Singapore - Part 1, Temples, Skyscrapers and Safari

I had been looking forward to a holiday since last summer! Particularly as this holiday not only meant seeing my family and my brother, but spending some time with AN. HT has been pretending to be a cowboy in Australia for the last two years so it was especially good to pin him down and have a good old catch-up. 

We hopped on a very early flight, via Qatar, and luckily made our connection by about 2 minutes! We were very relieved to land safe and sound in the sunny land of Singapore! After a quick nap and swim we headed out to explore the city. 

As both AN and I had been to Singapore before, we didn't feel the need to do the most touristy activities and mainly just enjoyed walking around and soaking it all in. 

We started our day with a visit to both the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Hindu temple hidden away in Chinatown. Both temples are so very different and yet both display colourful, artistic and intricate decor. In the Hindu temple cameras were not permitted and we had to rely on committing the sights, sounds and even smells to memory. 

The Buddhist temple has a wonderfully serene and calm orchid garden on the roof, far away from the hubbub of chinatown and the business of the wandering tourists and jabbering shopkeepers. 

In complete contrast, the afternoon was spent at the River Safari, one of Singapore's zoos that focusses on river creatures from around the world and few others thrown in for good measure. I can also really recommend the Night Safari and the Zoo. I love that Singapore's zoos have largely open enclosures and have several walk-through experiences that allow you to get up close an personal with lots of animals, without compromising their natural freedoms. 

We both made lots of new friends! 

I was completely smitten with what looked like the cuddliest of pandas. Such a rare treat. 

A quick pit-stop later and we had slipped into something a little fancier in preparation for a dinner at le Comptoir and a few roof-top cocktails at Altitude bar. Altitude is a bar based on the 63rd floor at 1 Raffles Place and offers unrivalled views across the Singapore skyline. The bar is open air, which, at 63 floors up, is only mildly terrifying! 

Day 3 was unique in a completely different way! Sentosa is a little island just across a boardwalk from the coast of the city and has become Singapore's dedicated State of Fun. A slightly bizarre cross between sugar-sweet theme-parks and beautiful beaches, home to some buzzing beach-side bars and cafes. 

The island also houses the original fort used by the armed forces to defend Singapore against the Japanese invasion and just happened to be our first stop for the day. AN was not so impressed by the cannons on display and we found the heat of the day a little overwhelming to really enjoy our visit. 

Next stop was a walk along the beach, a quick paddle in the sea and a milkshake in a near-by surfing cafe. 

Needless to say we managed to experience the amazing variety of life and experiences that Singapore has to offer. For such a young country (50 this year!) Singapore has such an established culture that thrives and bubbles through the busy city, making it a truly exciting and interesting place to visit. 

Mood - hungry for more!

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