Friday 24 May 2013
My dream has come true. Upon disembarking in Singapore on Friday 24 May 2013, I WAS FIRST. My bag was THE first to appear on the convey belt, this seemingly insignificant event sent me into raptures. I threw my arms around Howard and gushed “I have such a great feeling about this trip … it’s going to be perfect” I know I was setting high expectations, but ALL has been perfect so far.
It all started with a hellish day at the office, where I managed to complete most of my to do list, then raced home and started packing. As our driver was not due to pick us up until 11:30 I had heaps of time. I was determined to pack light, for once, and had whittled my selection down so I only had 3 pairs of shoes and a half full bag. Then something happened that had never happened before … Howard went through my wardrobe and started picking out things for me to take out. Crazy huh!
Chris and Ang turned up to look after the house (thanks guys) and before you know it Alan is at the door to take us to the airport. It turns out that Howard is familiar with Alan the limo driver, he drove Howard home last week from his regular Friday lunch date with Dr Bill.
A hour later we are settled in the Emirates lounge sipping Veurve and killing time waiting for the dreaded 2:30 am departure. The champagne soothes some of the pain of this ungodly time for a flight. As does the last minute boarding into business class.
We manage to get a few hours of restless sleep and catch a couple of movies before we touch down in Singapore in the early morning. Its a public holiday in Singapore so the roads are nearly empty and we are quickly settled into our hotel, Holiday Inn Atrium on Havelock Road.
Its hot and steamy in Singapore, overcast and drizzling. The familiar scents of Asia permeate our senses. But we need to move so we grab some hideously bright green “Holiday Inn” umbrellas and set off to China Town for some beer and noodles
Its a bit of a slog and the humidity requires that we move at a leisurely pace, but we eventually find ourselves in the backstreets of China Town. It seems to be a common theme in Asia that there are move Indian hawkers touting their crap in China Town than there are Chinese. We saw it in KL and now we see it here.
After visiting the Tin Tin Shop (yep Tin Tin in China Town) and adding to Howards collection, we select a bustling little restaurant called Tak Pu on Smith Street. We quickly order a large Tiger beer to quench our thirst and nibble on on the freshly roasted peanuts as we ponder the menu. We agree to skip the frog congee, chickens feet and tripe noodles and order Har Gao (prawn dumplings), deep fried pork dumplings and claypot beancurd .. all of which is fantastic and only S$23 – A$19.
Got to love it.
Around the corner is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Poor Buddha … we have been discovering parts of him all around the world.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Across the road is the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, only half the stalls are open, but the place is packed. The Singaporeans love to eat and they seem to do it all day. We are tempted to eat again but stand firm and resolve to return tomorrow to sample the fare.
Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
Once were chickens
Next stop is Merlion park for some touristy shots. Some random Asian girl stops me and asks if she can have her photo taken with me. Before I know it I’ve got two tiny girls (up to my shoulders … and I’m not tall) at my side and I’m recorded for prosperity.
Marina Sands Hotel and the Arts Centre
Our feet are aching and we are parched, so we jump a taxi to Orchard Road in search of air-conditioning. The traffic is unbelievable …. apparently EVERYONE in Singapore goes shopping on public holidays. Escaping the crowds we find a row of restaurants/bars on a side street that are housed in these gorgeous old traditional shop/homes. The Five Tapas Bar on Cuppage Terrace has Asahi on tap and we quickly down a couple of brews.
Restaurants – Cuppage Road
Greetings from Tin Tin
Back to the hotel we rest up before heading out for Chilli Crab – a Singaporean must have. Howard has been asking everyone where is the best place for Chilli Crab … the consensus is East Coast Seafood restaurants. Its a 20 minute taxi ride out of town towards the Airport to the collection of seafood restaurants. We settle on the No Signboard Restaurant and place our order Chilli Crab, Prawn Noodles and a bottle of ridiculously overpriced white wine.
No Signboard Seafood
Enjoying the Night Air
Singapore Chilli Crab
The noodles are a bit short on prawns but the chilli crab is fabulous! We take our time extracting every single piece of the sweet, sweet flesh, moaning in delight and generally making a mess of ourselves and the table.
Day 1 a huge success!