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Instructions for a short trip to Singapore

Length of Stay: At least 3 days

Stopps: The Pearl | Esplanade (Park) | Marina Bay | Masjid Sultan | Little India | China Town | Buddha Tooth Relic Temple | Clarke Quay | Marina Bay Sands | Dragonfly Lake | Orchard Road | Garden by the Bay




Content:



 

Easter in Singapore! We're using the holidays to spend a few days in Southeast Asia, looking at Singapore, a little bit of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. In addition, we make ourselves a nice Easter present, with a special flight to the Lion City.


Our plan:

21st April - 23rd of April: Singapur

23rd April - 27th of April: Pulau Tioman

27th April - 30th of April: Pulau Babi

30th April - 2nd of May: Kuala Lumpur

2nd May - 5th of May: Penang



 

Singapore


Introduction to Singapur
Singapore, the Lion City, is a multi-ethnic city-state in Southeast Asia with a population of approximately 11 million (the city alone has a population of 5.7 million). Founded in 1819 by Sir Thomas Raffels as a trading post for the East India Company, the city was a British Crown Colony until 1959. After a two-year union with Malaysia, Singapore declared independence in 1965. Since then, Singapore has been one of the richest countries in the world and is best known for its excellent education, as a financial center and as one of the cleanest cities in the world.



 

AN20APRFRASIN/ALH/RRED


The lucky code for aviation geeks is: AN20APRFRASIN/ALH/RRED. Our winning numbers are: LH778 O (any number >=2), I (any number between 1 and 9), R (any number between 1 and 9) and X (any number between 1 and 9). At least if you are a diligent Miles & More member.


One day before our planned departure from Frankfurt to Singapore, I had the idea of ​​inquiring about the availability for award flights and lucky us: the crane airline actually put two tickets in First Class ("O2" see above) on sale at short notice. Apparently there are only few people who want to travel on Good Friday. We are delighted, because although we have flown a lot, we have never traveled First Class. Without further ado, we book the two First Class tickets for the next day to Singapore via a friendly Miles & More call center agent.


The flight lends itself to the First Class adventure for three reasons: 1. It's a long flight and there's plenty of time to enjoy the inflight product, 2. It's an Airbus A380 with a soundproof First Class cabin, 3. The flight is just getting started out late in the evening, so we have enough time to use the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.


 

Good Friday: Departure Time!


The next day we make our way to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. A good six hours before departure - enough time for an Easter dinner and a "few" cold drinks at the well-stocked bar. Normally, guests in the First Class Terminal drive up the wide driveway with a driver or taxi. We, on the other hand, come atypically with the train and first have to look for the hidden elevator that takes us from the arrivals level up to the entrance.



The subsequent security check goes quickly, we are the only guests. We then give our passports to a very nice Lufthansa employee, who takes care of us from this point until departure. The First Class Terminal offers a very special service: Lufthansa takes care of the exit forms for the Federal Police. All we have to do for boarding is pick up our passports from the Federal Police and confirm our identity.


Now, if you're wondering what you can do in a lounge for six hours: eat, drink, eat, drink... and more eating and drinking... Did I mention that the lounge is great for eating and drinking? We enjoy our Easter dinner with a welcome champagne followed by lunch (salmon or a delicious steak). Afterwards we enjoy the assorted bar: Grappa after the meal and a few Mojitos. So you can relax on the massage seats. Shortly before departure we take a hot shower and prepare for departure.



For boarding, our "personal assistant" takes us to a Porsche (E-Porsche), which brings us directly to the aircraft. Unfortunately, the machine is in the second parking position in front of the First Class Terminal, which is why we only drive a very short distance. In fact, you could have run the distance easily, but for safety reasons you are not allowed to. We board the plane before all other guests.



On board we enjoy the wide and above all long seat, the great food and above all the courteous service of the super friendly Purserette. Yes, the Gulf carriers probably have a better seat, the hospitality and the easy-going yet professional manner of the Lufthansa crew is definitely 5-star worthy.



The 12 hours to Singapore really "fly by". All eight First Class seats are booked, the mood among the passengers and flight attendants is (exuberant) relaxed. Julia sits right next to a woman who is on her way to Thailand with her daughter. Both flew (money saving trick) in the morning from Frankfurt to Milan, in order to take a first class ticket from Milan via Frankfurt to Singapore and Koh Samui. If Greta Thunberg would hear that...


In addition to the relaxed atmosphere and enough space for long legs, there is champagne and an amenity kit in the form of an Easter nest including PJs and slippers as a welcome on board. Of course, Lufthansa does not skimp when it comes to eating and drinking either. I opt for the classic: caviar as a starter. For dessert there is a chocolate cake with a liquid core and ice cream. Well fed, I sink into my freshly made bed and sleep for the next few hours - until breakfast is served again. We freshen up in the "bathroom" and land in Singapore at 5 p.m. local time.


 

Saturday: Arrival in Singapur

Programm of the day: The Jewel | Driving into the city and hotel check-in | Esplanade Park | Marina Bay


Singapore welcomes us with gray and rainy weather - at least it's warm rain. As First Class passengers, we are picked-up directly at the gate by a Lufthansa employee with our name tag. She accompanies us through the terminal. The lady has adapted to the warm temperatures of Singapore and is much too slow for my standards. Since there is no fast lane for immigration for First and Business Class passengers, I could have done without the welcoming service. I feel like we're chasing Gaius Pupus in Asterix Conquers Rome.


Just four days before our arrival, "The Jewel" opened, a huge shopping center integrated into Changi Airport. The interior of the shopping mall is beautifully planted and impresses with the world's largest indoor waterfall, which falls 40 meters from the roof into a ravine in the center of the mall. Definitely worth a visit when you're at the airport. The only downside: After arrival, it's annoying to maneuver your own luggage through the crowds.



After our unique flight experience, there is a blatant break in style: we take the subway for about one dollar, which takes us to the city center in just under 45 minutes. We walk three blocks from the train station to our hotel, the "Mercure Singapore Bugis", where we then check in sweaty and sticky. A refreshing shower awaits us. Hardly arrived in Singapore, it is already getting dark again. We decide to do something to Looking for food and collecting the first impressions of Singapore at Marina Bay.


Not far from the hotel we find a small Asian restaurant. Typically Southeast Asian, we sit on plastic chairs on the side of the road. The rain shower in advance acts like a sauna infusion, in combination with the jet lag, devastating. We are tired and everything sticks. Nevertheless, we don't miss the opportunity to explore the city.


On our short 4 km loop we first pass "St. Andrews Cathedral". The Easter service in the evening is well attended. The faithful even sit in front of the church and listen to the pastor. The surrounding western style bars and restaurants look really nice.



We are walking further in the direction of the "Esplanade Concert Hall", which is located directly on the famous "Marina Bay". It is now dark and the buildings, including the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Esplanade, are impressively illuminated. However, we are disappointed to find out that the also famous "Merlion" (the lion-fish statue) is being renovated and is covered by scaffolding. So we only have a look at a miniature version.



Hard to believe, although we slept very well on the plane, the jet lag is hitting us hard. For this reason we walk back towards the hotel through Esplanade Park. After all, we want to discover the city in daylight the next day, freshly rested.




 


Sunday: Singapur in a Nutshell

Daily Program: Masjid Sultan | Little India | China Town | Buddha Tooth Relic Temple | Teepause | Clarke Quay | Marina Bay Sands | Dragonfly Lake



We have to set an alarm clock so we don't sleep through half the day. After waking up, we need coffee! We find what we are looking for not far from the hotel, in a small café. We're lucky because the weather cooperates and the sky keeps clearing up. Overall, I imagined Singapore to be even greener, but the city is beautifully planted and immaculately clean. Traffic is pleasantly quiet for a big city. I now understand Andreas, a friend and work colleague, why he regularly travels to Singapore.



Fortified with caffeine, we walk to the nearby Arabic quarter to see the area around the "Sultan Mosque". Admittedly, the mosque looks more impressive from the outside than from the inside. A short visit is still worthwhile. Around the mosque are many small Arabic restaurants. But since we only had breakfast, I'll put a visit to the restaurant here on my bucket list for next time. Likewise, the "Malay Heritage Center" just a few steps away, from which we could only see the small garden due to lack of time. Our path takes us further into the adjacent Indian quarter.



Coincidentally, a month earlier I was in India for a few weeks on business and was looking forward to visiting "Little India". Of course, you can't compare a small Indian neighborhood of a western-style metropolis to real India, but this little enclave is still worth a visit.


After looking at a Christian church the night before and an Arabic mosque a few minutes earlier, we are now standing in front of a beautifully ornate Hindu temple, the "Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple" (a great name for "wheel of fortune":)) .



South of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is "Tan Teng Niah", a building as colorful as India. If you haven't had enough of the colorful variety afterwards, you can find everything from fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and spices to clothing and decorations in the neighboring "Tekka Centre". On the way to "Little India" we have already had a look at the Arabic influenced "Mustafa Centre", which is even bigger.


From "Litte India" to "Chinatown" we take the subway - the only time that day. Singapore is an absolute melting pot. Within a few hours one travels from the Arabic culture via a small piece of India to China and all that in a western-oriented city.



On the way to the "Buddha Tooth Relic Temple" we walk through the "Pagoda" and the "Temple Street", look at small shops and pay a visit to the "Sri Mariamman Temple". Here it becomes even clearer how close the religions are in Singapore. There is a mosque directly opposite the Hindu temple and the Buddha temple is less than 80 meters away.



We're pretty exhausted from so much divinity, the sweltering heat and jet lag. Time for a break! Originally we wanted to have a typical English high tea in "Pollen" in the afternoon. But we were too late for the reservation, so we have to make up for it on our next visit (bucket list!). Now we're in Chinatown and since neither of us have ever experienced a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, this is just the thing.


After a short search we decide on "The Tea Chapter" on "Neil Road". If we don't get British high tea, then at least a teahouse that the Queen has visited herself. The hosts are very friendly, recommend us a cup of tea and give us an introduction to the classic Chinese tea ceremony. The most important thing here is a brewing time that is accurate to the second and how you hold the small porcelain cups. Basically, you count more than you drink. Still a great experience. Apparently, so many impressions also make you very tired. And the tea isn't as stimulating as I thought it would be... First of all, my companion treats herself to a small "power nap".



Strengthened and occasionally rested, we walk in the direction of "Singapore River" or "Clarke Quay". Within a few hundred meters you are in the midst of top modern high-rise buildings and a very beautiful promenade. On the way we pass the Parkroyal Hotel. The facade of the hotel is completely green and absolutely worth seeing.



Around "Clarke Quay" there are countless restaurants, and well-known large chains can also be found here. Since we are not hungry yet, we walk along the promenade of the Singapore River to the "Esplanade Concert Hall". The route takes us past the "Parliament of Singapore", impressive skyscrapers and the "Mirror Balls".