Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chill Time... Little India, Singapore

If I make it back to Singapore again, I would happily stay at the same hotel (Perak Hotel) in Little India! I loved the location... just walking around the area, I came upon groups of men sitting together, taking a break from the day.

Before taking the picture below, I motioned to one of the men, meaning to ask if it was alright to take a photo of them. He smiled and gave me a thumbs-up, as if to say... 
go ahead!   :)

Another group sitting across the street from our hotel...

Starbucks... I know, I know... but I liked it.

Mmmm iced chai in the morning...

Mmmm... hot chai at night...

Mmmm... iced mocha in Malacca.
(Malaysian Starbucks don't have chai... DOH!)

Mmmm... teh tarik (oh wait... not Starbucks... even better!).  
Staying in Little India was a great idea! ...Teh tarik in a bag!

Sightseeing -- Singapore

Below are pictures of the main sightseeing spot in Singapore. The view is really cool, as there is so much to see! Singapore is a beautiful, clean city... which seems well-planned, yet creative.

Rock on, Singapore!

Singapore has 2 buildings that are supposed to look like durians. Durian is a fruit that is oval-shaped and spiky on the outside. 

This is what adurian looks like:

This type of fruit is often banned from hotels and trains (most public places) because it smells terrible!! If you can get past the smell, it's supposed to have a sweet taste. I'm not exactly opposed to at least trying durian fruit... but I haven't done so yet.

Durian building and the cityscape...

Ship on a building! ...errr... 3 buildings...

Very cool city, indeed...

Cityscape and a Merlion to the left...

 Singapore's Merlion...

Happy Lunar New Year - Singapore!

Beautiful flower necklaces could be found for the Lunar New Year...

Welcome to the year of the DRAGON!

Chinatown, Singapore

After visiting the Raffles Hotel we walked down to Chinatown in Singapore. It was really fun to visit this area during the time of the Chinese New Year! We walked around, saw a GREAT Hindu temple (pictures below), and ended up sitting at an outdoor cafe for a while... aaand then it started to pour!

Sri Mariamman Temple...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beautiful Singapore Buildings :)

Some of my favorite photos from the trip are below... I really loved the architecture and variety of styles throughout Singapore.

English-style firehouse...

The colors and shutters are awesome!  :P

Love.     Love.     And... Love.

Raffles, Singapore

I traveled with Sarah and her parents -- in from England! They were great... it's always nice to find people you can travel with well. It was a good mix of group time and my own independent adventuring and exploring.  :)

Sarah and her parents, Robert and Sue.

Our first morning in Singapore, we took a walk from our hotel in Little India... into the city. We walked by this beautiful church...

...And made our way to Raffles Hotel. Sarah's parents were stoked about going to Raffles! This was the first I had heard of it... but it's apparently one of the world's most famous hotels! The hotel was opened in 1887 and was one of the first establishments in the area of Singapore!

You can visit the hotel's  website by clicking here...
And the Raffles Hotel Wikipedia article here...

The restaurant/cafe area was beautiful. There are also many shops and green space throughout the place.

Sarah and her Dad at Raffles...

I went back by Raffles the next night... here's a view from across the street...

Welcome to Singapore!

My Tet holiday break was fabulous. I spent a few days in Singapore, took the train up into Malaysia -- a couple of days in Malacca and then on to Kuala Lumpur before returning to Ho Chi Minh.

We stayed in this cute hotel - Perak Hotel - in Singapore, which is located right in Little India. It was a GREAT location, as we could walk into the rest of the city but were surrounded by a great atmosphere and delicious food!

Singapore welcomed us with a rainy afternoon... but it was ok, as we sat outside an Indian restaurant next door to the hotel and sipped teh tarik!

I really enjoyed the architecture all around Singapore... this cute house was just down the block from our hotel.

...Aaaand this beauty was also down the street!

Celebration for the upcoming year of the dragon was well underway! (...Which we heard into the early hours each of the 3 nights we were in Singapore.)  :P

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tet celebrations around Book Street

There were a ton of people out and about for the night on Nguyen Hue and the surrounding streets, making up the Book Street area...

Beautiful flowers were lining the street!

The roundabout near Mac Thi Buoi on Nguyen Hue was beautiful. A lot of people were taking pictures by this flower sculpture.

Posing with the best of 'em!

Welcome to the year of the DRAGON!

Dong Khoi Street... I wish they'd just keep it like this all year!
Although the traffic was insane (here, they're all trying to get into a parking basement)...

The Tet lights on Dong Khoi Street...

Book Street!

Sarah and I happened upon one of the Book Streets in District 1 this weekend... three streets are blocked off to traffic and set up with open shelves of books and various activities -- AWESOME!

I went back to this area last night... and it was apparently THE place to be!


Goin' to Singapore and Malaysia!

Having my family leave after the Winter Break was definitely tough. ...Talk about a post-holiday slump. (Although, I just felt off rather than sad, which is good I guess!)

It helped a lot to know that another break was coming up in just over 2 weeks... the Tet Holiday Break! We have 10 days off and I'm excited to be tagging along with Sarah and her parents, who will be in from England. ...More Mom-and-Dad Time!  :)

We fly out tomorrow (Sunday) mid-day to Singapore, where we plan to stay for a few days. Then we will take the train up through Malaysia to the Tampin station (click here to view the Seat 61 train schedule)... take a short taxi ride to a nearby town, Malacca (Melaka), for 2 nights... and finally, a two-hour bus ride to Kuala Lumpur.

Malacca is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an old historical port with heritage buildings, great architecture, and ancient landmarks. I've heard great things and am excited to spend a few days here!

Below, you can see our plan of attack on the Google Maps:

So... until I splurge on an iPad... once again there won't be any new posts until after the trip. ...Next time I post, we'll be in the Year of the Dragon!