Little India

Singapore has four ethnic groups:  Indian (mostly southern Indian), Chinese, Malay, and “other”.  At the beginning of modern Singapore, in the early 1800s, the “founder”, Sir Stamford Raffles, divided the city up into ethnic enclaves, separated by Middle Road from the administrative areas.

Today, I went to explore Little India.  It’s a busy area, smelling of incense and curry, with lots of little restaurants and shops and so many interesting things to see.  The most colorful of the buildings are the religious buildings.  There are many Buddhist and Hindu temples, as well as mosques in the area.  Many of them were being renovated, so I didn’t get great pictures, but I did happen to be at Angullia Mosque for the 1:00 p.m. call to prayer.

Fountain of Wealth

The Fountain of Wealth is in the middle of Suntec City, a huge convention center/mall/business park (our office is in Tower 5).  Suntec City is designed using Chinese geomancy, and is based on a left hand.  The five towers are fingers, with Tower 5 being shorter, representing the thumb.  The Fountain of Wealth represents the palm of the hand, and the water from the fountain actually flows inwards.  It’s the biggest fountain in the world.

During certain times of the day, you can actually walk in the fountain.  In the middle, there is a smaller fountain.  You are supposed to dip your right hand in that, make a wish, and then walk around it three times clockwise.

Hop on/Hop off

When I can, I like to spend my first day in a new city doing a hop on/hop off bus tour, when available.  I didn’t get to do that the first time I was in Singapore, so wanted to do so this time.  I tried to be present, and take in the scenes (instead of just taking pictures), but I did grab a few pictures during my tours.

Hildy enjoyed the tours!

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Gardens By the Bay, II

The last time I was in Singapore, I went to Gardens By the Bay, and fell in love with the SuperTrees.  Unfortunately, one of the conservatories and the walk way between the SuperTrees was closed, and it rained the entire time I was there, so I didn’t get to see as much as I’d wanted.  I made up for that this time!

First, I had a wander around the park.

There’s a giant floating baby.  This is a sculpture called Planet, by Marc Quinn.

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During the wander, I came upon a grove that had trees/shrubs in huge, amazing animal shapes:

And then, into the Cloud Forest, which was closed the first time I was here.  The first thing you see is a giant waterfall.  You then walk all the way up the building, up and behind the waterfall, to see amazing planets and trees.

Then, to my favorite part:  the SuperTrees.  There is a walkway that goes between the Trees in one of the groves, and of course I had to go walk that.

Each night, there is a SuperTree music and light show.  The theme today was StarWars.  I was on the walkway for the first part of the show, and then finished up from below.

I just cannot get enough of those SuperTrees.

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Raffles Hotel opened in 1887, and was named after the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.  It’s the home of the Singapore Sling, created in 1915. 

The home of the Singapore Sling is the Ling Bar, which is currently closed for renovations. In the interim, it is deliciously served in the Bar & Billiard Room. It was originally and elevated building, and in 1902, the last tiger killed in Singapore was shot under it. That event is mentioned a lot, including on the menu of the Bar & Billiard Room. 

But on to the good stuff…In addition to being the oldest bar still in its current location in Singapore, it’s also the only place in Singapore where littering is allowed. It’s a peanut bar; you can throw your shells on the floor.

After a couple drinks, had a wander around the public areas of Raffles. 

The famous Sikh doorman! (Who I could NOT get a good picture of!)

Singapore, Day 1

Arrived very early this morning in Singapore. Changi is really the most beautiful airport. 

Admired the view from my room, which is on the other side of the hotel from my last one. 

Admired the lovely fruit plate left for me:

And then tucked in for some rest. 

This morning, I woke up much earlier than planned, and went for a walk at Marina Square to look for some lunch.  Had a wander in the rooftop gardens and got some nice pictures. 

A new traveling companion 

This week, my mom brought Hildegard (Hildy) into my life so I wouldn’t “have to travel alone”. It took a couple days for a Hildy to tell me her name, and when I looked it up, I found that it means “battle maiden” or “fighter”. That seems appropriate. 

She got a snuggle for good luck from my little guy. 

She made me take my uncle’s advice to get sound-cancelling headphones. 

She tucked in for the long flight between Seattle and Seoul. 

But popped out to check out the view.