Adventures as Miss Saigon

Take two!

Posted on: December 4, 2010

To prove that we weren’t holding a grudge against Singapore after eating there made us all violently ill, Wendy and I flew back to the city/country last weekend. After getting off to a rough start (our plane was delayed almost 4 hours, making us miss our hostel check in), catching a few hours of sleep/quiet time at our “regular” spot in the Singapore airport (pretty pathetic when you’ve spent just as much time in the Singapore airport as you have in Singapore itself), we took a taxi into Little India (near where our hostel was located) at 6am. Our mission for this weekend trip was to indulge in as much shopping, fabulous foods and other Western luxuries not available in Vietnam, so we started off our trip the best way we could – with a visit to the 5 storey Mustafa Centre, a 24 hour shopping center. This place sold everything, and Wendy and I had a great time wandering the aisles and making a few random purchases (Wendy’s ring watch was by far the best!) before we set out to find our hostel.

On our walk through Little India to our hostel, we stumbled upon one of the coolest buildings I think I’ve ever seen. The former confectionery house turned yoga studio was vibrant and colourful, and looked even more incredible set against the bright blue sky and morning sun. Finally at 9am, our hostel (set above a small Australian pub in Little India) opened and we were able to get a few hours of sleep before our shopping fun began again!

buildings in Little India

colourful creation

more of the colourful creation

colours, colours...everywhere!

I'm now obsessed with colourful buildings

palm trees and pretty colours

With our sights set on finding a delicious lunch, we hoped on the MRT (mass rapid transit) and wandered in and out and past malls searching for a specific Chinese vegetarian restaurant. After finally locating it, we sat down for a wonderful (and expensive) lunch! But one can’t put a price on a meal that doesn’t end up giving you food poisoning!

veg pineapple rice...yum yum!

The afternoon was spent sipping sweet treats from Starbucks, browsing and buying in real malls, and taking in all the Christmas sights. One of the sweet treat highlights was a Singaporean ice cream sandwich, which they apparently take quite literally!

mmmmStarbucks...guess I won't be growing younger this year!

Christmas in S'pore

calm traffic and Christmas trees

lots and lots of Christmas trees

ferrero rocher feeling festive

Wendy getting her ice cream sandwich

Singapore's take on the ice cream sandwich...an ice cream bar wrapped in a piece of colourful bread!

At night, we wandered around Clarke Quay, and headed for dinner at one of the well known hawker centers. A hawker center in Singapore is an open air food court, with delicious cheap eats. Compared to our $25 lunch, my dinner of chicken rice cost $4. Saving on this meal allowed me to splurge on an $18 Singapore Sling drink back in Clarke Quay when we revisited after dinner.

Clarke Quay

building with colourfully lit windows by Clarke Quay

dinner at a hawker's center

one of the bars in Clarke Quay...waitresses as nurses, wheelchairs were seats, and drinks came in IV bags hung from poles...check out the prices!

Wendy at the bar we picked to have drinks at...for the music that was playing!

my $18 Singapore Sling...it was worth it!

In a “just because we can” moment, we decided to walk back to the Marina Bay area after a taxi driver told us because we were foreigners that we could get into the casino for free (it costs Singaporeans $100 if they want to go in), and that we could also access the observation area at the top of the boat building (this massive boat set across three towers on the far side of the bay). I lost $2 in the slot machines, and we lost hope that we could get up to the top of the boat pretty quickly. It was only upon getting into a taxi to take us back to the hostel that we realized we weren’t even in the right building! Our taxi driver did try to comfort us by telling us that it would have cost us $20 each to get up to the top!

Marina Bay skyline at night

Back at the hostel, we settled in for a good night’s sleep, and woke up relaxed and refreshed the next morning. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the hostel before heading out again. A quick tour of Chinatown, and back to more shops! Before heading back to the airport, we stopped at the Expo center to check out a flea market that Wendy had heard about. Two dresses were purchased there, one for Ms Wendy, and one for my dog…as a joke and because finding dog things in Asia is proving to be difficult! Then it was off to the airport on MRT to repack our bags with all of our purchases, and check into what we would soon discover was another delayed flight. With close to 4 hours to kill in the Singapore airport, we found some dinner, got another Starbucks and relaxed. We officially shopped until we dropped! Singapore was very good to us the second time around!

Chinese medicine shop in Chinatown where I made some purchases

temple in Chinatown

another temple in the distance

in Chinatown

more colours in Chinatown

Chinatown

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