A flying visit
24.04.2011 - 24.04.2011 -32 °C
This was the final leg of our first trip to South East Asia. Our flight to Singapore from Cambodia was due to get us to Changi Airport at around 16:30 but we took off slightly earlier than scheduled and the flight took less time than expected. As a result, we were landed by 16:00 and soon in a taxi and on our way to Raffles Hotel and the Long Bar. One Singapore Sling plus one Royal Martini equals an empty wallet!! The most expensive drinks I had ever bought – even dearer than Harry’s Bar in Venice. Realistically it wasn’t a complete surprise but we still wanted to do it. We then wandered around the hotel and its shops for a little while before setting off in the general direction of Marina Bay. We passed several queues for taxis and decided to keep walking until we eventually found an air conditioned shopping mall with a taxi stop conveniently outside. We took turns to cool off in the mall while the other queued for the taxi which could take us to the Skypark on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
Singapore is compact, neat and tidy – and the taxi journey took just a few minutes. The Marina Bay Sands is a hotel built in three 56-storey towers with the Skypark sitting like a table top across the three. We queued at the bottom to buy tickets at 20 Singapore Dollars each (about £10 each) and then took our place in the queue for the elevator which lifted us the 56 floors (200 metres) in just 30 ear-popping seconds. At the top, the view over Marina Bay and the rest of Singapore towards Malaysia from the Observation Area is astonishing. There is also a restaurant, bar, café, garden area and an infinity pool but we settled on enjoying the views for over an hour until the sun had set and the lights of Singapore had been switched on. Then, it was back in the lift to be dropped the 56 floors to where we picked up another taxi for the airport. We perhaps could have squeezed somewhere else in but we decided to head back to Changi and have a wander around there and get something to eat before getting ready for the plane. And I’m glad that we did because the time passed quickly and we were soon boarding the Airbus A-380.
Our flight left Changi at 23:30 and would arrive at London Heathrow just before 6 am on Easter Monday. It was the end of a great holiday. We’d seen so much and it had all been different to anything we had experienced before. The highlight was probably the people who were as nice as you will probably find anywhere in the world and the cameras were full of around 2,000 memories that would now keep me occupied for some weeks.