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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015

Location: Singapore, Singapore

MapWell, two flights later and we arrived here at two in the morning. We had a bit of a palava leaving Australia... It is worse than the states!!

We are very impressed with Singapore. The centre is spotless; there are heavy penalties for fouling, or litter, or graffiti etc so people obey the law! Or so we are lead to believe.

We are staying at the Fairmont Hotel, the sister hotel, to Raffles which is in the centre of the financial sector of downtown. It is all very plush but some things they are mean with, like the teamaking facilities and such items etc!! I suppose they think that you can pay. I have yet to pay the wifi bill, that seems extortionate....

Nevertheless, it is such a lovely place. We are on the seventeenth floor with lovely city views.

This morning, we walked for miles and took in lots of the downtown landmarks; this area is known as the Wall Street of Singapore, fabulous buildings with such an innovative design, an amazing townscape, shopping malls with every designer label you can think of plus a Zara! Sculptures all over the place. It is a very modern city centre but they have kept and cherished the old colonial buildings, often finding another use for them. So the city centre has a nice atmosphere to it.
The wharf area is spectacular; where the river had been made into the marina it is a sort of reservoir used as a back up water supple and also for leisure. It is a fab area to walk around with high tech and Sky scrapers of weird and wonderful shapes. The science museum is superbly designed as a lotus leaf and some of the hotels have to be seen to be believed.

In the afternoon we had an included city tour which was poor. The driver went round so quickly... He stopped in a few places where we wouldn't have gone so that was good.
We went down to Chinatown and we stopped at the Taoist temple there; we had a look at the icon of Singapore on the wharf, a spouting sculpture of half lion half fish. From their we went to a gem showcase shop, all horrible and extortionate.
Onto little India, an area where like the Chinese the indian settlers made this their home. Chinatown and Little India were not so clean or wealthy. Lots of rubbish at the backs of buildings and graffitti. So a divide it would appear. There has been civil liberties trouble here amongst the many ethnic groups as Singapore is a multinational multi languages nation.
Then onto a fab place, the World Heritage Botanical Gardens which housed the Orchid gardens. Thousands of the most beautiful plants and spectacularly laid out gardens. We thought that this was great.

After recovering from the humidity, we set off towards the Esplanade and the theatre areas, another part we hadn't been to. We walked through the impressive war memorial garden and over to the other side of the river to the Garden of the Bay. By this time it was getting dark. In the gardens are several fifty ft artificial Palm trees covered in plants. These umbrella out at the top. At dusk, they are covered in spectacularly changing light displays. Very pretty. A
And then at 8 pm everyone stood on the Wharf to watch a brilliant sound and light display over the water. Fountains of water appear and there are holograms and lasers of light. A brilliant nightly fifteen minute show, much better than the ones in Dubai and Vegas.

We had our dinner in this area before returning to the hotel. Not a good idea, poor and very very expensive!!!
Find somewhere else!!

The only bonus was that by this time, there was a slight breeze so the humidity wasn't so overpowering.