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Trip Report Singapore and Java - Hanuman's Style!

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With just 5 nights available for our Thai New Year vacation I spent several hours on the net trying to decide where to take my family for a vacation abroad. Consulted with other regulars Fodorites, Kathie, Filmwill, Rhkkmk etc and finally ended up deciding on a combination of a 2 night stopover in Singapore and then 3 nights at Borobudur.

We have been to Singapore several times over the years but have not been back for the past 5 years. Read and saw many documentaries about the new mega resort cities and casino built on the island and decided that it was time to visit again. At first I really wanted to try the brand new Marina Bay Sands, especially the roof top park/swimming pool. After talking to a friend they advised against staying at the hotel unless we wanted to gamble so I change our reservation at the last minute to a hotel on Orchard road instead.

This was the first time that I used Tripadvisor to check both the availabilities and rates for hotels. Quite simple and convenient, just choose the hotel and then input your dates and viola – 6 different windows pop-up with six different reservation sites such as Agoda, Venere etc and their rates. We used Venere as it had the best offer for 3 people with an extra bed and breakfast and we chose the Four Seasons.

The hotel was lovely and recently refurbished. On checking in we were informed of an upgrade to a theme one bedroom suite! How nice and further more they even sent up a nice birthday cake for my daughter along with a beautiful birthday card. The rooms, amenities and breakfast at this hotel were very good and the service was one of the best we had ever received from any hotel.

The location was also extremely convenient but the Four Seasons was not on Orchard road proper. However the hotel did have an A/C walkway connecting it to the Hilton which was situated on Orchard. We visited the brand new mall “Ion” and the top levels had all the usual high-end shops while the basement levels had several restaurants and a “Hawker Centre”. We ate all of our lunches at the Hawker Centre and greatly enjoyed the local fares from noodles with fish balls to the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Shopping was also to my ladies’ liking as well with several purchases from Chanel to Prada. At least I will get the points from my credit cards!

For dinners, we spent two nights in Singapore, we tried a couple of restaurants that was recommended to us by our private banker at Deutsche bank. Both specialize in crabs but sadly we did not enjoy the meals we had. The food was a bit tone down and bland but several other diners seem to have enjoyed their meals, most were foreign Europeans and Americans though. I feel bad to have recommended the restaurants on another thread at Fodors but maybe other might enjoy them – Jumbo Seafood and No Signboard restaurants.

We checked out of our hotel very early today and flew the 2 hour’s flight via Silk Air to Solo City, Indonesia. The flight was less than half full and not bad for a low cost airline. We landed at the new Solo airport, open last year and were greeted right outside the arrival gate by representative of the Amanjiwo hotel. The ride was interesting, climbing up and skirting by two volcanoes and one of them, Merapi, had erupted only months earlier. We were very sad when our driver informed us that over 300 people had died from the eruption! The eruption had caused a lot of damages to the roads, and spewed out ash and volcanic rocks everywhere covering the ancient Borobudur temple as well as the Amanjiwo. The Amanjiwo had to close down for 4 months to clean up the resort and took the opportunity to refurbish their property as well.

I’m off for a swim so to be continued…

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