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3rd - 5th February 2004


Arriving over Singapore at about 7am (Tue 3rd Feb 2004)

On the MRT from the airport to the city...  the trains are fantastic, so clean!


After arriving in Singapore, the first job was to find the hostel:  The InnCrowd hostel in 'Little India' (think 'china town'... but Indian).  This place immediately lived up to the hype that the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums had give it!  Truly a 6 star hostel!!!
Little India was also full of the wonderful familiar sights and smells of India that I remember (the good ones that is!)

After having a shower and breakfast, I chilled out for a bit..  Then a few of the guys from the hostel asked if I wanted to join them to go and see the Botanical Gardens... why not!  On the way there, we wandered up Orchard Road and got some grub...  good 'ol Chicken Rice...  simple but nice.

One of the little shopping malls on Orchard Road...
There really are only two things to do in Singapore...: Shop & Eat !!!  Things like Digital Camera are like 2/3rds the price of the cheapest deals in the UK!!!  And the food is from all over the world... and it's all very nice!

Possibly the poshest, nicest smelling cake shop in the world!!!

A shop for the Beans!

We made it to the massive Botanical Gardens.
They guys I was with were:  John (Brit), Dene (Kiwi) & Jacqui (Aussie).

Check out the massive spider!!! ..Ok, you can't see it, but it was about the size of my hand...  No Joke!!  Not that deadly tho.

The hostel had been blessed with a new addition... a kitten called Christmas!!!

Me Paul and another guy had to have a go on the wonderful G-Max bungee thingy and for twanged miles up into the sky...  I have some vid clips but you'll have to wait to see them in a few years!

Hai, the owner of the hostel had organised a local fruits night...  so we could try some fruits that we'd likely never seen!  We had:
* Jackfruit - A bit smelly and tastes blandish.
* Mangosteen - Mmmm, very nice.  Opened by squeezing it between your two palms to get the little bit of sweet fruit in the centre.
* Longan - Very nice too...  a bit like Lychees I guess
* The big orange/grapefruit like thing... can't remember the name...  It was just massive.  tasted something in-between a orange and grapefruit.
And the finale...
* Durian Fruit... This is the one that stinks of rotten chicken YUK!!! It's big, heavy and prickly and banned form busses & trains in case of a crash an it hits someone and kills them!  It is known as 'King of the Fruit' and is highly addictive...  people can wake up craving for this thing apparently...  Hai forced us to all try it, ignoring the awful smell...  and ok, it didn't taste as bad as it smelt, but it wasn't that nice I reckon.

A cafe for Loola

Our shower on the roof

Can't remember what it was called... tasted really nice!  It was an Indian snack.

Jacqui (20, the aussie girl that came to the Botanical Gardens with us the day before) and Paul (30 something, one of the travellers that had been working at the hostel for a few months) turned up in the afternoon with some news... they had been going out with each other since they first set eyes on each other 3 weeks before, when Jacqui had arrived in Singapore for her 1(!) week stopover...  Paul had proposed to her and Jacqui had said yes!!!  They'd got Engaged!!!  Better celebrate I guess!

Hai then came out later, before we trudged off to Thaipusam, to go and collar the two lovers...  and present them with a gift two...

They spent the whole night walking round with Hai's tin cans on string dragging behind them!

Thaipusam...  Wow!

Shoes off!

This is where you see the Hindu guys with all the kebab skewers through their cheeks, tongues and stuck in everywhere else...  it started at midnight and continued for the whole day... once they were ready (skewered) they then wandered off to another temple a few miles away across town.
Apparently, the piercing do not cause any bleeding and leave no scars...  They all look like they're pretty tranced out when they have it done.

'Christmas' the kitten

It's Kebab Man!
There were loads of geezers like this...
(Thaipusam is still going the next day...)

Raffles Hotel

In the courtyard

The front

Met up with some of the others from the hostel to sample the obligatory Singapore Sling...  it's a lovely sweet pink drink.

you get complementary salted monkey nuts... and it's the norm to just throw the shells on the floor... and anyway, the birds all fly in and clear up the mess for you!!!

On the MRT to the airport to leave for Sydney!!!

Goodbye Singapore!
(Flight left @ 20:40 Thu 5th Feb 2004)

Lightning over Java somewhere... never seen it from above before!!!

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