Caroline, Saturday 23 September 2006
We left London last Thursday and it seems like ages ago! We flew out to Singapore first, on our way to Perth. We were lucky enough to get free flights with British Airways, through their conservation scheme. It was a long flight â€“ more than 12 hours â€“ but it was very pleasant, especially as we were in Club Class seats!
We arrived in Singapore late on Friday afternoon. It was quite hot (over 30Â°C) and very humid. Singapore Airport is very nice and we got through immigration, collected our bags and out to our hotel within an hour of landing. The hotelâ€™s in a place called Changi Village, which is very picturesque, with lots of trees and colourful plants and flowers, including fabulous orchids like the one pictured above. Near the hotel there are lots of green parrots, which we see most in the afternoons. Thereâ€™s also a beach which weâ€™ve visited a few times.
Changi has an interesting, though sad history. In the Second World War there was an Allied prisoner of war camp here, during the occupation of Singapore by the Japanese. It was then the site of a massacre, and the sand is reported to have run red with the blood of the people who were killed. Some of the prison camp is still standing and it has been turned into a museum and monument to the prisoners who were here.
Now the village is a popular destination for Singaporeans and tourists alike. There are lots of restaurants where you can get all sort of food for very reasonable prices. Singapore is a very diverse country, with people from many SE Asian and other countries living here. As a result, the food and culture is very varied. However, because Singapore used to be a British colony, English is still one of the four official languages and the majority of the road names and so on are in English. Orchard Road (pictured here) is the biggest shopping street and has loads of shops and shopping centres.
Weâ€™ve spent three days here, which has given us a welcome chance to recover from the flight and the jetlag, as well as giving us the opportunity to see a bit of the place.
Tomorrow weâ€™re off to Perth, and our meteorite trip will really begin.
Posted in Travels