Feb 13th – Singapore

Only 26C in the morning !!! – and yes it got hotter and more humid. The guide said it was a cool day for a change :-/

Aside from the over officious customs staff, Singapore was a very interesting place to visit. Everyone who was getting off the ship had to complete a special online entry app, which we did once we had access two days before arrival. The problem was getting through customs. Once we got into line, it took an hour for us to be cleared. But as travellers, one accepts that. However, we had to do the whole thing in reverse to reboard the ship. Fortunately, after being cleared to reboard, we had a little blue dot placed on the back our passports which made getting off the next day waaaaaay faster, although we still had to go through customs to get back on the ship. :-/

On Monday we did a highlights of Singapour tour. Our first stop was the National Orchid Garden which was part of the Singapore Botanical Garden. It was fabulous. It’s tempting to post way too many pictures from the garden but I’ll just do some highlights for now. The garden has what they call a VIP section. Various VIPs, including politicians, who were official visitors to the garden had orchids named after them and many of these orchids were dotted around the building where the VIPs were pictured & listed. I was pleasantly surprised to see a picture of Tarja Halonen, a former President of Finland, who visited in 2008. Sadly, we could not find the orchid named for her. However, we did find a former Canadian politician. A new type of orchid can take up to 4 years to create! Interestingly, the clocks show 4 timezones: Singapore, London, Tokyo, and Vancouver!

We were then taken to the esplanade river walk area with its lovely parks and views of the river and buildings both modern and colonial including the Singapore Cricket Club.

We had a stop in Singapore’s Chinatown which is quite a large area. Singapore’s population is approx 70% Chinese. We had already visited Chinatowns in Panang and Kuala Lumpur (sort of) so it was much the same but a larger area. We meandered a bit and then found a place to sit down and wait until we were getting back on the bus. We watched some men play a board game we did not recognize.

Singapore is a beautiful city. It is trying to be as green a possible so in addition to trees, there is a lot of vertical greenery on buildings.

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