When we got back to Singapore, the first two-ish days were spent laying low and resting. Two days before getting back to Singapore (also the day before my birthday) I was working on a blog post when all of a sudden I got a sharp pain in my right side. It stung and lingered and I just went on dealing with it, waiting for it to go away. Well it wasn’t constant, but I couldn’t really take a deep breath or move quickly without feeling it. We got to our villa where we were celebrating my birthday and I did the worst thing possible…googled my ‘ailment’. I read about pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, kidney stones, pleurisy, and so on. So I’m trying not to freak out. We were relaxing and lounging so I could just try to ignore it again. The night went on but as we went to bed it was impossible to get comfortable and I could not sleep. I just kept thinking about how my pancreas was failing, how terrible it will be to pass kindey stones, hoping that my new global insurance will cover whatever this is, and how I’m going to ruin this whole experience Jared has planned because I will have to go to the hospital. It’s the middle of the night now and Jared wakes up and I share my worries with him. We take my temperature, go through symptoms, and come to the conclusion that it’s most likely a pulled muscle. I get some-what comfortable and got some much needed rest. Luckily the plan for my birthday was to be completely relaxed and I was able to enjoy my wonderful day. Anyway…to wrap up this story, it was just a pulled muscle and it continued to get better and by our third day back in Singapore I was able to take a deep breath without a gasp or whimper. It was a great way to bring in the last year of my twenties. 😉
With two days down, we packed a lot in our remaining three days.
One night after dinner, we headed to the Sands Bay Hotel to view the city from the Sky Park. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the building that looks like a cruise ship on top of three giant columns. Surprisingly, the elevator ride was only ~34 seconds to the 56th floor. We walked around the Sky Park and then went up one more flight of stairs to make it to the 57th story! The views were spectacular and the pictures don’t really do it justice! There’s also a bar and restaurant at the top and if you make a reservation, you can access the rooftop directly without having to pay the Sky Park ticket. However drinks and food are quite expensive.
After the Sky Park we headed back down to the Bay to watch the Water and Light Show. The show is put on nightly and I guess you would say it’s like a story about water and life set to music recorded by the Singapore Orchestra. It was a lot different than what I thought it was going to be, but very cool. They used the water as a sort of projector screen and had images on the water along with other effects. It ended with the song ‘What a Wonderful World’!
We walked around the Bay, going over the Helix Bridge and took in the amazing views of the city.
This time in Singapore, we spent a fair amount of time in malls. Malls are everywhere in Singapore, it’s pretty much part of their culture. Besides for the obvious shopping, they are also there to provide an escape from the heat or rain. When we went to the Promenade, we could walk out of one mall and <300 steps later be in another mall. The mall that takes the cake though is the Marina Bay Sands Shopping Center. It is huge, and beautiful, and dare I say, almost ridiculous! Every high end store is here, an amazing food court as mentioned in my Singapore p.2 – Eating post, a waterway that you can take a boat ride on, a world class theater, a casino, and even a skating rink. Right now it’s extravagantly decorated for Christmas. We enjoyed walking though and I enjoyed some window shopping.
One of our favorite activities we did was The Gardens by the Bay. This is also part of the Marina Bay Sands Area, located behind the Hotel. There are two conservatories, the OCBC Skyway, the Super Tree Groves, and lots of areas to walk around. The Super Trees are the purple tree looking things and they’re not just cool to look at, they’re also extremely functional. Some of the trees (there’s 18 in total) have photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy for lighting up the Supertrees. Others are integrated with the Cooled Conservatories and serve as air exhaust receptacles. The tallest trees are as tall as a 16-story building and they’re covered in more than 200 species of plants.
We purchased tickets for both conservatories; the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. We entered the Cloud Forest first, and marveled at the giant waterfall. We walked around and discovered that you go up to the sixth story and wind down through a series of walkways as you go through the different levels of a cloud forest. It was very cool and the views inside and outside the space were incredible and we took a lot of pictures. At the end there was a short film about Global Warming and a room dedicated to Earth Facts.
Next, we did the Flower Dome. Upon entering, we realized that this dome was not as organized as the Cloud Forest and kind of random. We eventually found the area with the succulents and cactus (which was a large portion of the dome compared to the other areas) and my favorite. I have a vast succulent and cactus collection back at home and I loved seeing some familiar plants and some new types. The lines that make up the conservatory make it fun to photograph and it also had great views of this surrounding areas.
After we left the Domes, we spent a lot of time walking around the gardens. The whole place was much bigger than we realized and most of the time felt like we were alone. We walked the Dragonfly Path boardwalk and found many seemingly hidden gardens, and continued to take a lot of pictures.
We made our way to the Promenade and stumbled upon the Fountain of Wealth. The fountain is a symbol of wealth and life and its design is based on the Hindu mandala, meaning universe. It represents oneness in spirit, unity, and harmony amoung the various races in Singapore. The water is supposedly lucky and by touching it you can absorb the positive qi. The first time we saw the fountain was from the street and the second was inside the mall at its base where it’s surrounded by cafes. There is usually water coming from the top ring (see picture) but at certain times, they turn the top water off so you can get to the center fountain, where the lucky water is. We were ‘lucky’ enough to be there at the right time and went to the center. There is a sign posted:
“Must-Do Steps for the Good Things From the Fountain”
-Stretch out your right hand and touch the water
-Make a silent wish
-Face the direction ⬅️
-Walk around three times
We followed the directions and then enjoyed walking around a little bit as the ground fountains continued to spray.
The Art Science Museum had been on our to-do list from our first visit and on our last full day, we finally made it. The Museum is a part of the Marina Bay Area. It is a lotus shaped building surrounded by a lotus pond. We spent time walking around the building, taking pictures of the beautiful purple, pink, and white flowers before going in. There were three exhibits; a NASA Space exhibit, Discovery World, and a exhibition on the amazing artist M.C. Escher. We started on the base floor in the NASA exhibit. It was obviously very heavy with American and Russian history. It had a lot of information and I felt like I learned a lot.
The Discovery World was an included exhibit. It was very interactive and meant mostly for children. It had slides, games, and coloring stations, but there were some cool visuals.
We went up to the third floor to the M.C. Escher exhibit. This exhibit was huge and went through all the stages of his life and career. I loved looking at his work and seeing the transition of his art. It was a fascinating exhibit and I definitely learned a lot about him. There was also an interactive section with some hands on materials and a room which messes with your perception. I took limited pictures but you can see more of his work here.
Our last night was reserved for a recommendation from a friend to go to the Raffles Hotel Bar. (Thanks Nam!) The Raffles Hotel is an iconic hotel in Singapore named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British statesman who gets credit for founding Singapore. We made our way up to The Long Bar. We each got a variety of the city’s famous drink: The Singapore Sling. It was a great ending to our time in Singapore.
If you ever have the chance or are thinking about visiting Singapore, I would highly recommend it. We were fortunate to have a lot of time to spend in Singapore because there is so much to do!
Thanks for Keeping Up 😉