A little bit of Luxury :-)
11.07.2010 - 13.07.2010 35 °C
Sorry its just boring writing again couldn't be bothered to upload the photos - here's the photo link just in case you need a refresh! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7200286&l=c1dcbf6010&id=274704963
We were at the airport with plenty of time to spare so we made ourselves comfortable. It was while waiting at the gate that we saw the funniest thing of the trip so far. There was an Asian lady in her late 50s early 60s sitting opposite us who was wearing a jumper and stripey tight things. This was all well and good except that the tights were see through at the top and her jumper wasn't long enough so everyone could see her little lacy white thong underneath! You could see people chuckling everywhere behind her but it certainly wasn't very attractive when she bent down to pick up her bag!
This put us in a good mood for our long flight even better was that we were able to watch three films in a row! Was a relief to land in Singapore but by this stage it was 10.20pm local time since the flight had been delayed. We got a taxi shuttle to our hostel which seemed nice enough and then had a wander around the area. There wasn't much going on through in the direction we had gone so we returned to the hostel to rest our sleepy heads. So sleepy in fact that we both fell asleep fully clothes - I was even still wearing my bag over my shoulder!
With our tummies rumbling after a very unsatisfying breakfast of dry toast we decided to wander to Little India. i am unsure if it was that we didn't find the main area or if it was too early but it was quite frankly disappointing. The highlight however, has to be the "Mustafa Centre" where they sold everything you could imagine. It was like a TK Maxx on a much bigger, Asian scaled; we just liked it for ti name!
We were really hot an uncomfortable so headed back towards the hostel to grab our bags. The five minute walk to the MRT station was quite painful and felt very long but good practice for us to get used to carrying our bags again! The lady at the hostel had been really wrong about where we had to go so we were thankful that we asked at the station. We had to get the train to Dhoby Ghott and then from there catch a bus to the hotel. The tickets for the underground are made of plastic instead of paper and you pay a $1 refundable deposit for then; that's certainly one way to cut down on rubbish! The stations seem much quieter than London so I can't see it working at home...
The bus journey was simple and this train-bus combo worked much smoother than it had done in Sydney! It did help that we really couldn't miss the hotel; it is huge!! Certainly an impressive piece of architecture and very dominating of the surrounding skyline. We didn't get too many funny looks inside the building but that may have been because there were so many people just there to stare in amazement. The lady at reception did seem quite baffled when she asked about our luggage and we pointed to our backs, not altogether sure how she could have missed their presence though!
Our room was in Tower 3 on the 29th floor - so just about in the middle!! It was a good tower to be in too because it was the one with direct access to the swimming pool at the top. At least we wouldn't have to walk through the hotel lobby in our swim wear!! The room wasn't as good as we had expected for the price but it was nice enough plus it did have a pretty swish bathroom. What was impressive though was that the TV had my name on it when we turned it on!! the view from our window was of a construction site but beyond that we could at least see the sea and all of the big boats waiting around the port.
By this stage we were starving (the dry toast hadn't really been substantial in the morning) so we ventured back outside to battle the humidity in search of Chinatown. We got a bus to Esplanade which was literally just over the bridge but we couldn't find the food court or the MRT. As is the way everyone kept pointing us in different directions when we asked directions too; always helpful! Eventually we found a lady who said it would be easier to just walk to Chinatown and there would be loads of food there so walk we did. It was a walk which took us past the Parliament building which is basically just a hunk of concrete plonked on a piece of grass - bit different to our Houses of Parliament!!
Chinatown began just after we crossed the river and once again we felt as if we were in the wrong place. We gave up searching so settled in a restaurant for some food. The waiter didn't speak any English but hovered around us even after we had ordered which was somewhat irritating so we moved to a table inside. Our noodles and sweet and sour chicken were really tasty though and very much appreciated by our rumbling tummies.
It wasn't until we left here and walked round a couple of corners that we discovered the real Chinatown with stalls and food places everywhere; it is a good job that we had enjoyed our lunch otherwise we would have been fuming I imagine!! We meandered our way through the stalls and shops attempting to find a camera case and some sunglasses; we succeeded in the latter at least! This sightseeing/shopping turned out to be somewhat tiring and we figured we probably ought to be making the most of this pool at the hotel since it was costing us so much money! We didn't fancy the walk back again as it probably would have meant we got lost once more in the concrete jungle so we once more negotiated the MRT/bus journey.
We went for an explore around the hotel once we made it back there. Its going to be spectacularly impressive once everything is finished and all the shops are actually open. Don't think we'd be touching it with a barge pole then though because it will be super uber expensivo!! Looks like there is going to be a ridiculously massive Chanel and Gucci stores though...be good for window shopping! We were still completely in awe even without everything open/ We weren't dressed well even to have a nose around the casino so we figured it was about time we experienced the pool; after all this was the reason we were there in the first place! The view was somewhat breathtaking and begged us to question why we hadn't just been there all day long looking out over Chinatown!
Kristian was beyond excited about getting into the water so we didn't hang around too long at the poolside. The water was really refreshing after being so clammy all day and just the most perfect temperature. The view from the edge of the pool was fantastic. You could see for miles out over Marina Bay and then the city beyond so we spent a while tracking our path through the skyscrapers and into Chinatown. The view from poolside was even better as although you couldn't see directly below you just saw the edge of the pool looking like it was dropping off into oblivion. The whole complex really is a rather impressive concept (well will be when finished!).
We stayed in the pool for quite some time just admiring the landscape before popping out for a light refreshment of beer and mango juice. Then just as we were drying off we got back into watch the sunset over Singapore. We were both rather peckish once more and definitely looked like shriveled grapes (it had been more than 2 hours!) so we figured it was probably about time to leave. We had dinner at one of the food stalls in the shopping complex which was surprisingly yummy. I had roasted chicken, green vegetables and noodle while Kristian had a whole array of dishes in a tray; was like a seriously sophisticated TV dinner!
After realising that we had to pay to watch anything on the TV and the wifi was a gobsmacking $15 per hour (it was free at the hostel the night before) we though we would go back up to the pool to have a look over Singapore at night. It was even more impressive at this time with the whole city lit up so brightly. So much light pollution though that there wasn't a star in the sky! The pool shut at 10pm and we were among the last to leave...surprise surprise! After a rendition of night fever in the lift lobby with its flashing lights we headed back to our room; basically everything including the bars and "nightclubs" shut at 10pm and it was too much effort to head back into town.
We got up early in order to make one final use of the pool; it was about all that had been included free with our room! The breakfast here was extortionate so we were dreaming merrily of the inadequate and free breakfast from the day before! And they say you get what you pay for...not so sure anymore!
We also had a visit up to the skypark included (but this was only as an opening offer - in the future guests even have to pay for this - but we only got to go up once and also a photo experience. Utilising these though was exceptionally hard as it would appear different departments within the hotel don't communicate with one another. After waiting in line for our tickets we found out that only one of the people could issue our ticket but even she seemed a little confused about what we were doing because we didn't have an itinerary. Eventually she sent us on our way informing us the photo experience was at the top. Up there the photographer again mentioned this itinerary from the concierge and that the photo had to be done downstairs in the shop. Obviously the concierge had mentioned nothing about an itinerary when we had asked the night before! Anyways it was good to see the view from here at the end of the building as it meant that we had a 360 degree view from the sea to the city which was pretty cool and just about worth the hassle. We went back down to finally get this photo done (there was no way we were missing out on something free from this place!) and Kristian decided to push me off the building in it - pretty amusing. When we came to check out we discovered we had been charged for the photo. The guy at reception was adamant that the photo wasn't included in the package. We argued our point and he went off to discover (thankfully) that we were right. Fortunately storing our bags was much less of a palaver and we were ready to find food, after all it had been a busy and stressful morning. We're thinking we'll stick to hostels and guesthouses in the future!
This time we walked over the bridge to esplanade where everything was closed! After asking numerous people we eventually found a food court. The place where we ate was very efficient and the lady kept shouting us to "continue order". Neither of us really knew what we ate that day as a result but it certainly was tasty.
After lunch we did some more wandering this time in search of an internet cafe; everywhere has wifi but internet cafes are few and far between. On the way to what we hoped would finally be somewhere we picked up some really tasty ice cream waffle things which we finished just in time. Yes all we do on our trip is eat!!
We spent quite a while in the internet cafe trying to sort bits and pieces out. The guy in the booth next us was a very interesting fellow; he was probably in his mid to late 50s, very chubby and of Singaporean heritage. For the whole time we were there (about 2 and a half hours) he sat very blatantly trying to find a male prostitute on chat rooms and websites with graphic images!!! He was being very obvious considering that homosexuality is still illegal in Singapore. His desperation was very clear as he was typing things like "When can we meet...one hour?...I need to see your naked body...anyone want to be paid for sex." Haha. It was a very surreal moment for us and we had to try so very hard not to burst out laughing.
From the internet cafe we headed back to the hotel in order to catch the bus to KL. It was a 27 seater bus with two people working on it and just the two of us as passengers! Not sure how cost effective that would have been really..! We past smoothly through immigration, had spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and arrived in KL early. The journey took less than 5 hours but they dropped us off somewhere strange where we eventually found our way to a taxi. We bought a taxi coupon and found a taxi but the driver didn't know where the lodge was that we were staying. After discussing with another driver he was determined that he would find it so off we went; it turned out that the road was off a road which he drives down multiple times a day! Pretty funny but now it was nearing 11pm and it had been a very long day so we took our sleepy heads straight off to bed in preparation for an early start.