Little India & Singapore's Botanic Gardens
Our last days in Singapore before heading to Thailand!
Hey there! And welcome back! I've been taking a break from all of this for a few weeks, and I'm excited to get back into it. Sometimes deadlines are hard, especially your own! Thank you for your understanding. In case you missed it in my last post, I foolishly left my good camera back in the states. They don't do Asia's beauty any justice, but hopefully these photos suffice in showing just how charming it is in Singapore.
It was a privilege to visit Singapore, & we were even more grateful to be able to stay at a friend's condo. As you might know, lodging is arguably the largest expense on an overseas trip. We were fortunate enough to have friends most places we went in Asia, so even though we were gone roughly five weeks, we only paid for hotels 5 of those nights.
This is the view from our friend's condo in Singapore. The building itself had almost a dozen little gardens throughout the building and its small courtyard space.
I greatly underestimated how much jet lag would affect my health on this trip. I've traveled to Europe frequently enough to feel confident about my internal schedule etc. but this 12 hour time difference and more than 24 hour travel time.... I had a mild fever and cold symptoms which we did not allow to get in the way of our adventures, of course.
James did have to run out for cough medicine at one point, and came back with this! I have no idea what it was exactly (this was the extent of the English on the package) but after pantomiming a cough to the sales clerk, it's what they recommended. Whatever it was, it worked like magic.
James on a balcony garden with downtown Singapore skyline.
As this was the day I was most under the weather, we felt that spicy food & a walk was in order, and we took off for Little India. Pictured above is a Hindu temple in my friend's neighborhood. The color and intricacy of the architecture is unlike anything I've ever seen.
Tiny shops lined the streets, food, clothing, electronics, art, and anything else you could think of! If the sidewalk is crowded or it's sprinkling rain as it was when we visited, you can use the sidewalk under the buildings somewhat, in front of the stores. I noticed this architectural feature in every other Asian country we would end up visiting, too. It feels strange to me as an American since even in highly populated areas such as New York City, most of the time when we walk on the sidewalk we aren't under anything. I think that this is because as a relatively new country with relatively low population density (compared to Asia), we haven't had as many issues with conserving space as other countries.
Large marketplaces are also to be found in Little India. Expansive buildings filled to the brim with burning incense, tiny stalls of dresses, tunics, clothing for special occasions, and enough gold jewelry to satiate a dragon. I loved the vibrancy of the clothing, and buildings. There were a considerable number of murals in the area, too, which I hadn't noticed as much of in Chinatown.
Our lunch spot included colorful decorations, green melon tea, and the best Indian rice & curry James and I have ever had.
I do not have any photos of our food, as we ate it too quickly for that.
Dinner that night we went to a hawker center, an absolute must when in Singapore. This one in particular was decorated on the outside in honor of the Chinese New Year.
Set up similarly to a cafeteria or food court, you order and pay for your food from the individual stalls, and usually more than one! They're required by law to have specific percentages of cultures represented in these places, so there is always some Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian style foods at every hawker center.
We purchased a few different types of noodles, sauteed greens, and fresh lemonade to counteract the heat. Besides the curry, this was my favorite meal in Singapore.
On our last morning in Singapore, after a quick stop at the Singapore mer-lion (how we managed to miss this on day 1 is a mystery I'll never solve), and another stop for a cappuccino, we were off to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
I could have easily spent an entire week at this place, and never have run out of things to see, smell, or photograph. Unfortunately, we only had about an hour before we had to rush off to the airport.
In my first post on Singapore, I included some about the Changi Airport's shopping center, tramway, and indoor waterfall. I stumbled on this outdoor garden space as we made our departure. A country full of gardens, from start to finish.
Singapore's Gardens By the Bay electric trees, view from inside the Marina Bay Sands, and a chart explaining how the Gardens By the Bay facility works as a sustainable piece of conservation at its best.
**These photos somehow were missed on the first Singapore post, please enjoy!