Day 28: Hong Kong / Singapore
I’ve been flying now for seven days, twelve hours and thirty seven minutes.
Well that’s what it seems like, but after actually only about 17 hours, my flight touches down in Singapore and I’m home – my second home anyway. Terrified at the thought of not going to Singapore this year, I managed to book a flight home from San Francisco that has a 31 hour stopover in paradise. It will be fantastic to have one day to regroup before getting back to reality tomorrow night.
I know and love Singapore, having visited about 10 times or so now, so I won’t be in a rush to sightsee, but everything is close enough in case I do feel lively and want to get out and about. No matter how much I do each visit to Singapore, there’s still a lot I haven’t done. And this will probably be the only chance I have to visit Singapore this year, so I’m making the most of it.
I’m staying at Hotel 1929 in Chinatown. Whilst I’m not a stranger to staying in Chinatown, I’ve not stayed at this hotel before and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve splashed out and booked one of two of the best rooms they have, though I still managed to pay less than a normal room at one of the bigger hotels. All the hotels I’ve stayed in whilst travelling in Singapore over the years have been good (except you, Allson), but there’s certain hotels you stay in when travelling with others to those you might choose when travelling alone (ie. glass panelled bathroom, not such a good idea when travelling with parents). So I’ve gone with this little boutique place, which has a claw foot tub on the balcony and a contemporary room layout.
Check in is a breeze. I get free cookies, free soft drink, free wifi and free breakfast (and yes! there’s bathrobes).
I actually feel quite ok after my flight. I chose to try Jet Ease tablets for my flight home, which are a kind of homeopathetic remedy for jet lag (also known as No Jet Lag in other countries) and they seem to have done the trick.
So I’ve got 31 hours here and seeing as I’m feeling fine, I’m not mucking around. It’s drizzling in Singapore so I hop into a cab. Cabs are so cheap and easy here compared to Perth. It’s basically 20 minutes to anywhere on the island, so in the heat or the rain or just when your tired or have too much shopping – it’s the only way to go. First stop is OPI at the Forum Mall to get my nails shaped and painted.
Next up is ION Orchard to load up on Royce chocolate, my favourite as you’ll know from previous blogs – if you ever see it (not sold in Australia), do yourself a favour and at least try the Nama chocolate. Then I head to Kinoukinuya to browse for books, making sure to stock up on whatever Haruki Marukami books I can find, because you just can’t get the back issues in Perth.
And then its time to head to Bath Culture for some well earned foot therapy. My poor feet have taken an absolute pounding for the last month and they deserve a rest. First I get a neck and shoulder massage. All those hours of flying have not done me any favours and it sure hurts in places. Then my therapist soaks, massages and de-calluses my feet. The treatment seems to last forever, and I feel myself going in and out of short sleeps. The lavender tea must be working a treat. I feel so good right now.
Stepping out into the streets of Chinatown, I head through the markets on my next mission – to find my niece Lola a replacement cheongsam night gown. She was terribly upset when her last one lost its button and couldn’t be mended so she politely requested I try to find her a new one – blue or purple this time would be nice she said. Well Lola – you are in luck, cause I found a blue one. There’s not many out there, but I got it. You really do have the best aunty in the world!
I’m now fading fast, but hunger is gnawing at me, so I need to grab something to eat before I head back to the hotel. I was hoping to go to Da Dong for chicken and corn soup (they do THE best chicken and corn soup), but the streets around Da Dong are being excavated and it seems to be closed for renovations.
Such a shame, but I’m tired and I can’t be bothered going from stall to stall, so I just settle on the restaurant at the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Wolfing down my spring rolls, and black pepper beef noodles with some Tiger beer, this is the perfect end to the day – I love Singapore.
I return to the hotel and, pre-mixed cocktail in hand, have a short soak in my rooftop bathtub. The night air is warm and I can hear the noises of the streets around Chinatown and the smell of food from all those little stalls and restaurants wafts across the skies. Did I mention I love Singapore?