We have a few minutes left in the hotel before we are picked up for our trip to Malaysia. We’re starting a planned tour from Malaysia.com, and we’re not too sure about the whole thing. We’ve become very practiced at travelling independently in Europe, figuring out trains and hotels as we go. This time, however, the combination of our first trip to Asia and travelling with a child for the first time led us to play it a little safe. So, we let a tour company plan our hotels and some local tours in the cities (Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, and Penang), and we’re relying on them to pick us up and drop us off at each hotel. We think it’ll be good, because we’ve made sure to have a free day in most of the stops, but it’s more expensive than we’re used to. We’ll see.
Our last full day in Singapore was pretty good. We walked around the Central Business District and the historical Colonial District for a while, highlighted by a stop at the oppulent Raffles Hotel. Then, after a tasty and very messy lunch of chilli crab at the Boat Quay, we went to Sentosa. Sentosa is an interesting place, a resort island that is very popular with Singaporeans. There were parts that were very cheesy, but there were also nice beaches, pretty gardens, silly fountains, and good views of the city.
The strangest thing about Sentosa for me was the incongruity of having a beach resort directly on the Straits of Malacca. So, if you looked up from the sand, you could see huge freighters and tankers passing by, and you could also see refineries not that far away in the water. But I guess the mix of tropical paradise and commerce is a good encapsulation of Singapore.