I’ve just got back from a flying visit to Indonesia and Singapore – just six days. Yes, it’s a long way to go for such a short time but I’ve always loved that part of the world and love exploring new places, so it was very much worth it! We started with a few days on the Indonesian island of Bintan. It has large expanses of jungle (you know you’re in the jungle when there’s a sign in your room warning you to keep the windows closed to keep the monkeys out!) and as a wildlife lover I was in heaven – lizards running across the walls, bats hanging from our roof and a praying mantis sunning itself on the terrace, and that was all on day one. It was an incredibly beautiful place and the perfect spot to just breathe and regroup. I did Pilates on the terrace in the peace of the early morning, and really felt I was unwinding.
Sometimes it’s good to just sit and look, without thinking too much, and the views here were just stunning. I do love my food too, and the mix of Malaysian, Indonesia, Indian and Chinese was right up my street. And I caught up on some reading – I quite enjoyed reading snowy Scandi crime novels in the steamy tropical heat!
From here we took a ferry ride to Singapore for the final three days of our trip. What a contrast! It’s reputed to be one of the cleanest cities in the world and it certainly was pretty tidy, certainly in the central area.
It’s a fairly strict society – littering, vandalism and graffiti are punishable by heavy fines, prison and even caning, which is still used as punishment for many offences. And famously, chewing gum is banned (it’s illegal to bring it in with you, or sell it), so there’s none stuck to the pavements as in most other big cities. Among other laws it’s illegal not to flush a public loo – I like that one! The death penalty is still in place here for the most serious crimes too. What an incredible city though. If you love modern architecture as I do, Singapore is a feast for the eyes, but there’s also so much green space. Highlights for me included the incredible Gardens by the Bay – 101 hectares of what are truly the most spectacular gardens I’ve ever visited anywhere in the world. (And yes, that is a Joe Browns jumpsuit I’m wearing…nice and cool in the tropical heat.)
Being a foodie I also loved the street food markets, and the night time river boat tour was wonderful. All in all, a wonderful six days – I just need another holiday now to recover…
It’s always good to be home though, and I have a few more nice events coming up in the next few weeks, including a friend’s 50th birthday do and also a BIG birthday for my mum, which will mean a family get together in Ireland. I hope you have some nice things to look forward to in the coming weeks and months – do get in touch by leaving a comment under this blog!
See you soon,
Love Jackie x