DAYS 347-348

SINGAPORE

Day 347… Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but considering it’s one of the most expensive places to live on earth as well as the 2nd densest population. .. well it’s to be expected really. Today I head out to explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, and find a little something off the tourist trail as i haven’t had an oddball experience.

Then I explore Singapore and all the things to do there with a City Sightseeing hop-on-hop-off bus tour. But before I get to it, i grab a taxi and head to an area thats reported to not only be a great place to visit, but an amazing culinary experience, is on the very end of the hop-on-hop-off AND seems to be named after me… Newton Circus! Disappointingly however… its closed for renovations and refurbishment. Dammit. I do however manage to get photos of lots of places named NEWTON, including being on Anthony Street IN the suburb of Newton, which was cool. Then its onto Newton Station to catch the train from Newton to my next destination; the Singapore Ion Mall. It’s a huge and impressive mall with plenty of high end luxury stores… a slew of brilliant art and is located at the stop for the hop-on-hop-off bus, and 33 separate sights like the iconic gardens, temples and skyscrapers.

Day 348…Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Prior to independence in 1965, Singapore was a vibrant trading port. At Ion, you get to observe the rich cultural and historical heritage through the sights and sounds of contrasting modern skyscrapers and shopping malls, such as the Suntec City, with serene gardens and temples. The statue of Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles proudly stands in front of the Victoria Theatre. Its replica stands at North Boat Quay – colloquially known as Raffles Landing Site, as this is the spot where Raffles is believed to have stepped ashore.

There are so many things to do here in Singapore. Of the 33 stops to visit, I first get to see the Singapore Art Museum (SAM… in 2 locations) and City Hall. I am glad that Ion had such rich art inside since both SAM galleries are a) 2/3 closed off and b) have a lot of modern art that… well… is as pretentious and boring as hell. I don’t mind modern art, but sometimes you really need to slap the so called artists and tell them not to give up thier day jobs. After that, and handily close by,is a museum that is not a big attraction (though it should be) which i visit after lunch and a wander around some shopping malls checking out the exclusive BATMAN V SUPERMAN stuff… the Mint Toy Museum. Inside is nothing newer than the 1960s as all manner of old, vintage toys is on display… from tiny robots to teddy bears… Felix the cat to Mickley Mouse… Flash Gordon to Superman… and coronation dolls to politically incorrect golliwogs. Which is am glad of… in the politically correct world we live in we sometimes gloss over or outright destroy things which… in thier day… were normal. It lets us remember what NOT to do as well as show a heritage that still deserves to be seen and WHY history changed… just not emulated.

After that i decide the hop-on-hop-off is not for me, but i explore the Boat Quay, Bugis Village, Singapore River, Marina Bay and The Esplanade on a 4×4 duck-truck-boat thing. From there its grab a cab over to Marina Bay Hotel… the huge, iconic triple towered hotel with a full park 55 stories up looking for all the world like someone dropped a luxury ocean liner up there. Stunning views and an amazing thing to see. Then i get back to the ground to go to the botanic garden domes and the also iconic Singapore Supertrees. The bio domes are just stunning in architecture and botany… but the supertrees are something else entirely. .. awe inspiring peices of modern architecture blended with nature and science. These huge this go filter water from the air to irrigate the park, then at night come alive to lights and music. You really feel like you are in a fairy playground here… dwarfed by the immensity of the supertrees. Finally after that and dinner, I check out some installations in Singapore’s equivalent of the Sydney VIVID festival before going home… late… and tired. Zzzzzzzz…..

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