Friday, November 7, 2014

A Second Look at Singapore

Leaving Cambodia on Sunday, October 11th, we arrived in Singapore via Bangkok, that evening.  This was my second visit to Singapore.  (You can see my first visit by clicking here.) Bob and I had Monday to ourselves and heeded the call to explore the "pleasure island" of Sentosa.  Just like the place in the story of Pinocchio, Sentosa is a two square-mile island just off the coast of Singapore, designed entirely for fun.  From golf courses and beaches, to skydiving tunnels and zip-lines, Sentosa is a vacation money-pit promising to keep every member of the family entertained and happy.  We exercised restraint and visited only to see the sites.  (Although in hindsight, I think we would have enjoyed a day of just basking in the sun on the pristine made-made beaches.) We found it humorous to find "Insadong Street, Seoul", next to Universal Studios.

On Tuesday, after Bob's morning work meetings, I was invited to join the group for a delicious lunch at the "True Blue" Peranakan restaurant.  Peranakan is a term used to define the descendants of Chinese immigrants who migrated to and inter-married with the Malaysia and Indonesian people during the 15th-17th centuries.  Following lunch we toured the Peranakan Museum nearby. I was impressed with the detailed embroidery and bead-work tapestries, and would love to have some of their colorful ceramic dishes.

Our group tour continued to Singapore's Gardens by the Bay where we explored the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.  The cool-dry vegetation of the Flower Dome exhibit includes a 1,000 year-old twisted Olive Tree, several Boab or "bottle trees" with their large trunks. and one of my favorites, the Baobab tree from the beloved story of The Little Prince.

The Cloud Forest showcases the world's tallest indoor waterfall which tumbles from a 35-meter high mountain covered in tropical foliage.  Two walkways in the cloud circle the mountain allowing for aerial views of the plants.

Bob and I took a Singapore River Cruise on Wednesday prior to flying back to Seoul.  We boarded at Clark's Quay after I did a little mall shopping and Bob took a quick stroll around Chinatown.  It was a typical hot and humid day, so the boat ride was a pleasant way to relax and enjoy the remainder of our time in Singapore.

This brings our wonderful Bangkok/Siem Reap/Singapore trip to an end.  It was time to get back to Korea to welcome my brother and his wife to Seoul for another week of touring and fun!