April, 2014

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by Harumi Okochi.
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Singapore Sling

Hello, friends.
Thank you for visiting me again.
In February, my husband and I travelled to Singapore. This was our second visit.
We met some friends, stayed at some hotels, dined at many places, and saw beautiful things.
Singapore is a multi-culture country, and that means different religions co-exist peacefully in a small island. I like to see temples or churches of various religions.
I am fond of flowers and trees, so I enjoyed the tropical vegetation much. But when we were there, we heard that there was no rain for two months, and it is an unusual thing for that land. Rain-trees were withering!

I confess that I can not drink strong drinks. A glass of wine makes me dizzy. But, I thought, if I don't try the famous Singapore Sling, I will regret it all my life.
So I challenged!
One fourth of the glass made me swing.
It was not Singapore Sling. It was, obviously, Singapore Swing.

Now please enjoy our photos.

Hotels we stayed or visited.
My husband Den's hobby is 'Hotel Hopping'. He says it is his research.

This time also, we researched some hotels, staying or dining or just for tea, or, just looking.

Raffles Hotel was a must.
We stayed here only one night, but we did not go out and wandered here and there inside the hotel for many hours.

A beautiful classic hotel it is!
Beside hotel services, we enjoyed the architecture itself.
The smell of Good Old Days.
The shining wooden stairs and banisters, slightly dented stone stairs, heavy doors and thick glass windows.
This was our room.
Isn't is nice?
The buildings are among tropical trees.
We did not forget to find the room where Somerset Maugham stayed.
We also visited the Long Bar where Maugham used to drink Singapore Sling.
The next stop was Peninsula Excelsior Hotel.
I did not swim. A small regret.

We dined at the special place of this hotel.
It was quiet and cozy.
The night view of the town was amazing.
l Goodwood Park Hotel is also a famous classic hotel, and we enjoyed every moment here.
At the old wing of Goodwood Park Hotel, we saw a big party going on.
Ladies wore long dresses, and the party looked very traditional.

A newly built hotel in the bay area.
Westin Hotel was quite stylish.
We had tea here.

Not many people in a spacy tea room on the top floor of the tall building.
The view below our eyes.
Singapore is extending its land by burying.
The bay is the most prosperous trade center in the world.
People are very proud of this.
People we met
Mr. Nishimura kindly invited us to dinner at Tower Club near the bay.
He is the president of 'Prime Travel', and his daughter Ms Nishimura is sending many Singaporians to Japan through her company 'Follow Me Japan'.

More travellers are coming to Japan from Singapore recently thanks to their efforts to make Singapore and Japan close to each other.
Junchen and Ben were guests who stayed with us some time ago.
We visited them this time, and these two young gentleman shared their time to show us round to many places.

China town, Little India, Arab Street, The Padang, Cricket Club, Tan Kim Seng Fountain, Blair Rd where we saw many Peranakan Houses, Emerald Hill, where we had tea at a classic bar.
Lunch with Junchen and Ben.
Pork ribs soup.
Crowded with Chinese-Singaporians.
Look at these dishes!
Traditional food from a district of China, of which name I forgot. Sorry.
Junchen's father's home town.
They took us to the best tea shop in Singapore.
A young girl served Chinese tea.
We tried many types.

I bought some tea for my friends and family members.
It was still a new year season by Lunar Calendar. This is a year of horse, and in China Town, paper lanterns of horse shape were flying in the sky.
Junchen and Ben took us to a restaurant in the Garden of the Bay.
A new restaurant, and fresh sea food was very good.
We ordered Sashimi of a big clam, and also we made it Shabushabu.
In the Garden, huge towers were built and they are called 'Super Trees'.
Natural vegetation on this iron tower makes them huge trees of mixed species of orchids, vines, and tropical herbs.
One more year or two will make them complete trees hiding all the artificial parts. Rain must help.
Mr. Tay Waybock invited us to his wife Peggy's birthday party.They postponed the date for us.
The very best Chinese restaurant in Singapore, and the food there was the most delicious Chinese cuisine I ever had.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Waybock.!
A happy family with excellent sons and daughters.
Chef is cutting the Beijing Duck before us..
This fish is from river. The name I forgot.
It tasted like our sea fish 'Ara'.
Very big fish. This picture is half the fish, but it was more than enough for 10 people.

Religious places we visited
Sultan Mosque at Arab Street
Chinese Buddhism Temple
at China Town
Entrance of the temple
Hindu Temple near China Town
Armenian Church

Other places we visited
Peranakan Museum

We walked for 15 minutes to this museum.
We studied about Peranakans here.
I was amazed with the beautiful life style and deep thoughts of them.
A Peranakan's house.
Isn't it so artistic?
The two pots of tree are the symbols of new year, tangerine orange trees.

Do we look Chinese before the Chinese house?
Other Peranakan houses at Emerald Hill.
I did not miss Orchid Garden.
Too many pictures of colorful orchids.
This is only one of them.
A walk with an orchid arch.
This orchid is named 'Princess Masako, Japanese Prince Naruhito's wife'
We went to Night Safari one night when we had no appointment.
The Animal Show was enjoyable.
Girls cried to notice that this animal (I didn't hear its name) was walking on the rope above our heads.
Wan Qing Yuan, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Sun Yat Sen was a revolutionist of China in early 20th century.
In Singapore, he was offered this house by a rich Chinese supporter.
Here Dr. Sun tried to gather the power of the Chinese people who lived away from the country.

He was in Japan too, and we have a calligraphy by him.
This corner shows about Dr. Sun and his supporters.
We visited the War Victim Memorial Monument too.
It was heart-aching to think of the victims by Japanese invasion.
Well, Thank you for sharing our memories of Singapore.

Someday, we will go again to see the country more deeply.

Thank you very much for joining me.
I hope you will visit us again next month.

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