Singapore | Temples, Markets and Trees

Having boarded the plane in Bali after one last bout of haggling over the price of a taxi we were headed to Singapore, the metropolis famed for making chewing gum illegal. We only gave ourselves one full day in Singapore and based ourselves close to Little India, a district full of hostels and backpackers. 

Our day in started in the Hindu temples of Little India which are some of the most vibrant places we’ve ever seen. Not far from the temple was some street art with colours to match the temple. Little India also hosted a shopping centre like nothing we’d ever seen before, think Poundland crossed with Debenhams, the biggest knock off superstore ever. To enter our bags had to be zip-tied shut, which was good for us as it meant we couldn’t actually buy anything if we’d have wanted to and the Bollywood Vinyl’s were very tempting. 

Just a few stops on the MRT from Little India was Singapore’s China Town. It was here we spent a large portion of our day exploring the markets. They were selling everything from clothing and technology through to live frogs and chickens for the food trade. After the relatively western feel of Bali, this felt like our first real foray into South East Asia. We then proceeded to the Buddha Tooth Temple. This Buddhist temple is home to the Buddha tooth relic as well as a museum on the history of Buddhism and the world largest prayer wheel. It was a touching sight to see how many Buddhists make the journey over to see physical proof of their God as well as the education we received whilst we were there. Our final thing to do in China Town was to get some food from the Chinese market food street. This was where we stumbled across Chinese Duck burgers, the most filling food in the world. Both of us ordered 3 each as the waiter claimed they were tiny and by the end of the last one, we didn’t think we would ever be able to move again! 

Eventually, after we lifted ourselves out of our seats we started our walk to Marina Bay. Enjoying the colourful Clarke Quay before starting our walk along the river bank to Merlion Park. Typically, and in a theme that seems to be following us through Asia, the rains came. Thankfully a lot of the walk was covered and by the time we arrived at Merlion Park the rains had stopped and we could continue to the best food market we know of. Housed in an old Victorian clock building where the bell still chimes every 15 minutes is the selection of food; ranging from Indian and Thai cuisine to more niche selections including an entire stall devoted to pigs organ soup. We were still too full to sample this so had a drink before walking to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Here we spent an hour browsing shops and waiting for the sun to set so we could see the light show put on at the Super Trees. These towering metal trees are engulfed in climbing plants and LED lights, which when coupled with Christmas music and a light show make for a unique experience. It seems even the other side of the world we can’t escape Buble’s annual appearances.

With the day rapidly coming to a close, we headed back into the shopping mall to the food court. Here we could order anything from Dim Sum and noodles to chickens feet and tempura organs. We settled on an Indian tasting dish that Sam had had the last time he was in Singapore. On our way home we watched the dancing fountains that were on Marina Bay next to Louis Vuitton Island. The show, although impressive, was nothing on the views of Singapore; skyscrapers lighting the sky, the river full of traditional Bumboats and over to the right, seating from the Youth Olympic games with the rings still marked on them. Finally, exhausted, we made it back to our hostel knowing that the following day was a 5 hour (which became a 10 hour) bus journey to Kuala Lumpur and the start of our time in Malaysia.

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