Before our trip, if I heard someone speak of the country of Singapore (which didn't happen often, if ever), there wouldn't be much that came to mind. It took us a long time to even find it on the map the first time we looked for it. We chose to go there because of Anthony Bourdain's show The Layover. We were all set to go to Santiago Chile and just needed to buy the tickets until we watched that show. Ticket prices there were the same if not lower than to Santiago, so off we went.
After seeing the Gardens by the Bay that I blogged about earlier we wanted to see the sights around the rest of Marina Bay.
Across the bay from the Gardens by the Bay is the Singapore Flyer, which we didn't go on. I think it was our lack of knowledge of Singapore that kept us from going. What is the point of paying quite a bit to look at a city that you wouldn't recognize. The Singapore Flyer is a lot like the London Eye, which we did go on when we went to London. Having seen iconic pictures of London our whole lives, going on it seemed worth it. I am sure the Singapore Flyer would be a nice attraction so please don't let our hesitation stop you!
You can just see the bumboat in the picture above, so let me zoom in for you. In Singapore in this day and age they use these mainly as taxis for tourist. We were going to go on a bumboat river cruise but for some reason or another never did. They were fun to see though.
It was about this time that we got hungry. There was a mall nearby so we popped in to see what it was all about. It was like any typical mall you would find in America so that wasn't that impressive. What was impressive however, was the food court. That was not like any typical food court you would find in America!
It was setup like a hawker center. A hawker center is a Singaporean thing. They basically took all the street vendors and grouped them under one roof in different spots in the city. I have more details on that to come in a later posts, but just know there were many different types of foods to choose from, but thankfully no American fast food.
As you can see it definitely was NOT like an American mall food court!
It was mainly all Asian/Indian food. This hawker center in the mall was a little more expensive than a normal hawker center but the food was still very good. We finally settled on Indian food. It was wonderful. I can't tell you what any of it is except the rice and the naan bread. I do know mine was vegetarian though. The naan bread was cooked in a tandoori oven right in front of us. I just watched with a little bit of drool seeping from the corner of my mouth as the cook slapped that thing in the oven, flipped it over, and then put it on my tray.
Happily stuffed we went on our merry way. We had to cross the bay to get to where we were going. The Helix bridge was our choice. How can you not want to cross a bridge modeled after a DNA strand?
From the bridge we saw this floating soccer field. Isn't that just too cool?!? There was a net all around it to keep the ball from going in the water, but even when we walked right past it, the net was hard to see. I think that would make for an interesting game. Oh look the ball is going in the water! Nope. The net did its job once again!
Across the bay was our target. The merlion that resides at Fullerton Square in front of the Fullerton Hotel.
The merlion is half fish half lion. I love lion statues. I don't know what it is about them, but I really like them. This one is just as great, if not better than just a regular old lion. I mean come on, it shoots water out of its mouth!
There is also a mini merlion behind the original one. Isn't it adorable?
Continuing around the bay we saw the ice cream man! Now I had read about these ice cream sandwiches before going to Singapore and I knew it was something I would be trying. You can find an ice cream man easily and they are there year-round seeing how it NEVER cools down there. Some of them have a few different flavors but they don't vary much and all of them are cheap!
You can get a scoop of ice cream in a cup or a cone or you can get a slice of ice cream placed between two wafers. For just a little bit more you can have bread ice cream.
Well this is something I MUST try! I decided to go all out with trying something new and chose the red bean ice cream in bread. The bread is always a pastel rainbow but beyond that, it tastes just like regular bread. The ice cream wasn't outstanding but it wasn't bad either. It was an interesting experience and I would have it again, but not before trying the wafer sandwich next time!
Happy to have gotten my "exotic" ice cream we continued on to the Cavenagh Bridge. I loved the sign on it.
But the reason we went to the bridge was to see the statues surrounding it.
I mean, there were kittens. Kittens! Who doesn't love a cute kitten statue??
The was a statue depicting the river merchants of yesteryear.
There was the River Children statue. I wonder if this still happens today. We didn't see anyone swimming in the river, so probably not. Singapore likes to keep a tidy profile, so this is probably banned.
The last statue that I would like to share with you is this one by Fernando Botero titled Bird. Botero is know for sculpting very plumb animals and humans. We have seen his rendition of Venus at the San Antonio Museum of Art. It is so neat to be somewhere and recognize an artist's work that you have seen in another part of the world. (Except Picasso. That dude had to have painted over 1,000 paintings because we see his works in just about every art museum we go to!)
This ends our tour of Marina Bay. I hope you enjoyed it. My next post will be about our trek to Little India in Singapore. I hope you will return to read it.