I set my alarm for 6 am, but I have been in so many time zones over the last six weeks, an alarm seems pointless. Regardless, I woke up with a lot on my agenda today. I have a long list of things to see and do, courtesy of my friend Shalabh who knows Singapore well and told me exactly what to see. Thanks Shalabh!
My morning started with breakfast and a walk through Little India. After that, I dropped into the Wanderlust hotel. This hotel was featured on the Discovery Channel for being a building made completely of art. Each guest room has a different theme. I noticed that the entire city really looks to the artistic eye to provide a lot of the features. Whether it be beautiful sculptures or the buildings themselves, the city is very different from any city I have visited before. As an artist, I liked this aspect of the city very much and as you will see below, I tried to capture the essence of it in my images.
Arab street was the next stop and both sides of the road were lined with textile and spice shops. There was a promenade leading to the Sultan Mosque with Middle Eastern restaurants, cafes and Shishe bars on both sides.
I then walked across the entire city on Orchard Road, the city’s backbone and it holds the largest number of retail shops I have ever seen in a single place in the entire world. The shops and plazas seemed like they went on forever! Every major designer had what seemed like ten stores in each of the malls that went on for miles. This is a city built with the shopaholic in mind. Along with the massive, high end shopping malls, there were first class hotels with multiple supercars parked out front.
My walk then took me to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. At this point I had been walking for six straight hours, so I decided to jump on a bus to take me back to the other side of the city.
The Marina Bay Sands topped it all off. It is an architectural marvel and is one of the biggest shopping centres I have ever been in. This hotel/residence/casino/shopping mall is also very different, as you will see from the many photos I took. I also enjoyed a very traditional meal of Singapore noodles in the huge food court.
The walk around the Marina and then through the central business distinct yielded some great new shots, and it made me wish I had the 17mm tilt shift lens I have had my eye on.
As the sun disappeared over the horizon, I arrived at my last stop for the day, the historic Raffles Hotel. After photographing the grounds, I headed into the “Long Bar” for the famous Singapore Sling. It was developed by a bartender at the Long Bar, sometime before 1915. I have never tried one, but it was actually very good. I normally don’t like spending $30 for a drink, but I was fine with it this time since it’s a cultural experience. The Long Bar is also the only place in all of Singapore that you can throw things on the ground. They provide you with fresh roasted peanuts and you are encouraged to litter!
The recipe for a Raffles Singapore Sling is:
- 30 ml Gin
- 15 ml Cherry brandy
- 120 ml pineapple juice
- 15 ml lime juice
- 7.5 ml Cointreau
- 7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
- 10 ml Grenadine
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with a slice of pineapple and maraschino cherry
Realistically, I could have enjoyed this city for another day and not pushed myself to the limit, but I have a lot of places to see. I will be having to walk for 13 hours on many days. What seemed like a very long trip does not seem so long any more, the time is flying!
Check out the images of this gorgeous and artistic city, I have to go and catch my flight to India!