(Feb 4 - Feb 6, 2011)
We flew from Orlando to San Francisco and spent the night at a hotel near the airport. Next day, we headed straight to the airport and checked in for our flight to Singapore. The airlines computers were down, so check-in was slow but uneventful and the flight left on time. We had always wanted to try Singapore Airlines as they have a very good reputation. The lie-flat beds in Business Class and First Class looked wonderful but of course we were in coach ! However, the seats were OK and they had excellent IFE (In Flight Entertainment) so we both watched several movies. The food was OK as well. We had to get off the plane in Seoul, South Korea and it gave us a chance to stretch our legs in the terminal. The weird thing about modern airports is they that all the look the same - even the shops are the same.
After another five hour flight, we arrived in Singapore at 1:30 am and grabbed a taxi to our hotel and soon fell asleep.
The hotel, the Best Western Jayleen 1918, was located in an old building but the hotel behind the façade was brand new, if a little small. Our room was at the back, facing another wall !
Best Western Jayleen, 1918
We took a guided tour of the city to get our bearings and to see the basic tourist spots. The weather was cloudy, but it didn't rain until our last stop, the Botanical Gardens.
The Marina Complex (entertainment, gambling etc)
The (very recent) symbol of Singapore, the Merlion
The Thian Hok Keng Temple, the oldest Hok Keng Temple in Singapore built between 1839 and 1842.
The "bugs bunnies" are to celebrate the year of the rabbit which started a few days later.
Statues in the Singapore Botanical Garden on a rainy afternoon
Our final stop was the Botanical Gardens, which on a nice day would have been lovely, but it was raining hard so our visit was a short one.
That evening, the rain stopped long enough for us to visit Chinatown, which was, as expected, crowded with shoppers looking for last minute items before the Chinese New Year
Lucky Cats (the waving arms mean "bring me money")
The next day (our second) was another wet day, so we started at the Changi Museum, which is where the Japanese held all the civilian internees during the war. No photos allowed (then or now) but the museum was very interesting.
Reconstructed chapel from the original prison
That night, we went to Clark's Quay for dinner but it rained on and off the whole time.
Different kinds of balloons for sale in Chinatown
The next day, still wet and cool, we went to the National Museum which was very interesting (although no photos allowed) and by the time we came out, the rain had stopped.
The National Museum
We did have time for a drink (Gin & Tonic) at the famous "Long Bar" at the Raffles Hotel
The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel - very touristy (and very expensive)
Our final evening (which was finally dry) took us back to Clark's Quay again and this time we managed to get a nice phot of the Singapore skyline at night.
Next day - an early start for Kuala Lumpur.