It is hard to believe that is has been nine weeks since the COVID 19 lockdown. I am lucky I’ve been able to work from home and we have been utilizing food delivery from restaurants that offer take out. But I have to admit I’m missing eating out and traveling.
As we finish this week and go into another week, all my travel plans are on hold or have been canceled. One work trip was canceled and I am desperately trying to hang on to the hope of our vacation May 31st. The cold and the rain don’t help my mood so at this point I’m relegated to travel websites and scrolling through 9,000 photos open my iPhone and reminiscing of travels adventures of the past, my past.
So, close your eyes as we board a plane and head to SE Asia. This was a trip of a lifetime for the hubster and me. On a cold February Morning in 2018 we boarded the plane for an 20+ hour journey. The flight path took us over the North Pole, Russia and China. Several meals and lots of movies and a short layover in Seoul, South Korea we finally touched down in Singapore. It was about about 1 AM when we checked in to our hotel. A short nap and up at out about 8AM. But first coffee, we even brought our own to brew not knowing what to expect in the coffee department, we brought our own.
The humidity hits you square in the face as you as you step out from the comfort of the air conditioned hotel lobby. One block and I’m already wilting from the heat. We decided to see the city via the hop on hop off bus. We wanted to get oriented and see as much as we could by bus before exploring on foot. And it’s a pretty good price for 24 hours. There are several lines to chose from, so we started on the red line. Up top and up front to get a good view. We went through all the neighborhoods, listening to the recorded tour guide. Singapore is a “fine” city. There are many rules to follow and if you don’t you’ll get fined.
On the second loop we decided to get off in Little India and start exploring. The sounds of street vendors and the aroma of street food wafting in the air entices you to explore all the nooks and crannies in the neighborhood. We wandered around the vendor stalls full of flowers and watched them string the brightly colored flowers on strings that would become offerings at the Temple.
Sri RuthraKaliamman temple is nothing what I could imagine. Ornately decorated on the outside was just the beginning on what was inside. Slip your shoes off at the door and for your convenience and respect for the house of worship there is a box of coverings to chose for your use. As you wonder take your time to gaze on the statues of the deities and offerings. Keep in mind this is a place of worship and we certainly did not want to interfere with prayers. We stayed out of the way and quiet. There is so much to see all around you. If you don’t look up you will miss the statues of the gods that surround you.
Back on the bus and on to the next neighborhood, Chinatown. It was late morning and I had food on my mind at this point. Since I am confessed planner, I. had already done my homework on where to eat. If you didn’t know Singapore is a Foodie city. We barely scratched the surface of the variety of food. If you come away from Singapore hungry you need to check your fork at the door. We meandered through countless food markets. Fruits and vegetables to a variety of dried items. I have no idea what we were gazing upon, but they certainly had beautiful textures.
Did I mention the heat and humidity? It’s humid. We began wondering around Chinatown but it was getting hotter and I needed a break. A food break is never a bad idea. So we headed to one of the many hawker centers in the city. For us westerners, it a big food courts. And we located one of the many food courts, that are stationed all over the city. Chicken rice, Chili Crab, noodles, dumplings are just a small sampling of the choices you can get. Grab a meal find a table and enjoy your feast.
Follow the lines. If a stall or a cart has a crowd it a safe bet it is good. After watching several travel shows, all the hosts raved about Chicken Rice. Who am i to argue with the likes of Anthony Bourdain. Found it! I got in line and ordered my chicken rice. Find the lines and you’ll find good food. Long lines and even a poster of Anthony, himself. A proud stall owner displaying a badge of honor? All that didn’t matter it was all enticing, too many choices. We scoured the other stalls and settled on a few dishes and shared a meal of several different dishes.
After feeding our faces, we headed back to explore more of Chinatown. We arrived a week before the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog. Chinatown was prettied decked out! A few more temples later and it was getting late.
We headed back to the hotel and a quick change out out the sweat drenched clothes. Freshly dressed off to another iconic location in the city, and not to be missed-Gardens by the Bay.
It is a beautiful garden of towing man made trees that come to life after dark. Rock music and Twinkling lights makes a great show! Sit back under a tree look up and enjoy the show. After the dazzling light show the crowd dispersed into the night. We headed to a hawker center just passed the grove of electric trees. Ah another meal! This time we ordered an assortment of dumplings and boa buns. And of course a cold beer to wash it down.
We strolled back to the hotel through the Marina Bay Waterfront Hotel and beating the heat the and humidity cut through several shopping malls for a respite from the humidity. We walked along the waterfront and the big lotus flower sculpture and enjoyed our evening stroll.
It was a busy, hectic day full of sights, sounds and most of all food. We settled in our room scrolled through the numerous pictures and the fell into a deep slumber, dreaming of doing it all again the next day.