Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Asian Tiger



Staring at the extraordinary waterfall in a huge botanical garden, I was walking in a tropical forest. It was filled with the chirping of birds and the aromatic scent of exotic plants. With the suitcase in my hand, I thought as I looked around in admiration; Was I dreaming? What was in my suitcase while walking in this exotic and mysterious forest accompanied by colorful birds? The answer; What surprised and magically engulfed me was the extraordinary ambiance of the design wonder Changi Airport, which made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. If there was a ranking of the best airports in the world, I would definitely give first place to Changi. What is your opinion? What would be your favorite airport options? I would like to know your thoughts.

Even seeing the airport gave me tips on how my trip would go. I was starting to feel like Naomi Watts in the movie King Kong. There it was, it was happening again! On some trips, I was really impersonating another person. All my tiredness disappeared in an instant, this exotic atmosphere drew me into a fairy-tale world. The shabby white linen suit I was wearing was definitely the right choice. 🙂 It was late afternoon when I went out, and the humid and hot air had merged with the taxi queue. While I was straightening my cream linen hat on my head, a taxi stopped in front of me and I was tired but happy as I drove to my hotel. I was on a mysterious

The flawless architecture and nature of the city, which I witnessed along the way, fueled my adventurous spirit. Heavy traffic was common in all major metropolises. Clarke Quay, where the hotel is located, consisted of streets where colorful, mysterious, and moving images met with cheerful musical sounds. The streets, where restaurants, cafes, and bars, which host local and foreign cuisines along the riverbank, are decorated with the sounds of live music, almost winked at me. I recommend you to see those streets. When the hot summer air combined with the smell of tropical plants, I lost myself to the mystical air of the Far East and was almost enchanted.

For a pleasant dinner, “Haidilao Hot Pot” is for those who want a good restaurant recommendation. The taste of the unique seafood chili crab (spicy crab) and fish head curry (fish head with curry sauce) on the menu of this restaurant, located by the river in Clarke Quay, is still in my mind even today. In addition to products such as fish, shrimp, crab, pork and chicken meat, soy sauce, fresh spices, coconut milk, and noodles, which are especially preferred in Singapore cuisine, Kaya toast, and Har cheong gai are great options for tourists who like to try street delicacies! Must try!

Another suggestion to be made in the city; there could be a river cruise riding bumboat. In this modern era, I was quite impressed when I learned that the bumboats on this historic waterway have preserved the river’s heritage for over two decades. You should definitely pamper yourself with the famous Singapore Sling cocktail against the view at a roof bar.

The Merlion Statue, which has become the official mascot of Singapore, is a must-see! Depicted as a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, the statue is located in front of the Fullerton Hotel in Merlion Park overlooking Marina Bay. Even though the hum of the water gushing from the mouth of the statue is mixed with the noise of crowded tourist groups, it should still be seen! “If you are a nature lover like me, I highly recommend Gardens by the Bay. This place, which I can describe as the “Kingdom of Plants”, offers its visitors an example of horticulture and garden art that entertains while educating, with rare plants. I was looking forward to seeing the Flower Dome, the world’s largest glass greenhouse. Because I’ve heard a lot about it. When I walked around, I felt like a dwarf in the land of giants in Gulliver’s Travels. Embracing a riot of colors among sakura and orchids, I looked up at the sky and saw structures scattered in the garden covered with exotic plants that looked like huge mushrooms, their height almost touching the clouds. I had to walk on the long bridge that looked like a passage between these structures.

In order to see the magnificent view of the Marina Bay bays despite the heat, I entered the high walking track called “OCBC SKYWAY”, which I can define as an airway. I think I will keep the sight I saw at the end of a long walk in my memory for the rest of my life. The landscape before me was worth my tiredness despite all the heat. I was frozen as if I was looking at a utopian world from afar! When words are insufficient to describe the bays, the following question comes to my mind; I wonder if I should move to Singapore 🙂 Of course, I didn’t, but a piece of my heart remained there!

The sun was about to set as we left the tropical and exotic garden. When I walk to the riverbank, you like what I see! In a small amphitheater, people gathered in silence, waiting for the light and water show that would begin in all its glory. I joined the crowd and started to wait with excitement. As the weather got dark and the silence reached its climax, an exotic musical tone that started from the deep gradually increased. The sound turned into a show where you will once again feel that you are in the Far East with your whole body. While laser-reflected, colorful dragon figures glided over the river with gushing waters and danced gently, I was intertwined with the audience, like everyone else, to fairy tale lands… as if we would never come back… A gift from my Singapore trip was my introduction to golf at Holey Moley Golf Club, located at the entrance of a large skyscraper. It became such a passion that the seeds of my passion for golf were definitely planted in Singapore 🙂

Famous China Town! The smell of incense coming from the temples, on which tiny Buddhist statues are decorated with different figures, is the first thing I will say! This atmosphere attracted me. When I entered randomly from one of the temples with different architectural structures, I encountered the silent rituals of crowded groups.

I prayed for everyone and sent my best wishes. I hope it was accepted. When I got out, the melodies of the wind chimes hanging at the entrance of the temple, with the effect of the warm and calm breeze, greeted me with love. Afterward, the road took me to an antique market. I pass through hundreds of booths and stand in front of a booth as if I’ve been there before, or rather, it was like an invisible person who made me stop! The owner of the booth caught my attention with his fancy shirt with orchid marks on the mysterious Far Eastern man. After a short conversation, he handed me a small brass wand and insisted on I buy it! When I asked about the figures on the wand, he said that it represented power and innovation and would bring luck to its owner. Of course, I bought it right away 🙂 I added tiny animal figures made of brass, again representing the Far East, a tiger, a horse, and a kid… I should mention that everything I bought reflected its meaning in my life. In fact, I must say that the wand has a secret power that I use occasionally. 🙂 Maybe I’ll explain it in my next post. 🙂 but maybe 🙂

Here’s the poem that was inspired by my trip to Singapore;

Once Upon a Far East

Breathing the fragrance of the summer breeze as a meditation, 
He swelled the blue sails to utopian lands
Where he’ll start his life from the beginning,
For those who are left behind
Seem so far to taste the joy of innocence 
Through his penetrating eyes 
Taking their light from the transcendent star,
No deceiver he appears to know;
Even though the arrows point at him as a target,
His fortune smiles upon him
Turning the tables…

May the sunshine be in your heart forever,

See you in the blues,

Banu Demir

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