Today I am sitting on my bed in my hostel room in Cambodia, taking stock of the last week and organizing myself for the next leg of my travels. It’s hard to believe that it hasn’t even been a week since I left Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. So much has happened. I’ve had three travel days and two days to explore Singapore but it seems more like two weeks than five days.
I arrived in Singapore at 12:05 am on July 13th in a fog of sleepy anticipation of meeting up with my boyfriend, Al and our excellent traveling companion, Jose. I left on July 15th after two days of non-stop tourist fun in the big city.
Here’s the gist of it:
The gardens are on the UNESCO World Heritage list but to be honest, I didn’t know that before going there. I love orchids and when I heard there was an orchid garden in Singapore, I knew I had to go and I was not disappointed. There are 1000 species of orchids and they are beautifully displayed in the garden setting.
Great City Views
If you want to get the cityscape of Singapore there is one place to do it, the Marina Bay Sands.
It is stunning to look at from afar, up close and inside. It’s a site to see in and of it’s self but the views from the top are the best and usually cost a pretty penny to see. However, resourceful backpackers that we are, Jose was given a tip from a fellow low budget hosteler as to how to see the view for free. We just got off on the bar floor instead of the sky deck viewing floor and meandered around as if we knew what we were doing.
We walked to one side and saw this great view:
Then into the bar for this view:
I had never heard of a hawker until I arrived in Singapore. The closest description of a hawker I can give you is to cross a big food court area in a mall with a food truck festival. It’s a fairly permeant area with many various small stalls of vendors selling different types of food. The term “melting-pot” came to my mind several times while here and that is absolutely the case with the hawker food. We had the choice of some many different tastes including; Singaporean, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Costa Rican, Italian and many many more. I had veggie stir-fry at one and Indian roti prat a at another along with my fuchsia colored dragon fruit and soursop fruit juice. Yum!
This was my favorite place in Singapore. One of our fellow hostel friends, Andy, knew of a great restaurant (Gandhi) there and so six of us (Andy, Emma, Daniella, Jose, Al and myself) headed there for dinner.
We sat down and the waiter put in front of each of us a piece of banana leaf with various condiments.
Then he came by and piled on as much rice as we wanted and soon after delivered a dish of whichever meat you wanted. Two at the table got the chicken, two lamb and two vegetarian. Then (this is the best part) we all dug in and ate with our hand (right hand that is). It was so GREAT!!!! I loved this experience. Who needs a fork? I could get used to this. They had sinks to wash your hands before and after. I ate every single last bite and had that warm wonderful feeling I get in my body every time I eat Indian food.
After dinner we stopped by the local hindu temple, Veeramakaliamman Temple. We took our shoes off and washed our feet. There was a lot going on inside and we were not exactly sure if it was ok if we go in as we were the only tourist (identified by our camera’s and dumb founded looks on our faces) but we were warmly welcomed inside. There appeared to be many blessings occurring and offerings given to various deities. There were some gentlemen singing and the smell of incense was thick and fragrant in the air. The colors and sculptures were just amazing too. It was all I could do not to burst into tears while I was in there. I was just struck hard by the beauty of the spiritual ceremony and ritural. I feel blessed to have witnessed it. Check out this video to get a feel for it.
The Wild Side of Singapore
As I am not a party girl, I can not give testimony of the wild and crazy nightlife in Singapore. I can show you a bit of wildlife we encountered while visiting the botanical gardens. All I can say is that this would never fly in the states. People would freak-out!
It is a monitor lizard but as you can tell from the video, I thought it was a Komodo Dragon. Related but not the same. Still big and dangerous!
Silly and Fun in Singapore
The best bathroom so far:
Don’t monkey around!
I’m high on LIFE!
So that’s it for Singapore. Since the airport is a major hub in this area I’m pretty sure I will be back through again. Only having two days to explore left an excuse to come back and see more. I was struck by just how diverse the people of Singapore are. It’s a good example of many cultures living together and seem to be doing so peacefully.
We have our visa’s for Cambodia for 30 days. Not that I am sure we will be here for that long but I look forward to multiple posts from this country.