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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

Welcoming in the Year of the Monkey with Cheese and Chocolates

SINGAPORE | Thursday, 21 January 2016 | Views [553]

Yesterday was my last day in Singapore, and a busy one.


(1)  First I got back on the hop-on hop-off bus, and saw some different areas I haven't yet been to. I saw the Malay area-where Malay live, and also Orchard Road, a road where the wealthy shop, with lots and lots of shopping malls. I also passed the Botanical Garden, and I was planning on getting off, but I didn't step off on time. Once again, the bus passed the Raffles Hotel, and told various factoids about life in Singapore.


(2) At 2:30 pm-I went on a walking tour  of Chinatown which was very interesting. All of Chinatown was preparing for the Chinese New Year, and the town was full of decoration, mainly in the color red, which is the color of auspiciousness.  I (The population of Singapore is 75% Chinese). I learned we are entering the year of the monkey (monkeys we're everywhere-fake ones),  and I was born in the year of the dog. I learned about some traditions, such as at death things you would like the dead to have in heaven are placed at the grave, and then burnt (the things are actually just models in paper)-these include clothes, airline tickets, cars, even paper-I-phones, Apple Watches, etc.  I saw a Buddhist temple. Bernard, the tour guide, even told us how his family lived in Chinatown growing up- 6 people growing up in what was basically a cubicle, and then moving into a subsidized apartment.  He described the challenges growing up in Singapore. I ate a typical Chinese food-fried carrot cake (which contains no carrots).  The word for carrot is the same as for radishes, and that is what the cake is made of. I thought it was quite good.


(3) After that, I took the metro and then the monorail to Sentosa Island (a friend recommended  I check it out). It is a separate Disney-like island with a casino, Universal studios and other attractions like a skyride. There was even a beach. The place was beautiful and clean. The only error was that the otherwise beautiful beach fronted the port of Singapore with oil tanks in the distance.  Not terribly interesting.


(4) The big deal of the day-the grand finale of sorts-was dinner (sort of) at the Sands at Marina Bay, a gigantic hotel with three large towers (once again-sort of Disney-like). Staying at this hotel is usually $400 per night (vs $15 at the hostel)-but I decided to try their "cheese and chocolate buffet." on the 55th floor, overlooking the Skyline.   Approximately $40 gave you access to about 15 different expensive cheeses of different grades, tastes, etc, and also , crackers, grapes, jams,  and then chocolates of all types, from banana chocolate cake, white chocolate to M&M's and Milky Ways. With a drink (a Singapore Sling, of course) the bill came to $70.00 (including tax and gratuity).  A good deal-No- I wouldn't say that-but most of my meals here have been at kiosks, and as my final day in town (and travelling) I decided to splurge a little. The service sort of bothered me, to be honest. After staying in hostels I just don't like being called sir.


(5)  I then took on final walk around before going back to the hostel to pack-It was almost midnight when I returned.

Tags: singapore

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