Singapore

The last ten days or so have passed in a whirl. We’ve done so many things I’ve had no time to put anything on my blog. So I must, at least, show some of the sights we’ve seen, and the places we’ve been to. As my camera has been playing me up lately it seemed time to buy a new one so all the pictures from now on will have been taken with the new camera. We chose one of the most colourful places to visit in Singapore to test it – Tiger Balm Gardens. A number of years ago Aw Boon Haw decided he must make merit before he died and leave a lasting memorial as he had made a lot of money from his invention – Tiger Balm. Here are some of the sights we saw.

And here I am riding a tiger

We stayed at the Tanglin Club – where I still retain my membership – although I am now classed as a PAM – a Permanent Absent Member. This is the pool there.

Next day we strolled round the orchid gardens in Singapore’s Botanic Gardens.

And in the evening my old friend Eileen invited us to dinner at her home.

Another old friend, Siok Sun, invited us to dinner at the Gordon Grill in the Goodwood Park Hotel the following evening

And as it’s approaching Deevali (The Indian Festival of Lights) she drove us around Serangoon road later in the evening to see some of the lights

Next day, the 30th, was my birthday so I was treated all day by my young friend. First port of call was the River Safari where we went round by boat, passing all sorts of creatures and occasionally descending into the water creating a few waves

We then took a trip on a bigger boat to wend our way round the reservoir- which borders Singapore zoo. Afterwards we looked forward to seeing the two giant pandas but one was sleeping in his little house and the other one, as you can see, was fast asleep

Never mind, when we were here a number of years ago she was fully awake and chewing on her bamboo shoots. (This was the picture myf took then).

It was so tranquil watching big fish swimming around there

As we were right next to the zoo we decided to spend some time there. However after taking a trip round the entire zoo on an open-sided tram we walked for a while passing by the rhinoceroses, monkeys and giraffes

But I especially wanted to see the white tigers. However when we reached the tiger enclosure the rains just cascaded down. We were stuck there for nearly an hour, but I did manage to take a few nice pictures

But my best birthday treat was waiting for me in the evening. We drove to the area around Marina Bay Sands and had an interesting Indian meal. Interesting because nobody there seemed to understand English (rare for Singapore) so we weren’t quite sure what we had ordered (and I wasn’t sure what I ate anyway.) But the real treat for me was to discover that myf had booked a VIP trip on the ‘Singapore Flyer’

Bigger than the London ‘Eye’ our walk towards it from the restaurant was just spectacular that evening. Here are some of the views as we walked along by the river

When we reached the Big Wheel we were immediately escorted by two uniformed and friendly young men who took us into a couple of lounges before we reached the base of the wheel. Then we found, not only did we have a ‘Pod’ all to ourselves, but we were served with Singapore Slings (the famous Raffles Hotel cocktail) to drink during the 35 minute journey. The sights as we went round were truly spectacular

What a great way to spend a birthday.

Only a couple more days to holiday in Singapore. During our week there we’d spent quite a bit of time by the Tanglin Club pool. Although there wasn’t much sun and it rained every day (mostly when we decided to do a bit of sunbathing) we really enjoyed the club. The restaurants serve delicious food, but my favourite meal in all the world is the Tanglin Club’s satay, mango juice, and Gula Melaka. Myf hates the look of the tapioca in that dish, but I love it. Here it is.

We couldn’t leave Singapore without spending time in the spectacular Gardens by the Bay. Right next to the equally spectacular Marina Bay Sands Hotel, they are a horticulturists dream gardens. Some of the ‘trees’ soar to amazing heights – all covered with a plethora of flowers and foliage. Just a taste of the atmosphere.

And as we walked past a small aquarium you can see our reflections in the glass. (A rare glimpse of my young friend).

Then on our final day in Singapore, after collecting the three pairs of trousers I’d had made by my tailor of over 30 years standing, we paid a visit to Shamsuddin H. Akib and his daughter Dahlia. Sham and I first met in 1960 when I joined the Papineau Advertising agency in Singapore. Not only was Sham a brilliant artist, he was also an amazing Jawi (Malay) calligrapher and caricaturist. I reminded him of some of the caricatures he made at the time. Here’s one of me on my 26th birthday having donned a kettle I’d fashioned into a Roman Legionair’s helmet for a fancy dress evening

And another two after I crashed and broke my leg in The a Singapore Grand Prix while driving my newAustin Healy Sprite

And here I am with Sham after both having aged a bit over the last sixty years

So, after a lovely holiday in Singapore we are now heading for Bangkok.

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