Five days isn’t much time to see an entire country, but the task is a lot easier when the country is smaller than Metro Atlanta. When Ed found out that he was returning to Singapore for work, I decided to tag along. The country was the last stop on Ed’s two-week tour of Australia and Asia.
The flights to get there – about 14 hours to Tokyo and another 7 to Singapore – were enough to make anyone stir crazy. I arrived at 1:oo a.m. on a Thursday. Thankfully, navigating customs and falling into a taxi were easy to do on very little sleep. I happily slept in Thursday morning, but by noon I was ready to go out and see Singapore.
My first stop was Raffles City, one of the many shopping malls in the country. These people are serious shoppers! My aim wasn’t shopping, though: it was food. I wound up with a bowl of awesome that, though called a Portuguese dish, closely resembled my favorite Korean dish, Be-Bim-Bab.
Next up was Fort Canning Park. Only three blocks from the hotel, the park felt like something from an Indiana Jones movie. It was easy to forget I was in the middle of a huge city-country as I roamed pathways and checked out the historic sites. One unexpected encounter was listening to the sound check for a Placebo concert happening in the park that night. Sadly, it was only crew guys on stage!
Ed arrived Thursday night and we indulged in incredible “cook it yourself” steak at a Japanese restaurant. We followed that up with Singapore Slings at Raffles Hotel. Legend has it that Raffles is where the Singapore Sling was born. The bar was wonderful: I have no doubt that Disney Imagineers used it as inspiration for The Adventurers Club at the now-defunct Pleasure Island.
We went back to Fort Canning Park on Friday morning to tour The Battle Box. Singapore was a British colony from the mid-1800s through, technically, 1971. The British Army established a base there with a labyrinthine bunker built into the hill that now comprises the park. The bunker was used extensively during World War II. It was an interesting tour, though the mannequins used in the dioramas were so lifelike that I found them creepy. I’m convinced they come to life at night!
Friday afternoon and evening was all about animals, as we headed to the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Stay tuned for plenty of monkey pictures! www.mp3road.net