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My Backpack & Me I've got no real plan, no real direction but I'm hoping for one REAL BIG ADVENTURE

Singapore La

SINGAPORE | Friday, 21 May 2010 | Views [875] | Comments [1]

sentosa beachesThe story so far......


I was lucky enough to score a flight with Singapore Airlines. Highly Recommended. The dreaded "aero plane food" was yum, the service was amazing, I never felt like I was without anything (I even got given a little pouch with socks, toothbrush and toothpaste). Best movie selection. Ever. I totally didn't need to sleep I just sat up watching films on a screen in the back of the seat. I have done my fair share of budget airlines so I was completely blown away by the fact I got to try something a little more first class.


I arrived at the airport and wandered around a bit. I went looking for the amazing rooftop garden at the airport that Tim told me about (but I found a far less impressive one - it didn't have any fountains). I wandered for so long that by the time I went to get my bag it was the only one left at the carousel.

Time to catch a train to my hostel at 10pm at night. Surprisingly easy. Singapore is so well signposted. I have found I get excited at reading map I have never seen before to get my bearings. Train maps are the best. After catching trains back home since my first day in High school it was quite cool to notice the little differences on the trains here in Singapore. From the beeping noise the doors make when they close to the warnings signs, in 4 different languages to represent the 4 main cultures of Singapore.


THE HOSTEL: Hangout @ Mt Emily.


As far as hostels go I think I have been spoilt with my first. It has free Wifi, free breakfast every morning. My bed gets turned down. I'm not sure by who and I am yet to see them to say thank you. All I know is a leave and when I come back my bed is made. And as mum certainly knows it's not me who is doing this! The rooftop garden is amazing but the weather and limited time meant that I only spent about 15mins up there (Big Thanks to Kelly and Adam for recommending this little gem)

Hostel Rooftop the dipping pool on the roof

The adventures so far...

Woke up on Wednesday ready to explore. Went downstairs for my free breakfast and saw a girl sitting on her own. Asked to sit with her and got chatting. She was headed to Sentosa Island and asked if I wanted to come. So I went with Natalie. We bought a package that allowed us to do 3 activities. I chose Mega Zip, Lift and Luge and Flying Trapeze. We basically explored the beaches and wandered around chatting. Ate lunch at a beach bar and went off to try Luge. Luge is luge. Just like the one I did with Aaron in Rotarua, it was fun but nothing to write home about. We trekked around the forest parts and I was convinced I had to see a monkey. Headed up the top of the Mount to try Mega Zip. It was awesome fun and I got a really cool video as I flew down.

 Sentosa beachesMega Zip

The while I waited for Natalie to finish I got talked into (without much difficulty) to try fish reflexology. Yes that's that thing where you dip your feet into a pool of tiny fish and they nibble dead skin off your feet. IT TICKLES. But after I calmed down from the hysteria of thousands of tiny nibbling fish it was 'almost' relaxing. I then got a foot massage. Yesssssssss. (Thanks Tim).

fish reflexology 

Oh and after I got out from that I saw monkeys!


The Flying trapeze was closed due to the weather (overcast, one-and-off rain and possible thunder storms). This was the best thing that happened all day. We went back to the ticket boot hand asked to change the activity. We swapped it to Flow Rider at Wave House. This is a bar by the beach that has simulated surfing. It’s basically a big machine that churns out water up a ramp or barrel to create a man-made wave. The catch was we had to wait till 10pm. It was 6pm. The next few hours were boring. Swam at the beach in water that must have been like 25degrees and ate some pretty nice sushi. When we headed back the guys at the desk told us there was special deal and for only $12 we could upgrade to a full hour ride. We did. But after watching the epic spills and fall you can have on the ride Natalie and I both decided that it would be wise to purchase some board shorts. We were afraid embarrassment would be served up in large portions if we lost our bikinis on the ride with 20 or so people watching. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. (Dan I reckon this is something you and the boys would love!) Finished up at 11.30.

 wave house

Nat and I just managed to make the last train back to the hostel and tucked ourselves up in bed for some well earned rest.

Yesterday I woke up and with Nat leaving to head home I was glad to find that another really nice girl had moved into my room. Michelle and I forgot to introduce ourselves until we were already well into our exploring mission. We started talking and that was it. She was happy to head down to explore the local area, as she had stayed on the other side of the city last time she was here. We walked everywhere. Saw a flea market called the Thieves Market, which I was convinced had both fleas and thieves amongst other random and seemingly used and useless items. I loved people watching though. So many weathered characters. Then we managed to find our way to Arab St where there was an amazing Mosque and some pretty little shops. There was one that reminded me of Lucy and her dad - full of quirky vintage items (including a sea green kelvinator fridge that was still in working condition). There was also a Buddhist Temple and Hindu Temple right next to each other in this one street. Amazingly painted and the brightest colours.

Lotus hindu templeBudda

Pretty stuffed by the stage, I grabbed a bite to eat on the way back at the Eat and Joy cafe/restaurant. Food in Singapore is cheap and I got my first lesson here. $4 got me my bottle of water and a plate with rice, fried vegetables and braised chicken. Yum. Headed back to the hostel to get some rest before my next adventure with the locals.  


Lesley (Shum's Best friend) came to pick me up, and along with her friend Isaac we headed out to see Singapore. We stopped in at a shopping mall I think was called Far East. I could have spent so much money here. But didn't. Good girl (*pats myself on the back). Then we headed to Newtown to a food hall. "If they ask you to sit ignore them" I was warned. With the 40 or so vendors vying for your attention I had to keep my head down and follow Isaac in. Then Lesley and Isaac put on a feast for me and I cannot thank them enough. I ate stingray (which was by far my favourite), Chut Chut (seasnails, called chut chut cos that's the noise you make when you suck them out of the shell), chill squid, beef satay, chicken wings, Oyster omelet, Seafood hokkien noodles, Singapore carrot thinga and think this was it but I can't be sure because I got lost in a world food bliss. We topped it off with flavoured shaved ice thing, of which I have forgotten the name. HUGE FOOD BABY (*rubs tummy).


I then got the funniest guided tour (thanks Isaac) down Orchid road at night; there are so many shopping malls it's insane! I'm glad we were driving. I wasn't getting out to go looking in case I got the urge to go buying. Drove past the Raffles Hotel. We made it down to the waterfront. Saw the Singapore art center that looks like two huge bee eyes, the Singapore Ferris Wheel, the double Helix bridge, The Fulton Hotel (which I think is far more impressive than the Raffles to look at - but apparently it used to be a post office), THE MERLION, and the baby Merlion. At night it was spectacular.  


The next I basically spent chilling out, all morning until I got hungry. I had to venture to get cash out and eat and ended up wandering around again. I found my way to Mustafa (Shum’s favourite place) it’s a 24hr shopping center. Think Myer crossed with Forgers. The size of Myer but full of the same type of stuff that Forgers would stock. BUT MORE.


Another food adventure for dinner with my local Singaporean posse (Lesley, Isaac, Kenni and Javis : Steamboat. Steamboat is basically the buffet of soup. You pay per head for as much as you want and laid out buffet style are all the best ingredients to make Authentic Asian. Seafood, meat, vegetables and all kinds of seasonings and sauces. You plate up your raw ingredient and take them back to your table where a big steaming bowl of plain soup is waiting. There is also a grill so you can cook things up before putting them in the pot. Away you go. Sharing and cooking your own meal right at the table. Master chef eat your heart out! Everyone had to show me what to and how to cook. I was finding it hard to concentrate on cooking when all I wanted was to eat what I had cooked. I also think steamboat is an acquired skill, I would have been much better at it with a bit of practice and some more knowledge of local cuisine! Another food baby (eating so much you look pregnant). But plenty of room to try more desserts. Another type of shaved flavoured ice but this one was tastier. Also something like a dessert soup with grass jelly. It looked like a big black worm and didn't taste like anything!? 

 steamboatgrass jelly

So after dinner there was some debate about what to do next. after going to one bar and waiting around to get a table we changed course. We headed to this strange bar that no one had actually been to but we were following Kenni's boyfriend. A dark room with a stage where young girls and one guy and one guy sometimes dressed like a girl were singing various songs in English and Chinese. The idea was that if you liked the singer or song for $10 you could buy a garnet of flowers for the singer to wear. This was like a tip for the singer. The more popular, the more garnets one got and the more money they made that night. Odd yet strangely entertaining.


I woke up to my final morning in the hostel later and stumbled down to just catch breakfast at 9.30am. By check out I was packed (I’m not going to enjoy packing and unpacking very much I don’t think). So from hostel living i was kindly welcomed into the home of Shumei Lam. Shum's mum Lynn and dad Larry have been kind enough to put me up for my last two nights in Singapore and I cannot thank them enough! (Shumei, I am sleeping in your bed, I may or may not have laughed at your childhood photos, I love your old cat and is there anything from your room you want me to bring to Madrid?).


Clubbing Singapore Style: Attica and the CQ. The Singapore Posse took me out clubbing last night. I got served redbull vodka in a jug and when I ordered a jargerbomb I discovered its common practice to add a shot of vodka to the glass of red bull. Needless to say it was a big night. I stayed at Lesley's house. We order Macca's this morning and it got delivered to her door.

the crew

Lynn and Larry took me out for dinner tonight, which was so lovely of them. Much to your dismay Shumei it wasn’t for Chill Crab but I will try to have chill crab before I go!

Speaking of going I think it’s about time I repacked my bag for the flight to Bali at 4pm tomorrow.

Good night all xo I miss you and I love you




Omg Shanski... I loved your tales of the Far East!! So excited to see you again soon. Laughed out loud so many times! I will scratch your back after your belly is full from eating babies :>

  Shumei LAM May 24, 2010 4:16 AM

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