to walk all day long! I paid to go into their Orchard Garden which I am glad I did because the orchards were amazing! So many different ones and the VIP garden was situated inside and had all the specially grown orchards named after important visitors.
I went on the Singapore Flyer, slightly disappointed not sure if it was because it was quite cloudy but in my opinion it wasn't as good as the London Eye! I got it on offer with the Singapore River cruise, that was good! I really liked Clarke Quay, very colourful buildings, too expensive to eat there though! I saw the lion/fish fountain statue which was full of tourists everywhere! I got caught in a massive downpour too, the rain seems to arrive about the same time every day!
Didn't do much on day four, got my passport back and booked my bus ticket to KL. I also finally found the statue of Raffles situated where they believe he first set foot on Singapore. I revisited China Town to take some photo's too.
The day finally arrived...a trip to Singapore Zoo! I love the zoo and this one did not disappoint! I paid extra to see the panda's but who wouldn't! We were lucky as on our time slot both were up and about, they were a lot bigger then I was expecting! Saw their elephant show but I didn't like it very much, it felt a bit too much like a circus act. They also have 3 white tigers here which were beautiful to watch. I headed to the the Night Safari which started an hour after the main zoo finished, very strange going around a zoo in the dark! You have a 40 minute guided train tour around the animals and could walk routes to see them up close. They also put on a show but it wasn't very good, not many animals in it, it felt like 30 minutes of human time filling! But both were good, I would say the zoo was much better then the safari though.
Moving day, onto Kaula Lumpur today by coach, a very nice coach though with a meal (not so nice) and big comfy seats with films ( not the best selection)