Changi airport is more like a village. If you have to spend much time in transit there is quite a lot to see and do or you can take a quick trip into town between flights, which we did the first time we flew to Singapore. We went to reconnoitre the hotel we were booked to stay in 3 weeks later. Of course, it was one of those huge, characterless places on Orchard road. Fortunately we discovered we had a long lost friend living in Singapore and she invited us to stay with her – an altogether much better proposition as she had a lovely duplex 10 mins away from the airport and out of town.
After Thailand and Bali, Singapore was incredibly hot and humid and the high humidity makes it feel much hotter than it actually is. First impressions were that it was green (lots of tree-lined roads), clean, no car exhaust fumes, no mosquitos – mosquito police*, few flies, no crime, very organised, cheap taxis, no road rage, but sterile.
* Our friend had a visit from the mosquito police – they come round regularly to check that there is no stagnant water anywhere.
Because of the heat we had to revise our sightseeing programme and eventually only went sightseeing every two days allowing ourselves a day of respite in between.
Our first trip was by cable car over to Sentosa Island which is in the process of being made into a giant amusement park.
We watched a pink dolphin show (first time I’d ever seen pink dolphins; apparently they go even pinker as they get older.
and then visited the aquarium where you walk through an underwater tunnel with huge mantas floating overhead and groupers nudge against the glass.
In separate, smaller tanks, they had leaf dragon sea horses
and horse fish and angel fish – really difficult to photograph.
the most interesting exhibit were the transparent jellyfish whose tank had constantly changing coloured lights
Our next excursion was into the area of Singapore town known as Little India – a colourful, noisy area with some wonderful smells emanating from the many little restaurants. The biggest attraction here was the Sri Veeramakaliamman temple on Serangoon Road with lots of exotic and colourful statuary and silver animals.
silver drainpipe spout
a silver cow having the final touches put to its floral decorations
On the other side of the road from the temple was the inevitable flower seller
items in a gilding shop window
rows and rows of glass bangles for sale. The photo looks as if it’s a bit out of focus but that’s because the bangles were wrapped in plastic which reflected the flash
colourful shop houses
watching TV Singapore style. The colourful house in the background belonged to a famous local architect called Tan Teng Niah and is one of the stops on the heritage walk.
another colourful facade