Singapore slingin’ and supertree groovin’.
We were up this morning for a quick and easy breakfast at the hotel in Kuala Lumpur ready to check out and take a taxi to the airport. It worked out just as cheap as taking the monorail and train and it’s much easier to travel this way sometimes.
Arriving at the airport it was an easy hour long flight to Singapore, I grabbed a quick 45 minute nap and awoke to what seemed like hundreds of ships surrounding the City. We landed and soon made our way through customs where we jumped in a taxi straight to our hotel for the next few days. Another Park Royal, this time on Beach road, so named because before land reclamation the beaches were found here.
We quickly checked in and freshened up, eager to get out and explore the City. It was hot and humid as we walked along beach road towards the famous Marina Bay. As we wandered along checking out the huge skyscrapers around us the heavens opened and it started to pour down with rain.
Taking shelter I took some Singapore dollars out and we hid in a little cafe having coffee and cake to perk us up. The rain soon subsided and we found ourselves a few minutes walk from the famous Raffles hotel. Raffles has existed here since Singapore was just an up and coming colonial outpost and is a Singaporean institution.
Unfortunately the exterior was being renovated, but one of the bars was still open, it was only lunch time but we were on holiday so thought we would treat ourselves to a Singapore Sling.
Supposedly invented at this hotel the Singapore Sling is a fruity gin concoction. I don’t think I’ll ever have a better one… it’s pretty pricey but worth every Singapore dollar. A bonus are the free monkey nuts, you even get to discard the shells onto the floor without even a raise of an eyebrow.
Once we had an early afternoon buzz from the gin the rain had stopped so we pointed ourselves in the direction of Marina Bay. Now this is the place that travel photographers will dream about, with the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, the water lion statues, and the framing of the whole bay by skyscrapers, colonial buildings, and fancy architectural developments.
After enjoying seeing parts of the F1 tracks we diverged from out path to check out the Merlion fountain, the views over the bay from here are mesmerising and as good as I had imagined. It was exciting to think we would be on top of the huge ship-shaped hotel that looks over the bay.
After checking out the interestingly shaped theatre building we carried on along the promenade and across the cool Helix bridge to Marina Bay Sands. This was a little tease of what was to come as we stepped onto one of the walk ways above the reception area.
It was crazy to think we were staying there in a couple of nights! It was so cool, in more ways than one as we enjoyed the aircon. It was starting to get pretty humid outside and we enjoyed the change in temperature.
Emerging out onto the other side of the hotel we were hit with another incredible view, the whole reason we had planned the trip. Gardens by the Bay and the futuristic supertrees.
Everything had lived up to expectations so far and this was no exception. You could see for miles out to see past the tops of the trees and out to the Singapore Flyer across the bay.
The best part of the gardens is that it’s free! So we stopped and grabbed a refreshing drink and sat in the shade before wandering through lush vegetation and into the supertree grove.
The trees are actually living breathing factories, supplying the rest of the gardens with resources including water, electricity and cooling systems. They are around 16 storeys tall and you can take the lift up on to wander through the skywalk, taking in a different view from above and getting up close to the interesting plants found in the trees.
We were actually getting hungry at this point so taking a stroll along the waterfront we headed to Satay by the bay. This is a collection of food stalls where you can grab any number of things.
The food was pretty good and cheap, plus I got to try Cendol, a traditional shaved ice dessert made with mung bean and covered with various chewy sweets. It was so nice and refreshing in the heat, on our way back we did some otter hunting. The otters returned to Singapore in the 90s and have been flourishing ever since! Sadly we didn’t see any this time.
We headed to the two huge greenhouses that inhabit the gardens, these you do have to pay for and it’s around £15 for both of them. One is the cloud forest with a huge waterfall and plants all based around a central column you can climb up through and around. The second is the flower dome, full of different blooms all shapes and sizes.
We enjoyed this little guy, guarding all the pumpkins for autumn. They were nice to walk around and the amount of flowers and plant life was amazing.
I definitely enjoyed the cloud forest more, it was great seeing out over the supertree grove which was starting to light up ready for the evening show. Although I did enjoy the harvest showpiece in the flowerdome.
Every night there’s a show at the supertree grove, where the trees are lit up to different songs and music. It was an incredible moment and I loved every minute of it, once it was over we were pretty tired so headed back to the hotel for a night time swim in the pool and planning our second day in this amazing City.