Singapore: Phenomenal City, Itty Bitty Living Space!
From our few moments in Singapore, I knew I was going to like it. The airport had free internet and was one of the nicest I've ever been to. Reportedly, there is a pool and a garden somewhere in there, but we didn't have time to check it out. We met up with the girls, grabbed our bag and took one of the lovely city buses to Little India where we hoped to find a reasonably priced room. Singapore is a highly developed little country, which means that, unlike most SE Asian countries, things aren't significantly cheaper there than in the US. So finding a place that fit our little budgets, was a bit difficult and we ended up in a dorm style hostel for about 15 US dollars each.
Marina Bay Sands and the Helix Bridge
Anyway, after we got settled we got some food right outside the hostel (I think it was Indian) and spent the rest of the day not doing much of anything. The girls wanted to go to Universal Studios the next day, but wanted to buy tickets online. They ended up going on a pretty wild goose chase to find one, but said that Singaporeans were very helpful people! When they got back, we were chatting about Universal and they were making it sound really fun. Since we had planned on going to the aquarium, we decided to flip a coin to see which one we would go to. In the end, Universal Studios won and we just hoped they would take our American credit card since we didn't get enough Singapore dollars out to pay for it.
In the morning, we tried to get ready quietly, but it was pretty useless. We felt bad for the other two people in the room with us. Oh well! We hopped on a bus and headed for Sentosa Island where Universal and the aquarium are located. When we arrived we had that "little kid going to Disney World" feeling... yes, it still happens even at 25 years old! There were no issues with our credit card and as soon as we got our tickets we headed straight for Battle Star Galactica - the dueling roller coasters. We actually ended up running at one point, I have no idea why, but we were overly excited about this ride. We got to the line and the wait was 5 minutes - a dream come true. The rest of the day, we did the Mummy Ride, Transformers the Ride, the Jurassic Park Ride (against my better judgement given my irrational fear of dinosaurs), the Shrek 4D experience and even the Sesame Street children's ride. And when we had ridden all the rides that there were to ride, we rode a couple of them again. The whole day we didn't wait more than 20 minutes to get on a ride and it was awesome. The park is a lot smaller than the one in Florida, but it took us all day to get through and we left very happy, albeit tired, campers.
The next day was the girl's last full day and we decided to check out the Gardens by the Bay. It's essentially a huge garden right next to Singapore's coolest resort - Marina Bay Sands. The gardens have two huge domes that house man made forests, an outdoor grove of "super trees" and a really neat light show at night. That day we walked around the gardens for a bit, but I wasn't feeling so good and we decided to go to the aquarium instead to get out of the heat. On the way to the aquarium we got caught in a pretty intense downpour but made it to the walkway to Sentosa just in time. In typical Singapore fashion, we could walk all the way to the aquarium under a roof - you can't do that elsewhere in SE Asia. You just can't. The aquarium was really awesome, although I still prefer the Georgia Aquarium (they have whale sharks and beluga whales... you can't beat that). The one in Singapore does boast the world's largest oceanarium though, which really was spectacular. They had a couple of manta rays and one giant manta that was really fun to watch roam around the gigantic tank. (E- There was an English family there and the little girl kept saying, "Mummy!! Look at that massive manta ray! Mummy! It's massive!" It was hilarious! There's something about kids with English accents.) Once I had had my fill of the underwater world we headed back to meet up with the girls. Once we were back we got a message from them that they ended up going to the rooftop bar at Marina Bay Sands and were going to eat dinner around there. So we were on our own and ended up getting Subway (Ethan's favorite) for the 3rd night in a row.
Oceanarium at the S.E.A. Aquarium
The next day we all went to see the giant merlion statue and said our goodbye's there. Alexis and Shannon's flight left around 5 back to Bangkok where they spent a few days before heading back to the USA. The rest of the day we spent getting lunch at the mall and drinks at the rooftop bar. That night we headed back to the same area for dinner and to see the light show at the gardens. The trees, which are giant metal structures with real plants planted around their trunks, are covered in lights that are timed with music and really neat to watch. There was also a laser light and water show from the boardwalk of the mall, which was arguably the coolest one I'd ever seen. The show involved projecting images onto a wall of water created by fanning the water from a huge fountain and it was awesome. It also involved lights and music and even bubbles at the end. Well done, Singapore. Well done.
The next morning was another early one as we packed up and headed for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!