30 May 2013
Our flight left Colombo on time and flew to Singapore, a short three hour and 20 minute flight.
On arrival, we checked our hand luggage into storage and caught the Singapore MRT train into the city for a walk around ahead of us flying back to New Zealand that evening.
Our first stop, after a coffee break, was to the Singapore Merlion at the entrance of the Singapore River. Across the harbour is the Marina Bay Sands Casino, the design of which is fashioned after a Chinese temple altar.
Once we'd visited the merlion, we walked along the Singapore River, past Boat Quay and into Clarke Quay. After a quick refreshment break at Hooters Bar, we walked through Fort Canning Park and found our way to Raffles Hotel.
Once we arrived at Raffles Hotel, we visited the Long Bar for those who wanted to try a Singapore Sling in the bar in which the drink was made famous (before tax S$26 each). This was also the home of the most expensive beer in Singapore - after tax was applied the jug cost S$68..!!
After the Long Bar visit, it was time for lunch and many of the group headed to a local hawker's market to sample some seafood - particularly a local favourite, barbeque stingray and were not disappointed.
The last stop was Suntec City, a shopping mall following which the group made their way back to Changi Airport. Wandering around Singapore proved to be a nice way to spend the time and the trip to the city was easily accomplished using the MRT train system. The cost of the train was S$10 for the day.
The flight home was delayed by nearly an hour as the aircraft scheduled was replaced due to a mechanical problem. Elsewise, despite the late arrival, the flight home was uneventful.
Arriving back in Auckland marked the end of the 54 day trip for most of the group. It had certainly been a trip of a lifetime for many - and will take some time to reflect on all that had been experienced in India and Sri Lanka.