On our trip back to Australia to visit family in July we stopped for a day in Singapore, a city I’ve visited five or six times over the years, first when my brother lived there in the 1990s, and later when my brother-in-law lived there in the 2000s. Add in some additional stops at Changi Airport for a quick curry or bowl of noodles between long-haul flights, and I must have set foot on the island eight or nine times.

This visit was a chance to see the Marina Bay Sands, a spectacular hotel completed shortly after our last visit in 2010, and the neighbouring Gardens by the Bay. We also caught the excellent Asian Civilisations Museum by the Singapore River, which had a great exhibition of fashion by Guo Pei, and went shopping at Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, where I narrowly missed being able to buy a T-shirt that read “Dear Obstacle I Will Destroy You”. (They didn’t have one in my size. My daughter got one, though.) The kids were able to sample proper Singaporean noodles, which they loved, and chendol, which they didn’t, even though I left out the durian. In the food court of Lucky Plaza, I got to try bandung for the first time, complete with grass jelly beads: like Turkish Delight in drink form, and every bit as delicious as that sounds.

Gathering up the photos of this visit was an opportunity to go back through past ones from 2007, 2009 and 2010. They were never enough to make galleries from at the time, apart from one of the monkeys at MacRitchie Reservoir, but I’ve added them now to this one: trips to Singapore Zoo, to the now-defunct Underwater World on Sentosa Island, and to sample the culinary delights of Little India. One day I’ll add a few 35mm scans of high tea at Raffles and other sights from 1998.

I’ve also added half a dozen extra monkeys from a second trip to MacRitchie Reservoir we made two years after the first, when a cheeky macaque stole the rain cover from our son’s buggy and carried it up into a tree. He didn’t like the taste of plastic, and eventually dropped it; for the rest of the time we owned it the cover had a string of bite holes patched with clear packing tape.

That’s Sembawang.


6 September 2019 · Travel