16 September 2008

Weekend in Singapore

We've just had a whirlwind weekend in Singapore! Well, it's not that far away - just a comfortable 5 hour coach ride. We went to look at a car we'd seen for sale. And very nice it was too - so we've bought it! Now we have to wait for all the paperwork to be in order before we can import it into Malaysia - by all accounts this can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 months - sigh!

That done we checked into the hotel on Scotts Road then headed off to see how much Singapore has changed since we were living there 20 years ago! In a nutshell - it's changed a great deal!

Orchard Road, a favourite area for shoppers, now has even more malls, is way too crowded and incredibly noisy. Not our idea of fun so we were glad to turn off into peaceful Emerald Hill, a conservation area where many of the lovely old Peranakan houses have been renovated to provide contemporary living spaces, bars and cafes.

That evening we ventured a little off the beaten track again to Rochester Park where pre-war colonial black and white houses sitting amid lush tropical greenery have been converted to chic eateries. We enjoyed a delicious al fresco Italian meal and can thoroughly recommend this venue to anyone visiting Singapore!

Next day after breakfast we headed for the zoo. Singapore has one of the very best in the world and we enjoyed a few hours with the animals in beautiful surroundings. Here you can get up close to the animals in their natural habitats - dens are 'open' (well, almost!) and there are lots of monkeys swinging freely through the trees and parrots posing for photos! In addition to the inmates there are many beautiful varieties of orchids and other flowers and trees here, some of which I can't identify! We didn't have time to do it all but the white tigers cooling off in the water were definitely the highlight!

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