Saturday, July 05, 2008


Friday night Ilham came up from Jakarta to visit me in Singapore for the weekend. We had dinner in one of the restaurants just below the hotel, then hit the Ministry of Sound to see the night life. Quite a place.

Saturday morning, not too early, we headed off for Sentosa, the island just south of Singapore island that serves as its park, playground and pasttime.

Getting to Sentosa was fun - we took the cable car from Mount Faber, Singapore's highest hill. This is most ingeniously made. It works like the cable cars in the Alps - double band of six man carriages with a waypoint for changing from one band to the other. The waypoint is the top floor of a skyscraper that stands by the water's edge on Singapore Island.

As the car went up to the station on Sentosa itself, I could see the entire north shore being remodeled. Great trucks, greater earthworks. As I learned before, these are part of the massive investment Singapore is making to become a regional hub for entertainment and the conference industry.

We hit every one of the rides - the Pirates, the Logs, the Aquarium, you name it. Same as in most other luna parks, but I hadn't done this for ages, so it was fun all over again.

Later in the day we went down to the beach on the south side of Sentosa, taking the 'ski ride' down to the shore. It was sunny enough to sit on the beach and go for a swim, but this was cut short by a dark monsoon cloud invading the day's happiness.

It didn't last long (tine enough for a Cuba Libre) then we shot off to see the dolphins do their thing in the pool. I haven't seen these dolphins before - they are long nosed like the river dolphins of the Amazon, but their bellies are pink. Where are they from?

After the show was over, we walked back along the beach to the bridge that links Sentosa to one of the artificial islands built along the coast. The sign says that this is the southernmost point to which you can walk in Asia. Counting bridges from Malaysia to Singapore, from Singapore to Sentosa, and from Sentosa to this point, well its possible. But looking at the map, more of Sentosa lies south of here...

The sunset was beautiful, especially from the ski ride back up to the top of the tower. We got back to the hotel and basically crashed.

What a fun day!

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