Trip of a Lifetime: Day 21 – Bali – Singapore – Bangkok

Bali you were fantastic – this is not the last you have seen of me!

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Even on the airplane you want to tempt us back with your amazing views!

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We have a busy day today and get up early to get to the airport for a 10am flight. Our flight to Singapore is only 3 hours and I am looking forward to seeing my cousins – who are studying at university there and catching up with them.  I haven’t seen them for over 10 years!

We are greeted at Singapore airport by such wonderful efficiency that we cannot fault at all. My cousin and his uni friend are there to greet us.  Sadly my other cousin has a class until 6pm so will unfortunately miss her this time, but it just gives me another excuse to come back to this part of the world!

The taxi ride from Changi airport to the city is about 30 SGD and all the cabs take credit card. In fact, I think we didn’t even take any cash out for Singapore and we did just fine.  That being said, we didn’t have time to frequent the markets where I expect cash is the only accepted currency there.

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My cousin told us of a Chinese dumpling place that is famous for its Xiao Long Bao (that’s soup dumplings for the rest of us).

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We had a bit of a wait, but got to peruse the fabulously extensive menu beforehand and watch the chefs through a glass window doing their thing.

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The dumplings were exquisite. As was the rest of the food we had.

Xao Long Bao!

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Eat with a sliver of ginger and splash of vinegar

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Yummy Pork Dumplings with lighter than cloud dumpling bread

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Prawn Shumai

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We also tried century old egg which is surprisingly not gross – the aftertaste is a bit strong, but that’s why you don’t eat three pieces in a row Bae reminded me later.

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After a wonderful lunch where we literally ate a quarter of the menu we walked around the shopping plazas for a bit (outside is way too hot) then strolled over to the Gardens by the Bay entrance, where I agreed to meet up with my cousin in a couple of hours

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I had done a bit of research into what to do in Singapore, and me not being a huge shopper (ok I hate shopping), read up on the Gardens by the Bay and thought that would be a great thing to do especially considering that we had limited time (about 8 hours) in the city.

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The Gardens by the Bay has a lot to see. We were mostly interested in the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, although there is so much to see here you could take the whole day.  The Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest are two separate tickets, but you can buy both for 28 SGD.  ! 

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We started in the Cloud Forest, and immediately the cool refreshing temperature is what hit us first. 

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It looks like something out of avatar – very cool

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You head up to the top of the Cloud Forest via lift, then walk around the forest, gradually descending. 

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Lovely carvings dotted around

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From the tops, there are a couple of walkways to go across which takes you high above the canopy of the garden.

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There are so many types of flowers to see – literally from every corner of the world. 

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What is lacks in nature authenticity it certainly makes up for in variety.

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If you hadn’t noticed, these are made of legos!

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A lot of educational information around as well

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Beautiful flowers from around the world

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A beautiful garden greeted us as we got back to ground level

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These flowers look like animals!

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Bae appreciates the guide

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Walking down the glass walkway

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More cool eco facts

20170605_144554About 1/3 of the way down, there is some information on geology and some pretty amazing and huge geodes.

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Impressive stalactites and stalagmites (don’t ask me which is which!)

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The forest is a really good learning experience for kids and adults alike. 

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I especially love the focus on the environment and not just the devastating effect we humans have had, but tips son how best to preserve and respect nature.  The entire complex is also self-sustaining which is amazing considering how much power they must use to keep the temperature as controlled it is. 

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After the coolness that is the cloud forest, we thought to venture out to see and walk through the supertree grove and head to the fruit and flower forest before trying out the flower dome.  I really didn’t count on the heat being that oppressive!  We got to the super tree grove and eventually found the fruit forest – which is basically a few trees bearing fruit but seeing as we had just come from Bali, was a bit of an anti-climax.  Also by the time we reached this part, I was ready to pass out from overheating so we made a quick break back to climate control and the Flower Dome.

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Supertree grove by day

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Trying to make our way to the Fruits and Flowers forest

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The Flower Dome contains so many varieties; the dome itself is splits up into sections by climate and geographical area.

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I especially enjoyed the succulent and cactus area, always thought cacti were so cool, not least for the properties some of them contain. 

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After a cooling walk through some gorgeous flowers, we met up again with my cousin and friend and stopped at an outdoor food court for a quick chilled beer.

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After quenching our thirst, we headed to Chinatown for a bite to eat.  There we got some chicken rice and pork rice – a Chinese specialty (and I think loved by students for its value)

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then walked around just catching up on each other’s lives whilst walking around Chinatown. 

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The day was disappearing fast and I wanted to go back to the Gardens by the Bay to witness the light show I head read about.  There are two shows, one at 745 and one at 845. 

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LPT if you are in the area, cool, go see it.  If not and you have seen a light show before, I wouldn’t bother.  It was about 7 minutes, not 15 and we just projected images of flowers and plants on the supertrees, Nothing special really.  Maytbe in 5 years when the technology is better

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We then had to head back to the airport for our late flight to Bangkok. Said farewell and exchanged details with my cousin – until next time In sub!

Our flight to Bangkok was only about 2.5 hours. We arrived in Don Mueang– the smaller (more regional) airport.  There is a taxi rank and you better be near the front in line or you have a mighty long wait my friend.  This is much better than accepting a ride from someone at the arrivals hall who is sure to rip you off.

Based on a Thai friend’s recommendation, we stayed at the Red Planet Asoke. This particular branch is located right by the Sukhumvit BTS station, so super convenient.  We arrived at the hotel which was simple but modern with a power shower, safe and air conditioning (all you really need to care about here) around 1am and headed straight to bed since our time in Bangkok was limited.

 

Tune in Tomorrow!

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