|We had three days in Singapore....amidst the hustle and bustle of the throngs of people. On Sunday we made our way to Chinatown using the MTR and sampled dim sum or "yum cha" as the Singaporeans refer to it, at where else but the "Yum Cha Restaurant". An interesting thing about Singapore's Chinatown community is that there are a couple of Hindu Temples right in the middle of it as well as a couple of mosques in addition to Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian Temples. After our dim sum we made our way thru the Chinatown market and over to the first of the Hindu Temples, "Shrine of Sri Vinayagar", only to discover that it was completely covered over with scaffolding.....the ornate ceramic figurines only slightly visible from beneath the plastic covering the scaffolding.....it was in the process of being refurbished and wasn't scheduled to be open to the public until the first week of December. We returned to Temple Street and found our way to the Hindu Temple "Sri Mariamman", dedicated to the healing goddess of the same name and the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore.........fortunately this temple was not being renovated and we were able to see the intricate ceramic and porcelain figurines that covered the exterior of the tower or "gopuram" above the entrance of the temple....images of the all powerful Hindu threesome......Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. We then walked over to Thian Hock Keng Temple,one of Singapore's oldest temples, also known as the Temple of Heavenly Happiness, dedicated to Ma Cho Po, the Chinese goddess of the sea. This temple at one time used to be a waterfront site, but land reclamation has moved the shoreline one-half of a kilometer eastward. We got back on the MTR and headed to the harbour front where we looked across the Straits of Singapore to where Sentosa Island was in view with the "Merlion" sea monster visible in the distance. A cruise ship was in port and we could see the cable car, strung up like a set of Christmas lights high above the ship, from Sentosa Island to the Harbour Front Centre and up to the top of Mt. Faber. We returned via the MTR to Orchard Road and made our way back to our hotel and soon after we got inside the skies opened up and we were treated to one of Singapore's torrential downpours which subsided soon after....we had arrived in Singapore during rainy season......on Monday we stayed in for a bit to work on our journal and get some pictures posted and the rains came again, this time at noon and lasted for two to three hours....in the late afternoon we headed back towards Orchard Road and treated ourselves...Barb to a manicure and me to a pedicure, before we had a bite to eat....then went out on a tour of Orchard Road's Christmas Lights display..... on Tuesday the rains came even earlier, this time at 9:30 a.m. and shortly after the rain stopped we wound our way back to Orchard Road and the MTR where we headed to the financial district and some shopping at Raffles City and stopped to see the infamous Raffles Hotel, which came to life in 1887 as a ten room bungalow and grew into its name with the opening of the main building in 1899 and became well known for its Oriental opulence soon thereafter. In 1987 Raffles Hotel was slated for the wrecking ball, but was declared to be a protected monument and after a multi-million dollar face lift, it reopened in 1991 complete with a shopping mall, cooking school, restaurants, a day spa and a museum. While the Raffles Hotel is also well known for its "Singapore Sling", we sampled one at our own hotel shortly after our arrival on Sunday and passed on having one here......after our visit to the financial centre we made our way back to Chinatown for some more shopping and another look around and came across the "Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum" on Sago Street......this temple has thousands of images of Buddha inside and is quite spectacular...we returned to our hotel and got ready to depart on the next leg of our journey....and we are quite excited as we are meeting a group of friends from home in Tahiti and embarking on a cruise around the French Polynesian and Cook Islands......