Singapore 2014 – Day 2 – Orchard Road Shopping Spree

Our day started just like the day before it, after an early wake up call from mother we were off once again to Maxwell Food Centre, this time to sample breakfast from Zhen Zhen Porridge, known for having the best rice porridge (or if you are asian, congee) in the area. We ordered 2 large bowls between us to share – one with fish and another with pork and century egg, I also popped round the corner to another stall to grab some fried doughnut. It was awesome, stiff fried doughnuts dipped into watery rice filled with toppings… westerners won’t really understand I guess.

From here we got the train to Orchard, for Orchard Road – essentially the Oxford street of Singapore, this is a road filled with tons of designer shops, and an obscene amount of shopping malls. I can’t even remember or name all of the shopping malls we went into, as they seem to daisy-chain themselves together with raised pathways and underground passages so before you know it, you find yourself in yet another 7 floor mall, each of them with their own set of shops, price range and food halls. We stopped at some point to eat lunch, a bowl of hand shaven noodles with chicken for me, while the rest of my family had char kway teow, curry rice, and char siu/duck rice.

The malls were very impressive to look at, both in terms of scale and decor, some of the more upscale ones having a near mirror polish on their marble flooring, while some of the smaller older ones had their own unique, almost Hong Kong feel to them. We changed up some money at one point at a ratio of 2.1:1 (SGD to GBP) and as my brother went to change his, they made a mistake and accidentally gave him double, giving him £60 worth of dollars for £30, not bad? Lets hope he doesn’t get into too much trouble for it. No pictures of it, but one of the malls also had an arcade in there, where I took the opportunity to refresh myself with the asian music game scene, giving the latest versions of Sound Voltex, Maimai and IIDX a go (forgot to bring my eAmuse card, fml), my brother in the meanwhile apparently got rekt on the street fighter machine by some other guy.

After an extended break to rest our legs, we took the train to the raffles hotel, probably the most famous hotel in Singapore, known for its grand design and the creation of the ‘Singapore sling’ cocktail. The exterior was impressive and looked more like an embassy or similar than a hotel – the outer walls of the hotel complex even having its own bars and fashion shops, even a furniture shop.
We considering sitting in the bar for a little while to soak in the atmosphere, but there was insufficient seating, and the drinks were overpriced to a ridiculous level, a glass of the famous Singapore sling being SGD $27 (equal to £13) and a coke being an arguably more ridiculous SGD $9 (£4.20) – bare in mind a soft drink in a restaurant usually costs around $2 and you’ll start to understand the issue here.

Our final destination for the day was Suntec plaza, one of the more popular shopping malls in city – it was supposedly designed with an emphasis on feng shui, and features an absolutely stunning water display at it’s centre (of which there are plenty of pictures don’t you worry). Here, more shopping was conducted, before visiting the fountain of wealth, a central water display in one of the inner segments of the mall (majority of the mall is underground), only a small path leads up to the fountain of wealth, with some smaller fountains dotted around the sides in a circular pattern. Supposedly walking around the fountain with your hand inside will grant you a wish. It was pretty nice to look at and shoot, though it did not prepare me for how amazing it would look later on in the night.

DInner was at a place called ‘grandmas’, it was a mediocre and disappointing sample of eastern classic foods, which i’d rather not talk about as it still disappoints me. By the time we left the restaurant it was night, I spotted an exit flight of stairs up and thought I would go and investigate, hoping to see a higher up view of the water display with some light nights, what I got instead was the water display but on crack, and with an additional halo of water showering down over the entire lower floor, including over the pathway and around the fountain we were earlier walking on. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is presumedly much more, so i’ll just stop talking.

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Thus more or less concludes our day and night of shopping, I came away with a tank top, a 2 shirts, a t-shirt, a wallet and a pair of shorts, so not too shabby. Tomorrow we will be off once again to Vivocity and Sentosa island, you can hopefully at least expect more pictures than the last time I went…