29/4/16. Overnight we sailed back down the Malacca Straits to our final destination of Singapore. Some people disembarked that day but most people (including us) stayed on to enjoy the food and facilities for one last night aboard.
Because we will be spending several days in Singapore, we were in no rush to get off, which was perhaps as well as the immigration staff were overwhelmed by the number of passengers. Their procedures were more rigorous than elsewhere (Brisbane, Darwin and Port Klang) but eventually we were allowed entry.
Our first task was to find an ATM (changing money onboard is expensive because there is a conversion into USD first and then another one into the currency required). There was a metro station and adjacent ferry port less than a kilometre from where we docked but, much to our surprise, neither had a “money machine”. So we set off towards a strange looking hotel (three tall towers with, bizarrely, a boat in top! Google “Marine Bay Hotel” to see what we mean.) which has an adjacent shopping mall.
By crikey, was it hot and steamy walking there! It was 35° and very humid. We were very glad to reach the air-conditioned mall and soon found the desired ATM. The shops in the mall were amazing – all the top European brands such as Prada, Dior, Chanel, Louboutin and even one selling only Rolexes. Christine started looking in a jeweller’s window and spotted a large diamond ring. It sparkled like nothing she had ever seen before. But her jaw dropped when Stephen pointed out the price tag to her. Just the odd £300,000! We decided not to buy it as it might be a little risky to take on the bikes!
The mall also had an ice skating rink (not operating when we were there and a small “canal” with gondolas and the Rialto Bridge from Venice! Amazing!
After lunch we caught the metro into the centre and wandered around for a couple of hours, taking in the cathedral, the cricket ground, a walk along the river, and Raffles Hotel, before heading back to the boat for last minute packing and reconstructing the bikes.
Onboard we bumped into two couples who we had enjoyed speaking with and so had a chance to say our goodbyes. We also enjoyed a “last supper” with Shirley and Graham from South Australia with whom we had shared a table every night and who are excellent company. It was also an opportunity to thank the waiting staff, Brent and Putu, who had been great fun.