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Colonial, Metropolitan and a Quay named after me!

SINGAPORE | Monday, 19 November 2007 | Views [1451] | Comments [1]

Raffles Marina is a haven compared to Bali with little to no dirt, a huge swimming pool and yacht club complex. It recently won the Christoffle best marina in Asia award and it rightfully deserves it.

On our first day here I wandered the marina late afternoon hoping to meet some fellow sailors and was invited on board a big motor boat for a beer. Happy to chat to some native English speakers for a change I stayed for a few wines and over the course of the night met a group of sailors who were all heading towards Thailand for the Kings Cup in early December. The night seemed to disappear and after heading up to the bar to continue the drinking a late night swim in the pool was suggested much to my glee. Raffles Marina not only has a big pool it also seems to have no rules against late night swimming! Yippee!

The next morning I struggled awake and managed to keep the kids occupied for the day with the assistance of the pool and the bowling alley (who would have thought to put a bowling alley in a marina?) The boys from Quantum were heading off the next morning for a Malaysian regatta and hosted a farewell party on board that evening. Drink after drink after drink after drink after... and I forget the rest. I do remember on board shenanigans, a skipper getting dressed in a dress and drinking Glenfiddich on ice (oh god why!) and the next thing I know I was feeling very sore and sorry for myself waking up the next morning and swearing never to drink again (as always.)

The next few days were spent in relative quiet hanging around the pool in the marina watching the kids and catching up on emails. On Saturday morning I had the opportunity to head into Singapore for the day so I decided to make the most of it and boarded the shuttle into the nearest MRT (mass rapid transit) station in the morning.

I caught the efficient and fast MRT station to City Hall and wandered around Suntec City. Suntec City is home to the huge fountain of wealth, a feng shui fountain in the centre of five shopping and business towers. I then walked over to see Raffles Hotel out of colonial interest although the building is of no particular importance to modern day Singapore. It was back on the MRT to Little India for some lunch, prior to which I wandered down arcades packed with Pashmina and Market stalls before settling down in the Tekka Mall Hawkers centre for some excellent Roti Pradha with curry sauce. Pashmina’s purchased it was back on the train to Singapore’s famous Orchard Road, home to some of the largest shopping centres in the world. As I only have a small backpack and no real income I was limited to browsing but the shopping centres were attempting to out impress customers with amazing Christmas decorations so I spent an interesting afternoon walking amongst the malls.

Browsed out I headed down to Clarke Quay (coolest district in Singapore... no seriously!) on Singapore’s waterfront for a drink. Relaxing by the riverside I observed bumboat after bumboat heading out with snap happy tourists for a ‘traditional’ ride. Looking at my watch I realised it was nearly dinnertime so I jumped back on the MRT bound for Chinatown. The Saturday evening night market in Chinatown is beautiful with hundreds of red lanterns lit up between the picturesque terrace houses. I did some more shopping for presents for the kids and was ultimately coerced into a body massage by the fourth tout. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the professional establishment and massage I received and it certainly soothed some aching muscles after a long day sight seeing.

‘Eat’ Street Chinatown was next on my destination list and I wandered the street stalls searching for something to soothe my rumbling tummy and settled down to a big plate of fried noodles and a Paipoa (traditional spring roll with ginger and teriyaki sauce.) Appetite sated I waddled off back to the station to catch the MRT back to the other side of the island and ‘home.’

The next day being a Sunday we decided to stick with the ‘rest day’ tradition. We had planned prior to coming to Singapore to visit the Singapore Zoo with the kids as it is meant to be one of the main attractions in Asia. The Zoo is spread over several hectares of tropical forest on the nearby Selatar reserve. It is unique as many of the animals are allowed to wander free range around the zoo including the orang-utans which spring from tree to tree above your head. It was an interesting day with all the usual zoo animals and some additional treasures like tree kangaroos, huge snakes and a polar bear.

Having accomplished most of the items on my ‘things to do’ list in Singapore I will spend our last few days here enjoying the marina and assisting Steffie with some final cleaning and provisioning.

Singapore is a city of over 4 million people and is a distribution, service and logistic headquarters for many major companies however it is still a distinctly Asian city with all of the character and appeal that comes with such a classification, although none of the dirt!     

Tags: Party time

Comments

1

Hi Anna,

I have been catching up with your adventures, what a life. Nade and I had a fantastic, even if way too short, trip to Europe. Bangkok and Singapore on the way back. Bangkok is like Bali, except dirtier, no beaches and the hawkers will not stop, like a pack of hounds. As you have found Singapore was a paradise compared to Bangkok. Don't forget to put having a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel on your to do list while you are there. I have replied to a couple of emails from Alfred and Steffie, not sure if they received them. We are all fit and well and lookng forward to heading home to Oz for Christmas. Geoff Smart is going finish and a few of us are sailing his Bavaria, Windsong, down to Cairns on the 15th, Nadine and the boys are flying down on the 15th. Looking forward to your next update and hope this finds all on SY Verena fit and well.


Cheers, your POM pals

The Humphries family.

  Jason Humphries Nov 27, 2007 6:02 PM

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