In the evening the airport terminal was not crowded at all. Freed of the suitcase I walked up and down the terminal before proceeding to the security checkpoint. Again I was lucky to snatch one of the few seats on the upper deck on the A380. In the exit-row I had plenty of legroom but had to stow away my luggage for take-off and landing. The 12-hour flight went by rather quick, possibly because I was so excited about what lied ahead. Or maybe I just slept most of the time on the night flight.

The next morning we were welcomed with the typical sunny and humid weather of this region. It took about one hour to the city center using the MRT (subway). Although it Is considerably hot and humid outside, inside of buildings and trains one can expect to feel chilled.

My hotel was located right next to Bencoolen station and after dropping off my belongings, I headed out again to explore the Gardens by the Bay built on top of reclaimed land. The garden is enormous and full of lush greenery. The sculpture-turned gigantic trees are the trademark of the park and offer a light-show in the evening. At the same time, there were some Chinese performances and events taking place because of the Mid-Autumn Festival, including an opera performance.


Tracing the shore line I continued towards the Central Business District (CBD). On the way I passed many more sights, such as the enormous botanic garden Cloud Forest, the Ferris wheel and the Helix Bridge.


In a few days the F1 race will take place and in preparation for the event many streets were closed and repurposed as race tracks.

   

Eventually I reached the Merlion sculpture, the local mascot of sorts and enjoyed a great view over the bay and the Marina Bay Sands complex.


It was getting late and still looking for dinner I continued until I reached Clarke Quai where countless restaurants cater to all cuisines I could think of. Following a recommendation, I sat down at Jumbo and ordered some delicious freshly prepared seafood. The selection was large, so I tried my luck with jellyfish as starter and a whole snapper steamed in soy sauce thereafter. The amount and freshness of the seafood blew me away.

Satisfied and exhausted I took the MRT home and tried to catch some much-needed sleep.

 


The next day started with a typical breakfast consisting of kaya toast and a runny egg with coffee, which is offered as a set around every corner.

Walking North, I reached Little India and started my excursion with the Tekka Center, a food market selling fresh produce. Watching the people prepare the fish and meats behind the corner was mesmerizing. Meanwhile, upstairs one could find several shops selling Indian dresses.


A few minutes further lies the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a Hindu temple that is active. Without shoes I could take a glimpse inside into the premises. There were so many things going on I did not quite understand but that made it only more interesting to watch.

The next quarter I visited was Chinatown which also has its dedicated MRT station that brings you directly in the center of the district. Street stalls roam the streets selling cheap souvenirs and snacks and there was even a street entirely dedicated to food. Here I also spotted the strange fruit Durian, which is arguably the weirdest fruit I got to know so far. It possesses a strong unpleasant smell, for that reason it is banned in the MRT and many public spaces. So far I did not incline to trying it.

In the Chinatown Complex you can find an endless amount of delicious Chinese food stalls that are as delicious as they are cheap. The same is valid for the Maxwell Food Centre a street further down.

For lunch I had to make a hard choice of that to try out. Following the queue, I sampled roast duck with rice and finished with a also delicious red bean-rice soup for less than five bucks.


The nearby four-story Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was quite impressive but against its looks it was only recently built.

From a distance I saw an impressing housing complex consisting of seven towers that turned out to be the Duxton buildings. It is possible to ascend to a sightseeing floor, but this requires a EZ-link card (like Octopus, Oyster or Suica). You have to pay on the ground floor in the G tower, plenty of maps of the area help to orient yourself.

The elevator slowly rose to the 50th floor from where I could enjoy a breathtaking 360° view. The best thing was that you can walk across all seven towers in both directions. The view reached from Chinatown to the harbor and Sentosa island, but the skyscrapers of the CBD blocked the view on Marina Bay. This place is underrated and hardly any tourists find their way here, so I highly recommend coming here.


Back on the ground I visited the City Gallery that housed an incredible detailed and live-like model of the city center.


I walked up to the downtown district, came across extravagant hotels and upmarket malls selling moon cakes to make it back to the bay. The rest of the evening I spent inside the Marina Bay Sands complex that is a shopping paradise with three stories over a kilometer in length. It belongs to the insane three-tower hotel you could see above.


In the food court I had a hard choice given over 20 front-cooking restaurants offering all kinds of Asian cuisines. In the end I went with Jawa food with a roasted chicken leg and yellow rice.

At 8 pm the crowds assembled in front of the building to watch a water and light show on the bay. The clever use of projection technology on the choreographed water fountains made for an entertaining show.

The next morning I had to rise early since it was already time to leave Singapore. The next stop is Hong Kong, four hours away by plane.

The MRT was empty, maybe because the line was outbound, and trains run every 2 minutes. At the airport, the automatic and efficient check-in and baggage drop-off saved me a lot of time. Even the emigration was automated.

Sitting in the plane writing this article while overlooking the Pacific Ocean makes me wonder what will happen next. A taifun is predicted to reach Hong Kong in 2 days, so I will watch the development and its impact on my journey.

Asia 2018 Trip – Singapore – Part 1
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