Sunday, July 12, 2015

Singapore - Temples, Durian, Night Safari and Satay

Another jam packed day!

Breakfast Soup

Pork rib soup (bak kut teh) with iron Buddah tea at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh for breakfast really hit the spot. I struggled a bit with the ribs (getting the meat off was really difficult), but got a top up on my soup and really enjoyed the metallic, astringent tea.

Ben preparing tea

Iron Buddah Tea

Pork Rib Soup

China Town Temples

See all the religions! We visited a very brightly decorated Hindu temple where we enjoyed some awesome drumming and jazzy trumpet during a prayer session. We visited the beautiful Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and saw many sponsored Buddha statues, a room made of gold, and wondered at the story of how Buddhas tooth was found and stored there. We visited an old Taoist Temple which was very similar to the Buddhist temple. Later we saw a Mosque but didn't go in, but I still think it's the most religious I've ever experienced in 1 day. Andrew and I are not religious, but it's always fascinating to see the styles and stories of the religions around the world.

Tooth Temple

Incence Prayer

Tao Temple

Maxwell Food Center

Singapore's best chicken rice! The centre was bustling with activity and heat but Alvin and Rain managed to find a table, and we all had a big catchup lunch over our lunch.

Best Chicken Rice

The chicken rice was nice, but again I struggled a bit with the meat, which was slightly cold and difficult to get off the bone. Ben explained that the chicken is steamed, then immediately cooled to get the fat to congeal which produces a desirable jelly texture (I'm not convinced). The rice was delicious and tasted very similar to Romanian pilaff (rice boiled in chicken soup).

Chicken Rice

Fruits Galore

After Maxwell Food Center Durian we visited Rain's parents place and stopped to buy some fruit on the way. Thank you to Rain's mum who haggled and bought an amazing array of Asian fruits for us to try for the first time!


We tried lychee (very sweet, slippery, and comes cleanly off it's shiny brown seed), rambutan (looks like a red sea urchin, is similar to lychee but sticks more to it's white seed), dragon fruit (absolutely beautiful, bright purple on the inside with kiwi like seeds but a very mild sweet taste), mangosteen (my favourite, has little white segments with brown seeds inside, very sweet and fragrant), and… Durian!

I had the job of carrying the durian back to Rain's apartment, and the spikes were truly impressive. I felt like I was wielding a weapon! I definitely could have done some robberies with that thing, I'm surprised no one does.

Fruits Galore

The smell of durian being cut up in the shop is nothing like the smell of of the yellow fruit up close. The smell is very particular, but I thought it smelt quite like roasted chestnuts, or walnuts, very nutty anyway. The texture is sooo strange - it has like a thin yellow skin that wrinkles when you touch it, with soft yellow pulp below it. The pulpy bit comes away from the brown seed inside, and is a creamy texture kind of like mango, but more sticky.

Andrew HATED it! He tried it twice, and actually did a bit of a gag cough the second time. I've heard it described as tasting and smelling like onions boiled in diesel, and Andrew agreed. I didn't mind it! I certainly wouldn't choose it over other fruits, and I don't understand why some people go so nuts for it, but I thought it was interesting. Ben already knew he hated it, and after our underselling reactions, Michael didn't even bother to try it.

Smells like Diesel

Arab Street

With tired feed and sweaty clothes we wandered through the hip and busy Arab street. There were a lot of small bars, cafes, sections of street art, and ex pats. The Ramadan food festival was very packed with all sorts of strange delicacies and creatures. We walked through this quite quickly because it was really busy and way too hot.

Arab Street

We stopped at a place and the boys got an ice-cream sandwich, and I went and got a coffee. I accidentally started lining up at #Selfie Cafe, but quickly aborted when I figured out what it was all about. I was surprised at the $8.90 coffees, and then realised that the whole thing was that you would take a selfie on the cafe's phone, which they would then (take 10 minutes to) print onto a little plastic lid that went on your coffee, which you then had to shove a straw through. I watched the lady in front of me pose with duck face and retry her selfie a few times before I got the hell out of there. What the fuck!

Boomerang Cafe

Ben and Michael went straight to Boomerang Cafe to watch the Eagles game, and enjoy $14 beers. Andrew and I went to the hotel, I had a quick shower, and we grabbed our Bushmans Bug Repellant before meeting them there and then heading off to the night safari. 

Night Safari

A fantastic idea for a zoo! I'm pretty sure that not a lot of the animals there were actually nocturnal since many were sleeping, but we got to see so many cool things like a sleeping leopard that was right up against the glass, some really active otters, and a bat area where the bats flew right above your head and ate fruit within reaching distance of us. The Tram Ride was definitely the highlight, and a really nice way to see a lot of things in a short amount of time, while also resting our tired feet. We finished the tram ride at midnight, which of course is Satay Time!

Satay Street

Awesome Satay Sticks at 1pm, my body didn't know what to make of it.

Satay Street


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