Yesterday we got an early start to the day. We grabbed some lotus and red bean bao (steamed buns filled with sweet paste) and coffee for breakfast at a nearby food court and then hopped on a bus headed for Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a rainforest in the middle of Singapore. It houses all sorts of flora and fauna, including wild durian, wild ginger, monkeys, and flying lemurs. There are walking trails all through the reserve, an observation tower, and a tree top walk. We spent a good four or five hours hiking the trails yesterday, and even encountered a few monkeys. From the observation tower, and also along the tree walk, we had great views of the rainforest. There are all sorts of palm trees, trees with umbrella-sized leaves, and vines growing in the forest. Despite the fact that the Bukit Timah is a rainforest, it did not rain while we were there. In fact, it hasn’t rained since I got here, which I hear is quite unusual.
The weather has been sunny, hot, and humid. Within five minutes of walking outside, we’re definitely glistening. By the end of the hike yesterday, I looked like I had jumped in a lake. I drank at least 3 liters of water during the hike, and I still felt a little dehydrated.
After the hike, we came back to the apartment, freshened up, and had some mooncakes before dinner. Mooncakes are Chinese pastries with thick filling and a thin crust. We tried a few different kinds filled with lotus, yam, dragonfruit, and mocha. Lotus and the dragonfruit were easily my favorites. Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival that is happening right now.
Once we ate enough sugary goodness, we hopped on the MRT to Little India. Whoa. Stepping off the MRT in Little India was like stepping into a whole new country. Most of Singapore is very orderly and clean. People do not jaywalk. Little India has a completely different pulse. There are people everywhere wearing some sweet early 1980s fashions, jaywalking like nobody’s business. The scent of Little India is full of incense, curries, flowers, car exhaust, and a hint of body odor. We had a delicious dinner of chicken biryani, prawn masala, and thosi. I was so full after the dinner, I nearly had to be rolled out of the restaurant. After dinner, we walked around a bit and then hopped back on the MRT to the apartment.
We made a detour on the way home for reflexology foot massages. Oh. My. Goodness. We went in the massage shop, washed our feet, and sat down in reclining massage chairs. My feet were so tired form hiking all day. The gentleman working on my feet was intense. Apparently I am extremely ticklish on certain parts of my feet. Once I got past my giggle fit, I became so relaxed that I nearly fell asleep. Every so often, I winced at the ridiculous amount of pressure he put on my poor feet, but it was totally worth it. I felt like I was floating on air the whole walk home.
Once we arrived home, I could barely take off my shoes before passing out. I slept 11 hours last night, and it was heavenly. Today we’ve been taking it easy. We had a relaxing breakfast of bao, prawn chee cheong fun, and coffee. We walked around the neighborhood a while, walked through a community park, and bought a durian. We’ll see what I think of durian. I hope it lives up to its ‘king of fruits’ moniker.