Ruth, at the rock garden in Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Singapore - Our feet were done, but it was still a good day.

Singapore is the 20th smallest country in the world, with a population of about 5.6 million. It's located only 112 kms (70 miles) north of the equator.

It's a clean, modern, and very safe city.

It's also a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. Almost all of the signage is in English, despite the fact that 75% of the population have a Chinese background. And there are four official languages... Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil.

English is the working language, although Malay and Mandarin are spoken the most often.

The view out the window of our Airbnb accommodations.

Our apartment is located at the eastern edge of the Little India neighborhood. We are about 4 kms (2.5 miles) walking distance from the downtown core. It's actually a great location.

We woke up around 6:00am, which is actually really good considering the flights and time zone differences. We are now 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. When we wake up in the morning, most of you are just having dinner the night before!

We don't let jet lag bother us. We jump right into the current time at our destination as soon as we get on the plane at our starting point and we don't look back.

So we were up and at 'em at our normal hour and by 8:00am we were out looking for some breakfast. As we walked downtown, the first main street we came to had an automatic orange juice machine. With fresh oranges at the ready, you put in $2 SGD ($1.95 CAD, $1.45 USD) and you watch the robots inside the machine make you a fresh cup of orange juice!

Ruth, watching the fresh orange juice machine do it's thing!

Cutting and squeezing the oranges.

Ready!

It even puts on a lid so that you don't spill any.

We saw at least a half dozen of these machines while we were out walking. And yes, it was delicious!

Next stop was a roadside food stall where we asked about some breakfast. We ended up with omelettes and paratha, which is a flat bread made with rice flour.

Breakfast is served!

Not sure what was in the bowl of sauce. It had a bit of a curry/chutney taste to it but it sure was good. Total cost was $4.60 SGD ($4.50 CAD, $3.35 USD) each.

Then we headed downtown. You all said you wanted lots of photos, so here you go!

This temple is just down to the road from our AirBnb.

Yet another temple.

We were looking for a grocery store to buy a few things and we made our way into a shopping mall. But we were still too early and most of the stores didn't open until 10:00am, including the grocery store. We wanted to buy some snacks for lunch. Oh well, we'll pick something up later.

In the mall, they had designed this big netted play structure for kids. It was fantastic! Our grandkids would have loved it. 

In fact, Ruth wanted to use it too!

This bicycle had been sitting here a long time!

Older building.

Another older building.

Lots of flowers for sale.

Interesting flowers.

Another temple.

And yet another.

We wanted to try and get a view, but not many buildings will let you up . We did go into the public library where we managed to get a view from the 14th floor.

Singapore has many different skylines.



And despite the buildings, there is quite a lot of greenery.

Not much traffic, and very organized.

There is not much traffic because cars are very expensive. In fact, they tax you so heavily to own a car that it's the most expensive place in the world to actually buy a car! Which is okay, because the public transportation system is relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

We then made our way to the Marina Bay area. This is where the views of the financial district are, as well as some of the more touristy attractions. One of which is the spectacular Marina Bay Sands luxury hotel and casino complex.

The Marina Bay Sands.  

Kevin, and the Singapore Financial District.

Singapore means "city of lions".

There are lots of luxury hotels.
This is the lobby of the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

Most of the higher end hotels rent for a minimum of $300 a night. At the Marina Bay Sands Complex, all we could afford to do is to walk through it! There must be lots of money around when people are spending $300 to $500 a night! And here we thought we were splurging on our $100 a night AirBnb!

There is an observation deck on the 57th floor, and while I'm sure the views are fantastic we are not paying $23 each for the privilege. There are lots of great views in Singapore that are free!

The lobby of one of the three towers at Marina Bay Sands.

Inside the Marina Bay Sands.

Interestingly, last month they announced a $3.3B expansion including a 1,000 suite luxury hotel tower. There is obviously lots of money out there!

We walked back outside to the Gardens of the Bay area where they have some beautiful gardens and much of it is totally free.


The Singapore Flyer observation wheel.

Looking up at Marina Bay Sands.

The Supertrees. You can pay to do the Supertree walk.


Dragonfly statue. 

Marina Bay Sands. 



Ruth, with a statue carved from a single piece of wood.

Another downtown view.

The wild otters.

There are two families of wild otters living in Marina Bay, and we were lucky enough to spot them as we were walking by.

They sure like to play. 

The Helix pedestrian bridge.

Ruth, on the bridge.

Another view.

The Marina Bay Sands complex.

Before we knew it, it was 3:30pm and we hadn't even had any lunch! We had purposely avoided any of the expensive places around the touristy Marina Bay and financial area, and never did find another grocery store in which to buy some snacks.

Ended up picking up a couple of yogurts to carry us through. Then found a grocery store on the way home and bought some supplies.

None of which include alcohol. Singapore has ridiculously high alcohol taxes. A single beer costs around $6 in the grocery store. We some some bars advertising $8 beers as if it was a deal! And I saw a bottle of scotch that I buy in Mexico for $11... here the same bottle was $76!

There will be no drinking for us in Singapore!

Took the bus home. Our feet were done, We had probably walked about 12 kms (7.5 miles), and much of it was outside in the heat and humidity. Temperature was 31C (88F) and very muggy. It didn't take much effort to be dripping with sweat. We managed to get into a few hotels and shopping malls along the way to rest and cool off.

But, it was still a good day. Tomorrow, we will get out of the built up areas of Singapore and do some exploring in the more natural areas.

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The king size 12" version of the popular Zinus Memory Foam mattress is at a record low price right now.

And in Canada...



38 comments:

  1. Great photos! I'll probably never make it there, but you have done a great job of covering the bases so far. Can't wait to see tomorrow (today?) LOL

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    1. Thank you Karyn-Lee, if you don't make it here then we are glad to bring the city to you. :-)

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  2. I bet you sleep well tonight. Great tour.

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    1. Yes, and no. We were beat when we came back to our apartment so we had a little nap that lasted 3 hours, lol! So we stayed up late and went to bed properly. Should be much better today.

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  3. Interesting city. Just be sure and not say, spit on the sidewalk. Or anywhere out of doors for that matter. They like to keep it clean. And I'm not a big one for spitting. Ever. But once in a while there's that odd little bit of something that you just need to be rid of.

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    1. Yes, very interesting city! You don't want to spit and you don't want to be chewing gum and then depositing it improperly and you certainly don't want to be selling it or importing it into Singapore. It's a good thing that we neither spit or chew gum.

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  4. What an interesting city to explore, and like you said sure looks like a lot of money around.

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    1. Lots to see here, that is for sure and yes, lots of money!

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  5. It looks like a very pretty city. I wouldn't expect to see otters there - very cool.

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    1. Despite all the skyscrapers, it is a pretty city, very clean and safe.

      It is funny but these otters only showed up back in about 2014 and they aren't sure why because they had some here back in the 70's and then they disappeared and again they aren't sure why. We wouldn't have even seen them except when we were walking under a bridge I heard this loud squeaking or chirping noise and I thought it was from birds. I started looking around and that's when I saw the otters, and it was them talking to each other. They were fun to watch.

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  6. Did you go into any of the temples? I don't see the allure of the Supertree walk although quite a few people clearly did.

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    1. No, we didn't go into any of the temples. To be honest we weren't sure whether tourists were allowed in or not and we didn't want to disturb their payers. I have looked into it since then and it looks like we are able to go into some of them, so who knows if we see one today we may just do that.

      We didn't really see the allure to the skywalk between the "trees" either. It was nice to see them but it is only a short walk above and to our mind not worth the cost. Hopefully we will go back there this evening and see them lit up, there are definitely interesting to see.

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  7. No drinking in Singapore? You can catch up in Australia.

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    1. There probably won't be a lot going on in Australia either, as booze is expensive there as well. However we may treat ourselves every once in a while.

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  8. I saw the Marina Bay hotel in recently in a movie about rich Asians. Also saw a documentary about the bridge being built. The supertree walk looked interesting. Oh, and your breakfast looks delicious!! Love flat breads. It's probably expensive in the city but not in rural areas.

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    1. Yes, I am sure there have been quite a few documentaries about Singapore and the Marina Bay Sands and the building of it. It is an amazing building to see, that is for sure.

      The skywalk at the supertrees, didn't really appeal to us. It is a really short walk and not worth the money in our opinion but it costs nothing to walk down among them and that would suit us just fine. Hoping to see them again tonight when they are lit up.

      There are no rural areas in Singapore, it is both a city and a country! There are some green areas, but certainly not rural.

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    2. The movie is called Crazy Rich Asians (it's not a documentary) - maybe you can watch it on the way home.

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    3. We will look to see if we can find it online, thanks Elaine.

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  9. Please share the name of your AirBnB. Do you have a private bathroom? We know how expensive it is to stay in Singapore. You have done a good job showing the sights.

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    1. Kevin will talk about it in our next blog post but yes, we have our own private bathroom.

      We are happy that we think we did a good job showing some of the sights from our first day in Singapore. Hopefully we will do another great job today. :-)

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  10. 1980 I stayed several weeks in Singapore's Chinatown in a accommodation at Trengganu Street. It was $ 10 the night. Delicious and cheap food in the surrounding food stalls. Chinese Opera on the street from afternoon until after midnight. Religious celebrations. Laundry was hanging on a long stick that went from one window over to the other window of the opposite house. Chinatown was bustling and pulsating, full of live and activities. I was told the "Old Chinatown" became victim of the wrecking ball of redevelopment. This would be very sad. Are there still parts left? Your photos are great. I only recognize of the old days the "Indian Temple" and "Merlion, the waterspitting Lionfish" at the Business District. I also enjoyed very much the tranquility of the Chinese and Japanese Gardens a bit outside of the center. Hopefully still free entrance I am very much looking forward at your next photos. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Wow, that is a great price, but I doubt that you could find anything that cheap in Singapore these days. I did a little research and there still is an "old" Chinatown area with some buildings still intact. Not sure if we will make our way there or not but if we do, we will be sure to take some pictures for you.

      We don't doubt that things have changed over the last 39 years. It is a very modern city these days with lots and lots of skyscrapers but it is still a pretty city.

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  11. Your photos are beautiful, as always!

    Just in case anyone is interested, I did a search for the supertrees of Singapore, and if I ever make it there, I would definitely go on the tour.

    Here is the link for an article I found:
    http://www.kuriositas.com/2013/09/the-supertrees-of-singapore.html

    And another link of a YouTube video that was posted by a young couple almost a year ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCVgEy2DJwE

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    1. Thank you very much, we are glad that you have enjoyed our photos.

      The supertrees are very interesting but we enjoyed just seeing them from a distance and from below. The skywalk among them isn't very long and in our opinion not worth the money to do it. We are hoping to make it back there this evening so that we can see more of the gardens and see the trees lit up a night.

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    2. Cat, thanks for those links - really interesting! Ruth & Kevin, I’ll likely never get to Singapore, so thanks so much for the super pics and prices of things! 😳

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    3. You are more than welcome Shoebox! We are glad that we could bring Singapore to you. :-)

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  12. Loved your photos - nothing like the Singapore we visited in 1970! How times change. Enjoy your trip!

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    1. So glad that you enjoyed our photos! Yep, we bet it has changed tremendously since the 1970's. We would have loved to have seen what it was like back then.

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  13. Try and check out Raffles Hotel and Sentosa Island is good for a walk thru also . Take the chair lift across ..It is a beautiful city,always good for a stop over to break long flights.
    Enjoy your stay .I will be back there in December for my 4th trip and always find something new to explore.. It has so much to offer but is very expensive !

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    1. We might try to make it to Raffles Hotel but I doubt that we would have time to see Sentosa Island. There is just so much to see here and we only have so much time.

      We are sure that you won't have any problems finding new things to see and do in Singapore as it seems to always being changing and adding new attractions. Yes, it is expensive be we find just walking around which is free to do, that we can see so much without having to pay ridiculous prices to the touristy things.

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  14. I'm glad someone mentioned the Raffles Hotel. I was going to ask if it was still there. It was old when I was there in '74. A fellow sailor and I went there just to say we did.
    Tiger Balm Gardens is another site that was interesting. Sculpted cement storybook characters that were very colorful.
    Just did a search for the Gardens and learned that it does still exist and the pictures look like it is much better maintained now. Looks like it is inside Haw Par Villa and has an MRT station.

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    1. It seems that we have just run out of time. I wish now that when we were walking by the Raffles Hotel that we could have stopped in.

      It looks like we may just have to stop in Singapore again sometime to see the things that we missed. Tiger Balm Gardens sounds interesting as does Haw Par Villa. Unfortunately we just didn't have time to see everything in only two and a half days.

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  15. Do a quick search for "abandoned bicycles in Singapore" and you find some interesting results.

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    1. Yep, except you have to be careful because some of those searches are actually "graveyards" in China, not Singapore.

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  16. The pictures are beautiful, so much to see! Might have to put it on our list.

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    1. Thank you Judi! We would certainly recommend visit here, so definitely put it on your list. :-)

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  17. just caught up reading this blog....fantastic pictures!Thanks loads for the awesome tour! Wish I could visit there someday...who knows?!But gotta save up for the high standard of living there. hehehe.

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    1. Thank you Lynnette, so glad that you are enjoying our posts and our pictures.

      I hope that you can make it to Singapore someday. If you know where to go for food, it can be quite inexpensive, but the accommodation will certainly cost more. Public transportation is very affordable, especially compared to to Canadian prices.

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