mellor-online.co.uk/singapore october 2004
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Merlion Fountain Singapore Singapore - October 2004

I liked Singapore very much. it is very clean, and very safe. It has a multi-cultural population, mostly Chinese, Malay, and Indian.
Situated only 137 km north of the Equator, it was very, very hot, up into the high 30's.

The Merlion fountain on the left overlooks the mouth of the Singapore River. Across the marina are the Esplanade-Theatres on the bay. Nicknamed 'The Durians' after the spikey smelly fruit of the area (You would know why if you had seen one).

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Thian Hock Keng Temple Singapore 1 Singapore has four main cultural areas, China Town, Little India, The Colonial District, and the Central Business District (CBD).

Although Singapore is now a modern city, there are many old temples, reflecting each of the main cultures.
The Thian Hock Keng Temple is a Chinese Temple situated in China Town. It translates as the 'Temple of Heavenly Bliss', and they were quite right! It was amazingly peaceful, and beautifully decorated with intricate Gold Leaf calligraphy.

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Thian Hock Keng Temple Singapore 2
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Sri Mariamman Temple Singapore

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Sri Mariamman Temple Gate Singapore
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The Sri Mariamman Temple is a Hindu Temple, situated strangely enough, in the heart of China Town. The highly ornate tower over the front gate is crowded with deities, soldiers, and sacred animals. Within the walls the main temple extends into the courtyard at an odd angle. This is not just a monument, it is in constant use by monks, and devotees.
To show respect, you are asked to remove your shoes at the door, and women are asked to be modestly dressed. Outside it was blisteringly hot, but inside was much cooler, even without air-con.
   
Jurong Bird Park Singapore Outside the City, there are several interesting places to visit. This is the Jurong Bird Park, as the name suggests, it is full of colourful exotic birds. Most of the enclosures are so big, and the trees so dense, you feel that you are outside.
I liked the colour of the sunlight filtering through the leaves, so I have left it as it was taken, the focus is a little soft, but I like it as it is.

We also went to the Night Safari situated in the rain forest in the north of the Island. Again as the name suggests, you visit after dark. You go round the park in a train, which wasn't as naff as it sounds. Because it is dark, you get to see nocturnal animals, which usually sleep during the day. As flash photography is not allowed, it was just too dark to take any photos.

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