our year-and-a-half-moon part 3

Our final two days in Singapore contained our final "can't miss" attractions and revisiting a couple favorites. Monday was rainy, but we still had a great day. In the morning we visited the Singapore Botanical Gardens and the National Orchid Garden, which were unbelievable. The light rain prevented it from getting too hot so we could enjoy walking around outside all morning. It made for some great photos, too! (We also discovered The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. in the gift shop — a fantastic souvenir.)

ian @ the SBG
corn plant silhouettes
(corn plants made us think of Jenni and her plants!)
NOG - orchids
NOG - celebrity orchids
national orchid garden

After lunch we headed back to Little India to do some shopping. Our friend Amit, from Philadelphia, recommended Indian clothing as its supposed to be really comfortable, not to mention beautiful. I found a nice kurta and we had lots of fun exploring.

shopping in little india

We dropped off our purchases at the hotel, then headed back down to the central business district to accomplish our before-we-leave list. We had to wait out a downpour in a shopping mall, where we finally experienced the kaya toast Singapore is famous for. After the rain stopped, we resumed our list. First up was the Raffles Hotel, which is apparently the fanciest hotel in Singapore.

the raffles hotel

Next, we tried to recreate a few photos Mom and Dad showed us from their own slightly delayed honeymoon trip to Singapore a little over 25 years ago. The skyline had changed considerably...

anna @ the padang

We also explored the top of the durian buildings. They built a nice space on the roof area, and it has a great view.

anna & ian
the durians
the merlion

For dinner, we revisited Glutton's Bay where I enjoyed kaya jala and bananas tempura and Ian tried black carrot cake — no, it's nothing like our dessert carrot cake. Below is the kaya jala.

making kaya jala
our dinner @ gluttons bay
gluttons bay

After dinner we headed to the Singapore Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel. We'd been saving the experience for our final evening.

the singapore flyer

The wheel takes 30 minutes to make a full revolution, and you can see Indonesia and Malaysia from the top. It was hard to tell because we went at night, but the lights of the city were absolutely beautiful.

The final item on our list was durian. Dad discovered durian during my parent's missions stint in Indonesia. Because of this, and hearing about the fruit's appearance on various travel shows, Ian didn't want to miss tasting this infamous delicacy, described as "French custard passed through a sewer." One of my favorite descriptions is from David Quammen's The Boilerplate Rhino.
It's creamy and slightly fibrous, like a raw oyster that's been force-fed vanilla ice cream. There's also a hint of almond. It tastes strange, rich, wonderful. It smells like a jock strap. It doesn't remotely resemble any substance that you've ever touched, let alone eaten.

ian & the king of fruits
the durian stand

For the record, I took a bite after the video. It was unpleasant. The flavor and scent lingers for a day or two, even when you brush your teeth. However, since trying it, the scent isn't overwhelmingly nauseating.

This morning, we took our time packing up the last of our things before checking out and taking the MRT back to the airport. A four hour flight and later, and we were meeting Mom and Tito Nilo at the airport. After a false alarm that the vehicle had been stolen, and a long drive in Manila traffic, we're back at the condo, ready to enjoy our final week in Manila.