28th Feb 2016 – 2nd Mar 2016. 3 nights.
I got the green bus up to Dublin. I stayed at Rich's place for the night and the got aircoach to the airport at 7.45am.
My bag was easily able to fit into hand luggage on Air France.
Julian Assange was laying low in the corner of the airport.
Last time seeing Ireland for a while.
French coast and a bit of Paris.
The plane landed in Paris at 12.15 and I had to get off the plane, go through the passport check and customs through arrivals and then back in departures and check my bag in before 13.10. The 12.15 time was actually an estimate of the time we'd be in the arrivals so it wasn't hard at all. Not sure why people loving queuing to get on places even though they have set seats. I went to shop and bought a Tom Clancy book that I later realised was written by someone else. It starts off in Ho Chi Minh so I thought it might be interesting. I waited until almost everyone had gotten on before queuing up. I think I was the second last person on the plane.
We each had little screens. I tried to put on a movie but it would freeze for a couple of seconds every so often so I gave up. I read 100 pages of the Tom Clancy book but it was terrible so I stopped.
Layover in Ho Chi Min. It looked like there was a visible smog over the city.
Landed in Singapore at 12.15pm, about 20.5 hours after getting the aircoach.
I had basically nothing but airplane food for a full day. I nearly fell asleep on the train into the city.
The hostel was nice. It was located in one of the older areas of the city, so there were a lot of colonial style buildings - lots of hostels, bars and restaurants. I was staying in a capsule hostels so we each got a 2x1x1m box to sleep in.
I had downloaded the entire city map onto my phone so went for a wander not really paying attention to where I was going. I ended up in Chinatown where they still had some decorations up from New Years.
I wandered over to the financial district where all the shiny buildings are. It really has a nice skyline. Beacuse it's a bay, you get an almost 360 degree skyline too. You have the financial district on one side, the theatre on the other and The Marina Bay Sands hotel is over on it's own.
The city is extremely clean. I don't think I saw a single run down building. Even the roads were perfectly surfaced.
English is the main language and seems to be encouraged but most signs had more than one language.
Singapore was founded by Englishman Sir Stamford Raffle. In good colonial style, he built his house on the sacred burial grounds of the locals, previously called the Forbidden Hill. Now it's a park called Fort Canning.
As an ex-British colony, there was some colonial-style architecture to see.
There were temples and churches dotted around. The Chinese temple was build using traditional Chinese methods and is made of just wood and stone - no nails.
Modern architecture. Not many plain buildings to see. They are big fans of open floors mid way up builds, plants on the outside or roof of the buildings, partially wood exteriors and sculpted metal that looks plant like.
Singapore stock exchange building.
There was also some chinese style or at least inspired architecture.
The merlion (half lion half fish) is the mascot of Singapore.
Raffle's hotel is a five star hotel. It was where the Singapore Sling cocktail was first created. The bar was underwhelming. The floor was covered in monkey nut bits (I guess you could get used to that) and the cocktail didn't taste great and cost almost 25 euro. It is a nice building though.
Orchard Road is the main shopping district. Lots of malls.
There was a news crew waiting for something to happen.
There was also a guy selling slices of icecream in wafers like granny used to make us.
The Marina Bay Sands hotel is the big thing that dominates the skyline. It also has a shopping centre and casino.
Gardens by the bay is a huge park behind the Marina Bay Sands, including a sky walk and two domes.
They had lots of food courts that had a large number of vendors and common seating areas.