Friday, August 18, 2017

SE Asia 2017 - Day 5 (8/18/2017) - Little India and Gardens by the Bay

I understandably got a late start this morning considering how tired I was the night before.  I left the hotel around 10am in search of a Western breakfast, as I was not in the mood to figure out Eastern menu options and didn't want to just eat at the hotel.  In retrospect, sticking with the hotel breakfast would probably have been the wisest decision, as finding the desired type of food turned out to be harder than expected (though, of course, I did discover later that there was a nearby Starbucks).  I eventually settled on a place in a random shopping center called Shots & Scoops (which was actually mostly an ice cream and sweets joint) that advertised a buttermilk pancake special - I also had a Matcha Latte (green tea with milk) to go with it, as the special included a warm drink.  The server was a young Chinese/Singaporean lady, Zhihui, who expressed some curiosity in my sightseeing plans and very kindly wrote down some suggestions for me.

After eating I walked north through Little India to Veerama-kaliamman Temple and then Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (which was unfortunately being renovated).  After that I headed southeast to Masjid Sultan, but found the mosque closed for worship until 2:30pm when I arrived there at 1pm.  I then walked south to the Raffles Hotel, but by this time my clothes had become visibly drenched with sweat (the Singaporean humidity was not kind to my overactive sweat glands) so I headed back to my hotel to dry off for a while.

I headed back out around 4:30pm, planning to take the bus to Gardens by the Bay.  I hopped on a wrong bus going in the opposite direction, but this actually dropped me off right next to the Little India MRT subway station (DT12 - I like how they number their train stations).  I then took the Downtown line to Bayfront (DT16) and exited out to Gardens by the Bay.  I bought tickets for the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome climate controlled biodomes, as well as the shuttle.  Both biodomes were pretty cool (literally and figuratively - I greatly appreciated the respite from the heat and humidity), though I enjoyed Cloud Forest a little more.  After the biodomes and a quick snack on a corn cup (I had low-key become pretty hungry by then), I walked over to Supertree Grove but found the ticket queue for the OCBC Skyway to be prohibitively long.

From there I made my way over to the Marina Bay Sands hotel, where I had a ticket for the SkyPark observation deck that day.  It was dark out by the time I made it up to the top to enjoy the view.  I hung around long enough to catch the 8:00pm light and water show before queuing up to head back down.  I was too hungry to wait until I returned to the hotel area (where I had already noted a few vegetarian restaurants), so I took my chances in the food court of the shopping center near the Sands.  I found veg options at a counter serving Indian food, but ended up being disappointed by the food (except the naan).  On the plus side, I did get to converse a bit with a couple of hotel workers who were on break, as the seating area was overcrowded.

After eating I headed to the MRT station, took the train back to Rochor (DT13), and walked the few blocks back to the hotel.  I was ready to crash pretty soon after my return.



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