Sunday, 13 October 2013

Singapore, Esplanade

I had not been to anywhere interesting since my last Bangkok trip. It was an extremely busy period and I was working around the clock. But, I do feel that I am seriously in need of a break, something that could give me a sense of balance to armour me through this hectic life. 

An example of my sweet retreat is usually comfort food. I tried to prolong the retreat for as long as I could by savouring the taste of these marinated charcoal-grilled chicken satay. Don't forget to eat these with some rice cake dipped in peanut sauce and the feeling that comes out of it? Pure ecstasy... 

Another outlet for retreat is to go out with colleagues after work. We went to TWG at Marina Bay Sand and we ordered tea. There were various selection of teas for us to choose from - some with really mushy names. I had 'The Grand Wedding' on that day because I like my tea to be fruity. 

As this was my first time in TWG, I actually didn't expect that the price for tea here could be so steep. Buy hey, I'm already comfortably seated there, so I kept reminding myself to go for something cheaper tomorrow. But seriously, I felt the pinch. Ouch...

And while I'm still in the topic of self-indulgence, I also ordered myself dessert. Here's my chocolate fondue, topped with ginger ice cream. Nice, and I'll skip the part when I saw the bills. 

After that, we took a walk around the Esplanade. Singapore is perhaps the fastest changing city in the world. The skyline too keeps on changing as new buildings were built and the old ones refurbished.

There is a saying, "those who can't wed, plan". 
Well, those who can't travel, stay... and be a tourist in their own country. 

I took the Singapore River Cruise for the first time on that day. It costs $20 per person and here I go on the bum boat, aka Singapore River Cruise.

The Singapore Flyer, the Singapore Art Museum and the Marina Bay Sands are important structural icons in Singapore. They depict modernity and innovation; and that's where Singapore is heading towards.

The boat glided along the Singapore River, where you could view the charms of the old Central Business District. There are prominent buildings in Singapore that show Singapore's British heritage. An example is the building below.

Built in 1826 by the First Governor of the Straits Settlement, Robert Fullerton, the building was once used as a fort to defend Singapore from any naval attacks. After that, it became the General Post Office, the Exchange, the Singapore Club, the Marine Department, and the Import and Export Department - in those particular order. 

Yep... I find the rich history attached to this building fascinating, but I didn't have the time to read further, but today, the building had again served another purpose. It is now a 5-star hotel, whereby a one night accommodation can cost up to $600.

I like the lightings that decorate the Singapore River. The rows of shop-houses that cover the length of the Singapore River looks really vibrant. By night time, the shop-houses were transformed into restaurants and clubs and the crowd will come to enjoy dinner and drinks.

Overall, the cruise is a great way to enjoy the day for me. It took about 40 min, which is a brief, short retreat.