The final destination
06.02.2014 - 08.02.2014 35 °C
Friday 7th February
We were not to be as lucky with our return bus journey from Melaka, which took an extra hour and had a twenty minute break two hours into the trip. We finally crossed the border into Singapore at about 6pm; just in time for rush hour. We found our hotel, part of the Singaporean Fragrance group chain, which is also known for its hourly rates. Judging by the area in which we were staying and the great big sign outside saying 'business hotel', I am sure our hotel would be more than obliging should you need a room for an hour or so, with one of the plenty of girls lining the street just outside.
In the evening, we headed down to the waterfront to see the tail end of a parade before walking around the bay, which had colourfully lit up fabric models of dragons and horses and Chinese displays for Chinese New Year.
The following day we decided to visit the resort island of Sentosa to visit Adventure Cove. Sentosa is a small island to the South of the main island of Singapore and is home to the various theme parks, attractions and resorts. Adventure Cove is a water park aquarium. There are a number of water slides, all of which you go down on either an inflatable ring or a float mat. These were good as you could get single or double ones, so Chris and I were able to go down together. Chris was somewhat put out that the heavier person always had to go at the back; however on one of the whirlpool slides we ended up facing the wrong way and so for the final section Chris got to lead.
There was a wave pool, which was actually fairly tame, as well as an assault course over four metre deep plunge pools. The assault course involved a balance beam, an tight rope with a lax rope above to help you balance and a cargo net. There was also a dive in and climb up the rope 5m or so to ring a bell at the top. I did not quite manage this one as the ropes really hurt my feet. (And probably having no upper body strength did not help either).
At this park, you can pay considerable amounts of money to go diving (£500) or swim with dolphins (£250); however included in the ticket is snorkelling with 20,000 fish in a huge fish tank. This tank was full of beautiful, colourful fish, a lot we had seen either diving or on snorkelling trips, as well as a lot of others we had not seen. Despite the slightly false feel of this and the lack of the thrill of discovering these fish hidden amongst the corals yourself, it was still pretty incredibly swimming amongst the schools of tropical fish. This attraction is definitely the highlight of the park.
The final attraction is a lazy river, which runs around the whole park, acting as both an attraction and a route around the park and to the slides. The first time we went round, it must have taken a good twenty minutes to complete the circuit on inflatable rubber rings. The second time, we decided to swim in the one metre deep water while wearing life jackets, which actually turned out to be more fun than the rings, particularly when you sit in them and allow yourself to float around.
Most of this circuit is various scenes with statues and music playing as you go around, but the last section takes you past a sting ray tank before going into a glass tunnel with fish swimming over the top. It had been a challenge to stop on the rings the first time to get a good look at the rays and fish, which is why we opted for doing the second half with the life jackets to return to the entrance.
Friday night was the last night of our trip and so we headed back down to the harbour front, where there are the gardens by the bay. Each evening at 7.45pm, there is a light show put on at the gardens. These gardens have your normal maintained flower beds with winding pathways in between, but what makes these gardens original are the giant trees which have been constructed out of metal frames. They tower far above so that you can see them from pretty much any point within the harbour. The circular metal frames, which make up the trunks of the trees, are completely covered with plants so that from a distance they almost look like very tall hedges. At the top of these towers, the metal branches splay out to create a funnel, inside of which lies a large upside down plain lampshade type object, which by night is lit up, creating a silhouette look with the branches. Between two of the tree towers runs a walkway, high off the ground, overlooking the gardens. As part of the light display, the trees and walkway are lit up in various different coloured and styles of light, which are accompanied by rainforest music.
In the centre, the highest tree tower has become a restaurant and tree top bar and so Chris and I took the lift up and enjoyed a couple of drinks overlooking the Singapore skyline by night. Chris had a Singapore Sling which he would describe as 'fruity'.
Saturday 8th February - The Final Day!
After checking out of our 'business' hotel, we returned to Senstosa Island to visit the S.E.A. Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world. This gave us a chance to take photos of the various fish we had seen snorkelling and diving, as well as seeing a lot of others we had not seen. This aquarium is home to the largest viewing panel, which was absolutely massive.
Although this aquarium is supposedly the largest, we still preferred the aquarium in Osaka, Japan as this had a greater selection of fish as well as other aquatic wildlife.
After lunch, we decided to go on the Luge, which was like tobogganing down a road. To reach the top of the run, there is a chairlift, which offers great views back over Singapore as you climb the hill to the top. From the top, you are given a quick lesson on using the brakes on your sledge before you set off down the 700m course. One of the routes had quite a few twists and turns, but on the other path, you could travel much faster to the point where your toboggan would lift off on one side. We had three runs on this before heading back to the mainland of Singapore, if you can call it that?
We spent the last couple of hours browsing the shops, where Christopher bought himself a new coat, which I am going to be very jealous of when we land in Gatwick at 6.30am tomorrow morning. After a cup of coffee it was time to leave, pick up our bags from the hotel and head to the airport.
How did we get to the end of our magnificent trip?