On Wednesday, March 8, after having breakfast onboard the ship, we ventured into Singapore for one last afternoon. We had two things in our list:

Singapore Botanic Gardens (SGB)

Established in 1859, SGB is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the leading botanic gardens in the world (with over 4 million visitors every year). We only had time to throughly visit the National Orchid Garden (with 1000 species and 2000 hybrids, the largest display of orchids in the world), which is the only part of the SBG that charges a small cover charge fee, but the Botanic Gardens have many interesting areas to enjoy, like the Rain Forest, Swan and Symphony and Eco lakes, Herbs & Spices, Bougainvilleas & Bamboo Collection, Healing Garden, Fragrant Garden, Evolution Garden, Foliage Garden, etc.

Unbeknownst to most visitors, the SBG was responsible for the introduction of Hevea brasiliensis (Pará Rubber) in the East, therefore transforming the economy of the region, and even influencing historical events like WWII. They also introduced in the 1920’s new techniques for raising orchids, which lead to a new industry.

After SBG we went on a “site inspection” of the Shangri-La Hotel.

We had lunch at Shangri-La’s incredibly extensive buffet, with a super nice sales rep. After that copious lunch, we boarded Crystal Symphony cruise ship at Harbor Front Cruise Terminal, leaving Singapore having left many things to see and do, like Sentosa Island, the Biennale at Singapore Art Museum, Clarke Quay…

But the fun was just starting. That night we had dinner at the oddly renamed Silk Road Restaurant (formerly known as Nobu at Sea), whose executive chef is none other than famous Japanese chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, where sushi chef Toshiaki-san delighted us with an impeccable 7-course Japanese dinner.

Back in the stateroom, we watched “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, which we borrowed from the Library DVD collection (it also has over 2000 books).