After a 12 hour flight with no sleep it was always going to be a difficult first day but I think I managed it quite well, despite the heat and humidity. Staying in an Airbnb in Chinatown I thought I’d have a wonder around here for the first day. The streets were quite quiet not sure if that’s normal but it was easy enough to see what I wanted to see without being in the midst of crowds of people. Can’t quite figure if I liked it or not as it was a bit too kitschy for my liking.
My first stop was to visit the oldest Hindu (in Chinatown ??) temple in Singapore dating back from 1843, Sri Mariamman which from the outside what you see is its colourfully animated tower. It’s free to go in and look around and there are more of the beautiful colourful sculptures inside, around the courtyard too.
I then visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Buddhas in one place at the same time. There was some sort of ceremony going on which was interesting to watch but I never made it upstairs to see the tooth!
After this I felt it was time for lunch so I stepped into Chinatown Complex which is one of the many hawker (street food off the street) food places around, found the place with the longest queue and stood in line. Had no idea what I was choosing when I got the front of the line as nothing had a description on it so ended up with rice, chicken, tofu (yuk) and some kind of crispy something which I think was pork. Very tasty and served with a side soup all for the price of $4. I then headed into the visitors centre nearby and bought the tickets for what I want to see in the coming days.
After this I could feel my tiredness was setting in as I felt like I was drunk, stumbling around so I thought a stop for a local beer on the very pretty Ann Siang Road would do the trick. Not sure if it helped but sitting down for an hour helped a little. However I did head back to my room for an hour to have a nap.
Early evening I set out for a walk to Gardens by the Bay. The views down by the sea are very modern with lots of high rise buildings, smart restaurants and of course the stunningly high shiplike Marina Bay Sands hotel. I loved Gardens by the Bay, just walking around the Gardens was so peaceful. The supertrees are so tall and so beautiful. Watching the light show was quite enchanting and it was a Christmas theme even though it is only early November. Getting into the Gardens is free and I would definitely recommend seeing it as it is special and different and worth it. However I had bought tickets for the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest so I went into them but had I’d known I wouldn’t have bothered as they were nothing as great as the garden itself.
After that I headed to Satay by the Bay which is another hawker in the area for some satay of course, which was truly delicious. The views of the bay at night were spectacular!