Merlion Park
Singapore is a small country by anyone's measure. The main island is a mere 26 miles from east to west and 14 miles north to south. Even though it is small the city planners have done an excellent job by allocating space for some beautiful parks. Merlion Park would be the first park we visited and is located next to Marina Bay on the city's edge. It is named for Singapore's tourism symbol the Merlion, half fish, half lion, and contains a statue of the Merlion overlooking Marina Bay.
Leaving Chinatown we proceeded a short distance along the edge of Marina Bay to Merlion Park. On our way we again enjoyed the marvels of Singapore's cityscape.

Modern Skyscrapers

Singapore's Post Office

A Traveler Palm

Our first view of the Merlion

Merlion Park

Merlion Statue

Anne standing next to
the War Memorial

Miniature of the
Merlion Statue

Once a favorite means of transportation in Singapore this rickshaw was permanently anchored in Merlion Park for tourists to enjoy. Having taken several pictures in the park I noticed the rickshaw and asked Anne to jump in so I could take her picture. She immediately objected stating that whoever it belonged to might object to her sitting in it. That's when I pointed out the brackets locking the rickshaw in its place. She laughed and then jumped in for the picture.

Leaving Merlion Park Anne and I headed toward the U. S. Embassy to apply for new passports. Leaving San Francisco there was some discussion as to the validity of our passports as they had barely six months left before they expired. While it presented no problems for us getting into Singapore and some other countries there could have been a problem getting into mainland China. So off we went to get new passports. On the way, walking along the Singapore River, we noticed several "Bumboats" on the river. Their bright colors caught our attention and we went for a closer look. These bumboats were used to give tourists a tour of Colonial Singapore from the river. Anne and I jumped on board and enjoyed the short tour of colonial Singapore.

As you can see in the photo (left) bumboats are brightly painted and include a pair of eyes on the bow. All of the boats on the Singapore River had these painted eyes in the belief they can help the boat see where it was going.

Touring the Singapore River we had a view of the oldest sections of Singapore which have been restored now. The pictures from this short river cruise were not spectacular by any means in terms of what was seen. It did, however, give us a better view of the Merlion statue as we entered Marina Bay. During the evening the statue is floodlit and water pours from the statue's mouth. Unfortunately we did not get to see it at night.
Arriving at the U. S. Embassy we completed the applications for our new passports and were directed across the street to a photo shop to get our new passport photos. Anne was not terribly happy with the thought of getting photos taken after a hard day of walking and being in the Sun. For that reason I did not include them here on this page. I don't want her getting mad at me. But, no matter what the pictures looked like (like we were having a good time!) having the new passport was an advantage. We had no problems getting into mainland China. The only disappointing thing was that our old passports, which contained many stamps from Europe, Asia, Egypt and the Middle East were canceled. I had hoped to continue collecting more stamps from the current trip, but that was not to be. We'd have to start anew with these new passports. There is one advantage though. Whenever we travel now and fill out an immigration card we get to state that our passports were issued in Singapore, and that brings back many fond memories of this trip.

Singapore's Merlion

St. Andrew's Cathedral
After leaving the embassy we headed toward St. Andrew's Cathedral. St. Andrew's is surrounded by beautiful parkland.
Originally constructed in 1832 the cathedral was struck by lightning twice and demolished in 1852. The new cathedral, completed in 1862, was built in the English Gothic style by Indian convicts. The cathedral's bells were cast by the same company that cast the bells for London's Big Ben.

It was now late afternoon and Anne and I were beginning to feel the effects of being on our feet all day running from one place to another in the hot, beating Sun. It was time to find our way back to the MRT and the air-conditioned ride back to Orchard St. Arriving at the Orchard St. station and being unsure which exit to choose we ended up inside a large department store. We spent some time just walking around comparing prices to see how they compared with home. Then we stumbled onto this little cart that was selling some kind of Japanese cake. We bought several, along with something to drink and thoroughly enjoyed them. This became an "end of day" ritual for the remainder of our stay in Singapore.

With our first full day of sightseeing behind us and an understanding of Singapore's MRT we were definitely prepared for our remaining days in Singapore.

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Getting There
Singapore -- Orchard Road | Chinatown | Merlion Park | Arab Town and Indian District | Tang Dynasty City | Singapore Zoo | Mandai Orchid Garden | Sentosa Island
Hong Kong -- Hong Kong Island | Hong Kong at Night and the New Territories | Kat Hing Wai and Lok Ma Chau | Kowloon | Causeway Bay
Macau -- Monte Hill and St. Paul's | A-Ma Temple and Lou Lem Ioc Garden
People's Republic of China -- The Border and Farming Village | Lunch and the Ox | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Home | Chinese Market
Bangkok -- The City and Weekend Market | The Grand Palace | Grand Palace (Emerald Buddha) | Grand Palace (Dusit Group) | Ayutthaya (Reclining Buddha) | Ayutthaya (Ruins) | Bang-Pa-In Palace | Chao Phraya River
Phuket -- The Hotel and Popeye | Phuket Island | The Beaches and Local Wat | Promthep Cape
Japan -- Tokyo | Niko & Toshogu Shrine | Osaka & Kyoto | Visiting Friends | Nara | Hiroshima & Miyajima | Going Home

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