January 19, 2019
Friday 18th Jan
Another great day on our travels. Singapore is terrific. Very modern State in what is a very small island. The people are very friendly and mixed racially but essentially of Chinese origin. Economy is based mainly on shipping supported by finance and banking (according to one of our taxi drivers!)
The rain (yes rain..) stopped play till lunchtime today so we took the opportunity to chill and WE did some washing in our suite whilst we had the chance.
Straight out when the rain stopped and walked around Marina Bay which is very close to our hotel. Incidentally our hotel, the Ascott Raffles was the tallest in South Asia in the 60s and it was on the sea front. Now it is tiny as you may see in our photos. The small brownstone building surrounded by glass modern business towers. Land reclamation has been huge here since the 60s so the hotel is now a couple of miles from the sea!.
There is an infinity pool on the 19th floor. Weird.
So, we walked (with a much better looking limp) to the big Marina Bay Sands. That is the tall block of three (hotel) buildings with a huge bent ship on top. Wow. Very impressive. They certainly know about architecture here.
Then around the Garden At The Bay which is ….. a big garden… at the bay. Nice enough. Saw a couple of guys I worked with 30 years ago in Weston super Mare! (When I was six…)
One highlight was standing on the Formula 1 track along the Marina. YES…
However the main highlight of the day by far was the evening dining. 5 minutes walk from our hotel is Lao Pa Sat hawkers market which came recommended by my friend Mr Google. Outside it is a large cricket pavilion in appearance surrounded by the usual glass buildings in the business sector. Step inside and it becomes Other Wordly. The sights, sounds, smells and feel of the place was a bit of a shocker. We walked straight through and out the back doors to be met with more noise, more bustle, more smoke plus ‘hawkers’ forcing menus into our faces and directing you onto a nearby table. Every direction there are street stalls selling all varieties of Asian food. Indian, Chinese Vietnamese, Whatarethese. Crazy attacks on the senses which cry out ‘run’.
However we boldly back off, walk around the building and re-enter, slow..ly. We stood a short while evaluating. Where can you sit,? where do we get our food?, who do we pay?
After ten minutes our fear turned to intrigue and within 20 minutes we were LOVING being part of it. We found a table, grabbed a jug of beer from nearby (paid at the stall) and waited. Different Hawkers visited our table several times before we liked the look of a Satay supplier and ordered a ‘set’ of ten chicken skewers and ten shrimp (king prawn) skewers with a satay dip and Longtong rice to share. S$18 (£10).
Honestly within half an hour we were asked twice by other fellows how it worked. It was such a buzz and tasted brill. Surprisingly it is also very filling. Don’t feel hungry at all for most of our travel periods here in Asia.
The walk back to the hotel was somewhat longer than 5 minutes as we relied on Glenn’s inbuilt GPS….. I mean, what’s an extra 10 minutes..lol..!
A little G&T nightcap at the hotel to celebrate our last night in Asia. For now.
Writing this final bit on the Scoot Dreamliner ready to meet up with Kel, Cris, Alana and Scarlett in Perth for ten days of well deserved holiday..! Two backpacks and two suitcases on wheels back in action. Blakey’s travel to the next continent.
Did you know… Singapore gained independence from the British Government in 1965. Not sure us Brits messed the country up as the locals seem to respect what we did and who we are.
Would be nice to base the new Brexit UK with Singapore mentality.