Singapore

Bali is indeed a long ways from the U.S.  We opted for a stopover in Singapore in order to shorten the total flight time as well as to take advantage of visiting this unique city.  We landed late at night, walked over to the Singapore Stopover desk to collect our discount coupons and waited for our shuttle to the hotel, where we crashed for a good half-night's rest.  The following morning, we started our impossible attempt to cover Singapore in one day.  A hop onto the Hop-Off bus that makes a continuous circuit of the city and its major sightseeing sites allowed us to get a good overall view of the city and free transportation whenever we wanted.  

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The first stop was for Chinatown where we shopped for bargains at the street market stalls and peeked into natural preparation apothecaries.  

Then it was off to the Indian district of Singapore to check out the incense and 24 caret gold shops and search out a restaurant where we ate curry and other Indian food from a banana leaf plate.  No visit to Singapore would be complete without getting to the renown Raffles Hotel, home of the original  Singapore Sling.

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A trip to the Sentec Center, home of the world's largest fountain, found us watching a laser show projected on the fountain spray.  

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Then, for some of us, it was off to the Riverfront  for a quick river cruise and dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants.  The next day, Scott and Suzanne made an early jaunt to the Botanical Garden, where the prolific orchids dazzle everyone.  We chose to take the gondola over to Sentosa Park, which could easily fill another full day with exploration and fun. It was fascinating to just ride the gondola and get a birds-eye view of the busy harbor and the giant lion sculpture guarding the city. 

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Singapore is indeed a great place.  The city is amazingly clean everywhere, the subway system is spotless and easy to navigate, and the sights are numerous and interesting.  And we have not even alluded to the shopping possibilities that the city is perhaps best known for.  Even the airport contains more shops than one can possibly check out.  That's one time when two hours at the airport flies by quickly.  

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Visiting near Christmas time offers the added treat of seeing the city decorated and glowing even more.   

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The only disadvantage is that you might wear your feet out trying to see everything. 

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