On reflection, my first impressions of Singapore weren't great when we visited five years ago, but I'm definitely having a better time second time round! I put it down to the area where we are staying. On the whole Chinatown feels more welcoming compared to where we stayed on our first trip (which was around Mt. Emily near Little India). On that occasion it felt a little out of the way and there wasn't much of interest within walking distance so we didn't venture much out at night. The better atmosphere might also be down to the fact that we're currently in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations and the city has a very different feel.
Having revisited a few of old haunts from the original trip it's astonishing to see how much of the Singapore has changed especially at Marina Bay and on Sentosa Island.
|The same view but now with a Universal Studios and Hard Rock Hotel resort|
Although, Singapore gets a lot of criticism for its lack of cultural heritage, when it does modern developments, it does them well. However, I still think that the place that offers the best views in Singapore is an eyesore where ever you are in the city! The place in question is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which dominates the skyline in the shape of an enormous ship balanced on top of three towers! Yes - it is as bizarre looking as it sounds!
|View from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Skydeck from 57 storeys|
Straying out of my food comfort zone, I've been sampling some of the local delicacies including a dish worth mentioning called Pork Chabu. Although, I can't claim to the biggest eater of spicy foods, the dried chillies in this dish actually brought me to tears and set my mouth on fire! Luckily I had a Tiger beer on hand to wash away the pain, however, the rest of the meal was delicious. In contrast, I had a much more enjoyable (but pricey) experience at the Raffles Hotel sampling the most famous cocktail in Singapore. The Singapore Sling was invented by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon sometime around 1915, who worked at the legendary Raffles Hotel Long Bar. Although there are lots of variations to the recipe, the cocktail is a concoction of dry gin, Dom Benedictine, Cointreu and cherry brandy, shaken up with lime and pineapple juices with a dash of Angostura Bitters and Grenadine.