After a bumpy flight from Wellington via Canberra we landed in Singapore in the early hours of the morning. Arriving at our hotel around 5am, the helpful staff allowed us to check in super early at 7am so we spent a couple of hours in the nearby Starbucks watching the city wake up.
We stayed at Hotel Mi, a new hotel in the Bencoolen area. The location turned out to be convenient with the MTR giving us easy access to all the sites we wanted to see. The room was small, with 2 double beds crammed in, but it was spotlessly clean with modern facilities a nice pool area and a small gym.
Paul is determined to keep up his fitness and we’ve fallen in to a routine of sightseeing in the morning and early afternoon, followed by an hour or so of school work for the kids, while I do trip planning or ‘housekeeping chores’ and Paul works out. Then we head to the pool to cool off before venturing out for dinner.
This mostly works well except when we stay out too long and the kids get too tired and grumpy in the afternoon to make school work productive. The promise of a swim does wonders to keep them focused to finish their work.
We adjusted to the 5 hour time difference from NZ fairly quickly with early nights and early morning starts. After a deliberately short nap on the first day we stayed awake to visit Clarke Quay in the afternoon and Little India for dinner. Unfortunately by dinner time L & S were getting very tired and found the crowds and noise of Little India very overwhelming. We had a quick walk around the Tekka Centre admiring the beautiful Indian costumes upstairs, and watching locals eating at the Hawker Centre on the ground floor. We could smell the wet market where fresh seafood is sold but L refused to go in! The smell was quite strong!
We headed to the well known restaurant The Banana Leaf Apolo Café, popular with locals and tourists, they serve tasty and authentic curries on a banana leaf. We had a chicken biryani and enjoyed tasting the various pickles, vegetables and side dishes. The food was spicier then L & S are used to but they enjoyed their rice and Mango Lassi.
The early check in and morning nap allowed us to get much more out of this first day than we otherwise would have, but by 7pm S was more than ready for bed and the rest of us weren’t far behind her!