What to do with a seven-hour layover in Singapore? Well, start at the famous Gardens by the Bay with their famous “trees” . . .
. . . and strange and beautiful real plants . . .
. . . and views across the marina . . .
. . . and that big iconic building that looks like a spaceship.
Then walk across the bridge to the Esplanade to compile a dinner from the hawkers at Gluttons Bay.
Singapore is famous for its food, with even street vendors being awarded one and two Michelin stars. I didn’t have time to find those guys, but these were pretty good. I got grilled stingray . . .
. . . a mixed plate of satay . . .
. . . and some fried gyoza and steamed prawn dumplings.
Thus fortified, I headed out into the now darkened city to keep exploring. The views of downtown . . .
. . . and that spaceship building . . .
. . . were dazzling in their illuminated splendor. I found the national art gallery . . .
. . . and the theatre . . .
The reflections of the buildings in the old canal were lovely.
But the whole place felt strangely dead. It was beautiful and immaculately clean, but there was no life or energy — barely anyone out on the streets. So unlike any other Asian city I’ve ever seen! I decided to wander over to Chinatown to see if things were any livelier there . . .
Nope. Oh, well. Back to the Gardens by the Bay! At least there were people there. Along the way I saw more pretty views of the marina . . .
. . . found a giant floating baby . . .
. . . and some beautifully lit trees . . .
. . . and then found myself back beneath the massive “trees” just in time for a light show accompanied by all the greatest opera hits.
By that point it was time to grab a taxi back to the airport. I wanted to make sure I had time to buy a toothbrush (to refresh after a spicy dinner) and a new shirt (having sweat completely through both shirts I had brought with me and didn’t fancy sitting in freezing damp on the plane).
So long, Singapore!