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December 21, 2019 / Jim Fenton

Japan/Singapore Day 15: Gardens

November 22, 2019

Gaylang Serai Market

Today was a long day for both of us. Kenna, especially, did a lot of walking. Jim was in meetings wrapping up his work at the conference. Kenna decided to start off the day by venturing farther out toward the east coast to the Joo Chiat or Katong neighborhood. The guidebook showed that there was a large market, a couple of temples, and some colorful Peranakan terrace houses there. It was also interesting because the MRT went above ground away from the center of the city. It was a more residential part of town with many high-rise apartment buildings. Kenna started at the Geylang Serai Market, a wet market and hawker centre as well as stalls to buy just about anything else.

After returning to the hotel for some lunch, Kenna decided to take a walk around Fort Canning Park. She had until now missed this large park in the center of the city. Some of the grounds were blocked off in preparation for a concert that evening but there were exhibitions going on in celebration of Singapore’s bicentennial, the anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore. One multimedia presentation with a timeline and pictures documenting the history of the land.

Gardens by the Bay

Once Jim got out of his meetings, we made our way to the Gardens by the Bay, adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. It was starting to get dark, so we had limited time to explore. There are two climate-controlled domes, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, which we did not explore , but we had plenty to see in the outdoor (and free) areas of the Gardens.

One of the iconic sights in the Gardens is a number of very tall artificial “trees”. These are lit at night, and soon after it got dark, a short light show to music was put on. It was opera night this evening. The lighting and the sound system were both excellent. We understand this is put on twice every evening; quite an undertaking but not to be missed.

This article is part of a series about our recent travels to Japan and Singapore. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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