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Singapore -2007


We Flew Singapore Airlines economy (first time for 5 years) on a 3 day "stopover" deal in Singapore, en-route to Bali. Firstly, I must say that SIA appear to be getting their act together again. The flights, food and service couldn't be faulted. All flights arrived, on all sectors, slightly ahead of schedule.

The only let down was an "officious" little man at Heathrow, who held us back for check-in even though we had already checked in on line. We were held back in the normal queue despite the fact that there was no-one in the internet check-in queue, so any gains made expecting a fast bag drop were not realised. Not surprisingly the internet check-in queue remained relatively quiet as no one could get to it!

SIA stopovers provide low cost hotel accommodation. Unfortunately we were not able to get rooms in the first 4 (yes four) hotels of our choice and we therefore opted for a hotel near Raffles and the Carlton - the Allson.

Singapore Merlion

Merlion - Singapore

Architecture - Singapore

The Allson was typical of many stopover hotels probably 3 star. The rooms were on the small side, but well furnished, comfortable with good, quiet, air-conditioning, in-room safe, tea / coffee / kettle etc. No free water was provided in the room however (the first time we have encountered this). There was a 7-11 almost next door, so this presented no problem. Indeed, we could have bought water from the mini-bar in the room, but as a matter of principle we did not intend to pay mini-bar prices. As we were never there, apart from sleeping, we found it perfectly adequate for 3 nights.

Singapore had changed in the 5 years since we last visited. More modern buildings were apparent and there was much redevelopment. Progress cannot be halted. We had three nights in Singapore and ate in Bugis Village (Hawker Centre) Arab Street (Halal Indian) and Chinatown. As usual the food was excellent, but our favoured "banana leaf" restaurant, in little India, was no longer there.

Chinatown Illuminations
Singapore Hawker Centre

Illuminations - Singapore

Hawker Centre - Singapore

Taking advantage of the SIA stopover deals package, we took a cheap (30% off) "City Experience" tour which took in the main sights and areas and included the Botanic Gardens. We already had vouchers from SIA for free entrance to the Orchid Gardens so this worked out very well.

In addition to the 30% discount on the City Experience tour, SIA provided a free lunch voucher. We therefore terminated the tour at Clarke Quay, rather than our hotel, had lunch in Hooters and then took a bumboat ride down the river (also FOC as part of the stopover package). The tour did not introduce anything new to us, in fact the time constraints were rather frustrating. If you have never been to Singapore before and are on a tight schedule, however, this could be an ideal way to locate the main areas of interest enabling a follow up visit to be made.

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