Our first full day in Singapore was spent wandering around Gardens by the Bay by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I booked a hotel close to the MRT to make travel in the city easier, so it was very fast to hop on the train down to the harbor. For Singapore being such a large city, we felt relatively alone as we walked along the river. It was a bit rainy, but we decided to take a short boat tour to get a better idea of where things were in the city.
The tour was a nice introduction to the city, and we were able to note where key things were (like a brewery). It was also nice to sit back and listen to a little of the history behind the city. Singapore is incredibly diverse, and its history provides the cause of such amazing diversity. As a huge port dating all the way back to the 1400's during the spice trades, Singapore attracted people from all over the world. In fact, today, Singaporeans observe holidays for Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
Along the tour, I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautifully clean the city and river were. There was so much green space with lovely parks, trails, and flowers. The city was clearly designed well, but it was a little hard to see the history in a place with so much "new."
After the boat tour, we wandered into the mall at the base of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Saying it was a fancy mall is an understatement. There was even a river complete with a gondola on the bottom floor. We had a quick lunch at the mall (nicest mall food I've ever had) and continued on our way to the Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is a huge park with a children's area, the wire "supertrees" seen in many photographs, a botanical garden, and a cloud dome. There was a fee to go into a few of the places, but we found plenty to do without actually going into any of the exhibits.
I was very fond of the supertrees. They are huge wire structures covered in nearly 200 different species of orchids and ferns. Eventually, the plants will cover all the wires and provide shade for the park, but at this point, they were about 3/4 the way up the trunks. In the center of each supertree is a solar-panel which produces the energy needed to light the park after dark.
After looking at the trees for a while, we found the children's garden. There were meandering paths filled with play equipment, and an awesome tree-house jungle gym with some of the longest kids' slides I've ever seen. There was a "sprayground" as well, but swim suits were required, and I had neglected to pack them for the days' adventures. (Thankfully, the zoo had one too so Mommy could redeem herself the next day.)
After the park visit, we headed to Little India for dinner. Indian food is always a good bet for us as vegetarians because we know there will always bee options without meat on the menus. Derek found an all-vegetarian Indian place that was delicious. Oliver shoveled a ridiculous amount of palak paneer into his face. After dinner, we walked around Little India a bit so that I could see a temple I had wanted to see. It was very busy though, and we could not go into the temple, because the next day was the Hindu holiday Deepavali. Interestingly, during Deepavali, most Hindus do not consume any meat to help in the purification process, so the vegetarian options were even greater than normal the few days we were in Singapore.
We had a great first full day in Singapore, and were ready to check out the Singapore Zoo on Day 2.
Here you will find the blog entries from our trip to Singapore in October 2014.
Swanson Family Travels
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