Day 11 - Singapore
Wednesday, April 4, 2012: We had no plans until check out time, so we were able to sleep in late and spend some badly needed time repacking our luggage.
|Farewell, Angkor Century Hotel! It's been great! Seriously, this was a wonderful hotel and we couldn't have been happier.
|Sam and Thy came to pick us up right on time for our drive to the airport.
|The Cambodia loves China signs were along the side of the road and right overhead.
|And we're here.
|It's a small airport, but very nice. Prior to security, we had a pastry at a tiny Delifrance, ...
|... so we were too full to eat anything when we encountered an actual Dairy Queen on the other side of security. We consoled ourselves that people from such a hot land couldn't possibly understand how to properly make a Blizzard. We did pick up a nice Cambodia silk scarf and enjoyed the airport's free Wi-Fi while we waited for our flight.
|Another flight, another airline. This was the first of two Vietnam Airline flights it would take to get to Singapore.
|We were enroute to Ho Chi Minh City for the first leg of the trip.
|We had a little snack during our one-hour flight.
|There were rivers and streams everywhere, so it was clear that we were in the Mekong River Delta region.
|This was our first trip to Vietnam, so we looked at everything as we circled Ho Chi Minh City for our landing approach. This is an amusement park with a large dragon building in the lower right corner of the photo.
|We saw container ports and containers on ships, but nothing that we could identify as Maersk, unfortunately.
|Here's the city, ...
|... and here's the airport.
|There you have it: proof that we were in Vietnam. We were only here for a couple of hours, but it counts anyway.
|The HCMC airport is quite modern and nice. We wandered around a bit trying to find a restaurant, then settled on a tiny snack bar that sold drinks and pastries. This was billed as a peanut butter cake, but it was more like a sweet bread roll with peanut butter inside. It was tasty.
|One level down was our gate. Debbie bought a couple of hair accessories in the gift shop here, paying in US dollars, just as we had at the snack bar.
|On our second flight of the day, we flew over the South China Sea to Singapore and had a meal service. We're still trying to figure out what that orange thing was in the salad, but it was good.
|Singapore! We arrived just at dusk.
|Here's beautiful Changi airport. After immigration, we were stopped by someone doing a survey. They had three questions: Were we happy with our immigration experience? How quickly did we get through immigration? Did the immigration agent smile? Yes, very, and yes. We love Singapore.
|We used Singapore's MRT trains to get to our hotel. Unfortunately, we accidentally followed directions to the Marina Bay Sands hotel, so we had to take a short taxi ride from there to Marina Mandarin hotel instead. The Sands would have to wait two more days for the honor of hosting us.
|The Marina Mandarin is roughly triangular with a huge atrium. All rooms face out with hallways along the atrium. The only downside is the nightly piano bar entertainment echoes loudly throughout the whole building.
|It was a nice, large room, ...
|... with a huge bathroom, ...
|... and a view of downtown and Marina Bay on the tiny balcony if you looked all the way to the left.
|It was a perfect night for a walk, so we headed out to see the bay up close. We walked along Esplanade Drive, and just as we reached the bridge over the Singapore River, the Marina Bay Sands' nightly light show began, ...
|... so we stood and enjoyed it immensely.
|A short walk further and we were at Merlion Park. The Merlion looked especially regal backed by the lights of the Singapore business district and the Fullerton Hotel.
|Here he is up close. Our first love is the 120' Merlion statue on Sentosa Island, but this 28' guy is pretty awesome. He shoots water out into Marina Bay, ...
|... while his 6' little friend nearby trickles water into the fountain he stands in.
|This is the Singapore Flyer just behind the Helix Bridge.
|This is the view looking back to our hotel, shown here just to the left of the white pavilion on the shore.
|We headed back and got this photo of the Pan Pacific across the street from our hotel, which we first saw when we visited Singapore in 1997.
And here is our hotel, which was just as conveniently located as we had hoped when we booked it.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy