We were finally able to check-in; as we were waiting for our flight, it began pouring rain. After a few minutes, the rain had faded and we were able to board. We flew from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A full circle was completed by the time we got stamped in, grabbed our luggage, check-in, got stamped out and then boarded. I am pretty sure we got onto the same plane. From KL we flew to Singapore.
I immediately fell in love with the city. Perhaps it was the Westernization, but it was beautiful. There were proper highways and English street signs. Driving up at night, I could see the Ferris wheel along the water and a gorgeous skyline. There were parks and shopping centers and a mix of old and new. I was in complete awe.
For the next few nights we'd be staying at the River City Inn. It was a new hostel that was very nice. They gave us a tour (it was only one floor) and pointed out the sink to brush our teeth. We were both hungry and tired after our day of traveling. I had been craving some spring rolls and Anastasia thought she remembered a place with good ones so we went there. Unfortunately, the food was terrible; at least it was cheap!
(Wednesday) Today we walked around China Town. It was filled with street vendors selling clothes, food, flowers, decorations, etc. It was a lively part of town. The architecture was old and rustic. It was so colorful and incredible. The buildings had a European flair to them as they were stacked one on top of the other. We ate at the outdoor cafeteria in the middle of China Town. In the center were picnic tables with a couple dozen windows selling food on the outskirts.
We knew that we were going to go to Altitude in the evening, and we were not allowed to wear flip flops. Therefore, we went to the mall to look for some wedges. I had no idea they were so difficult to find! Finally, we found some wedges, and I happened to buy a dress. We spent the rest of the evening getting ready. We did our hair and makeup. It felt so good to get ready, put on a beautiful dress and finish it off with wedges. I think I forgot how to wear heels. My foot slipped a couple of times.
We tried to catch a cab, but it was nearly impossible. The walk was only 10 minutes so we started to go to Altitude. When we got there, the rooftop was closed for a private party that would be ending soon. We opted for the sports bar just a couple floors below. There we ordered some wine and mushroom wedges. The harbor was in perfect view from our seats, and from the window we enjoyed the setting sun.
After our glass of wine, we made our way to the top. Altitude is the highest point in Singapore. We were able to catch the last of the sunset and enjoyed the skyline being lit up. We ordered some hummus, green curry dip and roasted eggplant and pumpkin dip. They were all incredible. When I went to order a glass of wine, this man approached me and asked if I was German. Never in my life have I been asked that. He invited us to drink with them. They ordered a couple bottles of wine, and we were able to enjoy the rest of the evening with our new friends. When we left it was only 10pm, but we were tired and lazy from the wine so we did not go out after!
(Thursday) I finally got to Skype with Vanessa today! I miss her so much. When I was done, I met back up with Anastasia, and we headed to the East Coast. It was a short cab ride. We rented some roller blades and cruised along the coast. I haven't worn roller bladed in ages, and I was shaky to start. I finally got my groove back. The sun was beautiful against the water as the smell of the ocean mixed with the gardens. It was a lovely afternoon. We ran into some guys from the navy who happened to like my dress. I would like to think it was because of the anchors that were on it. We skated along and saw a wake board park and watched some of the guys do tricks. I also hadn't eaten so we enjoyed some lunch and cool drinks while resting.
We stopped in Little India before returning to our hostel. The shops sold absolutely everything and anything. There was a market with beautiful clothes where I tried on different dress options for Imran's wedding! The clothing is so colorful and decorative.
For dinner we went to an Irish Pub and then headed to Clarke Que which houses restaurants, bars and shops along the river. We stopped at The Elephant where a live band was playing. They were absolutely incredible. The band was a mix of different races, and the female vocalist was raw and raunchy. She could have easily done a Janis Joplin cover, but she did not want to fill my request. It was a great and mellow evening.
(Friday) We were planning on leaving for Malacca in the evening. I could not find a bus that had any availability still. I spent an hour trying to call various companies. Eventually, they opened more buses, and I was able to secure us two seats. Before then, I decided to walk around. I wanted to see some of the amazing architecture. It is so beautiful in Singapore. I love the old buildings mixed with the new. The contrast is so great. Singapore's architecture is so modern and advanced; I have never seen such creativity before.
I walked throughout the city center and saw some sculptures. There was one with red figures spiraling to create a pyramid. It represented the continuously evolving society of Singapore. Then I walked across the bridge to the War Memorial Park. I continued to Raffles Hotel. Orville had been talking about this hotel because he visited when he was in service. The hotel has been around since the late 1800s and is remarkably beautiful. I decided to have lunch in the garden. I ordered some dumplings and had to try the famous Singapore Sling.
I continued my journey to see some churches and then headed towards the Ferris wheel. I saw the outdoor venue and walked along the water. When I got to to the Marina Bay Sands hotel, I was in awe. There was a beautiful flower sculpture on the water. Then there was a huge mall with every designer imaginable. There was also an ice skating rink and a beautiful casino. I wanted to play some Blackjack, but the lowest table was S$25. My skills are not up to par for that yet! I continued onto the hotel and watched in amazement. It looks like there's a spaceship atop of the towers. On the roof is a pool, bar and garden. It's modern architecture at its finest!
I'm slightly obsessed with Singapore. The people are so friendly, and it is beautiful. There are some odd laws with big fines for things like chewing gum, peeing in a lift, not flushing the toilet and smoking on the street. Some broken laws can also lead to the death penalty by means of hanging. Although these laws seem a bit strict, the atmosphere is very relaxed. The city is extremely clean; trash cans are found everywhere with funny sings that read Feed Me, I'm Hungry or Lets Bin It! These are great steps that more cities should implement. The city is continuously growing and advancing. It has a small town feel and still manages to keep a traditional vibe. There is a great business district but not like one I've seen before. No one was rushing around checking their clocks or waiting for the Walk/Don't Walk sign. Instead, they were enjoying casual conversations and life. Pedestrians are good pedestrians and drivers are good drivers. They all stopped behind the lines and no one cut anyone off. There's probably a law against that too! The grad program I was looking at is half in New York and half in Singapore. I am that much more excited to apply :)