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Australia 2005

Singapore |

Leaving Australia was something of a wrench and the two weeks there were all too short, but thankfully our three days in Singapore provided the grand finale to the holiday. We stayed in a superb boutique hotel, The Scarlet (www.thescarlet.com – look for the special internet rates), replete with sumptuous silk and velvet furnishings and a very cool bar with miniature bodices for Christmas decorations. Far from the sterile metropolis we had been led to expect from various reports, we found Singapore a vibrant, exciting city, with various ethnic ‘enclaves’ (Chinese, Indian, Malay) providing a rich array of sights, sounds, smells and, especially, tastes. Food really was the highlight here, from the Peranakan food at Blue Ginger and True Blue (both well worth a try) to superlative dim sum on the 37th floor of the Pan Pacific hotel to black pepper crab that dribbled down our chins and coated our fingers from a street food stall on Smith Street (go at night to see the street, lined with excellent food stalls, lit up and bustling). Singapore also has some fantastic bars. Top of our list was Forbidden City, complete with enormous terracotta warriors and highly potent cocktails - so potent, in fact, that Kiril walked into a glass wall and I fell down the stairs.

We spent one afternoon in the rainforest national park, just outside the city centre. There were too many people about to see much wildlife, but we did meet some monkeys in the car park (they obviously know which side their bread is buttered). Perhaps the most alarming moment of the holiday came when we encountered a sign in the middle of the park warning us what would happen to trespassers behind a certain fence...

Locations Visited: Singapore

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