Hold that bus!

Today we decided to take a bit of a tour of Singapore. And the best way to do that was to get one one of the ‘hop on, hop off’ buses that tour the city. We’d gotten a tourist brochure that explained a bit about them, what you would see, cost, etc. But the only problem was they didn’t say where you actually catch the bus. So we checked at our hotel (where we got the brochure). They didn’t know but suggested we check with the information centre around the corner. We actually walked past the ‘centre’ before we realised it was there. Not so much a centre as a small sign on a backpackers hostel. They pointed us in an approximate direction where the bus ‘might’ turn up. We went to the location and waited a while, but no bus. Ok plan B. We’d make our way to the Raffles Hotel. Its a famous hotel, surely the tour bus would stop there. So we caught the train (we’re now expert train riders) to the area and walked to Raffles. Didn’t go in as I was dressed pretty casual. Since the cheapest room is $600 a night there I didn’t think I’d be let in. As we were looking in through the windows (like poor people that we were) the Hippo hop on, hop off bus rolled up. Yay! And then rolled past. And then kept driving down the road. Doh! Apparently they don’t stop as often as I thought.

At that point we gave up on the bus and walked to the Suntec complex. A big shopping centre and entertainment centre. The second biggest shopping centre in Singapore. Not very exciting, BUT, they had a ticket desk for the bus! And we found out the buses actually stopped there at the centre! So back on the bus plan. We got a two day pass and jumped on a bus. The tour went for about an hour and showed a lot of the city.

Average main street in Singapore
Singapore Street

When we got back we jumped on another bus which took us around the older parts of Singapore. That was another hour, and then we stopped for lunch. We were exhausted by now so went back to the hotel for a rest.

In the evening we caugh the train/bus to the Singapore Night Zoo. Its right next to the Zoo. The place only runs at night and allows you to see the animals when they are active. Well in theory. Some of them were still pretty sleepy. But it was still a good novelty. Went on a tram tour of the zoo and went on a few walks and saw ‘tribal’ show and an animal show. Was all good but when we finished at 11.30pm decided it was too late and we were too tired to do the bus/train back to the hotel. Also suspected the services would shut down before we got home. So we caught a taxi instead. The driver really didn’t speak english. And we didn’t speak… well whatever he spoke. After attempting the name of our hotel without success I showed him the address from the hotel keyring. Still nothing. He gave me the street map book to find it. Except half of that looked to be in chinese. But eventually I found it. Map 111 coordinates C/2; our hotel. 15 minutes instead of 1.5hrs and $15 instead of $8.20 but it was very much worth it.