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Singapore 2

Day 2 in Singapore - Big Bus, Botanic Gardens

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Day two in Singapore we decided to get tickets for a hop-on hop off bus - called the Big Bus. The open top buses have various routes around the city (with commentary) starting at Suntec Hub, and they stop at all the major attractions. We managed three different routes - one of which was to/from the Botanic Gardens. The humidity is extreme but we walked around the gardens and went into the Orchid House - which is spectacular.

Singapore has so many gardens. Most of the streets are lined with gardens, and there's even ivy growing on the concrete bridge pylons. It really makes the city so much nicer. And the city is very clean and tidy. Real estate is extremely expensive with apartments costing millions. The public housing system is cheaper with condo's from 300k (for 1 bedroom apartments), but the waiting list is extremely long.

The bus took us around the old parts of Singapore too - not quite as clean as the main city area, but very interesting. There are different areas for different cultures, eg little India, Malay, Chinatown... Most of the cars are fairly new (ie less than 10 years old), and there are a lot of luxury cars driving around. Apparently a permit is needed if you want to own a car and permits are restricted in numbers (so are very expensive) to limit the number of cars on the road. There is a huge import fee (>100%) to discourage cars coming in and the government has put a lot of money and effort into the public transport system to minimise the need to drive. There are a lot of bus lines and the train system (MRT) is excellent.

Posted by snikpohks 07:36 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Singapore 1

Getting to Singapore and exploring day 1

View 2019 UK Trip on snikpohks's travel map.

The flight to Singapore from Brisbane is about eight and a half hours. As we had to be at the airport at about 9:30am we decided to stay in Brisbane overnight. The Airport Clayfield Hotel offers long term car parking for $5 per day so we stayed overnight and caught the shuttle to the airport on Monday morning.

The flight boarded and left on time, and actually arrived 10 minutes early. I've heard of the term "cattle class", and now I've experienced it. I'm sure there's less room on international flights than there is on domestic flights. Very claustrophobic - but I handled it ok, and so did Kevin.

Arriving at Singapore we followed the crowd and lined up to go through security, which all went smoothly. After collecting our bags we headed to the shuttle buses, but couldn't get one to our hotel so opted for a taxi instead (door to door). The first thing we noticed going outdoors was the heat and humidity - it was after 7pm but hot enough to start sweating as soon as we left the air conditioning.

Check-in at the Ascott Raffles Place was quick and easy. The room is perfect for our stay, fully equipped with everything we need. We even had a complimentary platter of fruit and bottles of cold water. After checking out the room we dumped our bags and went in search of food. We quickly found a food court (which turned out to be in Chinatown) but there was little that Kevin felt up to attempting, so we ended up going back to the hotel restaurant. It's been a long day - we'll be more adventurous tomorrow....
The next morning we explored more of our surrounds, found breakfast, then tackled the MRT (rail system) to go to Gardens by the Bay. There are two big domes with climate controlled environments - the temperature is 23-25 degrees (much nicer than the hot/humid temperate outside). The first is the dome of flowers, then the dome of clouds. We must have walked for miles around those dome, but it is very worthwhile - such beautiful gardens. In the dome of flowers there are different types of gardens at varying levels, with the warm climate plants near the top of the dome and the cooler climate plants near the bottom. The Dome of clouds is like a mountain of forest with a waterfall providing mist and moisture. The cloud walk and treetop walk provide a spectacular show of orchids, pitcher plants, ferns and other moist tropical plants.
Artwork scattered throughout the gardens were also tastefully done - we were especially impressed with the driftwood sculptures (see some of the pics).
Some other observations from day 1: It's always extremely humid, always; there are miles of walkways (links) underground (which are air conditioned); the trains are driverless, plentiful and clean; Visa is not always accepted, but we found an ATM and the cash (which is Singapore Dollars) is clearly marked and easy to use; everything is expensive.


Posted by snikpohks 03:18 Archived in Singapore Tagged gardens singapore hotel the airport by bay brisbane mrt clayfield Comments (0)

What and Why?

Old Stuff here we come

Kevin and I have seen more of Australia than most, but this time we will venture to another world... or at least another country or three.

I've always wanted to go to the UK to see "old stuff". I don't have a specific area that I want to see, although Southern England is where my ancestry is. Thoughts of England always seem to conjure images of Bath and Stonehenge, and lots of castles and thatched cottages... Scotland; the highlands (and scenes from Braveheart); and Ireland the Irish countryside and pubs (and Irish dancers).

I don't do "cold" very well so the timing is important - late Spring and early Summer should be reasonably bearable, if I take my winter gear.

The flight from Australia to England is very long so we decided to have a few days stopover on the way there and back. Someone suggested that jetlag is better (felt less) if you continue to travel West-wards... so our "Around the World" route was determined and flights booked:

Brisbane > Singapore (4 days) > Heathrow (UK Roadtrip - 8 weeks) > Vancouver BC (1 week) > Brisbane

So we head off on Sunday 12 May (yes I know it's Mothers Day) and return 25 July. A long time to be away, yes, but we have a lot to see in that time :).

This blog is to journal our adventures - feel free to follow along...

PS: This is my first time using Travellerspoint to blog - please let me know what you think as we journey around the world.


Last blog: https://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/snikpohKS/Trips/30439

Posted by snikpohks 22:01 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation why Comments (0)

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