Sunday, May 01, 2016

Chinatown & CBD, Singapore

After that long walk at Bukit Summit and Botanical garden, we decided to continue our march on Chinatown. MRT took us to the other end of the city in less than half an hour. At Chinatown, I followed the Lonely planet guided tour again. Follow us along to the Chinatown and the business district with some impressions.

Chinatown was full of life as always, like in any part of the world. The place was filled with colourful shops selling souvenirs. We walked by the People’s park complex then to Chinatown complex and reached the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. 

At the main entrance, there is a stage and lot of locals were dancing to some english music. It was very impressive to see a lot of old people dancing to the tunes. 

The Buddha tooth relic temple is magnificent. The interiors are stunning and the idols are very intricately designed. These pictures are self explanatory. 

We took the Ann Siang road and got to Telok Ayer Street which has some interesting colonial architecture. Lot of these buildings are now turned into pubs and bars. However, most of them were closed today for labours day. 

Our route passed through Siang Cho Keong Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Nagore Durgha and Wak Hai Cheng Bio Temple. 

We reached the Ruffles Place and tried looking for a restaurant that sells Kaya toast, a local delicacy. However, the place was closed. So, we headed to the the MRT Station and took the metro back to our hotel. A long day thus came to an end. It was tiring but extremely refreshing. 

Singapore Botanical Garden

After the trek in the morning, we headed to the Botanical garden. This garden is vast and has some great collection of flora and fauna. The main attraction is the National Orchid park which is worth a visit. There were a lot of Indian and perhaps Indonesian and Philippine labourers relaxing here on their day off. They had gathered in groups to lunch together. 

I shall let my pictures take you on a tour of this park. Impressions shall speak better here than words.

Bukit Timah Summit

Bukit Timah national park is towards the west of downtown Singapore. We took a bus this morning until Upper Bukit Timah Road and then walked to the park entrance. Due to some construction work, the park is open only during the weekends. There were already a lot of trekking enthusiasts out there. 

The trail is not very difficult but the first climb is steep and can be challenging for some. Many were doing several rounds up and down as a work out. The initial paved road gave way to wooden steps. Though not a very rigorous trek, it was a very surprising and interesting walk into the wilderness. 

We spotted some animals such as Sunda flying lemur, Macaque, Squirrels and monitor lizards.

At the summit we rested for a while. This is Singapore highest peak and apparently the smallest I have climbed. But, after all its the highest peak of this country. 

Back at the base, there is another trail that goes around the Bukit Timah hill. Many bicyclists were enjoying the mountain biking trails around the hill. Its called the Hindhede Trail. A small trek on this trail will lead you by a quarry that has some spectacular view of the hill. It was very peaceful there. Not many seem to try this hidden secret next to the popular trek, so it was deserted and rather quiet out there. 

All together a short but very refreshing trek in a country such as Singapore.