miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Monday, 28 July 2014

miss b loves ....... Singapore, a city of contrasts (Part 1)

I'm back from my travels! 

Singapore is a true melting pot of cultures. We visited this fascinating city a few years ago on a two night stopover from Bali, but having read about the new ambitious architectural projects, we decided to go back and spend more time there. 

It's a city of contrasts with old and new buildings sitting side by side .......stunning colonial buildings and a futuristic skyline. 

There's an array of world-class restaurants and high quality street food which we were keen to try too.

Day 1 began with a stroll around the local area. The Merlion statue is the symbol of the city with the body of a fish (representing Singapore's origin as a humble fishing village) and the head of a lion from the Malay Singapura (meaning lion city.)

Next stop...another Singapore icon...Raffles Hotel, a colonial style building established in 1887 and named after Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore.  

During our last visit we had enjoyed afternoon tea in the Tiffin Room but this time we planned to return the following evening for a Singapore Sling or two!

A quick detour down Waterloo Road to Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho temple. Built in 1884, it's one of the finest Chinese temples in Singapore. During the Japanese occupation in the Second World War, the temple became a refuge for the sick and elderly.

.....and then we continued to Singapore's colonial area to St Andrew's Cathedral .....

City Hall and the Old Supreme Court building are being converted into the National Art Gallery ......

The Singapore Cricket Club was established in 1852 .....it was almost like being back in England!!

The Old Parliament House is now The Arts House ....a literary arts centre .....

...... and while there we popped into Earshot café (another Luxe City Guide recommendation!)

We were ready for a refreshing iced tea and a temporary escape from the heat and humidity...

Opposite, the Victoria Theatre was due to open after extensive renovations ....another beautiful building  with an impressive clock tower ......

Around the corner stands the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles marking the part of the riverbank where he first landed in 1819. He was an agent of the British East India Company hoping to establish a free port, a halfway point for traders along the China-India route. A treaty was signed giving the British the right to establish a trading port. 

I wonder what he would think 
of Singapore today?
I'm sure he would be impressed!

In 1867 Singapore became a British Crown Colony and remained so until 1959 when it achieved self governance.

The Botanic Gardens were the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon and certainly exceeded our expectations. Immaculate, beautifully maintained  and a riot of colour even on a dull grey day ....

The gardens are well laid out in clearly marked areas .... 

What an amazing collection of Bougainvilleas which always remind me of holidays in the sun!

Dotted around the gardens are whimsical sculptures which make the gardens come alive .....These two caught my eye ......

'Girl on a Swing' and
'Lady in a Hammock'

....and my favourite, 'Girl on a Bicycle' which I remember seeing on Alexis Grace's blog North on Harper (and the one which we were determined to find!!)

'Girl on a Bicycle ' by Sydney Harpley,
donated by David Marshall

The Chopin sculpture is perfectly located  near the Symphony Lake and stage.  We would love to return one day to listen to one of the open air concerts.

The highlight of the afternoon was the National Orchid Garden with the world's largest collection of orchids. No wonder it's the most popular section of the Botanic Gardens.

Vanda Miss Joaquim is the National Flower of Singapore .....

Singapore has a tradition of naming orchids after important visitors and these can be seen in the VIP area. This delicate white orchid was named in memory of Princes Diana in 1997 ..... 

These steps were made by Prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation (1942-1945) and they are a poignant reminder of Singapore's past .....

As an act of defiance the prisoners imprinted arrows on many of the steps ....... 

Back to our hotel ....The Fullerton which is in a perfect location on the river and close to the main attractions.

Built in 1928 , it boasts an illustrious past and was home to the General Post Office. Sympathetically restored and converted to a hotel in 2001, many original features have been retained.

There's a huge, impressive atrium with a popular area for afternoon tea ........

 Up on the balcony musicians serenade guests...

The complimentary green tea drink in our room was a welcome touch too....

A short taxi ride and we were in Chinatown and The Study, a new unpretentious bistro style restaurant, with a great menu and service, opened by Michelin star chef Jason Atherton. 

A tiny restaurant .....I'm glad we reserved our table before leaving England! 

So that was our first day ...busy but varied with a perfect ending ....cocktails in the rooftop Lantern Bar at the sister hotel, The Fullerton Bay .......

A truly unforgettable setting with enchanting views of the Singapore skyline ......the huge ferris wheel known as the Singapore Flyer, the three towers of the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the ArtScience Museum, reminiscent of a lotus flower.  

Please join me next time for Part 2 ... Chinatown, Gardens by the Bay and a memorable lunch....

We're enjoying a mini heatwave in England and taking every opportunity to be outside! I'm looking forward to catching up on all my favourite blogs .....but I can't resist sitting in the sunshine while it lasts .....apparently rain is on its way ......


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing your photos! I've never been to Singapore but it sounds like an exciting place. Can't wait for part 2! :)

  2. Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your photos! Singapore looks like such a vibrant, scenic and clean country. I really hope I get to visit one day.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  3. Welcome back! It's great that you went to Singapore! Sounds very exciting indeed. The skyline and the authentic architecture is impressive! The Botanical Gardens are so green and beautiful! Looking forward to part 2!

  4. Awww--- love getting to see Singapore through your lens! And I am glad you found the sculpture :) That and girl on the swing are such fun pieces….
    Only one complaint: you should have told me you were around! I would have happily joined you at Raffles for a cocktail!!!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

  5. Looks like you had a great time in Singapore. I haven't been there. It's nice to see the sights, the new buildings, Hotels and the Botanical Gardens. It's a City worth exploring. I have read that the food there is delicious.

  6. Miss B! Welcome back! Im very glad you had a great vacation and thanks a lot for making me travel a bit too, as always!:) You know, Singapore is one of my dreamy destination, but I notice I know so few about this city! I didnt know the Merlion statue is the symbol, how cool it is! And you are right, the city is a mix of modern and old, the Botanic Gardens must be beautiful, all the sculptures look impressive! And how nice the white orchid dedicated to princess Diana, very lovely. The hotel looks gorgeous, Im speechless by the atrium! Enjoy the summertime Miss B, Im trying to stay outdoor too as much as I can!:) Kisses! xo

  7. I would love to visit Singapore one day. Seems like a wonderful place!


  8. Welcome back and thank you for the quickie tour, I'm hoping to get there someday and always love staying at the Raffles.

  9. Would love to visit there sometime....Singapore looks amazing! Enjoy the sunshine while you can:)

  10. I am a bit unsure, whether I should visit Singapore or not. On the one hand, I would like to see it for myself but on the other, I have heard so much about it that it doesn't sound that appealing compared to other places that I could visit in Asia. I had no idea that it was that green though. Thanks for showing a different aspect of Singapore.

  11. Looks like a beautiful place! I don't think I will ever get there so thank you for the tour. I think I would take lots of photos as seems very easy city to enjoy with the camera!!

  12. Hello there. I was wondering where you were. I didn't know you have been traveling. What a wonderful place this is. I like the girl on the bicycle statue and the Cathedral. The flowers are so pretty too. I wish I could travel around the world as you do, miss b. Wouldn't that be nice?

    I hope you are enjoying these summer days.


  13. I am dying to go back to Singapore! This makes me want to go even more! Thanks for sharing and I can't wait for part two! xoxo

  14. Hi Miss B. Love the photos from your travels. Every area looks so inviting and what a wonderful holiday you had. Singapore is gorgeous and those flowers are amazing. The statues are special works of art and the buildings are so impressive. You really captured some great photos. Looking forward to part 2
    Enjoy your heat wave and the upcoming rain. We sure need rain here in Texas. Thanks for sharing your trip.

    Thank you also for stopping by and your kind comment. Also so nice to see you. Enjoy the day.
    Hugs and Blessings

  15. What a splendid tour that you've given us Miss b. Singapore if one of the places that I have always thought heavily about, but just never went to my top list. I think it would be a great visit, and especially want to see these areas that you've showcased here. Love the look of the Tifflin room! I'm glad that you enjoyed your holidays, we have been on short ones the past week or so, it was hard to come back, hehe. :)Have a lovely week.
    /Madison xx

  16. What an inspiring city and what gorgeous spots! It is a mix of British style and traditional local style, that perfectly blend with one another.
    thank you for the interesting post!

  17. Hi,hi,dear miss B.!
    Such a very good post about Singapore....
    I've never been before there,but you make so great and deep and full information post! I've feeling,just I walk down on the streets and enjoyed together with you:)
    THANKYOU so much for share your beautiful experiences here!
    And thank's a lot for your visit:)))

    Warm greetings to you,

  18. Cette ville est très impressionnante, tellement des choses à voir ! J'aimerais bien la connaitre un jour ainsi que Bali! J'ai l'impression de la connaître déjà un peu avec tes photos !

  19. Hi Miss B,

    I enjoyed reading your post of Singapore and seeing your photos - thanks for sharing. Have never been there - only Hong Kong.
    Happy week

  20. Another fabulous travel post, Miss B! One of my close friends grew up on Singapore and her stories about it have me becoming more and more fascinated as time goes on. I'd love to visit myself one day, but in the meantime, it was a pleasure taking this tour through your photos :)

  21. Singapore is so awesome! I love when you travel Miss B, because I get a true sense of what a place is like. You always do such an excellent job with that. I had no preconceived notion what Singapore was like. So this was awesome. It's very modern and has some gorgeous places! My favorite is the botanical garden. The flowers are so lush! I love the sculptures also. I can't wait to read part 2 of your adventures.

  22. I'd like to visit Singapore so soon...I really hope it!!!!
    Great post dear!

  23. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I'd love to visit Singapore. I just arrived in London so I'm living in your neck of the woods now!

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

  24. je prefere toujours la visite des beaux jardins aux grands buildings, c'est mon coté nature;)


  25. Your pictures are beautiful. It looks like such a wonderful place. I have always wanted to visit Singapore.

  26. It looks fabulous! I've been hoping to visit Singapore some time soon, this is giving me even more incentive!

    xo Mary Jo

  27. What a wonderful trip! I sooo want to go to Singapore, must do some day! xo Caroline

  28. Singapore is obviously full of contrasts! Thanks a lot for this interesting post and the wonderful pictures which really have postcard quality.

    xx from Germany, Rena

    International giveaway: Unpardonable fault and compensation

  29. Wow, fabulous _ I went there about 30 years ago and it looks much much changed! Modern buildings and nature as well

  30. Welcome back sweety, hope you had the most mamboing and relaxing vacation! I was in Singapore a few years ago but dont remember it as well as you have photographed it. Thanks for including some of the history, I always find that interesting. That skyline is unbelievable! Your comments are much appreciated, have a great Friday!

  31. Wow, what a great whistle-stop tour of Singapore, somewhere I've always been intrigued by but never visited. Such imposing buildings, including your gorgeous hotel and the renovated buildings, and structures and the orchid garden looks striking. How wonderful that our Princess was honoured there. Were you able to buy any orchids?

    1. I don't think there were orchids to buy in the National Orchid Garden but I'm sure we could have bought them elsewhere. We didn't consider it as we were not flying straight back to England. The white orchid in memory of Princess Diana was particularly beautiful.

  32. Such an amazing city I have been there twice I so agree the contrast of the cosmopolitan with the local life. China town and the electrical shops in contrast to the law abiding citizens but for me raffles is unique and a cocktail in the bar remains a favourite memory.

  33. Singapore is somewhere I've always wanted to visit.. you lucky thing!! It looks as though you've had such a wonderful time there and St Andrew's Cathedral.. wow, what incredible architecture! I hope you're having a restful and relaxing weekend now! :)

    - I follow back on Bloglovin' -


  34. What wonderful travels! Love the botanicals you highlight here. You sure saw and did a lot. Thanks for sharing! XO

  35. Thank you so much for stopping by Miss B! The skyline of Singapore at night is truly impressing!
    Coco et La vie en rose / Bloglovin / Facebook

  36. Miss b, What a fabulous city! I love the mix of old and new. What a beautiful building the hotel was in. I love that tea spot in the center. The gardens look wonderful too. Can't wait to read the next chapter! I'm so glad you are enjoying your summer and some sunshine!! xx Kim

  37. Wow, I love it! Old buildings, lovely flowers and good restaurants. Need to go there soon :-) Greetings from Zurich, Switzerland

  38. Hi, I am new here!I enjoyed your post and know more about Singapore...differences and contrasts are very interesting...and I love the tradition of naming orchids!

    1. Thank you, Dan for following. I hope you will be a regular visitor.

  39. Such a beautiful melting pot of culture and design! I adore orchids and the gardens you feature are stunning ;) Thank you for sharing and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. xxleslie

  40. Wow! Spectacular images of Singapore. You visit some beautiful places. The mix of old and new is always strikingly beautiful to me too.
    Wonderful post! xx

  41. Magnificent phots! The gardens are especially beautiful. xx, B

  42. I visited Singapore about 6 years ago and this wonderful post was a great reminder of how amazing and unique this city is, Ive honestly never seen anywhere cleaner and less polluted in the world. And the mix of cultures and buildings is thrilling! Always grateful for your kind comments :)

  43. Well this reminds me of our trip this May to Singapore. Well you were in this part of the world. Hope you visit Sri Lanka soon too.

  44. Looks lovely, I've always wanted to go to Singapore!! Recently I went to iceland and Norway though, hopefully will be going to Singapore soon xx I've just started a blog of my own and if you're interested you are very welcome to visit. Followers are desperately needed!! http://xbeyoutifulx.blogspot.co.uk

  45. Lovely photos and great memories! I have been to the Far East many times but unfortunately not recently. In Singapore I stayed at the Raffles (and enjoyed at least 2 Singapore Slings!!!) before its renovation when it was much more affordable and I loved the colonial atmosphere.

    Annette | Lady of Style

  46. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to leave a comment. So many positive and interesting comments really make my day!

  47. Oh, such a great post! Very informative and intereating! There is nothing like traveling and I am so grateful when I have a chance to travel. Never been to Singapore, but who knows... Kiss

  48. Singapore is a city I'd love to visit again. Your post brought me back to those memories. An evening at the Raffles, a trip to Marina Bay Sands and an evening of fine dining at Swissôtel The Stamford.

  49. Great photos, they are perfectly captured. Thank you for sharing your best moments in Singapore. Looking forward for other places you will soon visit. Keep it up! Wedding Favors by After Flats

  50. Oh wow Miss B! You were in Singapore! Would have loved to meet up with you and give you a few little insights in the city ( should keep up with blogging a little more often ;) ) The Study was a great choice, my friend did the interior and the cocktails are so good!! x

    1. Your friend did well with the interior! The Study has a great atmosphere.

  51. Read and LOVED all 3 parts of your posts about your trip to my country Singapore! I ALSO loved reading the comments from people saying such lovely things about my city. Really makes me proud to be from this island! Do visit us again! Take care.

    1. I'm delighted to read that you enjoyed my posts about Singapore and you have every right to be proud of such an amazing place. I'm sure we shall return some time! Thank you for your lovely comment Risa.


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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