SINGAPORE, Little India,
18-21 April 2013
Bugis, Little India, Nightime at Harbourfront and sadly leaving for UK
Singapore 18-21 Apr 2013, Bugis Centre, Little India, Night meal at Harbourfront or side, Keppel Island, Leaving 4 UK ,covering amongst others 57 selective slideshow images, ironman movie plugs, indoor craft markets, sir stamford raffles, governor, history boards, Singapore MRT, Harbourfront, Little India & Farrer Park MRT stations, Mustafa's which we have been to often, maybe not this time though, strange fruits, exotic vegetables, best samosa in the world, lotus flowers, nelumbo nucifera to give Indian Lotus flower it proper name, fascinating back streets, liitle india arcade in serangoon road, Arab Street, love Singapore it is so multi-cultural, traditional shop houses, looking across at Sentosa, Singapore at night time, shabu shabu restaurant, wagyu beef, hot pot, durian, king fruit, jack fruit, late evening volta, chinese bakery in Geylang (yummy), sadly having to leave family to return to UK
Thursday April 18th 2013
Summary, Geylang, Bugis Shopping Centre, Little India, Arab Street area, Singapore
Visited Bugis shopping mall and bought 2 towels as a gift for D&P, from a large department store. Bugis Centre is one of the biggest shopping malls in Singapore and take our word for it there are a lot of them. It is on so many levels and you could easily get lost.
We had lunch at Nando’s in the Bugis Centre which was very nice, and in Keef’s case very spicy. Then we went to Little India on the MRT alighting at the Little India station stop. If we are going to Mustafa’s department store, we would get off at the Farrer Park stop, we would highly recommend it for just about everything at a reasonable price, it’s always busy and Keef buys their Samosa’s.
It was very hot and humid again. We saw lots of fruit stalls with exotic fruits and other good and even saw a lot of lotus flowers. Anne bought some fabric and then we walked through the famous Little India Arcade. It was originally a market with stalls but has now been translated into a culturally exquisite arcade with all things Indian. It still retains a few old stalls but is now hugely touristy. We loved it. Keef bought what are probably the best Samosa in the world from here, even better than those at Nadi airport Fiji in 2007 and / or Mustafa’s department store on most of our trips to Singapore to visit family there.
By now it was late in the afternoon, so we returned to the MRT station and then back to Aljunied and the flat. Phoenix returned from work, and we got back on the MRT to meet Doug at a restaurant near Arab Street, where there were lots of shop houses and many restaurants. Singapore is amazingly multi-cultural, Singaporeans, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Malay, Arab, Bugis even the odd European, ha-ha.
A little history here about Shophouses In Singapore, the shophouse is one of the most popular forms of local Singaporean architecture. It is symbolic of the heritage of Singapore, and as a result they are more commonly found in the more historic cities throughout Southeast Asia, Shophouses have a few features that make them distinctive from other buildings you may find in south-eastern Asia. They have a narrow face to look at, but they have a greater depth.
Shophouses are a part of Singapore’s colonial history, stretching all the back to the 18th century. As Singapore started to grow in the 1960s, many Shophouses were flattened for new developments. Understanding the importance of conserving some it’s heritage, the 1970s and the start of the 1980s saw a change in policy. State owned shophouses along Murray Street and Tudor Court were renovated and restored to their original state which brought with it a change in perception as to the value of these pre-war buildings.
The 1980s brought with it a renewed interest in preservation and conservation. A good example is the pedestrianisation of Emerald Hill Road in 1981. In 1986 the URA unveiled their Conservation Master Plan to renovate and restore Singapore’s historical areas. Starting with 9 Neil Road in 1987, it was a catalyst for increased restoration of Shophouses throughout the Tanjong Pagar precinct and other areas too.
Heading towards the late 1980s, over 3200 building were earmarked for conservation in 10 historical districts across Singapore. Those districts were: Chinatown (Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh), Little India, Kampong Glam, Singapore River (Boat Quay and Clarke Quay), Cairn hill and Emerald Hill.
To date, conservation status has been given to over 7000 buildings in more than 100 areas. We love them.
We had a lovely evening meal with D&P in Arab street and then walked through this splendid heritage area, we saw a beautiful mosque and old colonial buildings. When we returned to the MRT it was packed with people and it was 10.30 p.m. that’s the difference it’s so much cooler in the late evening and people like to relax, eat, chat and volta.
Friday April 19th 2013
Summary, Geylang, Singapore
Did more laundry, it rained in the morning, so we decided not to go swimming. Instead after visiting the local Chinese bakery to buy something for lunch, they do great breads and cakes, we took our e-books to the local library which was almost next door to the flat. The library is fully air conditioned and has very comfortable leather seats, plants, quiet rooms for private reading plus areas for magazines and newspapers. The Straits Times is a favourite. This is a much nicer library than our one at home, just so much more modern and funded. Lots of elderly Chinese people were asleep in there, bless! We saw a man trying to rob one of the people who was asleep until Keef gave him a long look, he stopped and left promptly. Appalling.
Doug & Phoenix were out for the evening so Keef cooked us noodles with black peppered chicken, lovely.
Saturday April 20th 2013
Summary, Geylang, Harbourfront, Singapore
Phoenix must work on a Saturday morning 9-1 a.m. She works in a Chinese factory as their Finance Director. So we went swimming with Doug to his local Olympic sized pool. Doug did 30 lengths, and we did a few widths in the middle-sized pool, it’s just so refreshing to be in the cool water. Doug then left to meet and go shopping with Phoenix. We stayed at the pool to read our e-books. Then we all met up at 3 p.m. and walked to Geylang East main shopping road to taste some Durian fruit from a local stall. Keef liked it but Anne reserved judgement, thought it smelt like spring onions., looked the colour of mango but was quite custardy in texture. It does have a rather pungent smell and it is banned from the MRT in Singapore because of that smell and I remember back in the De Baron Hotel in Kuah Town on Langkawi in Malaysia there were signs on all the lifts saying it was banned for carrying inside. D&P like the fruit, it is extremely popular in Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand, and most other southeast Asian countries. In all these the smell is so strong it is banned from planes, trains, taxis, and lifts.
We then got the MRT to Harbourfront station where D&P had booked a table at a Japanese restaurant. It was a shabu shabu restaurant where there was a hot plate on each table and a container with a meat and veg stock and you cooked your own thinly sliced beef (wagyu), chicken and vegetables. Wagyu beef was thinly cut a bit like Parma ham and is just so tender. It was a very nice meal that D&P treated us to. We then went for a walk along the harbour side and saw the cruise terminal and all the pretty lights across the bay to Sentosa Island. The palm trees were all lit up with fairly lights. We really liked Harbourfront as an area, shopping mall and views of the harbour. We also caught glimpses of Keppel Island.
Sunday April 21st 2013
Summary, Geylang, Singapore plus sadly leaving family for UK at the end of an Epic HOLIDAY2013.
Doug and Phoenix went to a large supermarket to do some food shopping and we stayed in the flat. Keef was ill with an upset stomach, maybe the Durian, who knows. Not so good as we were flying back to the UK in the evening. They bought back a Subways roll for Anne, but Keef did not eat anything. Phoenix made some crocodile soup. Watched some TV as we had done our packing earlier in the morning.
We set off in the taxi to the airport, Changi with D&P. By now it was dark. We all got there about 8.30 p.m. We claimed tax back on some receipts that Phoenix had worth $16. We said our fond but slightly sad farewells with lots of hugs and kisses all round. We sadly won’t be seeing them again except for Skype until next February when they come over for Craig’s wedding. Our flight was at 10.50 p.m. i.e. a night flight with a faint hope of sleep, Not, it never works for both of us. The flight was delayed 20 minutes due to an alleged fault in the air conditioning unit (AC) at the back of the plane where we were sitting. It was not working; it became uncomfortably hot. Our conspiracy theory is they shut off the AC to conserve fuel and therefore save dosh whilst waiting to taxi. In hot climates that is very bad news. This was British Airways, not a nice journey, food, and cabin crew rubbish, we vowed to not fly with them again.
It was a 13 ½ hour flight back to Heathrow where we arrived at 4.50 a.m. Tired but glad to be back after a truly memorable holiday, away for 3 months, January 22nd to April 23rd, we went on to see Mum for a couple of days in Ewell before returning the hire car to the East Midlands Airport. Nice to see the spring blossom and lambs again.