South East Asia 2017 - Day 2: Singapore

 

6 August 2017 - partly cloudy, 28°

We decided to walk down to the iconic Merlion statue to take some photos of the sunrise, and on the way we wandered through the Parliament precinct and over the Singapore River.  It was surprising that even in a city of 5 million people that we only saw a couple of people during our walk, and even when we arrived at the Merlion at 6:30am there was only 1 other photographer there.  Oh how things.were about to change. 

By the time the sun rose over the Singapore Flyer we were surrounded by the selfie stick wielding tourists and their hundreds of attempts to get the 'perfect' selfie.  But it was more amusing than any kind of distraction to us as they tended to get out of the way when you were carrying a tripod around. 

 

After shooting the sunrise we wandered along Marina Bay and through the CBD ( very quiet on a Sunday ) looking for somewhere to grab some breakfast.  Sadly nothing appeared to be open at that time on a Sunday ( except McDonalds, but even I wasn't ready to give in that easily ) so we wound up back at the hotel for the buffet breakfast.  

After a quick refresh in our room we headed out at 9:30 and walked through the Pandang ( it feels odd to have a massive green field in the middle of the city ) and along the north side of Marina Bay, then over the Helix Bridge and into cool air-conditioned Marina Bay Sands Shoppes.  

Having arrived in Singapore from the middle of winter in New Zealand, we were certainly feeling the change in temperature and humidity ( 27 degrees and 80% humidity is the norm ).  A quick walk through the mall ( none of the shops managed to draw us in, so your loss Versace, YSL, Career etc ) we headed into the lobby of the massive Marina Bay Sands hotel ( only 2,500 rooms split between 3 towers ), then under the road to Gardens by the Bay, which was the aim of walk.  After buying tickets for the 2 'domes' on the site we walked through the gardens and through the Supertree grove ( a group of structures ranging from 25-50 high ) then stopped for a rest and cool drink.  After a 3km walk to get here we felt we deserved it

After a 1/2 hour break we headed back out into the heat and and went up one the Supertrees and headed across the skyway which hangs (and bounces at a height of about 20m ) from the canopies of 5 of the Trees, and then walked down to ground level again.

( BTW in the shots below the "Lady in the Blue Hat' makes an appearance, I am sure you will see more of her in future blogs )

Next was a short walk to the Flower Dome, with various gardens from around the world ( not New Zealand though ) and Singapore, showcasing the flowers of the regions.  Sadly we seemed find the same selfie-stick people that we left behind at the Merlion this morning, but this time some had brought their selfie-tripods as well. After passing through the obligatory gift shop we headed across to the Cloud Forest, with it's 7 story artifical mountain and waterfall.  After a brief walk and lift ride to the top we wound our way down the sky walk back to the ground level (dodging people putting themselves in front of their photos of the scenery ), and out again ( via the gift shop again ) .  

We walked back around the waterfront and back into the Marina Bay Sand Shoppes and headed for the MRT station ( after a quick stop at the foodcourt for some lunch ), where we bought a 3 day pass and caught the subway back to City Hall, just around the corner from the hotel.  As we reached the top of the escalator back up to street level we were met with a torrential rain shower that had the locals chasing shelter ( it had been sunny when we entered the MRT station 20 minutes before ).  After sheltering for a bit we dashed across the road, and headed for the dry of the Hotel.

After a bit of rest we went for quick swim ( in another rain shower, despite the advice of the hotel not to swim in the rain ) then a quick change of clothes in the room and out again at 5pm.  Heading back to Marina Bay Sands on the MRT.

This time we were heading for the Skypark on top of the hotel, which allows access to the 56th floor viewing platform, and includes being able to walk to the very northern most point of the boat shape structure which spans across the 3 hotel towers.  This northern point is apparently 67m further north than it's northern most support structure.  A lot of people seemed to be hanging around waiting for the sunset but we were just up there for a short time then back down and heading to the Gardens by the Bay again.  

This time we set up on the over bridge from the hotel to the Gardens to shoot the moonrise ( nearly full ), sunset ( meh ) and the Garden Rhapsody light display ( also a but underwhelming ).  

After that we headed into the casino to donate some money to the Marina Bay / Government funds ( after passing through what felt like an airport security check, complete with passport check in and out of the casino ).  The local residents are required to pay a $100 entry fee but us tourists get in for free.

Back to the foodcourt in the Shoppes for some dinner at 9pm ( still extremely busy and a struggle to find a seat; do these people not have homes to go to? ) then back to the MRT and back to the Hotel.

We then compared our tired muscles and blisters on our feet ( I won with my soft delicate feet, which had blisters on blisters) and headed for bed.

First full day of our holiday: check

First tropical downpour: check