Almanac Travel: Sal’s Travel diary: A glimpse of Singapore and Round 17 footy tips

 

 

Greetings All

 

The Singapore stopover on our way to Europe has only given us the impetus to do it properly next time.   The Naumi Hotel was our home – small, comfortable and close to everything we wanted to see plus a very relaxing infinity pool.  Well everything is close in Singapore.  Did manage to get lost looking for a hawker market but finished in the Boat Quay area where touts were offering $5 beers to get us inside.  Not a great plan with a non-beer drinker in the mix.  Eventually sat down at Tong Fu Ju for dinner choosing the local cuisine over the array of international restaurants and bars.  We were quite taken by the mix of North Indian and Mexican in the one establishment.

 

 

That gave us our bearings for the morning walk.  We got out early to find Singapore does not do early, we began our 6km jaunt alone on the streets as we headed to the Marina Bay Area.  After a while the joggers emerged as we traversed the modern architecture in the area, winding back it was coffee time so we thought maybe some tradition after all the new stuff and stopped by the Fullerton Hotel.  Blimey you pay for tradition with the most expensive coffee we have ever had.

 

It was then exploration time and set off to Arab St and Little India.  Great to see the various specialty shops in those areas along with the restaurants, we just got there too early with many still closed.  Then off to Orchard Road via the MRT.  A tourist ticket is available for unlimited travel, however it is only available at certain stations and not Little India.  Easy to tap on and tap off with a credit card but no idea how much it is costing, the system itself is outstanding – clean, comfortable and efficient – everything you would expect from Singapore.

 

 

Orchard Road was just to go to the only Michelin star hawker food outlet Hawker Chan.  Found it in the midst of a shopping centre food hall along with a whole lot of other outlets who also had a star!  A bit drab so it was back to the infinity pool at the hotel before heading out again.

 

 

The local Gin Distillery is Tanglin where we were given a private tour of the facility and the process by Xi Xi.  She was extremely knowledgeable and a great hostess, the gins were distinctly Singaporean using indian, Chinese and middle eastern ingredients reflecting their influence on the country.  Then some creative products from heads and tails of the fermentation process including a Cacao flavoured gin liquor made in collaboration with a local chocolate producer and using their leftovers from processing.

 

 

This time we did get to the Hawker Centre we were looking for the night before Lau Pa Sat.  The receptionist and cab driver both recommended the satay from stall number 8.  Might be some sort scheme going on there – the queue for Stall Number 8 was about 30 deep just to place an order.  Once placed it was a 30 minute wait, but well worth it.  Even making friends with the lady running the entire show.  To finish the night we had to have a drink at the bar called Tess right next to our hotel.  Just no escaping her!

 

Another long walk to the north side of River began the day but at a time more suitable for Singaporeans.  Then off to Chinatown, a bit more awake as we were a bit later, including a visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple with monks included and onto to Maxwell’s Hawker Centre.  A bit less touristy than the previous night’s, also a bit grungier which made it worth it.

 

We then found our way down to Marina Bay Sands.  One impressive complex complete with the Observation Deck on the 57th which stretches across the three towers.  Alternative to the fee for the Observation Deck, just go to Lavo the restaurant and bar on that level and enjoy a drink and the view.

 

 

Our final meal in town was the Chill Crab at Jumbo.  While the crab was perfectly cooked and messy it was more of a sweet chilli flavour rather than the fire we anticipated.  Another night another bar, the Atlas Bar is most impressive and reasonably priced relative to its grandeur.  A key feature being their Gin Tower reaching the high ceiling and resplendent with 100s of bottles from around the globe.  A great place to complete our glimpse of Singapore on our way to Rome.

 

For the record and to keep Hawthorn fans either mad or happy this weeks selections are:

 

Pies, Suns, Dogs, Cats, Blues, Dockers, Demons, Swans, Lions

 

Go Blues,

 

Cheers Sal

 

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Comments

  1. Mickey Randall says

    Thanks Sal. Enjoy your trip. Not only are hawkers the best food but their beers are colder and far cheaper!

    I reckon William Gibson captured Singapore perfectly when he described it as, ‘Disneyland with the death penalty.’

  2. Looks good, Sal.
    Have a great trip

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    Great read Sal! Where in Europe will you be going? Looking forward to the updates. Cheers.

  4. RagingBull says

    Great city!! Went there twice last year, going again this year. Definitely worth a trip in it’s self, not just as a stop over

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