To get a great view in Singapore you have to pay a lot to go to the top of Marina Bay Sands (above). But we know the secret view where you go on top of an HDB (public housing).
Erin was very interested in all of the cargo ships. Singapore is the world's second-busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage and it is the world's busiest transshipment port (to transfer or be transferred from one vessel or vehicle to another).
Erin was anxious to taste the popular sweets in Singapore...
... so we got her ice kachang, Singapore's “beloved dessert” with red beans, corn, durian, and a variety of other unusual items on shaved ice. Or just a normal topping like fresh mangoes!
Another popular Singapore treat - ice cream sandwiches made with real bread. They are sold on the street corner, usually by seniors.
The ice cream comes in blocks and are sliced in front of you then served between a slice of soft mufti-colored bread. They come in interesting flavors like sweet corn, red bean, durian, yam, peppermint, chocolate, coffee, chocolate chip, and my favorite - mango.
Below is the Sultan Mosque, Singapore's largest mosque. The mosque was built in 1824 for Sultan Hussian Shah, the first sultan of Singapore. It is in the Kampong Glam neighborhood (fun funky area).
Always a favorite to show visitors, the interactive street murals by artist Ernest Zacharevic.
I love little India as it is one of the untouched old areas in Singapore. You really feel like you are in India. Erin was lucky as it was Diwali or Deepavali (festival of lights) while she was here.
Deepavali is one of the most important religious festivals for Hindus. During this celebration, Little India bursts with bright colors and busy stalls selling food and specialty items.
They also decorate the streets with beautiful lights and have fireworks.
Several rituals are part of the festival: Families dress in traditional and richly-colored clothes and head to the temple for prayers. And many homes light small, oil-filled clay lamps and decorate their doors with fresh mango leaves to welcome the goddess of power, wealth and knowledge Lakshmi.
Chinatown is another of my favorite places to visit in Singapore. It is a bit more touristy then little India, but still fun.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a four-story Buddhist temple and museum. It is fairly new, built in 2005.
The temple is based on the Tang dynasty architectural style and built to house the tooth relic of the historical Buddha.
On the third floor there is a giant prayer wheel. You take hold of the wheel and walk around. When you hear the bell ring... it means your prayer has been answered.
There are said to be 10,000 Buddha statues in the museum.
Erin took a little break to have a pedicure!
Singapore at night!
Singapore is such a beautiful city and it is particularly pretty at night.
The 13 minute Marina Bay Sands light show is free, and happens every night.
Erin's shirt matches the colorful reflection on the water in the photo below.
Since Erin is our artsy girl... we had to take her to a few of our favorite wacky places in Singapore - like Har Par Villa. I am not sure how to even describe this place.
The park, originally called Tiger Balm Gardens, was built in 1937 by the developers of Tiger Balm, as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values.
It has over 100 statues that tell moral stories on how people should behave. I would NOT take a small child there as many are very bloody and gruesome.
But some are quite beautiful.
And Erin had read about an old cemetery called Buket Brown. We were not familiar with it, but learned that at one time it housed 100,000 tombs, but has been abandoned since its closure in 1973.
The oldest grave in Bukit Brown cemetery is from 1833.
Unfortunately a new road is being built on the property and some 5000 graves have had to be moved.
It is an interesting place to visit with a jungle feel. If you go be sure to use bug spray!
We are so happy Erin was able to come and visit us and explore Singapore and Vietnam.
We had an awesome time with her!