sunrise in a singaporean gutter


0600 singapore … only 8 hours till check in

It is a truth universally known that there isn’t much to do in Singapore except shopping and eating. And only the latter can be done cheaply.

So eat we did. And we have continued to do so. Not entirely surprising, really. We’ve already discussed renaming this blog “Linds and Catie eat their way overland”.

Not being ones to pussyfoot around, our first meal was a breakfast of fishball soup. And it just got better from there: a never-before-sampled Indian dish of murtabak; roti prata; char shu soup and dumplings of every variety.

The hands-down highlight of our time in Singapore was a surprise treat from Linds’ old school buddy, Ryan, who, apart from being an incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide and soon-to-be board game tycoon, works part-time in his family’s awesome restaurant. According to Ryan, Peranakan culture and cuisine is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance and we were treated to a delicious spread of specialty dishes, including ayam buah keluak: a chicken curry featuring a large, wild nut that is first baked in volcanic ash. Thanks again Ryan! We visited the neighbouring Peranakan museum a few days later, which is beautifully put together.

A close second place in the highlights stakes was fortuitously catching up with Margo and Craig, who were stopping over on the way home from their African adventure. We enjoyed several overpriced beers together at a string of waterside bars frequented by the city’s b(w)ankers and battled through the insanely packed streets of Chinatown to sup on handmade noodles.

Wandering around a city is not only a great way to see stuff and shed extra beer kilos – it’s also free! So we stumbled across some pretty spectacular architecture and decided Perth could definitely learn a thing or two from some of the bold designs, including Parkview Square (or “Gotham City”, as we dubbed it).

Although being in Singapore for Chinese New Year was another highlight, it also proved to be a bit of a hindrance in finding a ticket out of town. We finally managed to board a train at the magnificent socialist-realist train station and chug our way to Melaka.

What can we say about Melaka? Sadly, it’s a cheesy tourist trap. Home to numerous museums both spurious in subject and dubious in quality (think an endless procession of bad 70s dioramas). But we found a kindred spirit in our guest house owner, Tony, who is a fellow devotee of Little Creatures pale ale following a trip to Perth to visit his brother last year. And the food didn’t disappoint either, with spicy laksa, herbal eggs and lei cha on the menu.

So we’re now beachward-bound, overnighting in the innocuous city of Kuantan before heading to Cherating tomorrow. It’s overcast, so here’s hoping for some sunny days to come.

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy Chinese New Year)!

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4 Responses to “sunrise in a singaporean gutter”

  1. Erin and Tom Says:

    Hey dudes, great to hear about the start of your travels…I’ve drooled all over the keyboard thinking about the food, very jealous!! Great little rollover links too so we can see what the hell you’re talking about. Looking forward to more!! Onwards and forwards (and bellywards!)

  2. Kylie Says:

    Oh the delights of travelling! Cherating…they have giant turtles there right?

    Good to see you’re having a great time 🙂 Looking forward to more photos and stories.

  3. Geoff Says:

    I always suspected that Linds was only ever seconds away from sleeping on park benches; I don’t know if it was the crazed eyes, the whiskers or the enthusiasm for flagons of port. In any event, I’m glad to photographic confirmation. Hope the hobo … er, I mean ‘backpacking’, life is treating you both well.

  4. Marshie Says:

    Ugh. I detest you both. Have just looked at pictures of you frolicking in the water and looking uber relaxed.
    We are regularily checking into the blog guys, so make sure you keep it up! And jealousy being the great motivator that it is, I decided to start a blog too… I assure you it’s hilarious.
    http://marshajacobs.blogspot.com/
    Glad you guys are doing (eating) so well. Missing you and thinking of you lots. xx

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