Singapore the Second Time Around

Singapore the Second Time Around

We went back to Singapore after our Malaysian trip and stayed for 12 days. Even though Singapore is a small island, we only saw a small portion of the city, barely stretched its surface. But the short stay gave us a good idea of life on this island. It is expensive place to live—especially housings and vehicle ownerships.

But if one goes beneath the surface, one can still find better deals than other cities—like our $6 CAD haircut, healthy meals around $5-8 CAD, $1.35 aquatic centre entrance fee (for over 55), free concerts and guided tours.

And most of all, it has a safe environment no matter where one is or what time of day it is. Public transportation is top-notched as we used MRT (and buses) during our stay and never had to wait for more than a few minutes.
Signs and maps for directions are everywhere. Major facilities are no more than 10 minute walk from MRT and bus stations (our hotel has three train stations and dozens of buses nearby) and if it is hot outside, use the malls or MRT stations as links or connectors to get from one place to another. And it is a pedestrian friendly city with trees, bushes, and flowers everywhere and it doesn’t feel like a concrete jungle like many other cities. And for most days, there were rainstorms/thundershowers for an hour or two in mid-afternoon. And it cools down in late afternoons for evening walks.

Singapore is a great place to consider for a longer term winter getaway. I was sad to leave Singapore, but Japan awaits.

Here are some photos from our second stay there.


Residential homes in the Joo Chiat area (on one of our off-beaten tracks)—heritage buildings are better preserved in Singapore than in Georgetown and Melaka)
At the National Orchid Gardens (senior rate: $1CAD), over 60,000 orchid plants—more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids over 7 acres
Dendrobium Duke Duchess of Cornwall—this orchid was named after Their Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, on their visit to the National Orchid Gardens on November 1, 2017
At the Singapore Botanic Gardens (158-year-old garden, the only tropical garden designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site) over 182 acres—free admission (Helliconia Garden)
At the Botanic Garden—we went twice and only saw half of the gardens
Pond near the Ginger Garden at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Found this card at the gift shop at the National Orchid Gardens
At the Chinatown gate
Tim with one of the many dog statues in Chinatown
Tim with another dog statue in Chinatown
Inside one of the train stations (Bencoolen MRT Station)—platform waiting for train—clean and efficient
Inside one of the train stations (Botanic Gardens MRT Station)
The Esplanade (durian shape)—Theatres on the Bay (over 13 acre performing arts centre) located near the mouth of Singapore river
Free outdoor concert (almost every night) at the Esplanade outdoor theatre—fantastic views of Marina Bay
Walking along the Singapore River (Fullerton Hotel, a former post office built in 1928)
One of the exhibits along the Marina Bay area and Singapore River during the Lights Festival this year
Selfie on a ball outside Asian Civilizations Museum
Looking out of our hotel room
Along Arab Street (mostly textiles, spices, and cafes)
Wall murals in the Arab Corner
Little India area where our haircuts cost $6CAD—small shops selling food, sundries and clothing—tailors and barbers too
Clothing and tailoring in Little India
One of many shophouses selling women’s clothing in Little India
Resting at the Gardens -by-the-Bay, a nature park of more than 250 acres of reclaimed land, part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”
At one of the many gardens at Gardens-by-the-Bay
Flower Dome at Gardens-by-the-by, 3 acres of seven gardens and olive grove, replicating a mild, dry climate (Mediterranean and semi-arid tropical regions) and incorporating flower shows and displays
Inside Cloud Forest at Gardens-by-the-Bay,a 2-acre garden of cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain region between 1,000 and 3,000 metres—42 metre tall Cloud Mountain with 35 metre waterfall
Inside Cloud Forest, on a circular walkway 35 metres above the ground
Garden Rhapsody, a coordinated light and music show at the Supertree Grove (tree-like structures between 25 and 50 metres tall at Gardens-by-the-Bay)
Dragonfly Island on the riverfront at Gardens-by-the-Bay
Taken from Dragonfly Bridge towards the waterfront promenade with Singapore Flyer, the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel between 2008 and 2014, 165 metres tall
Singapore River during the day (Cavenagh Bridge, oldest bridge in Singapore still exists in its original form, opened in 1870—manufactured in Glasgow (P&W MacLellan Engineers, 1868)
Oasia Hotel Downtown in Tanjong Pagar, one of many Singapore’s unique buildings, 27 storey tropical skyscraper
The Pinnacle@Duxton (2 skybridges linking all 7 blocks of public housing project on 26th and 50th storeys—the world’s longest sky garden)
The gopuram (entrance tower) of Sri Mariammam Temple in Chinatown—Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple.
Masjid Jamae (Chulia) in Chinatown, one of the earliest mosques in Singapore—established in 1826 (entrance gate is South Indian style—eclectic architectural including Chinese green glazed tiles, Tuscan columns with elaborate mouldings, timber fanlights, Neo-Classical prayer halls and shrine) The school kids are on a tour excursion of the different buildings in the area.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a 5-storey Buddhist complex in Chinatown based on Tang dynasty architectural style
On the top floor of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum(Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel in the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavilion, surrounded by rooftop gardens
Built in 1840, a former convent and school, now houses restaurants, bars, and events—entertainment, architecture, and history in one complex

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