On my first full day back in Singapore, refreshed after a day doing not very much, I rather overdid it. I spent about half the day in the Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden, then half visiting Liam Shuang Lin Temple, then the other half (…?) going with Shiv and Jamie to a fabulous jazz concert in the Victoria Concert Hall, right in the middle of the city, in the area with all the beautiful colonial architecture, alongside the towering snazzy high rise office blocks, which, along with the river all makes for a stunningly beautiful place.
After that little lot, my phone reasonably reliably informed me that I’d walked 10 miles!! 😳 (Well the phone tends to add on maybe a mile at most.) No wonder I was exhausted!
Anyway it was a beautiful day and here is a snapshot of it:
When I first arrived at the Botanic Gardens, I saw about 6 groups doing yoga in the grounds! I felt very smug, since Shiv had taken me to a yoga class the night before, run by a friend of hers, which I’m sure was the only reason I didn’t stiffen up in response to all the walking. Hmmm, thinking maybe I should find a yoga class when I get back home…?
The world’s oldest Tiger Orchid (probably):
This is called a prayer tree because the leaves close vertically together like praying hands in the evening and then open out in response to sunlight each day👇🏼
Lunch (my first successful solo foray into a foodhall). I went veggie, but then failed to notice the dry spices they offered to sprinkle on top contained dried anchovies. Oh well! It tasted good, anyway.
Liam Shuang Lin Temple is hidden on the edge of this huge social housing area.👆🏼People burning offerings to the gods or maybe to their ancestors? There seemed to be a bit of a mixture of traditions going on here in general…
This guy👇🏼looks more like a Hindu god than anything Buddhist. He has one up on all those buddhas/disciples I saw in Penang, because he has four faces. You can offer different things to each face and receive a different blessing:
This very devout man was offering incense sticks at the big altar on the threshold. I found it strange to be in a prayerful place but to be anything but prayerful myself. Perhaps because, unlike the temples in Penang, you didn’t have to take off your shoes to enter here? And also, I think I’m becoming a bit templed out to be honest! And I guess although I want to engage with these traditions and learn from them, they remain very strange to me. In Christian terms, there would be a lot of scope for questioning of so many of these practices. But I really loved that this temple was right next to the social housing complex. And the fabulous children’s play area right outside.
A friend has challenged me to try durian fruit. Which apparently smells rank but local people often love the taste. It smells so bad it’s banned in certain places! I must admit, I’m not sure… does this count?? Even after this, I felt the need to drink water to cleanse the palate!
Victoria Concert Hall and Singapore by night: