Singapore Day 3

Our day began at the beautiful and luscious Gardens by the Bay, a nature park covering over 250 acres. Comprised of two glass domes, the conservatories replicate a Mediterranean climate and a cool moist climate of the Tropical Montane region.

from the flower dome

Two of my favorite things, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and the Traveling Family art piece

We were lucky enough to be there for the Christmas exhibit

Including this adorable tree snowman

Last stop before heading to the airport for a 1:20am flight was practically mandatory when in Singapore… the Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar where it was invented in the 1920s.

Very last stop before we go was at The Jewel, across the street from the airport. It has the Rain Vortex, the worlds largest and tallest indoor waterfall at 130 feet high.

Singapore airport has been voted the nicest in the world 7 years in a row. I can see why. It’s incredibly organize an efficient. And has art exhibits like this one that are intoxicating and relaxing.

And just like that, my first trip to the Far East is in the books. Thank you for coming along on my journey. I very much hope you enjoyed the ride ❤️

Singapore Day 2

Our first full day of touring Singapore required sustenance. Luckily, this incredible full spread buffet was included (good thing too as lunch was literally a sandwich each and a bottled water and it was $108! Singapore is expensive) Ice cream at a breakfast buffet? Don’t mind if I do!

Fueled, rested and ready to go, we first took the elevator up 57 floors to the top of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Opened only in 2010, it’s hard to imagine the Singapore skyline without it as it seems no matter where you are, this three towers with the boat on top is your background.

The ground floor is shops and restaurants and these giant potted trees are actually an art exhibit called, “Rising Forest”

The elevator goes one floor a second so in less than a minute, you are at the top. I was disappointed nothing happens in the elevator. I was surprised there wasn’t video like you find in the elevators for 30 Rock or the new World Trade Center in NYC that tell the time lapse story of each building.

Views from the top are lovely and on clear days you can see Indonesia

The world’s only floating stadium and the seats are individually cooled

The Helix Bridge or DNA bridge because, wait for it… it looks like strands of DNA

The Singapore Flyer wasn’t working while we were there. Our tour guide said it had been down for about two weeks. Fun fact: the wheel originally turned counter clockwise but Feng Shui masters convinced the owners that the wheel was bringing fortune out of the land, instead of towards it, because it faces the financial district and then turns around towards the east and open sea.

The company reversed the wheel and made it rise up on the eastern side and then turn towards the financial district – supposedly a sign of bringing fortune inwards and flowing to the city.

The SkyPark of Marina Bay Sands (the boat part) has an infinity pool that is over 600 above ground. The SkyPark is accessible only to hotel guests for security reasons.

Tomorrow we will be visiting Gardens By The Bay. Here is an aerial view

Overlooking all of Singapore

Our tour guide, Jeremy. He was with us all three days and was one of the best tour guide I’ve ever had. Very personable and fun and really knew his city.

Up next was a trishaw ride through Little India

Followed by a scenic cruise on the Singapore River where we went from a bird’s eye view to a water view and our guide had some fun taking pictures with me.

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One of my favorite things to see was the Merlion. A Merlion is half lion and half fish and is the official mascot of Singapore. The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village and the lion head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, meaning “lion city”.

A cub was later added that you cannot see from the water but you can see on land in Merlion Park

We were on our own for the aforementioned expensive lunch and we checked out the mall adjacent to our hotel. Singapore seems to be endless malls and shopping is a sport here and could definitely be called the national pastime. I’m not a big shopper myself but I do always enjoy seeing how locals spend their time. I don’t know how anyone affords to live in Singapore and I’m used to NYC prices! This mall had a whole section of high end stores including Ferrari Junior, Gucci and Dior that were just children’s clothes. The adult versions were at the other end.

I loved this adorable Tiffany’s little mouse Christmas display

And I could have lived in this tea shop

Starbucks is everywhere but my local Starbucks doesn’t carry prawn mayo chia seeds sandwiches

You can see from the crowds in the food court, the malls are a popular spots

We went back to the hotel to clean up for our dinner at the members only China Club. Located at the top of the Capital Tower, the China Club serves traditional Chinese food in a tea house setting

The menu

Mandarin Oriental Singapore

We left the ship around 9am and checked in to the Mandarin Oriental Singapore for three days post cruise. The Mandarin is beautiful, as to be expected. It is supposed to be shaped like a fan and you can kind of see that from the shape of the hallway.

They were decorated for Christmas starting with this beautiful anchor tree underneath a gorgeous endlessly draping chandelier in the elevator lobby.

Even the public bathrooms are filled with orchids and little touches of beauty

Our room wasn’t ready yet so we decided to check out the rooftop pool. There are worse ways to kill time.

This is the kiddie pool area. Pretty darn nice for wee ones

Originally we set up shop in chairs just under an umbrella

But a cabana opened up and I did not pass go nor collect $200 in my mission to get to it. My pale, easily burned Irish skin prefers complete protection from the sun 😜 Not having to reapply sunblock constantly is a total Yahtzee!

The cabana also had a refreshing ceiling fan and a speaker you could connect your iPhone to to play your own music.

The wonderful cabana boy brought us drinks and food. I got the Hibiscus Margarita and Patra got the Mandarin Sling. We then shared a caprese sandwich and truffle fries

I waited my 20 minutes after eating (okay, no I didn’t) loaded up on sunblock and took a dip in the pool. And by dip I mean I was obsessed with just soaking on these leaves. Sooooo relaxing and serene

One last walk around the rooftop pool before heading down as our rooms should be ready. The pool has great views of the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. Turns out our hotel was in a fabulous location. We could walk almost anywhere we wanted to go.

The room was a basic room with two beds and a pretty nice bathroom

It did include these nice local drinks. They both tasted great but I really loved the apple

Turned on the TV and good God, they’re everywhere! Now with mandarin subtitles.

Connoisseur’s Wine Lunch

Our last day on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager was a sea day and we opted to do the Connoisseur’s Wine Lunch. Almost everything is included on Regent from most alcohol to excursions to business class airfare but this was an extra fee and well worth the $169 (especially since we used our cruise credits to pay for it!) We’ve done a number of these on past cruises and they are always a highlight. The pairings are excellent and the head sommelier is always informative.

The reds were breathing and the whites were chilling

The lunch was paired and organized by the Voyager’s Head Sommelier, Rajesh. He is a level three master sommelier which is very impressive

Upon entering Chartreuse, the Voyager’s specialty French restaurant, we were greeted with champagne with Kir Royale. So sweet and tasty.

They then brought out the really good champs, a 2009 Dom Perignon paired with a ceviche of scallops and lobster with mango salad and orange vanilla syrup

The whites came first and I’m not a huge white wine drinker but this Sauvignon Blanc (Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Edmond 2017) was fantastic and my top two of the day. It was especially divine paired with the warm goat cheese and raspberry tomato salad

Next up was a Chardonnay I did not like at all but the banana bread pairing was unexpected but delicious

Yay! The reds are coming…

My hands down favorite combo was next. The Tommasi Amarone Della Valpolocella with the roasted beef tenderloin. The tenderloin was a perfect match and was literally like butter. No knife needed. The carrots were like candy!

Last, but definitely not least (for me anyway) was the Inniskillin Ice Wine. I loves me some ice wine and may, or may not, have had mine and my neighbors. Paired with a delicious fig cake with red berry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

While everything was perfection, nothing came close to our Chateau Margaux in Chartreuse a few nights before. Margaux is my all time favorite. We had it with a delicious meal and some scrumptious desserts. The French know what they’re doing!

Kuching, Malaysia

We had a serene sail in to Malaysia

We watched these beautiful dancers and listened to these wonderful musicians from our balcony

We received this lovely and warm welcome from the locals once we got off the ship

As a crazy cat lady, I really looked forward to visiting Kuching, which means “cat” in Malaysia and our first stop was to the Kuching Cat Museum, the world’s largest cat museum with over 4,000 insanely quirky cat related artifacts.

You start at this adorable entrance

Then work your way through the four galleries with everything from cat statues, posters, other artwork and even a cat food display

Next we drove passed some cool architecture on our way to the Orchid Park dripping with gorgeous flowers everywhere!

Sailing Away from Saigon

Sailing away from Saigon and towards Nha Trang was surreal. Looked like something out of a movie with all the cargo ships in the distance first in the fog

And then day turned in to night with the sky still burning

Rough weather is expected overnight but that’s good sleeping weather. When the ship rocks like that it feels like you’re being rocked to sleep in a comforting way. For me at least.

Mekong Delta

We took a boat ride across the Mekong Delta.

And landed on Unicorn Island where we taste tasted the local honey.

We then moved on to tasting local fruit

Where we were serenaded by the locals singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”

We then did my favorite part of the whole trip so far! A sampan ride down the Nine Dragons waterway

We returned to the big boat to cross back over the Mekong Delta as the sun began to set

They gave us fresh coconut water

And once again, Vietnamese traffic

And my girl, Hello Kitty!

Vietnamese Dinner

Last stop in Ho Chi Mihn was an authentic Vietnamese dinner. It was a preset group meal. I’m not at adventurous eater, so I won’t lie, I packed a lot of snacks for this trip and they care in handy. The rest of my group loved the food though so it was a fine feast.

The elephant ear fish came out first and I was too nervous to even try it just from the looks of it.

Pork rolls, which were good, and shrimp were placed on the table

Some ladies came over to make spring rolls out of the weird fish and pineapple, noodles and lettuce with rice paper

These were something coconut

Some kind of meat dish. This was good!

And soup

Dessert was these sweet beans. They were surprisingly good.

And after a very long, very hot day, this Saigon beer really hit the spot!