Our last week in Singapore

Mon 21 Jan 2013 03:30

We celebrated the New Year with some lovely people we met in the Marina – Lucille, Brett and their boys, Loic and Etienne who have been Singapore for many years and are currently living on their catamaran.  We even watched the Sydney fireworks from Brett’s laptop while we were having drinks and snacks.  Fortunately the weather cleared in the evening after a torrential downpour that lasted approximately 9 hours.  We enjoyed a fantastic meal accompanied by French champagne and Greg and I arrived back at the boat at 2.30am!

Helen and Spanner arrived on New Year’s Day and we spent the next few days relaxing and taking in some of the sights of Singapore. We ventured out to Gardens in the Bay which is the newest tourist attraction in Marina Bay South and we were suitably impressed – amazing architecture, open spaces with beautiful plants and gardens. We took in the two glass domes – the first one is the Flower Dome which is a walk through different microclimates and their plants. The botanic collection is extensive with 700,000 plants! The second one – The Cloud Forest mimics a tropical climate 1000 – 3500 metres above sea level and includes a stunning 30 m waterfall.

The remaining days really centred on food and the standout meal was at the brand new W hotel across from the marina where we had the best buffet dinner ever – unfortunately this was to be the start of the buffet tour of South East Asia – always in pursuit of the best one. And it is also the first bathroom I have been in that had a heated toilet seat – yes crazy – stifling hot outside in Singapore yet the air conditioning is turned up so high it is like being in a blizzard! We tried lots of Chinese food - at a new restaurant at the marina and at local food courts but we had to be careful as Helen was affected by MSG and it is in nearly everything. We also watched the Life of Pi at Vivo city and the boys thought it was the worst movie they had ever seen – I thought it was quite good but it was a bit crazy to be watching it when we were about to head out to sea.

We also loved taking our friends for a walk each morning around Sentosa Cove to look at the amazing houses and creative architecture, expensive cars and the busy shipping activity in the waters of Singapore. The prices of the homes are ludicrous with the average price of 40 million Sing dollars.

I had been feeling quite sick since Wednesday and thought I better go to the doctor before going to Malaysia and was very impressed with the service – I walked into the medical centre and was seen by a lovely doctor who prescribed antibiotics for the gastro bug and flu. And the best thing was that the medical centre also prescribes the drugs so that I didn’t have to then try and locate a chemist – the whole process only took 1 hour and cost about $50AUD.

It was time for us to leave Singapore so we took Rex back to Raffles Marina for a night and used the marina’s clearing out service to exit Singapore waters. And yes… time for one more buffet (this time at a Japanese restaurant – 5 stars for the sashimi) and one more Chinese meal!

Our six weeks in Singapore was great – we loved the infrastructure, ‘can’ attitude, fusion of Chinese, Indian and Malaysian food but we will not miss the ++ on everything (10% service and 7% GST)! However Rex was now in good shape after the repairs and servicing and ready to continue…