The adventure begins . . .
Singapore, Hong Kong, Chan May, Ho Chi Minh City, Ankgor Wat, Bangkok, and back to Singapore, the Hong Kong - Singapore part on the Crystal Symphony. Come along with me on my latest adventure!
Tuesday, April 8
Off we go! What a week, getting ready. We had planned our packing way ahead, but I guess thereís no way to plan me. I spent part of Friday getting my ankle x-rayed, oh goody, nothingís broken, just soft tissue injury. So Iím wearing a brace on my ankle . . . then Monday, the doctor checked my ankle out again and did some acupuncture on it. Feels much better now. I also got my finger cleaned and dressed. Last Sunday, I knocked my moose salt and pepper shakers over, managed to fix the ear on doe easily, but the antler on the big moose slipped and the broken end went into my middle finger, just below the nail. Ouch! By Monday, it was red and swollen. So Iím putting Neosporin on it, keeping it covered, and taking antibiotics. BTW, the moose set, broken and bloodied, went into the trash.
Wednesday, April 9
Not much today, either, since our flight landed at 11PM. Changing planes in Hong Kong proved to be harder than expected. When we got to security, they wouldnít accept the boarding passes we got in LA. Had to go to customer service and get new boarding passes, then go through security. Our flight out of LA was late, so we ended up walking straight onto the plane to Hong Kong. Neither flight was crowded, out of LA there were only 150 people on a 747 that carries well over 300. Didnít see the numbers, but the Hong Kong plane was pretty empty, too.
ps - this picture is actually Terminal 3 in Singapore, no time to take any pictures in Hong Kong!
In Singapore, we landed at Terminal 3, which just opened earlier this year. WOW! Large, spacious, plants and sculptures everywhere. I could see lots and lots of shops. We went off to the hotel, unpacked, and went to sleep. After the flight, my body was tired and ready to accept that it was midnight. No problem at all adjusting to the time change.
Thursday, April 10
First impressions of Singapore: Clean, very neat, orderly, efficient. Broad streets with lots of tree and other greenery. Heavy traffic, but no horn honking! A nice city.
Got up early this morning after a good nightís rest, and went walking. The tour agency at the hotel recommended a place to eat, so we headed that way. Our hotel is on Orchard Road, which we read was a big shopping area. No kidding! Here, the street is not line with shops, but with shopping centers. Anything and everything can be found here. We wandered around looking for a while, then found the food court in the second basement of the Ngee Ann Shopping Center. Had nice tempura quite cheaply, and then found a bakery with wonderful pastries for breakfast tomorrow.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Sometime around 2PM, the dark clouds rolled in and the rain poured down. We spent the afternoon taking a nap, so Iíd have lots of energy for our night tour. At 6:30, we went down to the tour desk, borrowed an umbrella, and got on the bus for the Night Safari. But I guess we were meant to take that tour that night, because the rain stopped as we pulled into the car park for the Night Safari.
Itís like a special zoo, lit just enough to see the animals at night. We started with the tram ride, saw lions and tigers (but no bears!), deer, hyenas, hippos, rhinoceros, porcupines . . . and elephants, including one huge male with very big tusks. Did you know that elephants are right or left tusked, just like people are right or left handed?
After the tram ride, we walked a couple of the trails. Very well done, enough light to see where youíre going but not enough to forget that youíre there at night. We got a close-up view of a leopard, and lots of other small animals. I would have liked to have walked all the trails but canít do that much walking, and didnít really have the time. The tour bus left at 10PM, even though the Safari was open until midnight. This tour was probably the highlight of Singapore for me.
Friday, April 11
Today, weíre taking a tour that will take us all around the city to get a feel for Singapore. First stop, Little India.
Singapore is preserving the old shop houses, and here the first floors are shops and restaurants.
The various shops sell all kinds of things from India, from spices to carvings to statues of the various gods. These are boxes, originally used by women to keep the powder for the marks on their foreheads, but now used for decorative purposes. Women can buy stick-on marks of just about any design or color in the shops!
On a corner in Little India.
After driving down Arab Street, we stopped at the Esplanade. From here, we had a view of the new concert theater complex, the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay. And the Singapore Flyer, bigger than the London Eye. We never did go on the flyer, even when it wasn't raining, it was very hazy.