Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Working on a tourist tour

After a sporty Saturday (basket-ball and windsurfing), Sunday is more touristy! A and C are visiting before going on holiday to Malaysia. So I try to improve my tour of Singapore! (after years of taking the same tour in London, it is a bit of work to get the new one organised)

We start at Park view, this amazing art deco building, but once again, the guards stop me from taking any pictures. (I promise to get you some puctures one day) Then we head to Arab street and we cover up for a tour of the mosque (nothing really exciting inside). A refreshing lime juice later, a taxi ride and we are in Katong, famous for its fruits Market and its peranakan heritage. The Peranakan culture is quite typical of Singapore, it is born of a merge between the Malay and the Chinese communities. They have specific food, houses decoration and very colourful clothing.
In Koon Seng road we can admire several houses which are absolutely beautiful, lots of colours, mosaics, painting etc Photos taken with the iPhone probably don't give rights to this street!
Once we have enough of pretty houses we go back to Chinatown to have a look at the Indian temple which has recently re-opened with huge celebrations. We have to pay 3$ to take pictures, but it's worth it!
Everything is so colourful.
That's now a classic but we also pay a visit to the Buddhist temple a bit down the road. Leaving the temple, we hear music from the back so we go to have a look, and there, we discover dozens of Chinese people dancing on what they seem to think is country music. Some of them are wearing the proper outfit, boots, hat and a sort of an Indian looking shirt. One is particularly entertaining, anyway I couldn't help it, I had to film... Enjoy!

On the evening we discover a new area of Singapore: bukit timah and a new peranakan restaurant. It's very local, we get a lot of food for nearly no money but the service is awful. We even try the dessert (we have expert advice from a French/Singaporian girl) I have black glutonious rice with coconut milk. It is not as bad as I thought but I'm not desperate for another one... Other desserts are made of jelly and sugar cane. As some people weren't tempted by these local delicacies, we head towards the ice cream shop. It is amazing! First their scoops are huge! Second their flavours are very concentrated, the dark chocolate is beautiful and the pistachio really taste of pistachio!!!! This is good for some flavour but not that much for others... R has the brilliant idea of tasting durian. Durian is a typical fruit of Singapore, there are signs everywhere telling you not to eat it in public places because it stinks!

It is sold wrapped in plastic to keep the smell in and it is a challenge for any tourists to eat it. I have always thought that the smell must be the most horrible thing and that it probably doesn't taste anything. Allow me to say that was a mistake; the taste is worse than the smell and that's something! We couldn't agree on a description but kerosene and garbage were the most used descriptives. Ok custard and almond were also mentionned, but personnaly, I didn't get passed the kerosene...
Describing this experience to our friend J the day after, he insisted on trying a dessert with durian. He kept on saying it wasn't that bad but as they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words...

1 comment:

  1. Ton tour a l'air bien rodé, j'ai hate que tu nous le fasse un jour!! Tiens, j'ai reconnu A et C sur une des photos ;-)
    trop mignonnes les petites maisons de toutes les couleurs!!
    Gouter du durian reste un de mes pires souvenirs gustatifs ever!!