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Singapura

01/06/2009

Singapura is the Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Indonesia name for Singapore.

Just got back from 3 nights in Singapore after an 8 week stint in Papua. Its my 5th time in Singapore in the last 12 months and as usual it was a welcome break from the pollution of Indonesia. Don’t get me wrong after more than a year in Indonesia I still like the place but things do frustrate you, so to go to the clinical cleanliness of Singapore and soak in the world city atmosphere is pretty grand.

Being a frequent user of Accor brand hotels and with the ibis just opening a new hotel on Bencoolen St in central Singapore I decided to stay there. It really is a good location because its an easy walk to Bugis and Little India (although I ran out of time to go there this time) and a short walk to the MRT (subway system) where there is only 1 stop to the Orchard Rd shopping district.

ibis Singapore on Bencoolen

ibis Singapore on Bencoolen

This time I decided to go to the National Museum and it was well worth the trip, even if the admission was S$18 (NZ$19.50). I ended up spending three and a half hours there with only 3 exhibits covered, although most of the time was spent in the Singapore History Gallery where you get a little device called a Companion that has a screen and earphones and walks you through the exhibit. I really did want to see more exhibits but it was well past lunch time and I was starting to get hungry.

National Museum of Singapore

National Museum of Singapore

Entry Display

Entry Display

The Glass Passage linking the Neo Classical buildings

The Glass Passage linking the Neo Classical buildings

So craving sushi having been deprived of it for some time I decided to walk from the Museum to the City Hall MRT station and head out to a new shopping mall at the terminus of the North East line called VivoCity where there is a Sushi Tei restaurant. The VivoCity complex is quite amazing as far as shopping malls go, I couldn’t really be bothered taking photos of the inside but you can see from the website it has pretty cool architecture. There is also a monorail on the complex that links to Sentosa Island. Still being quite new and a Saturday to boot the mall was crazy busy, after having my sushi I took a walk around seeing it is the Great Singapore Sale but I was quite disappointed. The sale racks for this famous sale were pretty small. Admittedly it had only just begun so maybe it gets better?

From Stamford Rd, City Hall MRT below the Swissotel The Stamford

From Stamford Rd, City Hall MRT below the Swissotel The Stamford

That night I was going to go for a walk to Little India, but then it started raining so I lost my motivation. Instead I took a walk to Lim Sim Square which is a major electronics shopping mall down the road from the hotel.

Bencoolen St at night from the Sim Lim overpass

Bencoolen St at night from the Sim Lim overpass

Sim Lim Square is pretty crazy, 6 floors of small electronics shops selling absolutely everything. I went there just to have a look around but ended up buying a new battery for the laptop for a very reasonable price. The old battery would last all of 5 minutes tops so it was nice to get a new one for a decent price.

Trying to take in the 6 floors of Sim Lim Square

Trying to take in the 6 floors of Sim Lim Square

All in all it was a pretty good trip to one of my favourite cities, with plenty more to do on future visits.

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