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Tag: Travel Guide

By Lisa-Anne Sanderson

Singapore is often regarded as a very modern city because of its huge, bright shopping-centres, high-rise buildings, and luxurious hotels.  However, it was once a British colony and the colonial area of Singapore is one of its most interesting.  Here the visitor can find many grand and imposing historical buildings, such as the Raffles and Fullerton Hotels, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and the Supreme Court and City Hall.

It is easy to imagine being back in the days of long Edwardian summer days as one walks around the wide, tree-lined streets in this area.

RAFFLES

Raffles Hotel, founded in 1887 by the American Sarkies brothers, has a long and illustrious past. The Singapore sling was invented here. No visit to Singapore is complete without enjoying this relaxing cocktail in the cool garden courtyard at this famous hotel. Hollywood stars, including Ava Gardner and Charlie Chaplin, stayed in sumptuous suites at the elegant white building. The dark and stylish Writer’s Bar pays tribute to them and features photographs of some of the great authors, such as Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham.

Studying the history of the hotel at the Raffles Museum is well- worth it.  Here there are photos of the many famous guests, antiques, and travel items.  One can imagine the elegance and excitement of travel in bygone days in this museum.

Most people can’t afford to stay at Raffles but there is a wide choice of eating places which range from expensive restaurants to the rather cheaper Empire cafe. This has large American-style meals and delicious desserts.

The modern extension includes an exclusive shopping arcade with purveyors of luxury items, such as Louis Vuitton.

THE FULLERTON HOTEL

The Fullerton Hotel overlooking the Singapore river is another luxury hotel worth seeing.  This building with its wide columns used to be the site of Singapore’s General Post Office and exclusive Singapore Club and other government buildings.  Staying here is very expensive but having a drink at the tastefully furnished Post Bar won’t ‘break the bank’. The huge lobby with its atrium and extremely modern look is worth exploring and doesn’t clash with the colonial style of the building.

CAVENAGH BRIDGE 

The Victorian Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge in Singapore, is near the Fullerton Hotel.  This iron and steel suspension bridge is worth walking over to see the spectacular views, especially at night.  An old-fashioned police sign at the end which forbids some vehicles and all cattle and horses ‘by order of the Chief Police Officer’ adds an air of nostalgia.

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ST. ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL

Consecrated in 1862, this Anglican cathedral was built by convict labour.  The large light-filled church built in the Neo-Gothic style with its romantic arches and a towering ceiling is a pleasure to visit.  Interesting memorials to eminent people in colonial Singapore line the naves.

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OLD SUPREME COURT BUILDING 

This impressive colonial building features wide Corinthian columns and a large dome. The Italian artist, Cavalieri Nolli, designed the murals inside.

CITY HALL

The long rectangular structure also has Roman columns but isn’t as attractive as the Supreme Court Building which looks more elegant. This is probably because of its classical dome.  This building was the site of the Japanese surrender to Lord Mountbatten in 1945.

The Old Supreme Court Building and the City Hall are soon to be converted into the National Art Gallery of Singapore.

OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE 

Built in 1827, this was originally the residence of a Scottish merchant, John Argylle Maxwell.  Although Singapore now has another Parliament House, this Neo-Palladian building has been restored and now houses the Arts House in which exhibitions and concerts are held.

Colonial Building: The Old Parliament

Posted by Hang Siu on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SINGAPORE CRICKET CLUB

Located in the Padang (the CBD) of Singapore, this is another historic building worth seeing.  Cricket was once the most popular game in countries of British origin and the grand style of the building reflects this.

After the bustle of the shopping and Chinatown districts of Singapore, it is a good idea to wander around the much more peaceful colonial area of the city and become immersed in the history and grandeur of its early days.

SCC Introduction Video

Welcome to the Singapore Cricket Club.

Posted by Singapore Cricket Club on Monday, June 18, 2018

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The small town of Kaikoura, on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, is a place not to be missed. Its stunning location, with turquoise seas and snow-capped mountains, makes it an attractive destination in its own right, but Kaikoura can also lay claim to being one of the world’s best sites for viewing marine life. Sperm whales, dusky dolphins, the rare Hectors dolphin and fur seals are among the many mammals to be seen, while bird life includes the wandering albatross, petrels and fulmars.

Source: Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses

ACTIVITIES

Whale watching is probably the highlight for many visitors to Kaikoura. Northerly and southerly currents meet off the coast, and this, combined with an offshore continental shelf which drops suddenly into an 800 metre deep canyon, forces nutrients up to the surface, attracting whales and other marine life. Local companies offer whale watching by boat, helicopter and aeroplane, and all trips can be booked at the friendly and helpful Visitors Centre. A half hour flight is similar in price to a three and a half hour boat trip, and both offer a high chance of spotting sperm whales. Guides on the boat trips use their experience to predict exactly when the whales are about to dive, allowing photographers to be ready in time to catch the typical shot of the whale’s tail disappearing amid flying water droplets.

A whale watching trip often includes sightings of other marine life, with dusky dolphins frequently jumping and diving alongside the boat, but true dolphin fans may wish to take the opportunity to swim alongside them. Both whale watching and dolphin swimming should be booked a few days ahead to avoid disappointment, and as they are dependent on good weather conditions, it is advisable to be prepared to stay on in Kaikoura and wait for better weather. 

Although most visitors come to Kaikoura for the marine life, the area offers other attractions, particularly its beautiful scenery. The town is situated on a tiny peninsula, providing spectacular views to both north and south. Short circular walks can be made from the town along the cliffs and back along the beach past the fur seal colony, although tide times should be checked first. For more seasoned walkers there is a three-day loop walk, with opportunities for luggage to be transported each day.

Other Kaikoura highlights include the Seafest, an annual food and wine celebration in early October, the Maori Leap Cave, a limestone cave with stalagmites, and the Kaikoura Wine Company, which offers guided tours.

HOW TO GET THERE

Kaikoura is around 180 km north of Christchurch, the main city on South Island, and is easily reached by road and rail. The TranzCoastal train passes through Kaikoura on its way from Christchurch to Picton, from where ferries leave for the North Island. It is a beautiful train journey, with mountain ranges on one side and the coast on the other, and 175 bridges and 22 tunnels en route. The road also hugs the coast for much of the journey from Christchurch, and plenty of view stops are recommended for drivers.

ABOUT KAIKOURA

Kaikoura itself has a population of less than 4000, but became one of New Zealand’s premier tourist attractions after the first whale watching trips were made in the late 1980s. There is much evidence of early Maori settlement, and the area is thought to have been a base for hunting the giant moa bird, now extinct. Captain Cook sailed past Kaikoura in 1770 but did not stop, and the first European settlers were whalers, who came in 1842. Whaling, along with agriculture, was the town’s main industry until tourism took over. 

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

There is a plentiful supply of accommodation in Kaikoura, ranging from backpacker hostels and bed and breakfasts to holiday parks, motels and boutique hotels. However, despite the abundance, it is advisable to book ahead in the summer months. There is also no shortage of places to eat, with various budgets catered for and seafood a specialty. Crayfish is the feature meal in many establishments, and even the town’s name means ‘crayfish food’ (‘kai’ means ‘food’ and ‘koura’ means ‘crayfish’).

There cannot be many more enjoyable ways to spend a day than watching whales and dolphins swim and dive, then going for a walk along the stunning coastline and finishing up with a fresh seafood meal under a starlit sky. Kaikoura is truly a place well worth visiting.

CLUB 1 HOTELS PREFERRED ACCOMMODATIONS

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses

State Highway 1 at Station Road RD 1

Kaikoura 7371 . New Zealand 

Hapuku Lodge was built to give all guests a great night’s sleep in one the most beautiful places in the world. Located 12kms north of the world-renowned eco-marine town of Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, Hapuku Lodge shares the land with a deer stud and olive grove, nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and famed Mangamaunu Bay.

A contemporary country lodge, Hapuku Lodge has four luxurious lodge rooms (including two suites), five luxury Tree Houses, built in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, one spacious stand-alone apartment, and multiple meeting and event venues. All rooms at Hapuku Lodge feature custom designed, handcrafted furniture, tailor-made beds and mattresses, Japanese soaking tubs (in the four lodge rooms), heated towel rails and floors, raindrop showers, and individual balconies.

The Tree Houses and apartment also have large spa baths and fireplaces. Breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and surf-washed coastline are seen from all rooms. The food at Hapuku Lodge is fresh, uncomplicated and flavorful, sourced whenever possible from their garden and other local organic farms and nearby waters. 

From the romance of the Eiffel Tower to the magnificence of the Louvre and its priceless works of art to the enchantment of the street life, Paris is a delight for the senses. With something to offer every visitor, the city of Paris is the perfect choice for a first-time visitor to Europe, but with so much to see and do, you will want to return again and again.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Any time is a great time to visit this world-class city, but springtime in Paris is particularly delightful. Summers in Paris can be hot and humid, but visitors can always cool off in the air-conditioned comfort of a museum or seek respite in one of the city’s many parks.

The winter season is also a wonderful choice for visiting Paris. The crowds are sparser, the hot, humid weather is long gone, and there are fewer lines at the historical and artistic sites.

PARIS TRANSPORTATION

Everyone loves Paris, and you will notice its popularity when you see the traffic. Luckily, Paris has set up an extensive network of public transportation, including the modern metro and many clean and tidy buses. You will also find plenty of tourist buses, and these are great for getting the lay of the land when you first arrive.

PARIS WEATHER

Paris is known for its wonderful climate, but temperatures vary quite a bit. July and August are the hottest months in Paris, with average high temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).

On the other end of the scale, December is typically the coldest month of the year. During the cold winter months, temperatures routinely dip close to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), and even the highs generally reach only 7-10 degrees Celsius.

LANGUAGE
French

ELECTRIC
220V

CURRENCY
Euro