Singapore 2012 Part 2

There is only two ways that we are going to travel around Singapore MRT rail or using something that we were born with two good feet.
Elena is here for a work conference, well that’s what we are told but knowing the company she works for like I do (I worked for them in the past) the conference will soon turn to party mode and as Elena has bought a ball dress in the luggage its confirmed the thoughts.
So all this conferencing gives me time to walk the streets and really get to know the city. Its been 10 years since I was here last and I just wanted to see how much has change and how much was still the old Singapore I remember.
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After dropping the bags as The Mandarin Oriental Hotel situated in the edge of Marina Bay we were soon off exploring the city. The new Marina Bay Sands complex now dominates the skyline and is a must do for those who want to shop, in fact the whole of Singapore is shoppers paradise, although its not as cheap as I remembered. But in our true form of not wanting to spend large amounts of  money we found our dinner place opposite our hotel and for $6 we ate well.

 

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Walking around the bay, it seemed that everyone was out to do exactly the same as me, it was a complete camera fest. Needless to say I felt totally comfortable with my Canon branded shoulder strap letting everyone know what I have.
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Elena had her first meeting to but for which really was a themed beach party on Sentosa Island a short bus ride away. So it was a night in for me to just catch up on some well earned rest. I turned the TV on and in traditional fashion I was asleep well before the first add break, what was I watching? who knows and who cares – was asleep and have no idea what time party girl got home.

Rising early Elena had a full mornings of seminars I wandered up to the mall next door for breakfast. Its quite good that in the area we were staying all of the major hotels are linked by the mall so shopping is right on your doorstep. Now that I’ve just written this I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
Stopping at Starbucks and sucking back on a coffee and butters bun I decided that since I had until 1.30pm on my own I would retrace some of my old steps from 10 years ago and set off for Bugis on foot.

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Sometimes when you are walking you just have to slow down and really take in the surroundings. The flowers and the trees are different here and the smells in the air are hard to describe but you know that you are in Asia. Taking my camera from my bag it immediately fogged up due to the very high humidity but after waiting five minutes for everything to balance I quickly snapped off a picture of the flowers. I didn’t realize how beautiful the picture was until later when I checked my photos.

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As I wandered my snapshots started to create a theme I was taking pictures of buildings as the place fascinated me. The city is modern but not overstated. As these early hours there is really no life as in Asia, most shops open late morning and stay open late into the evening, so I pretty much had the city to my self apart from the throngs of joggers and the of group of tourists milling around waiting for the stores to open.

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Walking upriver toward Clarke Quay I was getting my bearings and in the light misty rain tried to keep the camera dry. I knew that by getting to this point I may have a better chance of finding my way to Bugis.

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The Quay is a colorful place and even in the rain I was able to enjoy a casual stroll down the lanes remembering what it was like here ten years earlier, not too much has changed, its a beautiful area and one well to explore by the little river boats that do tours up the river.

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The rain was starting to ease, crossing a foot bridge and knowing that dodging puddles has never been my strong point, with wet sandals I made my way back along the opposite side of the river towards the Raffles Monument.

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Bugis is a vibrant part of town and passing the temples is always a great way to see to local culture and cuisine. the smell of burning incense and food filled the air. the sounds of cymbals and rhythmic chanting only heightened ones seances that this is the true spirit if the country.

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As I was now so close to the hotel and our meeting place, I had some time to spare I stumbled upon the Garden festival that was happening at Siam Square. For the cost of $8 I though why not, its out of the rain that had now decided to return and I know that Elena’s Mum would love to see the pictures. I was amazed that the whole 2 levels of the exhibition centre was filled with so many exhibits. I didn’t have enough time to view them all.
I had to leave, as time was getting away and I didn’t want to keep Elena waiting….

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