Thursday one week ago we went to “The Jewel” at Changi Airport. That’s the new complex which connects the terminals. It contains the tallest indoor waterfall in the world (the second tallest can now be found at the Gardens by the Bay, if you want to visit them for 20 S$). The waterfall is surrounded by plenty of green trees, which form something like an indoor jungle. The whole complex is somehow round and you can walk around at several floors. These levels are equipped with a lot of shops, restaurants and bars. From each level there are multiple ways to access and see the waterfall, which is clearly the centrepoint of the whole building. The waterfall is open the whole day for 24 hours, but the shops closing around at midnight. In essence it’s just another shopping mall, where the focus was set to a nice ambience. At the moment everything is new and shiny. It would be interesting to know, how it looks like in a decade. The bridge for the sky train is steadily exposed to the misty fog, and the droplets which were formed at the surface drop down to the floor, which get wet depending on the wind direction (probably from the air conditioning). Some of the open waterfalls at the sides beside the trees already got malfunction at the first day. It seems that the control of the pumping motor was somehow wrong. And lastly it may questionable how long the trees survive in this area. I expect they need to change them at least once a year. In essence it’s a very costly maintenance effort needed. We returned back in the evening to enjoy the light show at the waterfall. But we were both a bit disappointed, as the show only lasted for 5 minutes and the abrupt ended, after having some higher expectations. If you want to find cheap food, got to the food hall at the very base floor, there the prices are just a fraction to all other restaurants, and even comparable to downtown Singapore.
Month: Apr 2019
Night Out in Singapore
Tuesday late afternoon one week ago I went to the Peranakan Terrace Houses. These are old wodden buildings from the beginning of the 20th century. Their style is inspired from Malaysia when it was still occupied by the Dutch. As the former Dutch colonial government raised taxes due to the width of the houses, these houses are rather narrow, but therefore pretty long. In the evening I went to Marina Bay and had a walk around it. I was there during sunset. Hence, the lights of the skyscrapers were switched on, and they got illuminated. Unfortunately the famous Merlion fountain at the Marina Bay underwent construction works. But luckily I had seen one at Mount Faber just two weeks ago. After my walk I met Dinah at the Rain Oculus at Marina Bay Sands. Marina Bay Sand is a large shopping mall, with Theaters, Casino and an indoor gondola. Somehow it reminds me to The Venetian Resort Hotel in Macao. But honestly the one in Macau had more flair and was much better. The Marina Bay Sands just looks cold and sterile. I watched the Laser and Water show directly infront of the Marina Bay Sands. The music had some nice themes from Hans Zimmer. Afterwards we went to the neighbouring Gardens by the bay in order to attend to the light and music show at the artificial trees. We didn’t go into the hall, first it was too late and second it’s just too expensive 😅. Also this show was pretty nice and was mainly a medley from hits from the 1970’s. But Dinah told me that the music changes a lot. Afterwards she showed me four of her secret places, but as they are secret I can’t report them here in public 😅. All of them are accessible by the public, but nevertheless, hidden gems, which might only know some locals. I really enjoyed them, and are grateful to have them discovered.
Little India and Chinatown
Two weeks ago I visited first Little India. I strolled through the streets until Sri Veeramakaliamman one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore. I went into for a short time, just shortly before the worship begun. So all the prayers prepared themselves for that. Afterwards I took the MRT to Chinatown. Some of the streets are now a tourist attraction. The old Chinese buildings seem to be only used in the base for souvenir shops or expensive restaurants. But I wasn’t looking for that. Instead I headed for a Buddhism temple, where one of teeth of Buddha is on display. It’s a bit tricky to find, because it’s not in the basement where part of the small 10,000 Buddhas are on display and almost all tourists making pictures. Instead it’s on the fourth floor, where actually no pictures are allowed. The teeth itself is in a golden stupa and behind behind bulletproof glass. Afterwards I walked a bit along the streets of old Chinatown. As the Chinese were sometimes very poor at ancient times, they couldn’t even afford their own dead and funeral. Hence, at the street next to that temple there where houses for old people. Once you enter these houses, it’s clear that you not exit it alive. At another temple, close to the financial district, there is now a 40m long wall painting, which describes the arrival of the first Chinese people about 200 years ago and their living in Singapore. In the evening I met my new host Dinah. Originally she’s from Borneo but lives since some years in Singapore with her family.
From Botanical Garden to Sentosa Island
Sunday one week ago I headed to the Botanical Garden, which has some kind of world heritage protection and except for the Orchide Garden, there is no entrance fee. Due to the day of the week a lot of people were around and enjoying their Sunday afternoon. I was walking along the garden and took the exit on the other end, just to get to Farrer Road. This was a good decision, as the afternoon rain was approaching quickly. At some of the sidewalks there is a roof, which shields you from sun and rain. Luckily I just arrived there before the shower began. Even as Singapore is one of the most connected cities in the world, the WiFi in the MRT is even worse than in Russia. Only some of the MRT stations are equipped with free WiFi, whereas in the train there is no WiFi at all.
After the botanical garden I was heading to the Gillman Baracks a centre of Art. I went also into the Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, well it was for free, and yes it’s art is pretty modern. Nevertheless, I saw a “Paper Nautilus Shell” in a meteorite from the Campo del Cielo site. I think it was the first time I saw such kind in my life. Singapore has a lots of parks and the most of them are connected via the park connector. Hence, I started walking up to Telok Blangah and crossed via the Henderson Waves bridge over to finally arrive at Mount Faber, the second highest point of Singapore. Here, again hords of tourists from mainland China were approaching. As usual in groups. Once, a group finished the next one were dropped off with a bus, just a few metres away in order to take “some” photos. After walking down to Harbour Front I crossed over the bridge to Sentosa Island. This island is an absolutely artificial tourist entertainment complex, where you can spent at several locations a lot of money I guess. Hence, I was surprised that I didn’t need to pay entrance fee, just to walk through to Palawan beach, where the “Southernmost Point of Continental Asia” is supposed to be located. Unfortunately, I was a bit late and the point was closed for today. The point itself is located at an islet, just a few metres off Sentosa island. So we recall, the southernmost point of continental Asia is at an island infront of Sentosa Island, which infact connects to Singapore island, and its southernmost point, is not even more south as Sentosa island. So, I you got it that this is another tourist trap and that there was no need to go there by night, just to receive some Fine. In the end I headed back to the last stop of the monorail. Surprisingly, they didn’t want to see a ticket, but once I got off at harbour front I realised that ticket checking is done the other way around 😊…and it costs a ridiculous amount of 4 S$😳…which is a multitude of normal MRT fares with the EZ-card…gangsters.
Along the Quays through Singapore
Saturday one week ago I went to downtown with the MRT from Connie’s place, which was my host for three nights. First I walked along the old British administrative buildings until I reached the Singapore River. After crossing the Singapore river I walked it upstream. Passing Boat Quay, Clarke Quay up until Robertson Quay. Which are the oldest quarter of Singapore, and have been founded 200 years ago. Nowadays, there is no longer any trading possible there, also as the Singapore River is now separated by the Marina Barrage from the sea, making the mouth of the river completely out of freshwater. After leaving the Quays I headed to Emerald Hill Road, crossing Orchard Road, which is the large shopping street with countless shopping malls. No the skyview from the ION tower at the 55th floor is no longer free, you’ve to spend 20 S$ in the shopping mall, what a Fine City Singapore just is. In Emerald hill road lots of newly restored houses from the beginning of the 20th century can be found. I continued to Newton MRT station (was looking for his three axioms, but couldn’t find them 😏). Finally I headed to Fort Canning Hill, which seemed to be a quite popular photo location. Afterwards I met with my Connie, and Natalie from Singapore, Will from the UK, Victor from Mexico in Cuscadan Patio. I liked the location. There are some bars with cheap beer, good music and we had a lot of fun during the night. Especially in the Karaoke bar, even if there the beer was bad. As it was already late, Connie wanted to have a chocolate. Unfortunately, the only possibility was MC, but she couldn’t get one, as the machine was not working. At least we met another funny guy from Australia, with Serbia-Croatian roots, there, and had a nice conversation.