Holiday Images
A bumboat cruise on the Singapore River gives us a waterside view of the Merlion
After our river cruise, we continue to explore on foot, passing the Parliament Building, the Supreme Court, and the cricket ground on the way to St Andrew's Cathedral (right) where we sit for a while listening to organ music and admiring the simple, but lofty, interior. Our next destination is the famous Raffles Hotel
(left) the Fullerton Hotel, the former General Post Office
The entrance to the Raffles Hotel
At Raffles Hotel, we firstly have a 'scone set' in Ah Teng's Bakery, that's followed by a delicious Ambroiser cake. Next, we explore the Raffles Museum before having Singapore Slings in the Long Bar - a memorable and delightful experience.
Warmed by our Singapore Slings we walk to Bugis Street in the Arab District as it starts to get dark. This is the venue for a crowded street market that is reminiscent of Hong Kong. We eat at Sketches Pasta and Wine Bar in the Bugis Junction shopping mall. Here, we are able to specify the type of pasta we want by completing a 'Design-A-Pasta' form. There is a long queue for taxis, so we end up by walking through slight rain back to the hotel
(4) Thursday, January 30th
It is raining this morning as we take a taxi to the Changi Prison Chapel and Museum which is located on the site of the British POW camp. The museum is dedicated to Singapore's history during the Second World War and the Japanese occupation of Singapore in particular.
Our taxi uses the Pan-Island Expressway to get to the museum, passing the airport and the sprawling buildings of the current Changi Prison on the way.
At our destination we have a very informative guide who gives us (and another British couple) an extensive tour. The museum contains drawings, sketches, and photographs by POWs depicting their wartime experiences. Some of the stories that the guide relates are extremely harrowing and are best exemplified in the museum's emblem, a touching painting called Two Malarias And A Cholera (right).
The painting, by Australian Ray Parkin, shows two men with malaria supporting a man with cholera between them. A Japanese guard had refused to let the man with cholera be taken back. Eventually, he gave permission for him to be taken back by other sick men, two men with malaria
(right) a replica of one of the fourteen chapels used by Allied POWs
After having lunch at the Bark Cafe adjoining the Museum, the rain has stopped as we get a taxi to the Raffles Hotel. Here we purchase souvenirs that we forgot yesterday, then we walk to our hotel. At the hotel, it is easier to get a taxi, and we utilise  one to get to Mount Faber, which the cab reaches after a steep climb up a remote location
From Mount Faber we take the cable car to Sentosa Island - the most southerly point of continental Asia. The cable car's route takes us through the middle of a skyscraper that is part of the World Trade Centre
Dragon Teeth Gate on Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island was transformed from a military area to a leisure resort in 1968. We walk through a fascinating exhibition of Singapore's history that is graphically illustrated by using wax dummies, animatronics, and multimedia, in realistic historical settings. Although the wax dummies are not too lifelike, the scenes and running narrative illustrate the diversity of cultures that were thrust together in the pursuit of trade and fortunes. In the Surrender Chamber (above) a tableau shows the surrender of the Japanese to the Allies in 1945.
Next, we view another good presentation called the 'Stories of the Sea', before boarding the island's monorail - this takes us past Fort Siloso (the location of the guns that were "pointing in the wrong direction" when the Japanese invaded through Malaysia) to the cable car station. We only ride the cable car to the World Trade Centre when we discover that no taxis operate from Mount Faber after 6pm. Exiting the cable car station, we accept the offer of a local to take us to Orchard Road for $10.
In the Takashimaya Mall in Orchard Road we have an excellent meal of turbot with penne pasta that is cooked in front of us. We then explore the very crowded, noisy, and atmospheric area of Orchard Road and find a place for desserts. A short ride on the Mass Rapid Transit gets us to within walking distance of the Conrad Hotel
Singapore & New Zealand: 2003