Sentosa, Slings, and a little bit of sunshine.

Well, that was - if you could call it that - a serious whistle stop tour of Singapore. I still feel a little reserved about the place, too many rules and regulations kind of hinder the place in my opinion. It's very safe, clean, and organised, in fact I had no qualms about walking around on my own with my camera or phone out (face it - I blended in). It is, however, also very expensive and unlike Asia, or at least the Asia I've experienced. Many a time I felt I was walking the bustling streets of New York or a similar metropolitan city to that effect. Everything seemed money driven. Food in the hawker centres was relatively cheap and for that I'm grateful - I could feed myself for S$3-4 (about £1.50-2) if I wanted to. Everything else however seemed to exist with the demand of hefty S$. Unless you liked to walk around the big city and admire from afar (which on countless occasions I did!) then you had to pay to get in, to see, to do anything really.
After the washout that was Little India (and the riots that followed that thankfully I missed!!) I couldn't let the rain hinder anymore days. I woke up full of energy and excitement - I could see sunshine!! At long last. I threw on my pretty skirt and top, threw my camera into my bag (I'm sorry little one, you're getting bashed about quite a bit), and head out the door - first stop... Botanical gardens!
It rained.
Within literally 10 minutes of me walking through the gates I felt the first raindrop hit me square on the head as I was poised with my camera taking a photo of some ducks. Hm. Maybe it'll subside...
Or not!
I spent most of the time going the wrong way around the evolution garden, dodging raindrops, filming little videos for friends (and never actually finishing them OR subsequently sending them), building up an appetite, and cursing after sticking both feet in really wet mud (and using most of my bottled water to clean up my feet and flip flops) I thought it was time to (wo)man up, forget about the shoddy weather, and grab the MRT towards Harbour front, pay the extortionate ticket price for the cable car (S$26 I think it was!!), and explore this infamous little island... After some much needed food...
Those who met me in Thailand will know that I think through my stomach. The amount I think about food is ridiculous and given that I should be a 50 stone giant gobbling up anything I see. As it happens the thought of food is merely that - a thought. The actual likelihood of me wanting food is a whole new kettle of fish.
This time I most definitely needed food so I headed over to the food court, paced up and down as I tended to do, and in the end stood staring at a stall selling noodle soups. Perfect. I branded my nearest local and asked him what he'd order. The $3 Yong tau foo noodle soup from Tian Ji Niang Dou Fu. Perfect. It was a delicate mix of broth, pak choi, noodles, and onion. Yong tau foo literally means stuffed bean curd (tofu!) so there were various meat and fish pastes inside (along with the mystery fish ball that I couldn't eat).
As I sat down I realised it was way too hot and I'd used most of my water to clean my muddy feet from earlier. Okay - time to hunt for a drink. I'd seen a few locals drinking a tea of sorts - ginger tea - so I went to the nearest stall and ordered a glass. It tasted like Christmas! Deliciously spicy, warming, and perfect. Pity it had turned into such a hot day and I, alongside everyone else, was sweating cobs trying to eat this delicious meal.
Finishing up I head over to the cable car station. I'd been told that a trip to Singapore wasn't complete without paying to see the city from cable car; departing from Mount Faber, across the Keppel Harbour, and onwards to Sentosa. Whilst a lovely experience I didn't really regard it worthy of the S$26 price tag, but then I am on a budget and after spending 30 baht on Pad Thai in Thailand I find anything over about £3 expensive (that warrants a #tightarse hashtag!) I found Sentosa to be overpriced and fake, but then it was a resort and I should've realised that. Still, probably lovely to visit if you have kids and a bit of dosh to spend. The Merlion was lovely and I wanted to go up it until I saw the price... Another day.


I did have a wander down to the beach however and come across this little fella. Asian squirrels are simply adorable...

Returning back to the hostel feeling a little disgruntled about spending my precious dollar on a pimped up resort with very little to show for it, I decided it was now time to spruce myself up, throw on my only 'posh' thing (a floral maxi), and head to Raffles Hotel, ask for the Long Bar, and get the infamous Singapore Sling down my neck. I'd heard some shocking reviews about the place, that the drinks were all premixes and that it wasn't worth the S$33 (after service charge and tax had been added). Granted, I wouldn't normally pay £16-17 for a cocktail but these things were famous and I had to try. Plus, there's nowhere else in Singapore that you get to throw peanut shells on the floor (i.e. litter!) and get away with it...

 I had the best experience. Not only did I get a freshly made Singapore Sling (as they all were!) but I got to chat to the wonderful staff, they asked me all sorts of questions and there was even a little bit of banter: "I'm sorry ma'am we're all out of gin - will whiskey do?"
Funds were tight - of course they were - so when my lovely bartender asked if I'd like another I had to politely decline. He disappeared for a moment, served another woman down the bar whilst I picked at the peanuts, and he suddenly appeared, gave me a wink, and quickly whipped up a fresh cocktail, slid it down the bar (okay, not really but it painted a wonderful picture), and said it was on the house.

I can't really tell you how happy it made me - in fact it choked me up a little bit. More talking, more drinking, more peanuts later, it was ready for me to make a move. Hitting about 9pm I thought I'd grab an early night as I needed to repack in the morning. As soon as I stood the wave of gin and whatnot hit me, legs wobbled (I'm a lightweight ok?), and I suddenly felt very happy, very excited, and had a distinct spring in my step. Bed? No way. Now I was going to explore.

I only had a couple of hours before the last trains were due to leave. I couldn't really remember where I was going, I just walked, and walked, and walked. I head down the wrong road, turned on my heel, and quickly walked towards where I hoped the Merlion was (I have an excellent sense of direction... only when tipsy) and ambled over the bridge.

What a view.

My photo of the Merlion wasn't quite as good but the view was equally as beautiful... You'll just have to take my word for it.

The last day was pretty hectic - I didn't have much time but I wanted to try and fit in the Gardens at the Bay (by the Marina Bay Sands hotel) and then buy some shorts before returning to the hostel, grabbing my bags, and jumping the MRT towards Changi Airport. I arrived a little late (standard) and misplaced my white scarf along the way (sad times) but I arrived safe and sound for my flight. The Gardens at the Bay were pretty but - again - disappointing since without paying you saw very little. It was, however, a beautiful day so I guess there was a plus side...




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