Friday, May 19, 2006

Singapore: City of the Merlion

I have stopped at Changi Airport many times; in my opinion this is one of the world's better airports for lazing around, shopping or eating. However, this was the first time I was going to visit the city-state itself. We stayed at the Plaza Parkroyal Hotel on Beach Road which is close to Orchard Road, home to Singapore's best known shopping centers. Also close by are Bugis Village, a restored old-world shopping plaza and night market, and Boat Quay with it's many al-fresco dining options.

Our days in Singapore were very busy; in fact, we crammed more site-seeing trips in this time than we ought to have done. We saw the Jurong Bird Park - which the kids loved, the Night Safari -which I think is over-rated, Sentosa Island - always take the cable-car at least one way, the views are awesome, Underwater World at Sentosa, and a city tour which covered the spot where Sir William Raffles landed and 'founded' the city that later went on to become Singapore. The national symbol of Singapore is half lion and half mermaid, in other words the Mer-Lion.

We shopped at Mustafa (Himesh Reshammiya here too; God save us!) which is the largest Desi shopping complex here and is said to sell everything from gold to watches, from cameras to stereos, from toys to jewelry. We went there after our cabbie informed us that Indians have to go there; it's sort of like a pilgrimage spot for Indians (even those who live in other countries!).

In the mornings and after a long day we would unwind in the hotel's roof-top swimming pool surrounded by scy-scrapers, which made for a completely different and awesome sight.

Here I have added a picture from our visit to Little China and one of an Indian temple in Little India. Most of the Singapoeans who have roots in India have originated from Tamil Nadu. Therefore, when anyone here says Indian, they usual mean South Indian (food, culture, gods, etc.).

Food was excellent everywhere we ate. The picture is at a Chengdu speciality restaurant in the Parkroyal hotel that served excellent Chinese cuisine. Here the waitress is pouring us some Jasmine tea in a rather exciting manner, and one that requires considerable skills given that the teacup is small, and she didn't spill a drop!


GingGoy said...

the lion city. the same places i was able to visit but there's a lot more to it. will be back there for sure

adithya said...

hey..i just want to know whether the merlion was visible learly from boat quay. if so, how much did it cost to go on the boat? pleas do let me kno...thanx!