Getting Away   |  In Metro Manila   |   Mactan Island   |   Boracay Island   |   Singapore Sojourn

Super Swish Singapore
We were the only passengers on board the 14 passenger super fast launch which took us at breakneck speed from Boracay Island to a small commercial airport on another nearby island. It was a rough trip because the skipper knew only one speed and that was flat stick, regardless of the fact that a reasonable swell meant that we were pounding rather strongly.... so much for my L3 and L4 vertabrae! I've only spent the last 30 odd years getting them back into more or less working order again after several accidents! This early sea passage will be followed by two airline flights and we won't reach Singapore until after dark tonight.

Our almost four hour wait in Manila was totally forgettable (hopefully) but the flight to Singapore was less than half full in our section and that always makes for an easy and restful journey.

The life jackets..... one size allegedly fits all

Singapore's Clarke Quay was directly in front of our hotel.

This is our third short visit to Singapore in the last five or six years. It's a clean, well organised and attractive city with incredibly good cuisine covering pretty much all Asia has to offer and some fine western dining as well. This time we've opted for a hotel down near Clarke Quay and not far from Chinatown either. The hotel met our expectations but Clarke Quay is very westernised and rather like Sydney's Darling Harbour on steroids. The whole place was packed with bars restaurants, music venues and loud raging young people with weird clothes and haircuts.  Methinks better bring back Lee Kwan Yew and then Lynn and I will perhaps feel a little less like dinosaurs, especially with our short back and sides. Incidentally, under Mr Lee's measurement system did he used to award any bonus points if one was completely bald on top?

Lynn with a super sized fibreglass Koi fish in a local gallery

"Can we share your table and ask you to take a photo too"

We spent a few hours walking around Chinatown but we were fairly disappointed. Maybe we went to the wrong parts but it looked to us as if much of Chinatown has been pushed aside by massive amounts of high rise developments.

The Jurong Bird Park well exceeded our expectations

Talk about the four stooges.... well it ought to be four

We spent close to four hours visiting Jurong Bird Park which is a large and very well maintained attraction located 20 to 30 minutes from downtown depending on the traffic conditions. A large percentage of the birds are uncaged and the remainder are in massive walk-through aviaries which have plenty of foliage and water features'

A gaggle of parrots in Jurong Bird Park

"I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine"

A spectacular Tucan in Jurong Bird Park

Flamingos so vivid that they hardly looked real

These really huge parrots hang out at the Park entrance

The "Bird Show" Good to see some Aussies on stage

We had a thoroughly good time watching a very professional Bird Show performance in an outdoor amphitheatre. We were quite amazed at the wide range of birds which have been trained to do various stunts as part of the program. Naturally a few special stars stood out and one of these was a sulphur crested cockatoo.

Trained flamingos trotted and danced on cue

A huge trained hornbill flew around the outdoor amphitheatre

A couple of toucans gave this young visitor a big thrill

The MC and various trainers put on an amazing show

The brilliant plumage on many birds seemed almost painted

Sadly some other specimens had a rather washed out look!

We eventually staggered into a cafe and had a simple lunch of Singapore Chicken Rice, an iconic dish which is a Singapore staple. It's hard to determine why such a simple dish can taste so tasty.... perhaps it was because it was 2.30pm and we hadn't eaten.

Over 80 food stalls under one enormous corrugated iron roof

Self service fish head curry. Thanks, I believe I will

Hmmm, I've developed a bad cough and a sore throat. I wander what that's all about? Surely I'm not coming down with something at this late juncture. Sure hope not!