Another wonderful day has come and gone. A day filled with temples, chinatowns, market foods and very soar feet.
Started the day by getting my body moving by hitting the gym. Aka one of the best ways to get over jetlag, it'll do wonders for your mind and body. Then it was off to breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. If you follow my Instagram, you would have seen some of the delicious, colorful fruits we are being spoiled with here. I then headed to the pool for about an hour until i grew stir-crazy, so I decided to start my adventures for the day.
I started my walking tour of Singapore by heading to the Yuen Hai Ching Temple. It was just this little temple sitting in the middle of the bustling city, with skyscrapers almost swallowing it whole. It was incredibly peaceful and your mind and body was almost carried away as you inhaled the scented sticks that were placed around the outside and insight of the building. It was very quiet, there wasn't really anyone there except for one local woman and two men who were "working" the temple. There's really not much to say regarding this because I believe it's one of those things you have to see for yourself. Even if you aren't a very spiritual person, entering the temple was very calming and in a strange way humbling. Out of respect for the temple I did not take any pictures inside, only on the outside. But to give you a picture, the inside looked very much like the outside. With the little men filling up the walls and ceilings of the temple, along with large murals. None of the walls were completely naked.
The Yuen Hai Ching Temple was very different from the Sri Mariamman Temple. The Sri Mariamman Temple was bustling with tourist stumbling around each other outside the temple. This temple requested that no footwear be worn, so there were shoes laying all over the place in the outside right corner of the temple. It may have been relatively loud, with all the bustle, outside the temple, but once people entered everyone respected the sacred place and quieted down. Visitors were asked to not enter the central part of the temple out of respect to those in prayer but you were still able to see part of this most sacred area. A man was in the corner gently sprinkling something on a statue while chanting. It was incredibly interesting to see how he interacted with this statue, or sacred symbol, while chanting something I unfortunately did not understand.
Next it was on to Chinatown, which is located right next to the Sri Mariamman Temple. Or more, the temple sits right on the edge of one of the walls of Chinatown. This was an incredibly interesting experience. On our worldly trips, we, my family and I, usually never really visited the different Chinatowns that inhabit different parts of the world, so this was very new for me. I also was not the only one who had gotten the tip that Chinatown was a must see. It was overflowing with tourists. But really, this area is very catered to tourists. I mean this is the spot to get your little travel trinkets. Obviously, some of them are more Chinese oriented than "Singaporean" (if you can even say that) but there are still some things here and there. Plus, the Chinese are a large part of the Singapore culture. If you've ever been to a Chinatown or at least seen pictures you can get a general understanding of what this is like. Booths selling similar things are packed on top of each other. Some sell food, some sell clothes, some sell trinkets, some sell t shirts, some sell paintings and some sell a large variety of things all collected in one booth. There are lots of things going on there and I would definitely recommend it as one of the places you should check out if you find yourself in Singapore. And, all of the people are so incredibly kind and love to tell you stories, which I personally find very intriguing!
Later in the afternoon, or really at the end of the day (you get very thrown off on the time because it's light so late and the temperature barely changes) I took a walk over to the Gardens By The Bay. I didn't see the whole park but just strolled around the edge, following along with the water. It was an incredibly peaceful and calm area but more so it was so beautiful, even with an over-clouded sky. This Gardens By The Bay area is a combination of natural nature and man made "nature". What I mean by that is that inside of this park there are these ginormous "trees" or at least suppose to represent trees, that sky rocket through the forest/park. They are made out of metal but have vines climbing up their sides. The cool aspect of them is that when the sun goes down and the moon comes out to play they light up. At the time I was walking through, it was still light outside so they were not lit up. Actually, a cool way of describing the whole thing is that it is very Star Wars like. Especially when viewing it from above, we saw it yesterday when we went to the top of the Sands Hotel.
Following this, I ventured over to the Telok Ayer Market. Telok Ayer Market, also known as Lau Pa Sat, is a food center that is placed in an old historical building. Once again, as many of these must see places, it is a small traditional building that is placed in the center of a contemporary city. I was looking for some late dinner that was very authentic and this was definitely the place to go. There is basically everything there that you could desire that is inside of the Singapore "culture". Food cultures such as Indian, Chinese, Malayan, etc. I ended up going with some Indian food. I got my food as take-away and headed back to the Marina Bay. Just as I had sat down in front of the Merlion with my Biriyani rice and chickpea curry, the rain came. And it didn't just drizzle... it poured. Basically, it came out of no where and I was still a 10 minute walk from the hotel. So I quickly packed up my things and booked it, but it was no use. I was completely soaked by the time I step in the front door of the hotel, holding my shoes in one hand a curry in the other. One thing to note about Singapore, most of the time, when it rains it pours and it's very sporadic. It may have been wet but it was still fabulous fun to run through the warm, steamy rain.
By 9 o'clock, I was collapsed on the bed and felt as though my legs would never be able to move again. So a cold shower before crawling into the crisp clean sheets was exactly what the night called for.
Another exciting day had come and gone here in Singapore and another one is just a little sleep away.
Check back in tomorrow for the Singapore Day 3 post!