Jun 222009
 

Home at last!

It was a massive trip.  Epic almost!  We arrived home on Monday, jet-lagged but excited  and struggled to stay awake until a reasonable hour!  Fortunately Singapore is only two hours behind, but unfortunately we got almost no sleep on the flight home.

We thought we should put this trip into some numbers for you: 16 weeks, 18 countries, 46 places to stay, 9GB or 3,700 photos, $150/day, 13 airports, 46 train stations, 31 (major) train trips, 865km in a Mercedes, 2000 miles in a campervan, seven languages and approximately 10kg of gelato!

We also feel we should make some broad conclusions about our trip:

  1. Four months is a long time!  Yet there was so much more we could have done and would like to go back and do.
  2. Every country is different – different food, different view, different weather and different experiences.  Therefore, it’s difficult to narrow down our favourites and least favourites.
  3. Living out of a suitcase gets really old.  I heart my wardrobe!
  4. Write everything down!  No matter how long you’re going for, keep a travel diary.  I have already forgotten so much, but fortunately I was pretty strict about keeping my journal up to date.
  5. The value of a home cooked meal is vastly underrated… until you have to eat at restaurants for three meals a day, for four months…

Looking forward to seeing you all and hearing about your past four months!  Of course, we’ve got more stories too – like the morning we almost got hypochlorite poisoning in Belfast, easy ways to master the ‘stupid American tourist’ stereotype, a real Irish joke, where to go sunbaking in central Geneva if you’re a nudist and finally the many, many creative ways some Europeans will lighten your pockets (none of which happened to us (we think), thankfully).

Paddington makes it home!

Paddington makes it home!

We’ll leave you with a photo of our $5 suckerfish ‘massage’ in Chinatown in Singapore.

Now off to Trip Advisor to write some reviews and return the favour to those who helped us find some fantastic places to stay…

Treating our feet to a tickly suckerfish massage.

Treating our feet to a tickly suckerfish massage.

Sweating, shopping and snacking

 asia  Comments Off on Sweating, shopping and snacking
Jun 202009
 
Looking out over the river

Looking out over the river

That’s pretty much what you do in Singapore.  It’s quite hot but the thing we’re really not accustomed to is the humidity.  Walk outside and you melt.

Our hotel is quite close to Little India so we ventured to the very different part of town.  The Mustafa Centre here is massive and sells everything from mangoes to microwaves and more.  We were a little disappointed with the prices – expecting them to be quite cheap, when really it is only the currently favourable exchange rate that saves you a dollar.  We hoped to have lunch at the Tekka Centre, which is loaded with Hawker stalls, but alas, it was completely closed for renovations.

After a disappointing start, we decided to hit the shops as it is currently The Great Singapore Sale.  Although Leah was succesful almost straight away, it did take me a while to find some decent mens shopping.  Orchard Road is like one big shopping mall, with massive buildings housing many a shop on either side of the road.

Along the river at Clarke Quay

Along the river at Clarke Quay

For dinner we headed to Coriander Leaf at Clarke Quay on the river.  Singapore lights up at night and it was particularly busy as it was river festival time.  Dinner at Coriander Leaf was excellent.  So much so that we talked our way into the full cooking class the following day!

South East Asian Sampler @ Coriander Leaf

South East Asian Sampler @ Coriander Leaf

After about four hours sleep (this jetlag thing is real), we grabbed breakfast then headed back to Coriander Leaf for our ‘Singapore Street Food’ cooking class.  The class was taken by the owner and chef, Samia Ahad.   It was an observation class, so we watched (and ate) while Samia explained and prepared… lamb satay skewers with peanut sauce, Hiananese chicken rice, Singapore chilli crab, Singapore fried noodles (they were pretty good, Dad), fried tofu with spicy sauce and mango mousse with tapioca pearls.  Lets just say no dinner required for us tonight.

Samia adds the crabs to the chilli sauce

Samia adds the crabs to the chilli sauce

For the other photos from the cooking school, head to the Singaporean food gallery.