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Singapore – 25th/27th Feb

Our stay in Singapore was more of a two night stop over than anything else. We hadn’t quite anticipated how tired we would be after our 3.30am start the morning of our flight and so by the time we’d reached Singapore, enjoyed a chai and a little breakfast at Starbucks, plus the time taken to actually navigate and exit from the airport terminal, we were almost ready for lunch!

Thankfully for us and to Barbara (Dave’s mum) we had booked ourselves a lovely place to stay through the wonderful world of Airbnb. Our hosts Sam, Linda and Phillipe all from the creative sector certainly offer a great alternative to staying in hotels and hostels in Singapore. They’re base just off Club Street is easy to find and only a short walk from the Chinatown metro stop. Staying in their homely apartment didn’t really give us much reason to leave, but we knew we would have to venture out at some stage. On our first day though we were very low key and enjoyed the comforts of our room, called home and ate at an excellent local sushi restaurant. Club Street itself is full of charm and seems to attract the ex-pat crowds, it’s perhaps a little over-rated in terms of eateries, restaurants and bars but the night life is pretty strong there.

We enjoyed exploring the local area which is rich in multi-cultural temples including Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese temples scattered throughout China town. The Hindu one was perhaps the most interesting to us; bold, colourful statues and decor with a daily ceremony taking place to traditional Indian instruments. Quite atmospheric.

We also stumbled upon a very nice independent bookstore called Woods In The Books. Primarily a visual bookstore it sells mainly illustrated books most of which are aimed at children, but it’s a lovely place to explore and absorb. We were more than happy to idle away time going through their collection and noticed some of their own illustrated publications were dotted around too. It’s a lovely concept indeed and we bought ourselves a few items as well.

On day two of Singapore we had a little more motivation to do some sight-seeing and so took off in search of a few famous places. Our first stop was at SAM; Singapore Art Museum, which was a pretty excellent stop for us. They were hosting some really interesting exhibitions and installations. It’s a bold, white colonial building with a melting Superman standing outside the front! Just around the corner at 8Q SAM’s sister gallery we found a contemporary exhibition showcasing young artists work from Singapore.

Moving on from our art-experience we ventured down the street to Raffles, perhaps the other extreme of sight-seeing as this is what most people try to get to when they have only 2 days in Singapore. Raffles is probably the most famous building in Singapore aside from some of the architecture on the harbor front, mainly because of it’s history and it’s infamous Singapore Sling cocktail. We couldn’t really push the boat out to afford a cocktail each but we did find the Leica store and we were also enticed into the little Chinese cake shop on the 2nd floor. Phillipe had told us about it and so we wanted to find it ourselves to experience.

It’s a lovely space with interesting art, old bikes and an all round great concept for a place to come and enjoy tea. The best past is you don’t even need to buy anything, the tea and one piece of their complimentary pineapple cake is free and so we sat there and enjoyed the space. Sunny Hills are solely a cake and tea shop and only sell the one type of cake, they are very successful and provide a unique experience. If you like the cake of course you can buy little boxes of them and they are very beautifully packaged.

So after our tea break we walked onwards to the water-front, a place again where nearly every tourist will visit during their time in Singapore. It is home to the crazy looking Marina Bay Sands resort with a boat on top as well as what seems like hundreds of sky-scrapers! Not to mention the Merlion statue! We simply wandered around, took a few photos and people watched as the rain came down and stopped everyone in their tracks.

When we’d had enough we were already nearly back at our accommodation and so we opted for another low key night. We ate on Club Street at one of the Italian restaurants as we were both a little tender from something we ate on our last day in Bali. A few more calls home and then we were ready for another flight onwards.

Our next flight was taking us to Kathmandu for the next stage of our travels.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 processed in Lightroom 3)

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