Thursday, October 11, 2012

Singa Pura

Boat Quay by day

Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel

Dinner by the river at Boat Quay

Merlion Statue

 We had a wonderful time in Singapore. We visited loads of historic sites, so I can tell you with some confidence that the island state was originally people  by Indians, Chinese, Malaysians and Europeans, so it is a real melting pot of cultures. It got it's name erroneously, as Singa Pura means Lion City. In fact, the first sighting of a big cat was much more likely to be a tiger, as they were populous way back then.The modern popular mythical beast, the Merlion, is half lion and half fish.
Singapore became a significant trading port thanks to British Statesman Sir Stamford Raffles who had a vision for Singapore as Asia's premier city. He died relatively young, but is well respected still as the "father of modern Singapore"

We visited all the regular tourist haunts: the River, Merlion statue, Raffles statue,Raffles hotel, Fullerton hotel, etc. We spent a sobering morning at Changi Prison Museum and Chapel and a glorious afternoon in the National Orchid House at the Botanical Gardens. We went to Sentosa Island, did some shopping and visited the National Museum and an art gallery. We took a river cruise. We had a night trip to the brand new Gardens By the Bay and gaped at the magnificent Marina Bay Sands hotel. We ate at Lau Pa Sat (Satay Street)Thanks to Les work colleagues, we saw loads in a short time as they acted as tour guides for a day and on another evening took us to eat spice crab in one of the government (cooncil) housing estates. It is such a safe city and so easy to get around by MRT as they call their underground rail system. It was a bit of a whirlwind! However, the nightly complimentary cocktails in the hotel's club lounge helped us ease from day to evening smoothly!

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