A few of my colleagues from Japan came down to Singapore for a 2 day meeting. The actual meeting only span 1.5 days and they have their Friday afternoon available for Rest and Relaxation. As it is their first time in Singapore, I managed to get approval from my boss to show them around Singapore. I love being host to foreign friends in Singapore. I clearly remember the first time I played host to my foreign friends was during my second year in university, when the malaysian friends I met at a camp came down for a day tour.
I have mentally plan out where to bring them the day before. Since they have been to the Singapore Zoo/Night Safari on Wednesday evening, that will be skipped and on to the main sights in Singapore - the City Hall area and the Merlion. This time round, my objective is also to let them sample the best culinary crusine Singapore has to offer. When I spend too long a time away from Singapore, the thing which I miss most will be the food. I believe every Singaporean will agree on this.
Before I start on my blog, I will have to thank my fellow colleague: Murakami-san and Suzuki-san for their photos. It is very well taken and I have to give credit to them as more than half the photos showcase here are given by them. Each time I publish my blog, I will filter through all the photos and only upload the best. So what you see in this posting is the best of our three photoshot. Photos with a date embedded in it are contributed by Murakami-san.
So we left office at 12pm and went down to their hotel first to put our bags. Their hotel is at Le Meridien, just next to the Istana. Thereafter we took a cab to Lau Pa Sat (Old Market) in the heart of the city at Raffles Place. This place has quite a history and has been our food centre for more than a hundred years. It has been refurbished several times but the architecture has been preserved. There is a great variety of culinary offerings at this centre. As it is lunch time, there is also quite a crowd. But we were able to find seats quite easily.
We ordered Chicken Rice (photo below) first. Chicken rice dishes can be found in Singapore, Malaysia and China but I think Singapore ones are the best. The flavour is unique and enticing. Thereafter we ordered Fried Hokkien Mee, Char Kuay Teow, Laksa and round it off with Sugarcane drink and Peach Tea. It is a mega lunch and we completed the entire course by 2pm.
Next we walked to the heart of Raffles Place. This scene is commonly shown on TV where busy Singaporeans are always rushing around between the financial and government offices for their duties.
Further down is one of Singapore's oldest bridge - the Cavenagh Bridge. This is quite a beautiful place for a photoshot with the Fullerton building at one end and the Asian Civilization Museum (ACM) at the other.
I begin looking for the Sir Stamford Raffles statue. I know there is a white and black colour one. We walked past the ACM and saw the black statue in front of the Victoria Theatre. Hmm... I don't know the location of the white statue. I asked an encik around the ACM and he told me to walk straight down and turn left. We walked as follows and viola! It is only later I learned that this is the spot where Sir Raffles landed in Singapore. The view is quite good with the financial district as the backdrop.
There are also many life-size figures around the Singapore river depicting life back then. I find this one to be particular interesting so Murakami-san and I decided to chip in and help out with the heavy bag.
Here is Cavenagh Bridge again with Fullerton Hotel as the backdrop. We went in there for a short break and the hotel basement also link to One Fullerton which is just next to Merlion park.
A photoshot of Fullerton hotel from the interior. I still remember 3 years back (before I started work), I came here for a Sun seminar spanning a day. The ambience is just great and they serve premium food at the seminar.
We went across and arrive at Merlion Park. The photo below is taken by Suzuki-san using her Casio camera (a newer generation as compared to mine).
Here is our group photo. From left, me, Suzuki-san, Murakami-san and Quah.
Our Singapore durian, or some call it by its professional name - Esplanade (you can pronounce it the French way or English way).
We walk down the bridge to the Esplanade along rows of beautiful flower.
From there we went across to the City Hall and the Supreme Count. At the Padang, I took a photo of the Singapore financial centre skyline.
Past the city hall, we arrived at one of Singapore's oldest church - the St. Andrews Cathedral. I heard from a tour guide later that this placed was struck by lightning three times.
Past Raffles City Shopping Centre, we arrived at Chijmes where Suzuki-san is looking for some textiles. It is also where Singapore one-and-only maid cafe is located. Here is a maid standing in front of the CosCafe.
Thereafter we went down to Raffles Hotel. I pointed out to them the famous Sikh which is Singapore's number one service staff. He is standing at the entrance to the hotel.
In the hotel, there is an area where wedding events are being held.
The final activity for the day before we break for dinner is the Duck Tour. I managed to make a telephone reservation when I was at the Merlion park at 3.30pm for the 5pm Duck Tour. It depart from Suntec City. We managed to reach there at 4.40pm, just in time for payment and to watch a short video on what's going to happen.
Here is the friendly tour guide of the Duck boat. The boat is reused from a Vietnam War war machine.
A view of the Singapore Flyer from the Singapore river.
An also the Merlion at sunset.
The duck tour lasted 50 minutes and we are back in Suntec city. I bring them around the Fountain of Wealth clockwise for good luck.
And finally we adjourn for our dinner. I have been planning to go to Newton Circus as it is another famous hangout at night which is quite close to the city centre. There are still frequent 'touting', though not as aggressive as in the past. We just settle for a stall and ordered BBQ Stingray, Kang Kong, You Tiao, Satay and Scallops vegetables.
We finished our dinner at 7.30pm and went back to hotel. We bid farewell to one another at 8.20pm. From there, I rushed on to my next appointment at Clarke Quay.