As Singapore is only a couple of miles away, it seemed a shame not to visit and experience yet another different culture. We travel slowly when we are sailing, sometimes only a couple of miles an hour but we don’t usually mind the slow pace – in fact we cherish it as it is so relaxing and peaceful. Not so the journey to Singapore. We have never taken so long to go 4 miles in our lives!! 4.5 hours to be precise – we could have walked it quicker! First there was the taxi to the Central Station in Johor to get the bus across the Causeway. The bus moved at quite a respectable speed until it hit the clearing out of Malaysia section. There are literally hundreds of Malaysians who work in Singapore and go over this Causeway every day, each of them having to clear in and out daily. We were the last people left on the bus when the bus driver turned round and told us that we would be sitting there for at least an hour and that we should walk to the check-out as it would be quicker. We eventually got through that hurdle and walked to Customs to clear in to Singapore – another hour in a queue – followed by another hour waiting for a bus to take us to the MRT (think underground) to take us to Raffles Marina where we were meeting our friend Stedem. When you fly into a country you take it for granted how fast the process is – we won’t again…
We met up with our friends Robbie & Bev (Mersolei) Karel & Phil (Tehani Li) Jeff & Cheri (Grasshoppper) and Stedem (Atlantis) for lunch at Raffles as we were staying on Atlantis for a couple of days. That night we went out to the River festival. We met up with some other friends Tina & Mark (Thinking of Dave) and Sue & Paul (Osborne Star) who were also having a couple days in Singapore. We wandered along the river and could not believe how different it was from where we had come from. Restaurants everywhere, nightlife, bars, bands, and all spotlessly clean. We had a meal at an Italian place which was delicious – the first Italian food for months, and then wandered around enjoying the ambience. We watched a band, drank at a few bars, and eventually got the MRT home. A great day.
The next day Cheri and I went shopping – a must in Singapore. The shopping centres are incredible. They are similar to the malls in Las Vegas. Even down to having rivers running through them with people in gondolas and waterspouts coming down from the ceiling causing a massive waterfall. I got completely lost as there were so many shops – complete streets dedicated to a country in these malls – Chinatown, Korean St, Vietnam St etc and every designer brand shop imaginable.
We were meeting up with everybody to have a drink at the Marina Bay Sands Tower – a must-do in Singapore.
We all went up to the top floor of the third tower and had drinks. We bumped into Pepe & Bear (Beez Neez) and enjoyed one of the best views ever.
We spent a lovely couple of days here – would have liked to have spent longer but it is SO expensive in Singapore – where a beer costs $23 that we hotfooted it back to Malaysia. Yep – another 4 hours to get back….