Singapore is an island-city that’s simply must-visit. So visit it I have – many times, and I never tire of going back. Which is just as well, since I keep having to go back as we’ve so much business there. As per usual, there’s normally not much besides work on my visits, but now and again I do get a day or just half of one for my beloved mini-tourisms. Just writing that, I wondered how many times I’d been to Singapore, so I delved into my archives; the result: 13 times. And just the other week I had a +1 = 14 times!…
My first visit to Singapore was way back in 2009, and since then I’ve seen a great deal of the small island country – but by far not all of it. I’ve pottered around its resort-island Sentosa, been up quite a few of its skyscrapers, been blown away by its Jewel Changi Airport, visited its museums and galleries, dressed up as Santa Claus there (!), and sweated it out on a walk around one of its central parks, which featured monkeys. And for my 14th visit we were continuing the park theme: gardens and parks that are mega-awesome, designer, and simply oh-my-grandiose!…
First up, the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We didn’t cover all of them – you probably need more than a day for that, but we did get to see plenty…
At the entrance, a gecko greets us ) ->
Once inside the grounds you decide which of the several routes to take – depending on how much time you have – and you’re off. The paths couldn’t possibly be any smoother, the botanicals all around you simply oh-my-greenery!
Curiously, unlike some countries (both Australia and New Zealand spring to mind), which protect their native flora and safeguard it against non-endemic species from abroad, Singapore imports all kinds of tropical exotica for their botanic gardens, and the resulting variety is simply amazing! ->
Swan Lake? Again? :-)
Interesting modern kunst installations dot the grounds ->
Lake, but… no swans? ->
Ah – there they are; well – just two:
Monitor lizard! Sounds like a slang term for an internet addict ) ->
Robot-lawnmower on a tea-break. Not to be confused with being on strike, since strikes are frowned upon in Singapore ->
…Featuring – a waterfall! ->
Apparently it’s the tallest waterfall in Singapore (man-made, of course). Ah – no: not anymore; now there’s the Jewel!
Another sculpture; can you find it? ->
We left the botanic gardens and headed toward the shore via other parks – of which there are great many. In fact, there are that many parks one can easily get confused – especially when they join parks up into groups, and have bridges connecting the parks… or is it groups of parks? For example, there’s HortPark, situated in the Southern Ridges. Confused? No bother – it adds to the Singaporean charm; main thing – each park is wonderful!…
It goes without saying it was hot and humid. Drenched with sweat I was in no time at all: not the most comfortable strolling conditions (but I’ve experienced worse:).
Henderson Waves bridge. All good, but for one thing: the fallen leaves on the wooden boards underfoot became as slippery as ice!
Next up for us: hopping onto a ferry to get to an island not far off the southern coast:
…Namely – Lazarus Island ->
Don’t worry – the island has no connection to the other Lazarus ).
Some fun on the beach…
Then it was time to be heading back to the main island, for we had an event that evening. Btw – over there: oil refinery. And when the wind blew in our direction there was one hellish stink!
And over there is the new port. Woah – that’s a lot of heavy-duty kit on the horizon (and apparently it does all the loading and unloading of cargoes fully automatically!). Btw – the old one’s being dismantled and turned into something touristy.
Come late afternoon – seeing as it was my birthday – we had a little celebration in a restaurant. At one point I was brought the following “dish”, and at first I thought they’d misspelled my name. But no… Very droll, and nice and subtle ) ->
PS – just to show it wasn’t all play, play, play! ->
They liked the topic that much that they wouldn’t let VK (here with his hand up for some reason) leave for an hour afterward – so keen were they on finding out all the more detail about what I’d just explained in broad strokes!…
And that was that. Singapore – done. A success, and enjoyable too. A while later we were heading back to the airport – but not heading home. Next came Malaysia! All about that in the next post…