Mark and Jo's Oz & Asia Trip 2005 travel blog

Mark outside Raffles' Long Bar - Singapore

Jo with Singapore Sling in Raffles

View of Singapore at night from 70th floor of Raffles City

Night Safari, Singapore

Leaving Singapore for London :o(

We got to Singapore around 7.30pm and caught the metro to the final hostel of our trip. After our horrendous experience in Singapore previously we were hoping for something much better. Luck was in. The Bugis Backpackers was just putting the finishing touches to a re-furb. We had a brand new room which had been finished that evening (!). It was spacious, air-conditioned and more importantly clean. The lady running it was so friendly and helpful. (Note to self: At some point we must write to the good and the bad hostels with our comments).

Saturday, we spent 7 hours shopping on Orchard Road. Mark had had enough after 2 hours! We bought shoes for Mark and sunnies for Jo but in 7 hours couldn't find a pair of shoes for Jo. Looking forward to a trip to Bluewater when we get home then...

Stressed out, we went to unwind at Raffles. We had the obligatory Singapore Sling which to be honest was far from impressive. There is no romance in being stitched up for £20 for a pre-mixed Sling! But it's one of the things you have to do in Singapore. After a quick bite to eat we went to the Swissotel bar on the 70th floor in Raffles City. This was much more like it! We were drinking gin and tonic listening to live music whilst looking out over the city and the ocean. In the distance we could see Changi airport, our destination in less than 24 hours. Deciding we couldn't afford to drink there too much longer, we wandered over to the Chijmes complex and found a bar with more live music. We stayed there for the rest of the evening.

Sunday 19th June. Today was the last day of our trip. We were both feeling a mixture of emotions; sad to be ending the trip, excited to be seeing friends and family, apprehensive about finding new jobs, looking forward to a rest. We packed all our things... We now have two 70 litre backpacks - full, one large North Face holdall - full to bursting point, two large, heavy-duty carrier bags - full, one Mambo handbag - full and one day sack - full.

We spent the day strolling around Chinatown and Clarke Quay. Early evening, we caught the train and bus to the night safari. That was great fun. We took a 45 minute ride around the zoo watching buffalo, rhinoceros, tigers, pigs, deer and elephants. We also watched a live show with big cats and 3 cute little otters that had been trained to collect rubbish and put it all in recycling bins - highly amusing. Very clever. After the show, we took a walk around some of the trails. The highlight was watching a bunch of meercats who were obviously expecting to be fed by us. The squawking and squealing was horrendous but again very funny.

We left the zoo and went back to collect our luggage from Bugis. We got on the tube for our last journey through Singapore (at least for the moment) and onto Changi airport. Although our flight wasn't until 6am, we were at the airport for 11pm; we were too tight to pay for another night's accommodation and we had caught the last train. We grabbed a quick bite to eat before the restaurants closed and tried to get a couple of hours kip before check-in at 3am. Unfortunately, this side of immigration the seating was plastic and hard! Mark tried to kip on the floor but ended up wandering around the terminal, watching TV through a window and watching the planes come and go.

We checked-in, bought some gin, had a coffee then went to board. Only to find out the plane would be delayed as they had to change the tyres. Jo had already put on her sexy flight socks in preparation! We left an hour or so late and it was light again. We drank quite a bit on the plane - it's free after all - including wine and gin at around 9am just over Eastern Europe! In our defence, it was gone 5pm in Singapore.

Landed and clear of customs, we found Jo's mum and dad and started the journey home to Norfolk looking forward to roast beef and all the trimmings!

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