Singapore – Part 2

…this is the 2nd part of a post that started here, about our last 2 of 4 days in Singapore.

You probably got from the first post that we did a lot of shopping and eating in Singapore, which basically continued for the second half of our short trip there!

On our third day, we decided to spend some time outdoors, and headed to the Southern Ridges, which is part of the National Park system, and has history steeped in the World War II. It was easy enough to get here on public transit and we did a series of very cool walks. First off, we arrived at the Alexandra Arch which is a pedestrian bridge that lights up at night. We also walked through Hort Park which is a small botanical park and experimental growing centre (they had all kinds of greenhouses here to experiment with growing conditions for different native plants). It was nice and quiet on the Thursday that we were there. Next we headed to the Canopy Walk in a part called Kent Ridge, where the British had a fortress in World War II, and where some of the first British settlers in Singapore lived. This was a short walk on a very highly elevated boardwalk (not sure, but it was probably at least 10 metres high) so that you were literally walking in the tree tops, with an amazing view, and with lots of information on the types of vegetation surrounding the walk. There were lots of monkey warnings, but we didn’t manage to spot any, just a few little lizards on the path up here.

We had to back track through Hort Park again, across the Alexandra Arch, and on to the next section of the walk that was called the Forest Walk. Again this was an elevated walk, and not for those faint of heights. You could see through the metal grating of the walkway, and at some points, it was a LONG way down – at least 10 metres in most places, while at some points, even further. It was really incredible to be up that high in the trees, with a hillside on our left (for a good part of the walk), and the coast line of Singapore off in the distance to our right. It was amazing to see how big and tall some of the trees were there – really stunning actually, and the forest below was so lush! We made our way next down to a lovely curved bridge called Henderson Wave. If you’ve been to the Toronto waterfront, it’s like the wooden wavedecks along the sidewalks, except the Henderson Wave is those wavedecks on steroids. It’s pretty wide and crosses a major roadway, and again, is stupidly high. In fact, I think I spent most of the time on our walks firmly planted in the *middle* of the walkways, trying only to look straight ahead! After the Henderson Wave, it started to rain, and it pretty much rained (read: poured insanely) for the remainder of the afternoon, so luckily we were nearly finished our walk, and made our way to the Mount Faber Cablecar. We took this car to a part of Singapore called Sentosa. Sentosa was a bizarre cross between Las Vegas and Orlando. Seriously – very man made and felt very American. It’s basically a big vacation and resort area that has some theme parks as well as man-made beaches. Since it was pouring like mad, we headed straight for the good stuff: the Malaysian Street food fair. We were not disappointed – although it was a little pricier than the Maxwell food centre, we managed to grab ourselves some chicken satay, roti, a rose-flavoured (“Bandung”) drink, and some wonton soup. And that was basically our outdoor day in Singapore. We were contemplating the zoo or the night zoo, but we were pooped, and ditto for our last night there.

Our last day in Singapore was devoted to a bit more shopping and just tootling around the city. My Lonely Planet guide told us of a hip little street on the edge of Little India that was full of restaurants and up and coming shops for local designers. It wasn’t too far from our Y homebase, so we walked there and checked things out. This was another one of those streets that didn’t feel like the super urban Singapore of Orchard Road, but it was just our speed. A narrow street lined by 2-3 storey buildings with all restaurants, coffee shops, and clothing and other shops. We ate here at a small cafe that my guidebook recommended and I tried some Turkish coffee here, which d2 laughs at since I went to Singapore for Turkish coffee. It was delicious with a couple of candied dates on the side. Yum. We spent the afternoon scoping things out and just enjoying how far away from everything this area felt. For our last night in Singapore, we decided we needed some Indonesian food, so after searching online quickly, we headed to the Lucky Mall on Orchard Road and had one final spread of gado gado, chicken satay, a tasty longan drink that was unappetizingly coloured like blue antifreeze, but I quickly got passed that after a sip!, some rice, and some shrimp chips. A lovely farewell dinner in Singapore.

Getting home: The last day of our vacation (yes, an entire 24 hours, plus change), was getting home. We routed from Singapore (on Singapore Air) to Seoul, had a short layover, then on Air Canada to Vancouver for another short layover (with a refreshing shower!), and then on to Toronto. d2 hunkered down for a good sleep on the Seoul to Vancouver portion, while I was not so lucky….Anyway, it was all good – this was an amazing vacation, and now … it’s time to plan the next one!!

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