06.04.2016 - 10.04.2016
I hadn't done any homework on Singapore, I'd been too distracted elsewhere on my trip. I was also lucky because I have two friends living in Singapore and I was going to see them both.
My trip started off well when I checked into my hostel and I found out that I'd been upgraded to a 'premium' bed.
I had a pod bed. An actual pod bed. There was a wall that went to half the length of the bed and a dark blind that blocked out all the light. Inside the pod I had a telly, which had a ton of films and tv shows to choose from. It might sound a little claustrophobic but it was roomie. I had space to roll over in the night and not hit the walls and I could sit up easily with no danger of hitting my head on the ceiling. Even someone of a normal height would have been ok.
As you may imagine, the hostel lacked some of the atmosphere I'd experienced in other hostels, but this was the best bed I've ever seen and after the flight from Melbourne, just what I wanted.
The next morning, I visited the Sri Mariamman temple in China Town before meeting up with my new Argentinian friend Carolina. We visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple before hopping on a train to Dhoby Ghaut station. From there we walked all the way back to the Gardens by the Bay, through the old colonial district, visiting St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore's Parliament, the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Esplanade.
By this point my foot was hurting a fair amount, but I was excited for the Gardens by the Bay. We went straight for the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. I have to thank Carolina for encouraging the silly photos. I don't love having my photo taken, or asking others to take them, but I had a lot of fun!
By the time we got outside again it was already dark, and the gardens were beautifully illuminated. With some many colours and lights that brighten and dim, it was often hard to know where to look. It wasn't the same beauty as the natural wonders I saw in Chile for example, but striking none the less.
The next day, I finally got to see my friend who moved to Singapore a while ago. In classic Maltby style, she was only in the country for about 12 of the same hours as me and even though she had plenty of things to do, she did make time to see me. We went to her favourite cafe, and then back to her flat so she could make up green body paint for her trip to the Hong Kong rugby 7s. As you do. She was kind enough to let me stay in her flat, even though none of her flat mates would be there, so I had the place to myself.
That night and the next day I got to see my friend Jun. We know each other from AIESEC Leeds where we worked together and now she's the president of AIESEC Singapore! It was so cool to see her after nearly 3 years. We spent a couple of hours in the Art Science museum, which was excellent. I'm almost certain our favourite parts were aimed at children, I especially loved the colouring in and scanning your picture onto an interactive screen. Colouring is good for mindfulness right? We had a drink from the Marina Bay Sans hotel bar, with a slightly foggy but still impressive view.
I loved seeing my friends again. I hope to return to Singapore one day to visit them again, perhaps en route to somewhere else (Bali anyone...?!).