A Splashy Start in Singapore

After 36 hours of travel including two long, overnight flights (Montreal to Doha – 12 hours; Doha to Singapore– 8 hours), we arrived in Singapore on Friday morning feeling well rested.  

Somewhere along the way we lost half a day of our lives, as we are now 12 hours ahead of Ottawa time.  At least the time difference made for easy math when figuring out when to call home.

Getting to our hotel was a breeze using the MRT, a world-class transit system that sets the bar for light rail travel.  I must admit I was tempted to stick my arm in the doorway to see if that simple act would bring down the whole line as it did recently in Ottawa.  But Chris reminded me that there was probably a stiff penalty for such shenanigans, or worse, it could land me in jail.  After all, this is the city/country where chewing gum in public or eating or drinking on the MRT carries a $500 fine, and littering will cost you a hefty $3000 and 3 months jail time.  So I kept my arms to myself and enjoyed the ride to our hotel.

This would be the first of many rides on the MRT and bus system. We marvelled at how easy it was to navigate, how spotlessly clean the stations and trains were, and how orderly people were boarding and leaving the trains. For example, at the entrance of each door, red lines on the floor marked where onboarding passengers should stand to allow those who were disembarking to easily exit down the middle. Everyone followed this system effortlessly and it made for a very efficient and effective experience. As if these weren’t enough reasons to use the public transport system, it was dirt cheap too. Fares were based on distance travelled, so we paid about $0.72 for the shortest trips (about 4-5 stops) to $1.75 for the longest trip (about 45 minutes from airport to hotel).

The iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel resembles a boat perched 57 stories above three large towers. It is best known for its roof top infinity pool overlooking the city. The last time we were in Singapore, we admired this hotel from a distance, marveling at its architecture and promising ourselves if we ever came back, we would stay at least one night at this luxury property.  This is bucket list stuff.  And so we splurged and stayed for 3 nights, celebrating our 17thwedding anniversary in high style.  

This hotel did not disappoint.  From our spacious and luxurious suite on the 45thfloor overlooking the harbor and gardens, to swimming in and lounging around the famous 146-meter infinity pool, it was an indulgent (and super ridiculously expensive) weekend. To give you an idea of the scale of this place, there are over 2500 rooms in the hotel. The SkyPark spans the length of the rooftop and includes multiple restaurants, the pool (restricted to hotel guests only), and an observatory deck open to the public. It is longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower!  (Thank you Wikipedia).

We started and ended each day at the pool, surrounded by a largely Chinese clientele (we later learned this was the beginning of a Chinese school holiday). At times it felt like we had stepped into a new world – the world depicted in “Crazy Rich Asians”; a world of incessant “selfie” madness, designer fashions, and carefree spending.  Quite an eye opener for how the other half lives!

In between lounging by the pool, we explored the neighbouring gardens and attractions throughout the weekend.  It was a wonderful weekend and a memorable way to reflect on and to celebrate 17 years of marriage, and 21 years together overall.   

Category: Singapore
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10 Responses
  1. Trevor says:

    always an interesting read and great photos. Good luck!

    • chris says:

      Thanks, Trevor!

      We’re getting into our travel groove again! Hopefully we’ll be able to keep the blog interesting and informative, and maybe even mildly entertaining!

      Warm Regards,

      Chris and Chris

  2. Laurie says:

    Wow! What a super adventure! 🙂 towel animals a tad creepy, but hey, the intention was good on the part of the hotel, right???!!! looks lovely. I just have to figure out how to follow your blog now. hmmm.

    Enjoy! LB

    • christina says:

      Hi Laurie, we’ve built the blog using WordPress so it isn’t the best interface. We are trying to figure out how to add a “subscribe” or “notification” feature so people are automatically notified when something new is posted. For now, we will be posting in Facebook whenever something has been added. The towel animals were actually really cute and very intricately put together – guess the photos didn’t do them justice. When we got to our hotel in Chinatown, there were towel animals on that bed as well, but those looked really sad in comparison. Guess the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true for most things in life haha.

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks for doing this guys. The occasional FB post with pics is great for me and I realize that you probably don’t often feel like doing the blog but it is amazing. It makes for a pretty complete travel journal for you as well. I’m looking forward to more of your adventures and, when you get back, I want to hear about all of the food malls in Singapore. Safe and happy travels!

    • christina says:

      Hi Michelle, funny you should mention the food malls – we are working on a “foodie” post right now. Tried to be more adventurous this time around with food, but there is still a line I for one won’t cross with some of the weirder foods we saw. Writing the blog is a lot of work, but it has its benefits. First it forces us to slow down in our travels because it takes time to write the posts and cull through the thousands of photos we are taking. This gives us time to reflect on our journey and be more in the moment. As you say, it is also a great travel journal that we will have for years to come. When doing such a long trip, it can all become a blur very quickly, so the blog helps us to remember the details (as we are getting older this is a definite plus). Finally, we have benefited so much from other people’s travel blogs and vlogs, we hope that others may be inspired by our travels and find some of our travel tips helpful too. Take care and stay warm this winter!

  4. Phil Vincent says:

    A great read, you guys! I’m glad you are enjoying life together

    • chris says:

      Hey Phil!

      Thanks… glad you’re enjoying the blog! We are getting back into our ‘long-term’ travel groove, and are enjoying our journey. Carpé Diem!

      Where are you travelling to next?

  5. Leo says:

    Goof stuff. Nice detail to get a poor man`s mouth watering. I remember the temperature a bit north of Singapore being something like 31 or 32 every day of the year. Crazy!

    I look forward to enjoying (second hand) more of this going forward.

    In the meantime, enjoy….


    • chris says:

      Hey Leo! Glad you’re enjoying the blog! It’s been hotter here than most of our Ottawa summer, and all the Australians we’ve been meeting here have promised (warned?) us of even hotter weather in parts of Australia! It will be an interesting experience to say the least!