Singapore

I had a day in Singapore last February on my way into Malaysia.  We stopped here for only a day this time.  There is actually quite a lot to see in Singapore and I filled my day with things I did not do in February.  There is a modern cruise ship terminal in Singapore and the walk out to the street/mall/metro is about as long as you would find in a large airport and unlike most other ports where the customs and immigration came onto the ship to clear the passengers, we went through an airport style passport check both leaving and re-entering the ship.  This had to be repeated each time you left and returned to the ship so the idea was to get off once and only go back at the end of the day.  I started by taking the metro as close as I could get to the Singapore Art Gallery.  There was an interesting and very large retrospective of the work of a Singapore artist born before WWI who travelled widely in southeast Asia, China and Europe and painted scenes from Asia until his death in the 1980s.  He was influenced by Picasso and did some abstract mixed media sculptures.  One of his paintings is on the back of the Singapore $50 note and another on a UNESCO stamp. I quite enjoyed the exhibit and the rest of the Gallery which contained the work of other Singapore artists.  I then took a local bus to Arab Street (photo) a Muslim area.  This is the place in Singapore to buy silk and batik.  I then made my way to the area around the Parliament (photo) on Raffles Quay, to the Asian Civilizations Museum which has been created from old colonial government buildings.  It is a very modern museum with items of interest from all South Asian Communities and it had a special exhibit on Sumatra which contained a lot of gold jewellery. Raffles Quay overlooks a section of old shophouses (photo) which are all that are left of a vibrant community dating from the time of Raffles (photo).   There is a lot of new architecture in Singapore, much of it built on reclaimed land.  One of the more interesting buildings which has just opened, is a skyscraper (photo) built in three sections which I understand contains Singapore’s first casino. It has a roof garden and infinity pools.  I cannot imagine swimming in an infinity pool that high up! 

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