Singapore - May 2009
Today I am off to Singapore with a good friend of mine. We get our usual driver to the airport from Monarch Corporate Hire -- Bill always gets us there on time. We get dropped off at the curb and head in to the first class international check-in at Melbourne’s Tullemarine Airport. This check-in is the easiest I have ever been thru. Once we make our way thru the duty free section, that they seem to force you thru on your way out, we hopped on the elevator up to the first class lounge for Qantas Airlines. We tried to get ourselves ready for the long flight ahead by way of a massage but the spa was booked up for the rest of the day. Oh well, maybe next time…
After a good meal, we were summoned for our flight’s boarding. Quickly to our plane to get everything sorted at the gate. Unfortunately we met with a bit of a challenge once we had arrived at the plane. I was the second person they had to load from an isle chair and coincidentally we were in the same row and the other person had taken the middle seat. So, left with apparently quite the conundrum, I sat waiting for them to find me a better seat. Once the plane was fully loaded they had found a “perfect” seat for me. Andrew, the flight attendant, was very apologetic and offered anything I wanted for my troubles. Of course I wasn’t granted my first request in a first class seat, but was treated quite well after all even in an economy seat.
My buddy and I were booked on different tickets so I was banished to the economy seat as he took his seat in business class. No hard feelings, I don’t mind an economy seat. It is not like my legs are going to get cramped. The flight to Singapore from Melbourne is about 8 hours, so not the worst I have done at all.
After a few movies on the entertainment system and a bit of writing, the flight was over and we are off to the hotel. The Shangri La is the hot spot for this trip. After a nice, short ride with Khuhan in the hotel’s limo car we made our way up the driveway to be greeted by eager people and some eye candy in the form of a few high end Italian and German automotive marvels.
We checked in at the front desk and up to the room to drop our bags. Killer room, totally accessible!
May 10th, 2009
After a good night’s sleep we were woken up by the thunder and rain outside our room but, after a bit if lounging and planning the sun came out and we decided that game was on yet again. We opted to grab some food on the way out at the In Line restaurant inside the hotel and then off to the Singapore Zoo.
After wandering around the zoo we went over to the other side for a tram-guided night safari tour. The Singapore Zoo is great and totally accessible. I definitely recommend it. It is fairly small so it can be easily done in a day or less, if you are really ambitious. The night safari on the other hand is a bit lame and could be passed over in my book. It could have been from the boring radio DJ wannabe for a tour guide, but the animals themselves were very cool to see.
I was a bit misled by the “persons with disabilities free” part of the sign, that I later found it to be only for locals and members of some obscure Singapore groups. So, at the end of the day around $45 Sing dollars get’s you the whole package including tram rides in the zoo and during the night safari. Still well worth it, I think.
All done with the zoo, we headed back to the hotel for the night, a good day in the books. And the 20 minute cab ride it took us in either direction was only around $15 Sing dollars. I will say this though, the population has seen Tokyo Drift a few times. There were a large amount of racer-esque cars driving around.
May 11th, 2009
Today I spent the day in the hotel room working due to the rain that seemed it would never let up.
May 12th, 2009
Today was another day spent in the room watching the rain poor down outside. I will venture out, I promise…
May 13th, 2009
Today I ended up in the hotel room all day with an upset stomach and cold sweats. I am not sure what the cause was, but the fish and chips I had last night could have been the culprit. After a really hot shower and the rest of the day and night spent under a pile of sheets I felt better.
We will see what happens tomorrow…
May 14, 2009
Well, today I feel a whole lot better. I wandered up and down the main strip in the downtown area, a sort of touristy section of the city. Lots of shops and restaurants to choose from. Pretty much everything was accessible. The only tough part was some of the buildings that had multiple levels had only one elevator and it was usually only at one end. So, a bit of extra trekking was in order. All in all a very modern and accessible city. Another good trip in the books. Time to head back to Australia, my home away from home.