New Zealand Holiday ... 1 ... Singapore

Date & Time: Saturday 22nd - Monday 24th October 2011.

Locations : Loweswater to Heathrow and on to Singapore

Places visited : Singapore Riverside, Raffles and the Botanical Gardens.

Details : Our journey included a 30 hr stop-over in Singapore en-route to Auckland.

High point : Singapore City, beautiful, clean, modern yet full of history.

With : Ann and myself.

Weather : Hot and very humid despite being overcast.

 

 New Zealand - Day One - Singapore - at EveryTrail

 

At last we've managed to save enough pennies again for a long haul flight to distant lands,

this time half way round the world to the antipodean islands of New Zealand.

[ They are so far away from UK that if we travelled any further we'd be on the way back.]

- - - o o o - - -

Firstly we say farewell for a while to Harry and Bethan as they couldn't join us on our foreign holiday.

Angie and David have offered a dog and cottage sit service while we are away, so with big thanks to them we drive south.

We leave our car at our daughter's house near Heathrow and present ourselves at the Air Singapore desk ready for our flight.

Passports checked, tickets sorted, we are just about to board once the plane is made ready.

Somewhere along the way, at 35,000 feet in the air, on the thirteen hour flight to Malaysia.

- - - o o o - - -

This time we opt to break our journey and enjoy a 30 hour stop-over in Singapore.

Singapore Airport has a fine floral display to celebrate the Hindu festival of Deepavali

Deepavali is the Festival of Lights, and marks the defeat of the evil Narakasura by the Lord Khrishna. All round the world, Hindus celebrate this day as the triumph of light over darkness, and of good over evil.

It marks the New Year for Hindu devotees, and is a great time of rejoicing and renewal . . . and give Changi an excuse for many nice floral displays.

We make our way to our hotel and get a first glimpse of the city high-rise through the tinted windows of the airport bus.

Days turn quickly to nights in the tropics

Singapore Airlines offered a very good stop-over package

which gave us a city centre hotel with a river view.

 

Soon after settling in the tropical dusk descended quickly

and before we knew it, it was dark.

 

[ Hold your cursor over the photo to see the change ]

 

 

Time to walk down and into the humid heat of the evening

and to choose one of the brown-roofed riverside restaurants.

The first of the outdoor photos of the Riverside has developed a rather nice, artistic, defused light effect.

[ It wasn't planned that way . . . out of the camera bag, the cold camera had condensed the hot and humid air onto the lens and gave the special effect ]

Following the tourist guide and the rather 'artistic' street map we found ourselves down by the river

and were faced with a choice of restaurants, all of which had tables out under the evening skies.

Table twelve . . . that would do nicely !

One of the modern bridges across the Singapore River.

Reflections on the river.

Downstream was the tubular bridge, also beautifully illuminated.

Across one, back over the other, taking in the sights along the way.

- - - o o o - - -

 

Next day we set out to see more of the city.

 

On offer was a river trip on one of the old river barges

suitably converted for carrying folk on a guided tour

of Clark Quay, the river and the harbour.

 

The commentary put the buildings and the history in context

as we cruised downstream.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Ok for a quick buzz about the harbour but we opt for a more traditional style of river bumboat like the one behind.

The low houses and shops of the Chinese Quarter line the southern bank of the river.

In the old days this area was a thriving commercial centre and the banks would be lined with small boats. The establishment of a free port here

outside the confines of the Malay State, led to the establishment of the commercial port and the subsequent growth of the city.

The wider harbour is overlooked by the modern city of high rise offices and commercial accommodation.

On the seaward side there's a new high rise development, three 57 storey hotels reaching 200m into the sky.

The architects have designed a superstructure like a great ocean liner sitting across the top of the three buildings.

The scale of the development can be estimated by the size of the mature palm trees planted on the roof garden

Your ticket to the Sands Skypark rooftop swimming pool and leisure area cost just S$20, about £10 in sterling.

(If we had more time we could have taken advantage of the cheaper OAP rates on offer at S$17)

Two of the outer harbour bridges

and the ex-army amphibious "Duck-Tours" vehicle driving past our boat.

We turned round in the outer harbour and made our way back into the river . . . this would have been the scene in the last century.

The Chinese Quarter is on the left hand (south) bank . . . and we're just about to pass the grand building on the right.

Today it is the Singapore Asian Museum.

   
The Landing Point statue of Sir Stamford Raffles
The Theatre building undergoing renovation.

Singapore Cricket Club, inaugurated in 1852.

The main building here was built in 1906 with later additions in 1922.

The club still hosts lawn bowls, cricket, rugby, hockey, tennis and many other sports and is apparently still a social centre of the city.

No visit to Singapore is complete without seeing the famous Raffles Hotel

The inner courtyard and gardens.

The Long Bar, complete with peanuts on the floor and old fashioned oscillating fans on the ceiling.

Raffles is also famous as the birth place of the popular cocktail

known as the "Singapore Sling"

 

Well . . . you've just got to try one.

Pass the peanuts !

Our gin sling was accompanied by a little light lunch in the hotel . . . another small international ambition achieved.

Afterwards we looked for transport to take us across to the Botanical Gardens.

The Jaguar was already booked

so we settled on a ride on a bicycle rickshaw.

 

To the Gardens please . . . " Certainly . . . $30 Sir "

 

 

It was a slow trip and the price rose as he pedalled

$30

$40

$40 each

His english was getting poorer and we still weren't getting near.

That's enough thanks.

 

Put it down as one of life's little experiences !!

A "must visit" for flower devotees and lovers of city parks . . . The Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Famed for its flowers and water features.

   
So I took a photo as instructed . . .
Why just here . . . the whole place was photogenic.
   
   
The park is famous for its Orchids . . .
. . . of which there were thousands of varieties.

The whole park was a riot of colour despite the overcast skies

and everyone was out having their picture taken.

Our stop-over pass allowed us free entry into the Orchid Garden

where there were an amazing variety of plants on show.

Ornamental planters complimented the flowers

   
In the 'cool house' . . . rather than in a 'hot house' in UK. . .
. . . a collection of insect feeding plants
   
   
Ann's photo call amongst the Orchid Arches
Colour abounds.

Photographers abound too

Looking out on the world.

So the first day of our holiday ends . . . a holiday that would lead us to a whole new world down under over the next four weeks.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . . your very own Singapore Stop-over Pass.

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A previous time on a big holiday - June 2008 North West Australia - The Kimberley