Sunday, January 30, 2011

Singapore Farwell!

Jay and I are off to Malaysia today via bus. Our first stop will be Melaka and then on to Kuala Lumpur, the capital city. There will probably be very little access to internet while there, so do not be surprised if you do not hear from us for about a week so. Let a new adventure begin!

Singapore - Day 3 and 4

Day 3, 4, and now 5 in Singapore can all be described in one word, rain. Wait, no, more like MONSOON! Day 3, Saturday, was not too bad as it would rain for a bit then stop and the rain wasn't too heavy all the time. But from Saturday night until Sunday around 4pm there was non-stop rain. Then from about 7pm Sunday till now, which is 9:15am on Monday, we still have nothing but heavy rain.

Have no worries though, the rain did not stop us from having fun and going crazy. Saturday started off with a fabulous brunch at this little place we found called artichoke (and yes, it is spelled with a lowercase "a"). We had the most delicious toasted banana nut bread with this honey glaze, homemade cream that tasted like a light fluffy version of french vanilla ice cream and then sprinkled with some walnuts. And of course to wash it down some organic champagne, but I added some orange juice to mine making it a delightful little mimosa. This place was absolutely fabulous and the decor was very cottage like. Give it another 5 or so years and you will probably see this resturant in the states. The first rains of the day started in while we were at brunch so Jay ordered a coffee and we waited it out. While doing so the owner, Ronnie, came to us and had a nice conversation with us about how we liked the food, the resturant, if we think something like this would do well in the states, and he began to tell us how he travels the world in search of food ideas for his menu to constantly stay on top of the competition. Like I said, give it a few years and there is no doubt that this wonderful little place will be in the states and be successfull at it.

After the rain subdued we walked around for a bit attempting to go to the casino, but once we realized that we did not meet the dress code in our shorts and flip-flops we decided it to make it the night time activity. After we made it back to the hostel we rested for a bit and then made our way back to the casino. Since it was raining (go figure) and it was a bit of a walk, we decided to get a taxi. Our taxi driver was quiet the trip! First off, he has lived in Singapore all of his life and has been a taxi driver for 26 years and is very unhappy with the government and how the run some of their operations. I am going to give some major kudos to Jay at this point for discretely pulling out his iPod Touch to video tape what the taxi driver said next. He told us about how young girls will get into the front passenger seat and want free rides so they offer him "sucky sucky" but he says "no! sucky sucky don't get you clothes or food. No sucky sucky!". It was hard to keep ourselves from laughing. He eventually dropped us off at the wrong location which resulted in us walking through some rain, but we finally got to the Marina Bay Sands. This place is one of the most elaborate places I have ever ever seen! And that is comparing it to Vegas! Check out their website at and you will see what the outside looks like and you will be amazed as well. The place basically looks like 3 elabortely nice buildings with the Titanic on top, which we found out is an infinity pool (wow!). Once we got into the building we found our way to the casino and entered. This casino looked like it came out of Vegas. Elaborate designs, floor tables and slot machines everywhere. We had quiet the night there. Well, Jay did. I am not a gambler, and not because I am not any good at it but because I really don't like it that much. I was there for moral support for Jay and lived through him while he sat at the roulette tables. To make a somwhat long story short Jay walked out with an extra $305. It was definitely a good night! We left the casino for a drink, on Jay of course, and then walked through the light rain to Little India where out is hostel and went to bed.

Sunday, Day 4, was nothing but rain, rain, rain. We were supposed to do a scooter tour that the hostel offers for free at 11am but that come postponed till about 5:30pm. Until that time we waited around at the bar across the street to watch some Austrailian Open! The scooter tour was about a 4-5 hour tour and was absolutely fabulous! We both wished we would have done this earlier, but nontheless we had an amazing time. I forgot how much fun scooters were! I am definitely going to make an investment in one when I get back! It rained basically the whole time and everyone was pretty soaked when we got back. Once back, Jay and I made our finals plans for Malaysia and then called it a night!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Singapore Day 2

Singapore is definitely not a country for anyone on a budget. The average cost of a beer is $10! We are both kinda ready to move onto the next country, Malaysia, where we would be able to get more for the dollar. Anyway though,  Jay and I passed out early on the other day and ended up not going out which resulted in waking up at like 5:30am. I was surprised to find that other people at the hostel were awake too, but Singapore is a city that opens late and stays open late as well, most stores don't open until 11am and places are open till about 2:30am, so Jay and I just hung out in the hostel for a bit till we decided it was late enough to head out. We headed back to the Chinese Market and Jay got some candies, so we sat down at this table by the food court to taste them, and as we did so it started to rain so we headed inside the covered food court. What we found though is what we have been looking for. Authentic cheap food! I was super stoked too because there were two places dedicated for vegetarians, wooohooo! We walked through the food court staring at what it had to offer like the roasting duck in the windows and other meats that we were unable to identify, and then just briefly starred in awe as we saw a rat scurry across the floor by the food vendor. We figured we better get use to that so we ordered our food and sat down. My food was okay, kinda cold, but for $1.40 US dollars I could not complain! Jay got something that he really liked, pork or something with noodles, and it was just as cheap as mine. We sat there for a bit until the rain stopped and headed alog to our next destination.

We headed out towards the SAM (Singapore Art Museum) because according tot he Lonely Planet book it has free admission from 12pm - 2pm. Along the way though we came across this amazing place that we plan on going to for brunch today and a thrift store. We walked into the thirft store and found some nice stuff for really cheap! But we didn't get anything so we went on our way to the SAM. We found out that the Lonley Planet book was arong about the free admission, but with a student ID (which we both had) it was only $5 so we decided to go for it anyway. The museum was really pretty awesome with some artists we agreed we didn't care for so much and some that just blew our minds. While we were in the museum it started to rain insanly hard so we chilled there until the rain just about stopped. As we headed back to the hostel we came across the LASALLE College of the Arts, and omgosh we have never seen a piece of architecture so amazing before. It had angular designs, all glass windows so you could see in every room, it was probably about 7 or more stories high, it was open so you could walk through it, and just so many other amazing features that I cannot even begin to describe. We litterally stood in awe at it. Check out their website to see a picture of it After we able to get our eyes away from the building, we finally made it back to the hostel for some rest before the night.

Our original plans were to take the train to the Marina Bay area where we would get some food and then head to the casino for some fun. Once we got to the bay area, which is absolutely beautiful with resturants lining the river bank with open seating and skyscrapers providing a nice backdrop, we walked along the river in which we were bombarded by people trying to get us to eat at their resturant. Jay was pretty annoyed by this and decided that we would just eat at the place that didn't bug us, and as we sat down at a nice little bar we cheered our drinks to the place that found us without looking. The bar didn't really have a food menu, but once we saw that they had hooka we decided to trade in our appetites for a jug of Tiger beer, some apple hooka, and the Austrailian Open being aired on their big plasma screen TVs. We stayed until the match was over (Murray won by the way), and then headed back along the river bank to be pestered about where to eat. The street was now crowded with people and the trees were dangling with little lights of all kind, blinking, flashing, dangling, making it quiet the sight. As we walked along we thought it would be a good idea to just tell the people that I am a vegetarian, thinking that that would shut them up because just about every place was a seafood place, but that only worked for the first two places. After that we just told them we already ate and that shut them up pretty fast. We ended up going down an ally and found an English Pub place and just decided to eat there because we were so hungry. After dinner we headed back to the hostel and called it a night. All of the walking around and being up since 5:30am had us pretty tired. We slept in a little later today, least Jay definitely did cause he is still sleeping as I am writing this at 9:15am, but today should be another adventure, who knows what it will bring!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Singapore Day 1

After checking into the hostel and freshning up for a bit, Jay and I wondered around the city while we waited for our dorm room to be ready and to see what this place is all about. We noticed that the city streets were not as crowded as we thought and the city was actually surprisingly clean with very little litter. We came across the Raffles Hotel which is an infamous hotel here. The floors and stairwells are laid in marble and the decor of the lush plants all around are remarkable. After wondering the hotel for a bit we continued on our journey towards the marina and found ourselves in the financial district which is full of skyscrapers and incredible architecture. I literally cannot even describe some of the buildings, only pictures would do. After sitting down for an amazing glass of sangria, we decided to wonder back to the hostel traveling a different path, in which we stumbled upon a Chinnese Street Market. The market was full of produce, knick knacks, people, and some interesting scents. We made it back to the hostel where we able to shower for the first time and then rested up for a bit before heading off to find some food. This unfortunately did pose a little bit of an expected difficulty due to my dietary needs of being a vegetarian. However, I would like to note, there are several resturants in Singapore which are noted as vegetarian only, but understanding what is on the menu is not so easy. But we finally got some food and now we are relaxing some before the night begins, and who knows where that will take us!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Arrival in Singapore

Jay and I landed safe and sound in hot and humid Singapore around 6:50am, which is 5:50pm eastern time. We took the train and then a nice long walk to the hostel where we checked in. We are cooling off and eating some breakfast before we head out and explore some more. The plane ride over was very long, as the flight from JFK to Frankfurt was 7hrs and then from Frankfurt to Singapore was 11 hrs. Singapore Airlines was not what we expected as the seats were cramped, the technology was was out of date and the food was okay. But we laughed it off and made it through. English is spoken here by just about everyone and all of the signs are in English as well, so this is a nice transition into the culture. We intend to be in Singapore for abour 4-5 days so be on the look out for some more posts!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let it Begin!

Welcome everyone to Jay and Marissa's blog! We will be updating as we backpack through Southeast Asia and then into Europe. Keep an eye out for our first post!