Around the World Spring 2008 travel blog

Jimmy & Ellen at the Raffles

There are those Singapore Slings

Long's Bar at the Raffles

JImmy at the Raffles

That's supposedly the famous pool table

On the Verandah

Sir Jim

Can I have another Singapore Sling?

The New Asia bar, 71 stories high

Our Swiss friend Otto-san

View of Singapore from 71 stories

Another view from 71 stories, Asia Bar

Father & Son at Asia Bar

The Chimes, former church turned restaurant and bars

Entry to the Raffles Hotel

The Chimes, former church

In the morning I mapped out a plan for the day. Was able to get my two companions to go along with it as it didn't involve miles of walking and had stops along the way at specific bars!

First stop, the Raffles Hotel. WOW! A (relatively) old place, very British Colonial. First stop was Long's Bar where the Singapore Sling was invented. Of course, had to have one. Jim wished he had ordered a Tiger when he saw the bill, but I said it was worth it because we got a picture! Had a burger there. It was a cool place, open air with ceiling fans. It lived up to our expectations. Then we wandered through the hotel. Lots of shops (like Tiffany's and Tumi) so once again didn't buy anything. Found the Billiards Bar on the older side of the hotel. It is an elegant restaurant. I had to see it as apparently the last Tiger in Singapore was shot when found under one of the pool tables. (you can see why this place was on my must-see list). They were serving a fancy brunch buffet, but when I asked the waiter about it he was extremely helpful. He said the two pool tables were being used to serve the food. He assured me the Tiger story was true, but couldn't tell me which table was involved :( So I just picked one and took my picture.) Check off item #2 for today! We then took a break on the "verandah" mainly to take more pictures.

Next stop was the War Memorial. Not much to it, looks like giant chopsticks (guidebook's assessment, not mine).

Right past that was Raffles CIty, a complex designed by I.M. Pei. Of course it contains a multi-level shopping mall.

We did have a goal there as Jim needed running socks. So we actually bought something!!

Next stop was the Swisshotel that was in this complex, the tallest building in Singapore at 71 stories. At the top was a cool bar called New Asia, but the best part was the view! We spent a couple hours there. We watched a thunderstorm build up and pass over us and then the sun came back out...changing the view. Met some friends (see picture of Otto-san from Switzerland), eavesdropped on a SPG checking out a Western businessman ("what kind of car do you that like a 300 series, more like a 500 series"). And just talked and enjoyed the view (and the wine).

Next stop was CHIJMES, a former convent, orphanage and church. The nuns sold it and it is now converted to a restaurnat/bar complex (with shops, of course). Had dinner at a British place while watching the first half of a Liverpool-Arsenal soccer match. They had movie screens set up outside and there was a huge crowd watching and cheering. It was really fun as the crowd was so into the game.

All in all a great day!!

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