Singapore – Part 5, Sentosa Island

9 – 14 June 2018

Pic 2018-0611 05 Sentosa Island (9) edit

Besides being the location of the Nuclear Summit, Sentosa Island is a popular resort island with plenty of family fun. Activities include Universal Studios theme park, Resorts World, Adventure Cove Waterpark, SEA Aquarium, golf courses, and beaches. We spent portions of three days on Sentosa including our last day at Universal.

Siloso Beach and Skyline Luge

Universal Studios Singapore

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Singapore – Part 4, Nuclear Summit

9 – 14 June 2018

Pic 2018-0611 21 Marina Bay Area (16) edit

Singapore was buzzing with excitement about the Nuclear Summit between the United States and North Korea. We found U.S. and North Korean flags welcoming visitors at hotels and restaurants. Ironically when we planned our trip to Asia, we originally wanted to visit South Korea but at the height of tensions in the region we changed them to Singapore.

The day before the summit, we went to Sentosa Island to see the media circus. In the evening while walking along the marina to Gardens by the Bay we saw many of the world media outlets including CNN’s Anderson Cooper. On our walk back to the hotel we saw a dramatic increase in security. Unbeknownst to us, Kim Jong-un took a tour of the area and was only moments behind us. Here is a picture at the same flower display in Flower Dome taken only 90 minutes apart.

Pictures at Flower Dome and Security

CNN Media Coverage

The day of the summit, we returned to Sentosa Island to see the activity surrounding the summit. We got about 500 meters from the Capella before meeting the security line where we waited to see the motorcades, only getting a brief glimpse of the North Korean officials. Regardless of political opinion, it was interesting to be there during the historic event.

Security on Sentosa Island

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Singapore – Part 3, Heart of the Merlion

9 – 14 June 2018

Pic 2018-0612 07 Marina Bay Area (7) edit

The cultural heart of the city includes the center of government, museums, and Fort Canning Park.

Across the Singapore River is the Singapore’s beloved symbol, the Merlion. The mythical creature, half fish and half lion, represents the city’s original name’s meaning ‘lion city’ and its history as a fishing port. We found them all over town including Sentosa Island, Mount Faber, Universal Studios, and most famously the fountain at the mouth of Singapore River. Its even on their one dollar coin.

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Singapore – Part 2, Clarks Quay

9 – 14 June 2018

Pic 2018-0610 07 Clarks Quay (7) edit

Singapore has several excellent entertainment, restaurant and retail districts. We chose to stay in Clarks Quay which turned out to be a good central location. We walked to most attractions but the Clarks Quay subway station and bus stop were convenient for quick access, especially to Sentosa Island. The city is an expensive place to stay and Clarks Quay was no exception but it did offer some more affordable accomodation options. The restaurants and bars along the riverside light up at night.

Clark Quay’s Riverwalk at Night

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Singapore – Part 1, The Switzerland of Asia

9 – 14 June 2018

Pic 2018-0610 10 Singapore Flyer Area (16) edit

We spent the second half of our trip to Asia in Singapore. It was incredible. The city far exceeded our expectations and we debated if it was our favorite. All of us had different opinions but agreed Singapore deserved to be in the conversation, certainly world-class.

Singapore, the city-state islands on the tip of the Malaysia Penninsula, is small but packs a powerful punch. The former Bristish colony acts as an interface between East and West for business and finance. One of the four ‘Asian Tiger’ economies, it has developed into an intriguing mixture of world cultures. For the English speaking population, Singapore is an easy first step into Southeast Asia. Their official primary language is English so there is little difficulty with communicating or understanding street signs. With a history of steep foreign investment, low income taxes, and large percentages of foreign workers, the city has a little bit for everyone, especially for those with money.

The city center lies on the banks of Singapore River. The skyline is dominated by modern and unique structures interspersed with tradional European and Asian architecture. A beautiful and clean city by day, Singapore turns into an amazing display of color and lights at night. The shops cater to a largely affluent crowd with all the high end retailers you might expect in New York, London or Beverly Hills. The restaurants and food vary widely too. We enjoyed some of the American chains we haven’t seen since leaving the States. For us something as simple as having buttermilk biscuits for the first time in 12 months was a treat.

Here are a few pictures of the city with many more to follow.

Fullerton Shore Skyline (top left), Singapore River at Anderson Bridge (upper left), Keppel Island (lower left), Progressive Green Architecture (top right), Sri Mariamman Temple (lower right), and Tooth Relic Temple (bottom)

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Shake Shack Tokyo

5 June 2018

Pic 2018-0605 12 Shake Shack Lunch (2) Edit

Yep, our Shake Shack obsession continues. We found two of the six located in Tokyo.

 

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Tokyo – Part 5, Shrines and Temples

3 – 9 June 2018

Pic 2018-0608 04 Senso Ji Temple Area (60) Edit

Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples can be found throughout the city. Several of them have become tourist attractions. We visited several out fo curiousity. The crowds and their endless duck-faced selfies took away any serenity these buildings were intended to bring. Despite this, we valued our glimpse of different religions.

Senso-ji Temple

Pic 2018-0605 13 Meiji Jingu Shrine (16) Edit

Meiji Shrine

Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple

Zojo-ji Temple

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