Look Up… Surreal Singapore

Nowadays we all spend way too much time with our necks bent down staring at our smartphones, rather than appreciating the world around us, and I admit that I am just as guilty of this as everyone else. So inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme of ‘Look Up’, I thought I would share with you one of my favourite photos looking up.

If you read my post 6 super Singapore must-dos then you’ll know how much I loved the Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay. We arrived too late to see the majestic colour changes but we did see the trees all lit up in their electric blue glory like something from the movie Avatar.

The man-made trees are between 25 and 50 metres tall and there are 18 of them in total, 12 of them being in Supertree Grove itself. Each tree is made of concrete and steel with plants growing on them to form a “living skin”. They are also free to go and see.

We were admiring the trees for ages and even lay down beneath them which is when I took this photo. A perfect entry to this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Surreal Singapore - looking up at the magical Supertrees

6 super Singapore must-dos!

If you're only in Singapore for a short amount of time, then here are my 6 super Singapore must-dos

If you’re only in Singapore for a short amount of time then here are my SIX super Singapore must-dos!

1. Drink a Singapore Sling at The Raffles Hotel

Yes it is expensive. Yes it is touristy. And yes almost everyone in the Long Bar will be sipping on a sling, but we were in desperate need of refreshment and a cool place to sit when we passed, so we thought when in Rome…

Sip a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel

2. Go on the night safari at Singapore Zoo

I’ve never heard of a night safari at a zoo before but I had heard many good things about Singapore Zoo. We enjoyed the walking tour and the Creatures of the Night show. The tram less so as I’m not entirely convinced all those animals were real! Still, it was a unique experience to wander around a zoo after dark and see the nocturnal animals come out to play.

Porcupine at the Night Zoo in Singapore - a Singapore must-do
Adorable porcupine at the Night Zoo

3. Photograph the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands

Go for a stroll along the waterfront to see the famous Merlion – a fountain with the head of a lion and the body of a fish – Singapore’s national icon. From here you can get spectacular views (haze permitting) of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – also a bit of an icon itself!

Merlion and Marina Bay Sands

4. See the Supertrees in their glowing glory

We didn’t have time to visit the Gardens by the Bay properly, but one evening we caught the train down there to see the Avatar-like Supertree Grove. Absolutely stunning and surreal – and best of all – FREE! (Although you have to pay for some other parts of the Gardens by the Bay).

The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay

5. Wander around Little India

Little India is a colourful place, both literally and figuratively. See the beautifully ornate Hindu temples, snap a photo or two of the House of Tan Teng Niah or even have your fortune told by a parrot.

Colourful building in Little India, Singapore

6. Sample some street food

Singapore is well-known for its hawker centres, so we chose to stop by Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown to try a few dishes. Cheap, tasty and filling – just what you need after a day of exploring!

Maxwell Food Centre in Singapore

Have you been to Singapore? What would you add to the list to make a super 7?

Our Sri Lanka adventure: part 5

Give me gems, flowers and Kandy!

Day 4 of our tour itinerary was “a full day of enchanting sightseeing in Kandy”, which began at a gem showroom. We learnt a little about gem mining and got to see some of the sparkling beauties in the showroom. Until my visit, I had no idea so many gems came from Sri Lanka and many are sold in London’s jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden.

gem showroom in Sri Lanka

After our pit stop at the showroom, it was straight on to the Botanical Gardens, where our guide took us for a walk around. Although not much of a green-fingered goddess myself, I do appreciate a good garden. Unfortunately, I know zilch about plants so can’t tell you much about it but it was pretty.

Fountain at Botanical Garden, Sri Lanka

Botanical Garden, Sri Lanka

orchid

After a fairly short day of looking at pretty things, we retired to the hotel for a bit of relaxation and to freshen up. Our base in Kandy was the Cinnamon Citadel hotel, which is nestled in the serene hillside with the pool area overlooking the peaceful Mahaweli River.

View of the pool at Cinnamon Citadel Hotel, Kandy - Sri Lanka

Our guide was taking us out in the evening for some more Kandyan beauties – this time in the form of a cultural dance show and the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic.

The dance show was entertaining and we got to see the performers in different brightly coloured costumes and play an assortment of instruments. But the most impressive part was seeing the dancers walk on hot coals and play with FIRE.

Kandyan Culture Show

Sri Lankan dancer

Walking on hot coals in Kandy

Although from the looks of this photo below you would think I was the only person watching who was vaguely impressed – half the people in the background are looking at something else, the woman in white at the back looks devastated and tearful, and the woman in orange looks like she’s thinking “big deal, I eat fire for breakfast!”.

Fire eater in Sri Lanka

After the show we took a short walk to the Temple of the Tooth Relic – a Buddhist temple which houses the tooth of the Buddha. I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to be looking out for so just happy-snapped pictures of the ornate interior.

Temple of the Tooth, Kandy

Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka

The Buddha's Tooth, Sri Lanka
This was our glimpse at the room containing the tooth

It wasn’t until we joined the crowds upstairs that we realised that the tooth relic was behind a closed door and the crowds were just waiting for a glimpse of it… except you can’t actually see the tooth itself, only the gold casket that it is contained in. The locals became very excited when the door swang open but it was all a bit too much for me – being too hot and crowded in the temple, so I was glad to call it a day.


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