Singapore: Dec 28: Misc Downtown and Orchard Road

I took these pictures this day. Di Yin, as usual, took more. The link goes to the first picture from this day in her Singapore album (picture #13). When you hit a picture of "Clementi hawker center soy milk" (#114), you're done with the pictures for the day. I'll link to the rest in later posts.

Our first full day in Singapore was warm and comfortable. Di Yin, I, and our friend ventured downtown. First we stopped by my company's offices; I wanted to pick up my new cell phone, which I tried to have delivered there. Sadly, it hadn't arrived. Regardless, we discovered the office is on the 38th floor of an office tower in a good location. My company occupies most of the floor so we got to see tremendous views in most directions. Even our local friend was impressed and took pictures. Also, the office's micro-kitchen has good snacks.

Next we hit up nearby Maxwell's Hawker Centre for lunch. Some stalls (sliced fish soup, rice porridge, chicken rice) had long lines. I think it's funny to see twenty people lined up at some stalls and none at others. Later, however, as this scene is common in Singapore, I ceased being surprised by it. I began considering it normal.

After lunch, I showed Di Yin and her friend the models in the Urban Redevelopment Authority's centre that impressed me on my last visit to Singapore (old pics). Illustrated by huge models, the centre explores how Singapore plans its development. It was as great as I remembered.

Di Yin's friend had other obligations, so she left us at this point. Di Yin and I walked across the street to the Red Dot Design Museum. It's a fairly neat museum showcasing well-designed products ranging from Japanese toilets, computer mice, chairs, and watches to humidors and all-carbon ping-pong paddles. I liked the Tupperware exhibit. Heck, I never knew there was a guy named Tupper.

Di Yin wanted to see Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping street, so there we went after the museum. It was as I remembered: lots of malls and lots of trees (enough to make Di Yin sneezy). Many of these malls extend deep underground, sometimes four-levels deep. These underground passages (with stores of course) connect malls to each other and to the metro system. Although I didn't realize it at the time, I was later told that some of the malls I walked through/past were new since my last visit. (It was hard to tell which ones, as everything looks new and modern!)

A few malls had tall outdoor escalators, escalators that scaled multiple stories at once. We saw one series of escalators that went extraordinarily high -- we had to take them. Soon we were seven stories up yet still in the open air. A couple escalators later and we were eleven (?) stories high, though now separated from the street and the air by a glass wall. Looking down was scary! Also, I'm amazed one can build escalators outdoors, which requires them to be weather resistant.

We walked down Orchard Road. I detoured to show Di Yin Emerald Hill's old shophouses. We also stopped in one mall to browse a large bookstore, Kinokuniya, and found it surprisingly expensive (US$40 for a hardcover). We later found a Borders which confirmed that these high prices were the going rate. In all, we walked the length of Orchard Road, passing a Prada shop, countless versions of Armani shops, and three Marks & Spencers!

Walking outside, Orchard Road is pretty and leafy during the daytime but, with all its lighted decorations, it's stunning at night.

We ate a snack in the 11-story tall escalator mall, dinner in a hawker food court (Food Republic)--here we rode a four-story escalator to its entrance--in Wisma Atria (another mall on Orchard Road), and post-dinner snacks in other Orchard Road malls.

After Orchard Road, we took the metro back to Clementi and had a long, balmy walk home.

No comments: