Singapore

We waved goodbye to Malaysia and headed towards Singapore. It was only a short flight from Kuala Lumpur.
We landed and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. A posh hotel in the middle of Clarkes Quay, a very trendy desirable part of Singapore.
The last time I was in Singapore was 5 years ago, I remember then thinking how alien and foreign Singapore was, it was the first Asian country I had visited.
This time I was breathing a big sigh of relief. It seemed so western after the other places id visited in the past 8 months.
Its strange how perspective and experience can distort how we view things! The same country, 5 years apart, I was viewing through completely separate eyes.
We got up early the next day and went for a walk along the river. Singapore is filled with wonderful pedestrian walkways where you can walk around, unimpeded by the traffic that clogs the rest of the city.

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Our walk took us past the wonderful Marina Bay area, where we got to walk around the National Theatre and to visit the fantastic Merlion fountains. Ive got a tattoo of this statue so It was great to see it again.

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Dominating the skyline of Marina Bay is the iconic Marina bay sands resort. A 3 towered skyscraper with a giant boat laid across the top of all 3. Its a strange looking building but is quite striking when you are close to it!


Before deciding to go up the tower Mum and I stopped for a milkshake at the nearby superhero café. Its wonderful there, its a DC comics themed café, so every meal or drink has a superhero twist. My Oreo Milkshake came in a caped glass with its own bat symbol sprinkled on the top.
It was wonderfully at odds with all the Versace and Prada shops around it.
Mum and I decided to go and enjoy the view from the boat at the top of the tower, the 55th floor!

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It was an incredibly hot day so it was absolutely scorching at the top of the tower, on the exposed boat deck. We didn’t stay too long, but did manage to get some fantastic photos!
Our next stop was the Gardens by the Bay, a huge garden area behind the marina bay sands resort. The gardens feature gardens from around the world, as well as huge biospheres and manmade tree sculptures. The result is a lovely peaceful green area, within a busy city. I loved it there.

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My love of Satay took us to the Satay by the bay food hawkers bazar. We got 30 satays to share, I think I had about 23 of them!
We wandered around the gardens before going into the Cloud Forest bio dome. This giant greenhouse is filled with the largest manmade waterfall in Asia. This behemoth dominates the centre of the dome, while the walkways around it are filled with beautiful flowers from around the globe. It was a lovely walk and a really well laid out garden.


By this point we had been out walking for about 8 hours so decided to head back to the hotel before going out around Clarkes Quay in the evening for a lovely meal. There is a wonderful nightlife around Clarkes quay, its much busier in the evening than the daytime.
My Grandfathers brother, Norman, served in WWII in Asia. His plane was sadly shot down and the wreckage and remains were never discovered.
After my Grandad died, we found a letter he had written his brother back in 1944. It was sent, but got returned to sender after Norman had gone missing.
Singapore has a large war grave cemetery for those lost in the war. The cemetery also has a huge memorial wall, with over 9000 names on it, those who were lost but whose remains were never recovered. Normans name features on this wall.

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Mum bought a copy of the letter Grandad had written along with her, so we went to deliver it.
We found the fantastically maintained cemetery easily. It was at the top of a hill in the Singapore suburbs.


The grass was perfectly tended with followers on all the spotless graves. I really wish our war memorials were treated with such reverence and respect at home.

 
We found Normans name on the wall and Mum read out the letter. Its a very poignant letter, in which my Grandad speaks about Normans newly born son, whom Norman never got to meet.

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It was quite sad standing there listening to the letter, Remembering my Grandad, and feeling the senseless loss of all the names that surrounded me. Men from India, Nepal, Malaysia, Scotland, Ireland, Australia.

People of all races and religions, all lost. Most of them younger than I am. I
Mum went and thanked the gardeners for taking such good care of the graves. Despite it being a cemetery, Kranji is a really lovely place to visit.
We went back to the city and went for a walk to visit the Raffles Hotel. We didn’t go inside but couldn’t visit Singapore without at least seeing the birthplace of the Singapore Sling.
That evening we went back to the Gardens by the bay, to enjoy their wonderful light and sound show.
The free to enter even is projected onto the tree sculptures and is really good fun.

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Its a good build up for the main event, the light and sound show at the Marina Bay resort. This fantastic show is done twice a day, every day, and is totally free.
Huge fountains of water are used to project 3D images and effects. Coupled with the music, it really is a fantastic 15 minutes and not to be missed.


Our last day in Singapore was spent on Sentosa island. The tourist mecca.
We visited the Singapore Aquarium and walked through Shark Tunnel. A fantastic aquarium tunnel with loads of different sharks swimming overhead.
I managed to impress mum with my fish identification knowledge!! Diving has its perks!!
It was a lovely aquarium and I think helped mum to see why I love life under the sea so much!

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On our last day in Hong Kong, 4 years previously we visited Disney land, so it seemed fitting to visit Universal Studios!

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After an hour queuing we went on the wonderfully interactive Transformers ride, before visiting Jurassic Park and Shrek’s far far away!

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I really enjoy these places, they make me feel like such a big kid! I just wish they traded off the classics a bit more! I only saw a few references to the amazing Back to the Future!!!
The merchandise is also to current!! It was all pushing the upcoming minions movie and Transformers!! All I wanted was a Marty Mcfly T-shirt!!!!!!!!
We topped off a wonderful day with a Hard Rock Café dinner, before our flight home. Back to Europe, and the end of my Asia adventure!

 

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