Singapore & Hong Kong November 2019

Sunday November 3rd
Breakfast at the Fullerton was amazing with a choice of so many yummy dishes at the buffet. The waiting staff were really friendly & very efficient. We particularly got to know Hope & Cherry.

We had an excursion this day. Our guide was Mr. Bernard & we met him in reception at 9AM. He told us he was thrilled that we were waiting when he arrived. Mr. Bernard was very knowledgeable & very educated. Our time with him was absolutely brilliant & we learnt so much. Fourteenth century Singapore flourished as a trading post being visited Chinese junks, Arab dhows & Portuguese battleships. Since then the island has become a melting pot of ethnicities. Now it´s predominantly Chinese with Malays, Indians & Europeans. These days the skyline is dominated by shimmering skyscrapers punctuated with a myriad of busy streets, dominated by the two hundred metre high Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The island is the culinary capital of Asia. The gastronomic delights can be sampled in a range of places from hawker stalls to fine restaurants. Pedang is the site of many major historical events including the British surrender to the Japanese in 1942. Then at the end of the Second World War the British had their Victory Parade here led by Lord Louis Mountbatten. Tucked away close by Pedang is an unassuming green obelisk with an M on each side. The M stands for meradaka which means independence which Singapore was granted on August 31st 1957. The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore. It´s an imaginary creature that has the head of a lion & body of a fish. The head symbolizes the lion spotted by Prince Sang Nila Utama when he discovered Singapura in 11AD. Singapura means lion city in Sanskrit. The fish part symbolizes the ancient city of Temasek (meaning sea in Javanese) which the island was called before the Prince named it Singapura.

Evidently Singapore is the second cleanest & safest city in the world – second to Tokyo. It is the only county in the world that doesn´t have a deficit! We took a walk through China Town – home to fortune tellers, tailors, temples & tea houses. We did go in a temple which was beautiful & Mr. Bernard explained the different features.

There are nine different religions in Singapore. Mr. Bernard told us that Singapore has hosted the F1 grand prix now for twelve years. At the start of each grand prix representatives from each of the nine religions bless the track. In those twelve years there has never been a crash or injury at any Singapore F1 race.
We walked around a Hawkers market & we had a cold drink made of palm juice which was lovely. Mr. Bernard told us that in this Hawker market there is the only Hawker stall to have a Michelin star. Before he received the star he charged 2SD for his dishes – now he charges 5SD. per dish.
On this tour we also learnt that the over 60s & those with mobility issues can get a card which they swipe at pelican crosses – this gives them an extra 20 seconds of crossing time. So where do I apply??!!!!!!!
After our tour we sat by the pool at the hotel for a while. Paul had a swim but I didn´t. I can´t swim & am just a tad afraid of the water.
Early evening we walked along to ´the Pelican` for happy hour. We had a large glass of red wine each & a bar meal. We chatted to Aadi again. He had told us the previous evening about a light show that you can see from there across the water that starts at 7PM & lasts about fifteen minutes. We enjoyed it very much. Then we walked back to the hotel for an early night.

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