So as I am sure many of you have gathered by now if you are regular readers I am all about maximising the time you have in a place to see and explore as much as possible. When I originally planned the Asia trip I had planned it in reverse but when I was looking at getting back to Beijing for the flight out it was proving a tad difficult. So I opted to switch it around and so we had to fly back to Singapore from Beijing. There are almost no direct flights for this route (certainly none at the lower end of the price scale) but there was an Air Asia flight operating with a quick stop in Kuala Lumpur which did the journey in 6 hours of flying time total. The only issue with this flight? It was scheduled for 01.50a.m. There are pros and cons to travelling overnight, I sleep very well so it’s less of an issue for me and because it got us in at 13.00 to Singapore and our main flight back home was not until 22.00 it gave us the afternoon to spend in Singapore, hence maximising time and abiding by the motto. The other massive pro was that after boarding the flight it became apparent that it was almost empty and so I had a whole 3 seats to myself for the 5 hour flight meaning I pretty much got a solid 5 hours of sleep, definitely welcome after our long day of hiking.
Air Asia have their own budget air terminal in Kuala Lumpur which they share with Jet Star etc. but even considering this I was pretty impressed by the facilities on offer. We arrived in around 09.00a.m and finally had the chance to try Toast Box for breakfast. I ordered a laksa which was very nice and my dad had the traditional kaya toast with coffee which was also yummy. After our breakfast we used the time to chill out a bit before our short one hour flight to Singapore. It was all on time and so after arriving in Changi and clearing immigration (annoyingly we lost our spot in the queue because the flight had run out of arrival forms) we headed straight to left luggage to drop off our larger bags which we didn’t want to carry around for the day. This is such a great service and offered by almost every airport I have flown into. It means you can head out into wherever you are and explore without worrying about lugging around a suitcase and this is exactly what we did.
First stop on the itinerary was Raffles but just as we were leaving the airport my hunger pangs started to rouse and as we were passing a CurryTime we decided to get a snack here. I opted for the traditional chicken curry which was pretty fantastic and was served with rice. We also treated ourselves to custard tarts which weren’t quite up to the standard of the ones in Shanghai but were still pretty great. Feeling much more content after our meal we jumped on the metro and after a slight bit of confusion (Note: metro station names do not always correlate to the places, for example Raffles Place refers to the mall there and Raffles Hotel is actually at City Hall one stop before). We headed up to the Long Bar which is famous for their Singapore Slings (and is the only place in world I have ever had one and liked it). A nice few hours were spent drinking the famous cocktails and long beers (served in a narrow tall glass) and throwing the used peanut shells on the floor.
I could not visit Singapore without seeing my favourite Singaporean; Halle, and she had nicely arranged to meet us for dinner despite a hectic work schedule. We had an hour to kill though and so went to check out the local shops and stock up on essentials, such as ice-tea. The UK just does not compare in this regard. She had chosen a local place called Chin Chin eating house which was really close to Raffles and our location. As always with Singapore the food was spectacular. We had Hainanese chicken rice, pork chop, sizzling vegetables with chicken and prawn, beef and spring onion and of course some ice tea. It was a feast a perfect way to end our Asian eating tour with one of my favourite people! We had to rush back to the airport to get our flight which was disappointing but we made it and off home we came, via Istanbul which was slightly better given that we found the main terminal building and managed to grab a bagel for breakfast. What a trip!