Times are local. Currencies a rough conversion to AU$. We arrived at Albert Court Hotel in Albert Street, Singapore at about 7am. We were immediately given a room but not one that we had chosen. They said they would move us the next day and they did. Perhaps this was to do with the fact that we did not show up the night before as planned. Thank you Qantas. But it did mean that we could not unpack properly.
We walked to Orchard Road but it was a bit too early for the shops which seem to open after ten. Who lives at the bottom of this long driveway, surrounded by a high fence and armed guards, I wondered? I asked a taxi driver later and he told me the President or Prime Minister, I forget which.
Orchard Road was nothing like I imagined and it was very noisy due to a lot of construction. I expect this never really stops. Smoking is bad for you Ronald.
The traffic lights intrigued me. As you can see from the picture, they have seconds count down instead of a red figure. Believe me, once the light says zero, you better be off the road. And just to continue a theme, these other traffic lights fascinated me, mostly because I could not work out what they were for.
As for the drivers of Singapore, they are nothing like in other Asian cities I have been to. The traffic is orderly, the drivers polite and there is seldom a horn to be heard. The only crazy driver we came across was the taxi driver who took us to the airport. A car pulled in front of him, not dangerously, and he put his head lights on high beam and just left them there.
We found ourselves a place to buy some lunch and returned there a few times on other occasions. It was almost like a food hall as we know it, but more rustic and open air. There was a large variety of food, except western. We also found a place for quite good coffee not too far away and returned there many times.
In the afternoon we went to the hotel tour desk and booked some tours with RMG Tours. They were all excellent tours. Our first was Night Tour, which took us to the Raffles Landing Site, then dinner roughly where this photo was taken and then a ride on a bum boat (don't ask) along the Singapore River. Everything was so dazzlingly illuminated. We sailed close to the Merlion and then off the boat and back onto the bus to the Royal Selangor Pewter Centre. Boring! From there to Bugis Village, just a night market. Not so interesting either. Lastly, to Raffles Hotel, where we sat in the Long Bar upstairs amid peanut shells strewn over the floors. The punkas were slowly moving back and forth, no doubt powered by electricity rather than days of old when the were hand operated. If visiting Raffles, check it out well first and perhaps you won't be paying $18 for a large beer like we did.