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Hi Ellie,

So glad you had a relaxing day before the upcoming long flight. I loved our virtual visit tour of Gardens by the Bay plus a return to the Zoo ( we did the night tour there several years ago). Next time we are in SIngapore, the Garden are a must!

I am so glad we got to the airport early... can hardly wait for the Jewel tour before we board for Sydney!



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7 hours ago, mtn_couple said:

One place that's rarely listed on the tourist "must do" lists, but is quirky, unique (and free!) is Haw Par Villa, it's really close to Haw Par Villa MRT station so really easy to get to.  It's a sculpture park that was originally the home to the man who invented Tiger Balm and it's one of the most bizzare places i have ever been - https://www.hawparvilla.sg/.  Here are some pics from our last visit.  

Thank you so much for posting that suggestion, mtn_couple. It looks really interesting, and as you say, a bit quirky. That is certainly one to do. 


The food tour looks interesting, too - and both tours are free so that’s a real bonus!


We loved Paramatta, and really enjoyed the train journey. But the Old Government House was the crowning glory. 


We often think about the Blue Mountains and wonder how they are faring after the devastating fires. They were so beautiful. We cannot imagine the consequences for both the flora and fauna of the area, not to mention the poor people who lost their homes.

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6 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

Loved Gardens by the Bay.  My favorite was the Cloud Dome but the Flower Dome was also impressive.  We would like to visit Jarong on our next visit so it's nice to see that you enjoyed it.


I agree, the Cloud Dome was really impressive, with its elevated walkways, lush planting, and that huge waterfall cascading down.


Yes, we really loved the Jurong Bird Park, and a lot has been happening to it since we were there. Our own Queen Elizabeth II visited it a year after it was opened, 48 years ago.


In fact it is going to be relocated from Jurong to Mandai, as part of a new and huge eco-tourism hub. It will be situated next to the Zoo, and form part of a new 5 in 1 Park, which will include a new Rainforest Park. i think this will be well worth a visit. 


The bird park will also have a new name, although they have not yet decided what that will be. It will have 9 walk-in aviaries, where the birds will be able to fly freely.


It was built as the suggestion of the Deputy Prime Minister of the time, Dr.Goh Keng Swee. It’s rather amusing that when asked why build a bird park and not a zoo he simply said ‘birdseed costs less than meat!’


At first they trained the birds to do tricks, such as riding bicycles, but later they realised that they shouldn’t be imitating humans so they now have shows which highlight their natural abilities. The vulture show was one such attraction. 


I cannot imagine how they will move the birds, but, apparently, it will take about 3 months to move them to their new home. 


I have to admit that we liked the Bird Park more than the Zoo. We were not impressed by the living quarters of the larger animals, such as the lions, which looked very mangy and were pacing up and down, up and down, in a very small area. We felt saddened to see these beautiful creatures so restricted. The giraffes and zebras were also in small concrete enclosures. 


However, the primates had wonderful facilities which enabled them to play and swing through trees as they would have done in their natural surroundings. 


The Jurong Bird Park was located quite a long train journey from our hotel. It was a bit of a marathon to get there as you then needed a bus or taxi to get to the park. Coming back, no taxi driver wanted to take us the short distance to the station, and we had to wait a long time before one was willing.


We actually took a taxi from our hotel to the zoo as that is located in the far Northwest of Singapore and it’s difficult to get there by public transport. But, of course, the Singaporean government has thought of that and is constructing the Thomson-East Coast line, which will be supported by shuttle buses from the station to the zoo. Never ones to miss a trick!

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2 hours ago, cnd crsr said:

Hi Ellie,

So glad you had a relaxing day before the upcoming long flight. I loved our virtual visit tour of Gardens by the Bay plus a return to the Zoo ( we did the night tour there several years ago). Next time we are in SIngapore, the Garden are a must!

I am so glad we got to the airport early... can hardly wait for the Jewel tour before we board for Sydney!




Morning, Gail!


We certainly needed a bit of a chilling day.


Our previous experience of the Singapore Sydney flight was that it was far less pleasant than the Heathrow Singapore flight. It was absolutely packed, and staff seemed to spend a lot of time chatting in the galley behind a curtain - and no, a curtain doesn’t provide any sound proofing, so in the end I had to ask for ear plugs.


There were no snacks either, so if you felt a little peckish during the night there was nothing available. Not a deal breaker, I know, but just a small thing.


Glad you made it early to the airport. Jewel is worth waiting for, I promise. The ingenuity of the Singaporeans knows no bounds. 

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Good morning, cruising adventurers!


By the sound of it, some of you had an interesting final day in Singapore, and its great to see you are all checked in and raring to go and visit ‘Jewel.’


So let’s get going!


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Posted (edited)

The ‘Jewel’ in the Crown of Changi Airport


I lead the way towards Jewel, turning left.



My DH is not keen, as he thinks we don’t really have time, but I know that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we may never repeat, so I am determined to see it if I possibly can.


So I drag my husband, kicking and screaming.... and it’s not a pretty sight! 🤣


It’s clearly signposted and we walk along gleaming marble floors, past numerous shops and eateries, and pass some amazing pieces of art.





We stop to pick up AF-1, who is sitting in his baseball cap, sipping a cup of coffee in Starbucks.....come on, its time to go!🤣


En route we pass the entrance to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where we are staying for a night on the way home. Little do we realise what an amazing experience that will be, and a fitting end to our adventure.





Edited by ellie1145
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We walk along a long glass covered walkway into the dome which houses Jewel. It is linked to three of the passenger terminals, and is quite a walk from check in.












But don’t worry if anyone is struggling to keep up, I’ve arranged with Capt. Kirk to use his transporters to beam you straight there - beam me up Scotty!


Again, we see the hotel through the window, and finally arrive at this fantastic attraction which includes more than 300 retail and dining facilities.


However, it’s heaving, and poor DH hates to be late for anything, so he is worried as we don't want to miss our flight, so we must be quick. The lifts are very crowded and we stand for ages waiting to get into one to take us down to the Vortex, but my DH is getting more and more anxious, so I decide to leave him on a seat while I run down the stairs.


Jewel is built in a huge glass dome, and the astonishing centrepiece is the Vortex, surrounded by lush vegetation and terraces where you can sit and gaze at it in all its glory. The site covers over 8 acres and has 12 storeys. The glass and steel facade was designed by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel architects.


There it is!


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The Shiseido Forest Valley is one of Asia’s largest indoor gardens, and covers around 22,000 sq metres. It is a journey through the senses, with areas that reflect sight, touch, sound and scent. It’s extraordinary to think that there are around 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs from all around the world.






As I walk down the ramp, the trees change colour, shining brightly and then fading. It’s as if it is actually breathing, and there is a sound which also resonates. The light of individual trees spreads to neighbouring trees, as well as the sound which also spreads continuously. It’s absolutely beautiful and the colours change from blue to purple, spreading up the trunks and across the leaves.






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OMG thank you so muchf or this  photo review, this place looks amazing! it reminds of Manila and their plant park (or whatever you call it). Its almost like being together  with the nature in one place and it even feels like you are in the forest - it got all these vibes out there

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But it’s piece de resistance has to be the astonishing Rain Vortex waterfall which dominates the centre of the garden, and stands 130 ft high. It cascades down from a round hole in the glass ceiling, and an incredible 38,000 litres of recirculating rain water is pumped through the hole every minute. Below it is a huge basement level pool. I just stand and gaze in amazement. What an incredible feature this is.




The glass roof, which is toroid shaped, is made up of over 9,000 pieces of glass. At night it becomes the 360 degree backdrop for a light and sound show, which sadly we cannot stay for. It’s a truly astonishing piece of engineering and design, and it is incredible to think that it is inside an airport.




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Sadly, we don’t have time to visit the canopy park, which is about SG$5 to enter, or the canopy mazes, but I walk down to the bottom of the waterfall and stand and gaze in awe at its beauty.

I know my DH will be fretting so I drag myself away, having taken lots of photos, and make my way back to him. Now we have the long trek back to our gate. We pass dozens of restaurants, and shops. You can eat al fresco on terraces overlooking the gardens in cool air conditioned comfort, eating inside, outside as it were.





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55 minutes ago, rmf11699 said:

How the heck do they get water to fall inward? Very cool!

It’s an amazing feat of engineering, isn’t it? And it’s all recycled rainwater.

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54 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

OMG thank you so muchf or this  photo review, this place looks amazing! it reminds of Manila and their plant park (or whatever you call it). Its almost like being together  with the nature in one place and it even feels like you are in the forest - it got all these vibes out there


So glad you are enjoying the photos. It is truly stunning, the more so when you realise that it is in an airport. 

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It seems even longer going back and we pass restaurant after restaurant.


Jewel has been designed to attract locals, as well as passengers in transit, to shop and eat. The whole complex is landside, meaning that locals can access it. In the first week that it opened more than 500,000 Singaporeans visited Jewel. They expect that 60% of visitors will be residents of the city. It’s an interesting concept. 


There are even things for children to do, such as the play areas, the big nets strung from the ceiling, just right for children to bounce in, and the animal sculptures or the hedge maze. 















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42 minutes ago, azbirdmom said:

Wow, can't wait to experience Jewel!  And it should be easy from the Crowne Plaza.


It certainly is! Just walk straight out of the hotel and you are nearly there. 

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30 minutes ago, CrazyIrving said:

WoW!  I’m glad you had the chance to grab those little video so we all can enjoy what you saw.  


Glad you are enjoying the videos. 

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So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersein, Goodnight,

I Hate to Go and Miss this Pretty Sight.....


It’s time to say goodbye to Singapore. Our ‘plane is waiting for us.


Thank you for joining us on the first part of thIs adventure, and for staying the course. 


It’s been great to have you along.

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Posted (edited)

Waltzing Matilda.....




We finally reach A4, and see our flight, SQ221 up on the board. It’s already 19.38 and our flight leaves at 20.20. Phew, we made it.




It’s here that you have to go through security, at the gate, not after check in, which is very different from Heathrow and most airports we’ve been to, where it’s the first thing you do after check in. This enables the airport to be accessible to non-passengers, who can access all the facilities that Changi Airport has to offer, without actually flying anywhere. I don’t think that will ever happen in the UK as it would be a security nightmare, but it means Changi is a huge retail, entertainment  and eating venue for residents.


Security is a doddle. I don’t set off the alarms, I don't have to be x-rayed and my bulging hand luggage slips quietly down the conveyor belt and into my waiting hands. Wicked!






We board on time but, unfortunately, they have mislaid a passenger - very remiss of them! Anyway she doesn’t turn up so I guess they had to unload her luggage. Whatever the reason, we sit at the gate for ages then push back a little and sit again. Nearly an hour late we take off.


We have the same seats as last time and the plane is full but it’s a slightly different layout. We are by a galley, but last time it was only used for storage. This time the staff all seemed to congregate in there and spend their time opening and shutting metal drawers and scrunching crinkly plastic. They don’t seem to realise that for us, it’s night time. Aargh! What on earth can they be doing? No sleep for the wicked!


We sink exhaustedly into our seats.



The map shows a pretty direct route, straight across Australia to Sydney, flying close to Alice Springs in the centre of the country. One of my favourite movies from my childhood was ‘A Town Called Alice’ and here I am about to fly over it.



We push back and I say a sad goodbye to Singapore. It’s dark now and the airport is lit up as we soar into the sky.


Apologies for the poor quality of these photos, and the reflections. I was using my iphone as my camera was in my hand luggage.




Goodbye Singapore!





Below us, in the busy Bay of Singapore, there appears a myriad of ships, all with their lights on. They twinkle in the night sky like a hundred glittering stars.


Edited by ellie1145
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Jewel truly lives up to its name! It is definitely a place I want to visit in the future.


Now that we are aboard the Sydney flight, I will try to ignore the crinkling sounds and banging of doors. We definitely want to be well rested when we arrive in Sydney. It has been 15 years since we visited Australia.



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Waltzing Matilda....



After a hot face cloth we are brought drinks, but they are really slow getting the meal ready and we don't eat until nearly 11.00pm, Singapore time! It’s just too late to enjoy a meal.







It’s quite edible -  chicken, carrots, peas and boiled potatoes for me and fish and rice for my DH.




There is a roll, a small salad, and afterwards a double chocolate ice cream.



I’m feeling pretty tired so try to catch a bit of shut eye. My DH never sleeps on planes, unfortunately.


I wake and watch some movies, which are excellent as the screens are so good.





The plane is actually pretty comfortable. It has a superb entertainment system with hundreds of films and a huge screen. Sound is really good too. Usually you can’t hear a thing.


I’ve watched a couple of films, including ‘Hustle,‘ with that very funny actress who was in ‘Bridesmaids.‘




I also watch ‘Kursk,’ the very sad true story of the Soviet nuclear powered submarine which was lost at sea, following an explosion. It shows the intransigence of the Russian government to accept help from experts from all over the world, who immediately offered their skills. A British Royal Navy ship is deployed but by the time they are allowed to use their more up-to-date equipment it is too late. Sadly, the submarine became a grave. One of my favourite actors, Colin Firth, of ‘Mama Mia’ fame, plays the frustrated Commodore. It’s a great film.



Our little grandson’s favourite movie. We miss him so much.


As I look out of the window I see dawn breaking over the horizon. It’s a beautiful sight. 



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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

Jewel truly lives up to its name! It is definitely a place I want to visit in the future.


Now that we are aboard the Sydney flight, I will try to ignore the crinkling sounds and banging of doors. We definitely want to be well rested when we arrive in Sydney. It has been 15 years since we visited Australia.




I’ll ring the call bell and get them to bring you some ear plugs, too! 


(My goodness, you are an early bird, Gail! 🤣)

Edited by ellie1145
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