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OUR SINGAPORE HOLIDAY

Marleneann & Fred

Merle & Maurice

20th March  -  26th March  2008

 

Pictures:            Pan Pacific Singapore                             Su    

                  

 

                             

                    Map of Singapore

 

 

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Fred and I have just returned from our wonderful ten day cruise to the Caribbean on the Queen Mary 2.  We were not going to Singapore until the end of the year. However ... a great  airfare special became available for travel in March. Although it will be stretching our budget, it was just too good to pass up. We asked Merle and Maurice to join us for this holiday.

 

5th January

After searching the internet and reading the many reviews it was decided that Pan Pacific Hotel would be our home away from home for six nights. Each room costing $216(AUD) per night. One should get a good view of the city from the glass outside bubble lifts. This holiday was booked through Todd, our friendly travel agent at Flight Centre.

 

Pan Pacific Singapore

 

We will be flying Etihad Airways. These aircraft have the latest technology and we are looking forward to our flights.

 

Etihad Airways

 

20th March

7.30am and we are ready to leave for the Brisbane Airport. Singapore here we come!

 

HOLIDAY REVIEW

 

We arrived back home yesterday. What a wonderful holiday we have had!

 

Our flights, to and from Singapore, were onboard the new airline to fly Australia and that is Etihad Airways. Very comfortable seats and a television screen for each passenger. Darn...my screen wasn't working. The meals were the best I have had on any flight and the alcoholic drinks were free....YES free!

 

Now to our accommodation.

I must thank Su from the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel, who helped me with our accommodation bookings. Su was easy to contact and replied immediately to my emails. This was very reassuring. The hotel was more spectacular then I imagined it to be. The inside and outside glass lifts were amazing. Orchid arrangements decorated the public areas. The beautifully kept deluxe rooms had a panoramic view of the city. I almost lost Fred in the BIG bed. The pool area was a great place to relax and read the free papers and magazines while the attendants made sure we had plenty of complimentary bottled water and fruit. So busy with sight seeing that we didn't get a chance to dine at the hotel but I did buy some delicious cakes from the bakery in the foyer.

One thing I couldn't help but notice was the friendliness of all the staff at the hotel. Taxis were readily available from the front of the hotel. Management  and staff should be congratulated as they certainly do a great job at Pan Pacific Singapore.

 

Friday: This morning we checked out the shopping centres connected to the Pan Pacific by overhead or underground walkways. The walk to Raffles City Complex and the train station took quite a while as Merle and I wanted to look at the shops that lined the underground walkway. Fred and Maurice are typical men and didn't appreciate our window shopping. The Raffles Hotel is the oldest hotel and has been beautifully restored on the outside to it's original design.

After lunch we took a taxi to the Singapore Zoo. As there were four of us it was easier to take a cab and just as economical  when we alternated in paying the fares. We decided to stay and see the Night Safari. The Night  Safari was opened in 1994 and features 1000 nocturnal animals of about 130 species inhabiting 40 hectares of dense secondary forest.

 

Saturday: An early start to this day didn't achieve much as we found out the shops in Orchard Road didn't open until 10.00am - 11.00am. We walked until our legs wouldn't go anymore and Fred shouted us all a very nice lunch in a typical Singaporean restaurant. I had Pepper Crab for the main course and it was very nice. More time spent browsing the shops before we staggered into a taxi to take us back to our hotel.

Just in time to freshen up for dinner in Chinatown. I booked this tour before I left Australia and it included a ride on a trishaw and a bumboat ride. Dashing through the streets in a procession of trishaws with Fred and I at the end of the line I felt like we were King and Queen. I waved to the tourists as we made our way through the narrow streets of stall holders in Chinatown and then onto the main street to Clark Quay. We took a leisurely ride in a bumboat on the Singapore River and gazed at the many colourful lights and landmarks that lined the river. The mouth of the Singapore River is the spot at which Raffles stepped ashore.

 

Sunday: We arrived at the Jurong Bird Park at 10.30am and this proved to be a perfect time to follow the itinerary for the set shows and feeding times. The area was a pretty park like setting and we all enjoyed this attraction more then the Zoo. A feature is the biggest man made waterfall with lots of bromeliads, orchids and greenery to complete the constructed design. The highlight of the bird show was a bird singing "Happy Birthday".

I deliberately organized a visit to the area called "little India" on Sunday night... as I had been warned not to... it was very busy. You should have seen Merle and Maurice's face when our taxi stopped and they saw thousands of Indian men in the narrow streets. Apparently these are workers from India who work in Singapore and congregate in the area on their one day a week off work. We pushed through the crowds with me laughing all the way. This perfect day ended with a   hilarious taxi  ride. The very funny driver keep yelling at the other drivers and calling them "stupid' while darted in and out of traffic. I will never forget my "Little India" visit.

 

Monday: After breakfast and a little more shopping in the centre adjoining the Pan Pacific Singapore we proceeded to Harbourfront Station to catch the Cable Car to Sentosa Island. We explored the little island which was a typical tourist attraction with rides etc. A giant statue of Merlion sits proudly at the base of the escalators. This is a Singaporean symbol with a lions head and a fish body. As soon as we arrived on the island we were advised to purchased tickets to see the "Song Of The Seas"  a Laser, Bursts of Fire, Light and Water Show to start at 7.40pm. At 6.00pm a heavy downpour of rain started only to stop just before the show. After the delightful production we again boarded the Cable Car back to Harbourfront Station. As it was very busy we waited an hour for a taxi to take us back to our hotel, while rouge taxi drivers kept asking to take us for $35.00 instead the usual $7.50 ride.

 

Tuesday: This day was set aside to explore the Botanical Gardens and the National Orchid Garden and we weren't disappointed. The Gardens opened in 1822, closed in 1829 and it was not until 30 years later that the present Singapore Botanic Gardens was founded. Free admission to the Botanical Gardens but an admission of $5.00 adult or $1.00 Senior Citizens to the Orchid Garden. Over a 1000 species. The  National Flower of Singapore is Vanda Miss Joaquim.  The different sections of the orchid gardens are Orchidarium, Burkill Hall, Yuen-peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection, VIP Orchids, Orchid Terraces & Water Features, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House & Cool House. One really needs more then a day to see everything.

Late afternoon we headed to the Singapore Flyer a new waterfront attraction at Marina Bay. It is a giant ferris wheel that is as high as a 42 storey building. View from the top is Singapore City, Changi Airport, Sentosa Island and beyond into parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. The area has retail, entertainment, food and beverage, Asian tropical rainforest, an open -air theatre for live performances and a dining promenade.

 

Wednesday: The last day of our holiday we were able to do more shopping (I purchased a pair of shoes)...the only thing I found cheaper then in Australia.

Then a visit the Arab area of Singapore. We viewed one of the mosques and checked out the many silk shops that lined both sides of the streets. Unbelievably beautiful fabrics!.

We packed our things, checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Changi Airport.

Our holiday was over. The weather had been kind to us, cloudy most of the time which kept the temperature down and only one shower of rain.

 

Yes...a very enjoyable holiday indeed...I hope to go back in 2011 to the World Orchid Conference.

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