07.04.2016 - 09.04.2016 32 °C
Today has been our first full day in Singapore, as although we arrived yesterday it was about 6.30pm by the time we got to the hotel and checked in. Our flight out from Heathrow was fine although we didn't get off to a great start at check-in as we hadn't realised we needed an onward flight from Singapore in order to enter the country. It was a bit of a palaver, and we ended up booking a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur but we may try and change that. After check-in we were stopped for a while at security... Tim had accidentally included some nail scissors in his rucksack. We didn't end up with any time to look around the shops etc after that, so it was more or less just a case of waiting to be let on to the plane!
The flight was a bit bumpy but generally ok - neither of us got much sleep but we did at least have a row of three seats to the two of us. In the end it didn't matter too much about having a window seat - we had to keep the blind closed for the whole route so that it was 'night time' on the plane (it was lighter the further east we flew). When we landed we hopped in an air-conditioned taxi from Singapore airport straight to our hotel. It was cloudy but really humid even at night. The hotel is really nice and seems to have some kind of perfumed air in the foyer! We are on the 19th floor but this is still really low down compared to the skyscrapers around us.
Last night we popped out for a long walk and had a look around the bay area which is very swanky, modern and quite impressive. We didn't take any photos but will get some another night. We also stopped at a 'hawker centre' for tea, which is like a huge market with hundreds of food stalls around the edge selling really cheap dishes - it only cost us around $8 (£6) in total! As a comparison dinner tonight was $50 for a fairly cheap/quick cafe-style restaurant.
Today we ventured on to the underground to get to the botanic gardens which includes the national orchid gardens (a world heritage site!). The underground is lovely and clean, spacious, and overall a much nicer experience than at home! We spent the whole day at the botanic gardens - not what we had planned at all but it turned stormy and rained ALL afternoon. Initially we took shelter under the 'rainforest' trees but quickly realised that wouldn't do and had to cram under a wooden sign with some other people and ended up waiting there for about half an hour. The thunder was very loud and the rain was monsoon-like. Foolishly we thought once the downpour had eased off we'd be alright, but it wasn't and it ended up taking us hours to get round the gardens as we had to keep stopping. We were sopping wet and eventually found a shop selling plastic ponchos, so we got a couple of those and looked very fetching in them.
Some photos so far... will try and do some quicker updates in future and include a few photos each time. No photos of us so far as we looked a complete mess today - no doubt we will get a photo of us in our ponchos for you as it's due to be stormy and monsoon-like the whole time. Hope everyone at home is ok!