Singapore – Not Racing Though

The next few days in Johor Bahru were split by a couple of days in Singapore.  Threrefore this blog post will be about our time in Singapore and the next about the remainder of our visit to JB.

With son-in-law Kent’s help we were able to arrange transport directly from their house in JB to our hotel in Singapore as well as the return trip.  And for a very reasonable expense as well.  Bonus!

We stayed at the Hotel 81 Chinatown.  We quite enjoyed our time there as the location was excellent, right on the dividing line between Chinatown and downtown Singapore, making for outstanding walkabout opportunities.  The hotel room can be best described as petite, very petite.  Let’s just say that Kim found it small.  Imagine a queen sized bed, add about 10 inches to the width and 20 inches to the length – that’s the size of the room.  The bathroom was about the same size as the entrance-way.  The air conditioning was so efficient that it was necessary to have the hotel turn it off for a while a couple of times (it was controlled from the front desk).  None the less, we liked the hotel, the staff were very pleasant and accommodating, so we would stay there again.

Generally speaking, Singapore is a very clean city and we noticed that right away.  Another thing that stood out was that the traffic seemed to be more orderly, the vehicles were bigger and more expensive.  We spent a good deal of our time in the Chinatown area and the people were wall to wall.  Seems we were there at the peak of the Moon Cake Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival held on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month), which is the biggest Chinese festival after Chinese New Year.  The Chinatown streets were decorated and lit up at night and the night market was in full swing the two nights we were there.

I think that it would be safe to say that Singapore is a multicultural city state.  We visited Buddhist temples, a Hindu temple, a mosque and walked along Synagogue Street.  

During our time in Singapore we saw far more interesting buildings than I can possibly include photos of here.  Everywhere there is evidence of great imagination by architects and builders.  I can only imagine what it would be like to live or work in some of them.  There were many with greenery included in the design, I have shown but a couple to the left and right.  There are many more.

We were in Singapore just prior to the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, and as such were not able to go to a couple places we would have liked to as there were road closures to set up the race circuit.  As an avid race fan, I would have liked to watch the race, however our budget did not feel that to be a reasonable idea.  As many of you may be able to identify, large events create a wee change in the economy.  For instance, our fairly reasonably priced accommodations would have doubled in price should we have stayed another night.  As we took a tour bus on our second day I was able to get a few photos of the track setup and then after returning to Johor Bahru was able to watch the race on television as it was held only about fifty kilometres away.

This was actually the first part of our current travels that it was just the two of us, with no family or friends, so we did a tremendous amount of walking around while we were here, total time was two nights and the better part of three days.  During this time I calculated that our sandals got over twenty-five kilometres of wear.  The weather was fantastic with no clouds and daytime temperatures ranging in the low to mid 30s Celsius.

In order to keep our strength up for all the walking, of course we had to have great food.  So for example, we started one day with Dim Sum and finished it off with spicy snails, chicken, spicy green beans and fresh baked buns.  Considering that one meal was about 7:30am and the other around 9:00pm, you can imagine there was a certain amount of food consumed in the interim.

We spent some nice relaxing time at the Gardens By The Bay which has some wonderful different areas.  On the left you can see what they call Supertree Grove, which are essentially vertical gardens up to sixteen stories high.  If you look you can see a walkway, about twenty-two metres up, which joins several of the trees and gives a wonderful view of the gardens as well as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which can be seen in the background.  On the right, Kim is modeling for us on the walkway.

All in all, we had a great time in Singapore and look forward to going back.  As usual, I have way more photos than I can share here and many will be making their way to a travel album which is being put together.

Until the next post, thanks for traveling with us.

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