Live with no excuses and travel with no regretsOscar Wilde
The countdown was over and we were finally sitting in Singapore for a few days prior to our first ever holiday aboard a cruise liner. I had never traveled to Asia before so I was very excited. My darling chap had been fortunate as a child to live in Singapore and years later live there again as an adult. He was my very own personal tour guide and I was looking forward to visiting his old haunts and discovering where his passion for the Asian way of life came from. I knew it would be hot but my goodness, nothing could have prepared me for the heat, humidity and the ensuing feeling of being completely sapped. I was exhausted by 3pm every day. We headed to the Singapore Zoo on the first full day we had there and after running into an old friend from our home country of New Zealand we had a wonderfully relaxing day wandering around. This zoo was like nothing I had experienced before, for starters it is huge. But the best part for me was seeing so many of the animals in open areas, meaning not caged. Monkeys and squirrels harmoniously clambered amongst the trees and raced along the walls beside us as we walked. The orangutans swung lazily above our heads and the bats and sloth were in arms reach of us as they munched on their midday snack of fruit salad. I was in heaven, had an absolutely delightful time and can’t recommend it enough.
Tea Villa Cafe Singapore – We discovered this jewel of a tea shop on East Coast Road, near Katong which is an older part of Singapore. On our first visit my chap ordered the Bengal Chai Black Tea which was full of aromatic spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon chips, and vanilla. I had the Lavender Earl Grey – absolutely sublime. We had a sneaky dessert too which was out of this world. Rich chocolate brownie served on a sizzling cast iron griddle with vanilla bean ice cream. The waitress poured a decadent chocolate sauce over the top while we watched it sizzle and caramelise in front of our eyes. The brownie was cleverly placed on a piece of pineapple on the hot plate so as not to burn the bottom. Truly delicious. On our second visit (which is a good indicator), the chap wasn’t wanting to deter from his Bengal Chai but I tried the Thai Star which was a pleasantly strong black tea with vanilla. Great service which is paramount to us ever returning and typical of the Singaporean culture. The food was exceptional and the tea superb – definitely worth a visit.
The National Orchid Gardens are quite spectacular and reasonably priced for a nice relaxed way to spend some time. Take a hat, sunblock and plenty of water so you can thoroughly enjoy your visit there. Gorgeous varieties of orchids are everywhere and if you pop up to the VIP Gardens you will see orchids dedicated to famous women of the world such as Princess Diana, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama and Margaret Thatcher to name a few.
If you have time take a wander through the streets of Singapore, get off the beaten track and discover the diversity, the smells, the colours and the people – truly an amazing place and one I will be visiting again.
Changi Airport is touted as being ‘more than an airport’ and it is such a fun place to spend a few hours pre-boarding. Great shops, cafes and believe it or not flower displays and water features. If you have a bit of time to spare before a flight do wander about and soak up some of the local culture – you won’t regret it.
Coming up we will share with you all our beautiful photos of the cruise around South East Asia♥
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