Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bangkok to Singapore

Well, Bangkok was Bangkok - if you've ever been there you will know how you are usually slightly surprised at how it isn't as bad as everyone makes out. It's just another city really. We did the tourist things, hung out on Khoa San Road, went to the Grand Palace and went to see Wat Po with the big gold lying down budda.

So far we have stayed in ok places, and whilst i am happy to recommend a place to anyone who is interested i won't usually promote places on here. But, having said that the place we stayed at in Bangkok was really really nice. It's a boutique hostel with about nine rooms, most of which have air con and a window (rare for Khoa San Road) and the rooms are only about 4 GBP a night ( Bargain. Their restaurant which is ground level (rooms are upstairs) is superb and we even took some receipes with us. Boutique hostel sums it up really, it's like a hostel but not really, the furniture is nice, the bathrooms are clean and your free toast gets brought out to you to eat on the decking in the pretty little courtyard, which makes a nice change from having to do it yourself!

And an uneventful flight later....

....we found ourselves back in Singapore. After setttling in to our horrible, just horrible hostel (mentioning no names, COZY CORNER BACKPACKERS) and a sleep we decided it was high time we finished off the toursity things in Singapore once and for all. So we set off early the next day to get in some much needed shopping (fruitless) and then hopped the MRT and taxi to MacRichie park to walk the 5km to the HSBC Tree Top Walk. The park is an untouched part of Singapore and as with any walk in the woods, you realise that it must have all looked like this in the beginning. What is nice is that the trees are so big and thick that you can't hear the cars, so it's just you, the insects, the funny pointy nose squirrel rat things, funny half lizard half snake things and, of course, the monkeys. Now this was our second visit to the park and i was hoping that we would see monkeys as easily as we did last time, but 4km into the walk, no monkeys. How dissapointing! And then, out of no-where a monkey appears! Well, appears and continues to appear right towards Rob who is innocently (and quite rightly!) carrying the water in a plastic bag that we bought on the way (the water, not the bag). And still he continues, making not a sound. As soon as he got within reaching distance of the bag i think rob and i both realised that he wasn't after us, just the bag that could have potentially had food in it. I'm sure it's one of those things where if we were in a petting zoo the animal keepers would say "now, if any of the animals grab for something, let them have it, don't get into a snatching match with a small monkey". But we weren't so rob had a snatching match with a small monkey and strangely, dispite rob being over 6' and the monkey measuring in at about 1.5' the monkey won. Broken handle and all. :) I think he quickly realised his mistake when all he could smell was water bottle and MY camera bag. But still he sat there cutching it like a small child would a new toy. But after threatening him with the empty water bottle we still had, we retrieved the half full water bottle, my camera bag and the broken handled plastic bag and we also got a show of monkey teeth (fangs, rob wants to write fangs), which, incidentally, are not in proportion with their bodies. Monkeys aren't that fun anymore.

(mum - new trousers!)

The Tree Top Walk was fun. Hot and a little disappointing after we'd both been riled up by a pack of monkeys (yes, it's a pack now). But we did it. And a long, hot walk home later we appreciated that we had a place to stay and shower, even if it was shabby and we had to wear our flipflops at all times (including the shower).

After more food (are those people who lose weight travelling just the ones who get diseases?) and a sleep we took ourselves down to the Marina to get over to Sentosa Island. Finally, FINALLY i got to go on a cable car!! And it was excellent! Nice view of everything because it's so nice and sunny here. Now as most poeple know, cable cars usually go from low point to high point, or high point to high point (or back again) so when we got to the island we were actually at the high point of the island. As is usually the case in Singapore we then had 5 choices to get down to beach level. Stairs, escalator, chair lift, bus, or - mine and rob's particular favourite - a small tray with wheels and a brake so you can free wheel your way down what they call the "luge". If every hill had one of these to get down more people would walk up hills.

We then spilt up for a while to worship our different religions. Mine being sun, sand and sea, so i parked myself on the beach. And rob's being a thirst for knowledge of stuff that happened ages ago, so he went to the museum. After reuniting and checking out the merlion together we got back in the cable car and back to the main tower and then onto Mount Faber.

Sentosa is really nice. It very very touristy, but so obviously so you don't mind. You banish thoughts of "where has this sand come from?" as it wriggles its way through your toes and you turn a blind eye to the 'rocks' with holes in, clearly reveiling to the world that they are in fact fibreglass rocks, and as far from real as you can get. It's peaceful even though we went on a saturday and it was packed. It's created solely for the tourists and the people who live here in Singapore to escape. You don't mind paying over the odds for food because of all these reasons. Somebody is making a big effort to make this a nice place, and it's worked.

After returning to scabby resting place for a rest, we donned our least 'dirty-traveller' clothes, perfumed up and hit the Long Bar at Raffles hotel, for - of course - the famous Singapore Sling. Very nice drink, but the taste is ever so slightly tainted by the fact that you've paid so much for it. :)

And now we are all checked out, ready to lounge around Starbucks, drinking coffee and watching the world that is Singapore happen before us for the rest of the day. Tonight we collect out bags and head to the airport to board our flight to Australia. Plans have changed somewhat due to scheduling (not my fault, the commonwealth games' fault) and we will be hopping around Aus when we get there to land sometime in the afternoon in Brissie.

Bring on the Toohey's and XXXX beer. Mate.

Chrissie Out.

1 comment:

Rod said...

OMG Chrissie you are way too funny with your travel stories. I had a similiar monkey 'misadventure' in Ubud, Bali a few years back when a little monkey stole my daypack and took it way up into the tree-tops and only dropped it to the ground when Grandpa monkey slapped him across the face for stealing it (I think). On to Oz and the cheeky marsupies!!