St John’s Island and Kusu Island

18S$ return ticket, departure from Marina South Pier, there are only a few connections a day, check the current schedule online.

First, after 25 minutes, the boat arrived at St John’s Island, where I spent few hours walking on a beach and sunbathing. You can meet many cats there laying in a shadow, resting. Time passes here slowly. The information board on the island says this place served as a quarantine station for e.g. cholera. Later, there was drug rehabilitation center and finally in 1975 this place was converted into a weekend resort, nowadays it is a popular getaway :)

The same boat took us to our next stop, Kusu Island. Legend has it that a huge tortoise transformed himself into this island to rescue shipwreck survivors. Now, there are two temples, beaches and picnic spots for Singaporeans to escape from the busy life in the city. Citizens remember about brave animals and therefore on island you can find tortoise shelter. I noticed that few of them had a gold shell. People believe that touching a tortoise can bring good fortune :)

Durian stall

Ah Di Dempsey Durian stall, 7 Dempsey Road, Singapore

I think it was a smart idea to try the king of the fruits from one of the best places in Singapore. I guess the experience will not be so good when trying one from Chinatown :p Even the characteristic smell of the ripe durian was different on every stall, depending on a variety and freshness of the fruits. King of Kings was the variety we tried (around 20S$ per kg), very sweet flavour with a creamy consistency (not surprising, consists of fifty-fifty carbohydrates and fat :p). Using disposable plastic gloves was very useful as the pulp turned up to be the consistence of a sticky pudding :D I heard you need to try this fruit a few times to really know is you are durian lover or not. Actually, I need to admit that taste was different with every bite :) According to some studies, genes regulating the sulphur pathway are responsible for the unbearable smell of this fruit (though after few minutes we didn’t have any problems with the smell anymore). The owner of the stall is really en expert and can easily recognize good quality fruits but smelling them and tapping them with his machete.

Sands Sky Park - observatory deck

21S$ admission fee, tickets bought online

Nice view on the whole Marina Bay, Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade Theaters and sky scrapers. Located on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands hotel. Especially worth to go in the evening and admire a sunset and watch the spectacularly illuminated  super trees in the Gardens by the Bay. Hotel guests can also enjoy infinity pool, visible to us only from a distance. There is also a bar where you can enjoy a drink with this amazing view :)

Bukit Timah and MacRitchie nature reservoir

free entrance

Our hike started near Beauty World MRT station, after reaching Bukit Timah summit (163.63m) we walked in the direction to MacRitchie reservoir, and eventually finished our hike at Venus car park where we took a bus to one of the near MRT stations. The walk in total was around 14km, water was only available at the Rangers Station so remember to take snacks and plenty of water with you. The TreeTop Walk, accessible only from the Ranger Station (one way pass), is 250m long, 25m above the forest floor at the highest point. This free-standing suspension bridge is the highlight of the park (open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm). We have seen monkeys (one wanted to steal our bags!), a small snake (a banded flying snake), lizards and many interesting plants. We are used to hike with the heavy backpacks, however this trip made as really exhausted! High temperatures and humidity ever higher than in the city made this day really difficult but it was worth it! :D

Haw Par Villa

262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore, free entry

Built in 1937 by two Chinese brothers as a place for teaching traditional Chinese values. Now, converted into the theme park showing scenes from Chinese culture, folklore and mythology. We found there countless colorful statues from sumo wrestles, through mermaids to laughing Buddha. The number of different scenes presented in the park was overwhelming for me … or maybe that was due to the high temperatures :p It is very different for the other places in Singapore so you should visit it to get a feeling of Chinese folklore.

Sentosa Island

free entrance by the bridge until the end of 2018

We entered the island by boardwalk from Harbour Front MRT station. The huge, white name “Santosa” on a green hills reminds us the famous sign “Hollywood” in Los Angeles ;) The are many attractions on the island (Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Park or Trick Eye Museum), you can purchase a ticket for each separately or buy a combined ticket for many of them and save money. We decided to just walk through the west part of the island (which is in general pretty big!), passing the Merlion, Universal Studios Globe, part of Imbiah trail. There are also few public beaches and many dining areas.

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