April 9, 2016, Melaka to Singapore
We are being picked up at 7:45am and taken to the bus terminal where the public bus to Singapore is ready. As usual, we load our big bags in the storage compartment underneath the bus. No one helps; it is a free-for-all. Again, we settle into our comfortable seats for a five hour journey to Singapore with one pee break in the middle.
At the Malaysia - Singapore border we first get off the bus with our passports but leave our big bags in the bus. This is the location where we leave Malaysia; show our passport and they take our visa which we got when entering Malaysia. They don't care what we have in our bags.
Then we get back on the bus and drive for two minutes to the Singapore entry point. Now we take all our belongings and have to go through customs and security. The bus will wait for half an hour for us to get through. If we are not at the bus in time, it leaves and we have to wait for the next bus to take us to the bus terminal in Singapore. There is a lineup at customs but everything goes pretty smooth; our bags get through security without a hitch and we all end up back at the bus in time.
By the way, we have been warned a few times that among other things, CHEWING GUM IS NOT ALLOWED in Singapore. Do not try and bring it in!
We arrive at the bus terminal in Singapore and walk through a building to the other side where we load ourselves and our luggage in two taxis which take us to our hotel - "The Hangout Hotel" . The hotel is, in fact, a hostel. Our room is on the inside of the building, is small and has no windows - we don't mind as we are leaving early the next morning.
Our group walks to a currency exchange where we get Singapore dollars and we all have a late lunch.
After a break for some rest and a shower we all go out for some exploration. It is raining and we use our jackets for the first time! It is still very humid and we are sweating with those jackets on! We take the subway to Clarke Quay and we walk along the river to Marina Bay. Here we have a nice view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with its infinity swimming pool on the roof and we can see trees there also. We have the opportunity to take some nice pictures of Singapore's "Merlion", half lion, half fish.
By that time it has stopped raining. Our group decides that we want to go to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel where the first Singapore Sling was served sometime around 1915. We take two taxis and go to the bar at the hotel. It is very busy but we don't have to wait long. Eke orders a Singapore Sling at the outrageous price of $31 Singapore dollars (which is pretty even with the Canadian dollar).
We spend a nice hour just chatting and watching people. Louise (a member of our group) is meeting some friends there who have moved from England to Singapore a few years ago. Then we walk back to our hotel.
Later we all go out again for some dinner. We walk down the hill to a street with several restaurants and we choose a Thai restaurant. Eke does not have any luck with what she wants - they cannot make any changes to the dishes as everything is pre-made. She finally orders some chicken strips. They come on a bed of crunchy vegetables that look like kale and taste very good.
Then it is time to go back to the hotel and say goodbye to everyone. Louise is the first one to leave for the airport at 9pm. We are being picked up at 5:30am to go to the airport for our 8:00am flight to Hong Kong.
Our last night in South East Asia before flying home.