Singapore, what a wonderful city to visit. This is our third time here and it is not often enough. Today there are 360 passengers leaving the ship, over 500 getting on! We aren’t hanging around to watch the boarding, we are off to China Town! Two goals today, buy our first smartphone and eat in the China town food market.
Singapore is home to many nationalities, some have created amazing areas in the city. In 2011 we enjoyed Little India and Tekka Market. This year it is China’s turn. The port terminal is located conveniently close to a MRT stop. For S$6.20 two of us have tickets return to Chinatown stop. This is almost the centre of a group of ‘markets’ in multi-story buildings. Our destination is People’s Park Complex. Pat found a lovely jewellery shop (Yu Yuan Handicrafts) and had 2 moonstone earrings made. In the meantime I went looking at smart phones. Between the 15 or so shops I managed to get some feel for pricing. I decided on a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2. Not as large as I would like but it was at a price point that was comfortable. I am now in the Android world at last. (We went back later to get a soft case for the phone and then found out that the stall we bought at is not the lowest price. So I wouldn’t recommend this shop although Pat did bargain their price down.) I later learned from Chas that the best prices are unexpectedly actually at Budget Electronics in the Port Terminal right near where you exit incoming customs!
We looked around a bit more and then went off to People’s Park Centre and Chinatown Point. The latter is upscale and pricier. We were thirsty so got a tasty fruit drink at Dr. Cafe. In People’s Park Centre we were looking at Essentials Pharmacy for some items for Gerrit, they helpfully directed us to nearby Upper Cross St Building 34 for some supplies. Highly recommended for those with mobility problems but they are on the 3rd floor. Somewhere there is an elevator though. Good pricing and friendly service in both those shops.
By this time we were getting hungry, having walked past a few food courts already. So finally off to the Chinatown Food Market behind Chinatown Complex (yes these buildings all sound similar but each has its own personality!) We go upstairs and are instantly submersed in foodie delight. Fish, duck, chicken whatever is available. We hunt around for the busiest places and end up at May Flower Roasted Meat Specialist. (#02-44 is the stall id). We make room at a table and take turns sharing the one plate of food. Instantly there is a monitoring of who gets how many mouthfuls to ensure we both get a fair share. Absolutely delicious for only S$3 (CA$1.20!!!!!). Having inhaled the roasted duck and noodles we head off again.
Wandering around Chinatown is an amazing experience. Within a 1 km stretch there is lots of colour, good food smells and life. We eventually recognize that this is the area where we enjoyed the outside food market with Karen and John in 2011 GWV. The realization came as we passed the Tin Tin store. We head back to the ship at all aboard is 1530, with a mandatory safety drill at 1515. Regrettably the customs clearance was delayed to 1700 so we missed out on a few extra hours of pleasure.
Our friends Chas and Gisela departed the ship today. They had tried to get on the 2 week Indonesia segment but no luck. We hope to see them again soon on another cruise or maybe in Halifax or Toronto.
Singapore has 7 significant food markets with many other smaller ones. We have now enjoyed 2 of the 7. (Tekka Food market was in 2011) On the return visit in March, which do we go to next? You will have to wait and see, we don’t know yet ourselves!