I hope you all are having a good year so far! 13 is a lucky number for my alma mater, Colgate University, so I expect this to be a great year. Recently, I spent my Christmas holiday in Singapore. Although this isn't a proper walking tour, here are some highlights:
Singapore is as clean as everyone says it is.
I could just see the Singapore Flyer outside my hotel room.
Like Hong Kong, Singapore has a plethora of high-end shopping malls.
It also has an admirable amount of greenery among the modern buildings.
There were thunderstorms almost every afternoon, but I still had plenty of time to explore.
I found a monument to the 2010 Youth Olympics, and you know how I feel about the Olympics.
Marina Bay is home to Singapore's most iconic structures, the Marina Bay Sands and the Art Science Museum.
And also the Helix Bridge.
On my first day in Singapore, I had time for a walk around the bay past the financial district before the rain began.
My favorite thing about Singapore was the supertrees in the Gardens by the Bay.
The solar-powered structures collect and recycle rain water, among other things.
They were just finished in July, and are located in the gardens behind the Marina Bay Sands.
They have plants growing up the sides, though these haven't had a chance to really spread yet.
The Gardens by the Bay is also home to a flower pavilion, a cloud forest, and a lake.
And if it starts to rain, you're still just one underground walkway away from the big hotel, which...
...being a Sands, has a canal with a gondola ride inside.
Back on the other side, the bay itself is lined with a peaceful walkway of palm trees.
The lotus-shaped Art Science Museum...
...has a lily pond beneath it.
We also went to the night safari, though it was too dark to take pictures of the animals. Still, I highly recommend this if you're in the area.
We paid a visit to the National Museum of Singapore.
It's a lovely building...
...with an Old World colonial feel.
Of course, there are many modern buildings in Singapore as well...
Many of which were quite colorful.
We spent some time wandering the streets.
And we saw many different types of buildings.
Once, we went to the Bay at night...
...and rode the elevator up to Ku De Ta on top of the Marina Bay Sands.
We got to enjoy the view from the Skypark at night.
No visit to Singapore would be complete without Hainanese Chicken Rice...
...or curry rice...
...or wonderfully fresh fruit juice.
Fortunately, you can find all these wonderful foods in the hawker centers...
...where you can try any of Singapore's famous street foods...
...and keep going back for more.
From the hawker center, this temple is the first clue that you're approaching Chinatown.
Singapore is home to three major ethnic groups...
...meaning that you'll find evidence of different religions everywhere.
Chinatown is fairly typical.
Though the market streets are surprisingly spacious.
At the end of our trip, we made our way to Changi International Airport, where we found an angry bird...
...and the coolest moving sculpture I'd ever seen.
The copper raindrops were mesmerizing.
The airport was, of course, decorated for the holidays.
And it had nice green touches of its own.
Later this week, we have an interview with an author of a travel memoir about teaching in India. I'm still backlogged on my book reviews, but the final installment in the Wheel of Time series is out this week, so I don't expect to get much else done. Happy reading!