Sunday, January 23, 2011

Singapore/Malaysia Day 15: Little India, Marina Bay Sands

December 5, 2010
Singapore Day 15: Little India, Marina Bay Sands

Today was our last weekend day before heading back to San Francisco, so we really wanted to get some "must-sees" in before the end of the trip. At the same time, I needed to take it easy after yesterday. I just had a light breakfast and the headed to Little India with Matt. We looked around at all the shops and it was really interesting there. There was some amazing architecture and apartment buildings so I took lots of photos. Today was also a good day for buying gifts: I got pashmina scarves for Mom and Norm and a gift for Tim. We went to the Tekka Centre and I found a weird but cool paisely Indian shirt for myself. It's very long though so I might get it shortened before I wear it. :)

We wandered around, soaking up the local culture of the area. We found an Indian Temple and followed the example of folks around us and took off our shoes and socks. There was a guy about our age sitting on the steps of the temple, his smile just beaming at us. He looked so excited that we were interested in the temple and his culture. That was awesome.

From there we got a full coconut each with a big straw in it. We had a bit of a miscommunication at the store and one of the other guys who worked at the store took my coconut off the counter right after I bought it and threw it out! Oops!! The store attendant started talking to him in a "what the heck, man?!" kind of tone and the guy looked sheepish and embarrassed. I said "No problem!" and thankfully they just gave me another one. Hehe. It was really good and a HUGE coconut. After we finished the coconuts I bought some sweet red sunglasses for $2. :) Matt and I then split ways for a while and I headed to Jurong East (which seemed to be in the West?!) to an Outlet Mall. It was pretty cool but nothing to write home/blog about :) It was fun to see a standard mall there, and wander around the supermarket and stuff too. That is always a fascinating experience in a foreign country. At the mall I got some great Thai food for lunch. It was chicken in a pandan leaf and Iced Lime Tea in a cool carafe thing. Very fun.

Then I took the MRT back to the Marina Bay Sands area. The walk up to Marina Bay Sands was awesome and I took lots of pictures. Then I went up the elevator and WOW - what a view!!!!! It was a glorious view of the city and boats in the harbour. I then wandered by the "piece-de-resistance", the Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool. WOW. I had seen a photo of it about a year ago and decided I had to see this if I came to Singapore. It was SO COOL. Unfortunately you had to be a guest to swim in it, but it was an amazing sight to see nonetheless. There was a dude in there on a cell phone, drinking a glass of champagne and looking out at the city. That was SO baller!!!!

I was going to race back down for some reason and get back to the hotel, but why?! Instead, I just chilled out at the Sky Park and got a ginger ale. I found a quiet spot with a great view of the boats in the Singapore harbour and caught up on my journal/blog notes, and just chilled out. What an AMAZING TRIP!! It was so crazy up there and last night at the 1-Altitude Bar was nuts too. "The big life!" I am really just so happy that this trip worked out, and it was even better that I could share these experiences with close friends. Wow. What a day. :)

After spending some time on my journal, I wandered back to the pool and ran into 4 young friends, I'd say they must have been about 15. I think they said they were from Bangladesh. They gave me the phone number of their brother in Canada, it was area code 902 and they said I should give him a call and say Hi from them. I assumed that was probably Mississauga or Vancouver. (Note: Googling this now, it appears to be somewhere in Nova Scotia or PEI!!). They didn't speak much English but they were excited that I was from Canada. After chatting with them for a bit, I headed back down the elevator and back to the MRT and to the hotel to relax, planning to meet up with Matt later for dinner.

After a couple hours, I met up with Matt and we traded stories of the day. We ate the remaining Marks and Spencer mince tarts and had some tea while waiting for Jess. Once Jess got back from her day, she was pretty tired so Matt and I just went out together back to Arab St for dinner. We went to almost the exact same place as Friday night and got some Egyptian food: Hummus and Shish Kebabs. We also got that amazing Moroccan Mint Tea - and I was really surprised when Matt said it was just black tea, mint leaves and sugar!!

We walked back a little ways to the MRT station and got a photo of Raffles Hotel, and then took the subway back to the hotel. We had a few snacks and drinks, I put my laundry in, and got ready for the last 2 days of work before heading back to SF.

Shrine on the way to Little India

Thought these apartments were interesting

Street near our hotel

Some very interesting architecture around here

More interesting buildings. Check out the outdoor elevator!

Walking in Little India

Fruit market

This place was gloriously painted

Bird and statue

Vegetarian restaurant

Lots of gold and jewelery stores

Then I went to a mall for a bit and got some pandan-leaf wrapped chicken at a Thai restaurant - it was really good

Unusual Pringles flavours - "Seaweed", "Soft Shell Crab", "Grilled Shrimp", "Cheesy Cheese"

Downtown buildings

Durian buildings and lanterns (I think?) on the water

Marina Bay Sands!!! Arrrgghhh so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shot from underneath the Marina Bay Sands

Singapore downtown

Network on the water

Hot tubs against the glass

WOW. The amazing infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands. I'd seen a photo of this a year ago and decided that I HAD to see it if we visited Singapore. It was SO cool. I really wanted to swim in it but unfortunately you had to be a guest at the hotel - but I took lots of photos anyway. It was awesome.

Ships in the harbour

Crazy "double helix" bridge

Sun setting on the infinity pool

Me, super psyched about the pool

Wow, so awesome

Don't get too close, guys!

What a view!

A side-view of the infinity pool "ledge". Turns out there is a walkway underneath it, so you're not RIGHT at the edge of the building, but close. :)

Singapore downtown as the sun was setting

Then Matt and I went back to Arab St to get some pita and hummus. It was awesome.

Raffles Hotel in Singapore, all dressed up for Christmas.

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