Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Visit from Home!

Over my recess week, my parents came and visited me in Singapore! It was great seeing familiar faces and getting to share my study abroad experience with them. Here is a recap of our week as told by my mom:

Tom and I arrived in Singapore in the wee hours of Saturday morning (12:30ish) in a pretty good state considering it felt like the middle of the day for us.   Kelly was there waiting just outside the last check point of our journey of 26 hours.   Went back to Kelly's dorm and crashed till the sun came up at 7:00am (as it does year-round).   Kelly led us on a tour of the campus complete with a stop to get fresh juice smoothies.    NUS is a huge and beautiful campus full of steps, open air buildings, plants, art, and people because even though it was the school's break week many students stay and study (really!).   That night we walked along the river downtown and went to the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant for Singapore's signature dish: Chili Crab.   It is a whole crab doused in chili, a very messy experience especially when combined with the absence of napkins in most Singapore restaurants.  
Chili Crab

Sunday we went to the Botanic Gardens which are Singapore's version of Central Park.   It was a great day to stroll through and then take a nap on the grass.  By the way, it is close to 100 with the humidity every day.  Monday we went to Sentosa Island to relax.   It is the city's beach just south of the mainland and easy to get to whenever the sandy shores are calling you.   Sentosa Island also boasts the Southern Most Point of Continental Asia.

Walking Bridge to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia                                                             

Tuesday we jetted off the Langkawi Island, Malaysia for 3 days to pamper ourselves at a 5 star resort, a first time for all of us.   After checking in and having lunch we went on a cable car ride up the mountain behind the resort.    It was one of my favorite things even though I was so scared.   At the top there were lookout decks where you could see the whole island.    The next day was an even greater challenge to my threshold of risk taking.    We went on a 5 hour kayak tour of the mangroves where there was the possibility of seeing viper snakes, lizards, and monkeys.    It was awesome and I am so glad we took the plunge!   Our tour guide, Mandy, was very knowledgeable and passionate about the rich ecosystem of the area - just a great person! 

Langkawi, Malaysia

Tom in his own kayak

Kayaking through the Mangroves
  Thursday was back-to-basics vacationing with a buffet brunch then beaching and hanging poolside all day.

Pool at our resort

Friday we flew back to Singapore and in the evening went to the famous Marina Bay, which is what a lot of the postcards of Singapore feature.   We ate at a Hawker Center, which is a giant feeding frenzy and not my favorite thing, but Kelly said it is very big there and we must partake.     Marina Bay at night is just amazing with the light show, an outdoor concert, crazy architecture, all the spectacular views, the water and all the people, so many people.  

In front of the Marina Bay Sands hotel
  The last day, Saturday, we walked to Chinatown to do some shopping.   This was one of my favorite places of the city with its quaint streets and relaxed feel.    That evening we got to hang out with Kelly and her two Korean roommates and they make me feel the best about Kelly being so far away.   They are so sweet and smart and fun!

Hanging out with Kelly's roommates

Thanks for being a great tour guide and enjoy 2 more months of summer in Singapore. See you this winter in NY!

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