Summary: The first day in a two-day 4th of July trip, we drove from San Francisco, CA to accommodation in Medford, OR. Along the way we saw the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA and rented a boat on Shasta Lake in Shasta Lake, CA. Both are along Interstate-5 between San Francisco and Medford. The Sundial Bridge is literally a sundial and its shadow tells the time of day pretty accurately. Shasta Lake is the reservoir of Shasta Dam, and offers many water activities amidst gorgeous views.
Related Itinerary: Singapore and Malaysia, June 2013: Singapore – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 | Malaysia – Day 4, Day 5
My three days in Singapore and two days in Malaysia were well-organized and well-spent, but there's even more still to do! Also, I discuss some minor logistical issues that might have made the trip more efficient.
Summary: I had the morning in Malacca before catching a 1:20pm bus back to Singapore, so decided to explore some less-advertised tourist sites. Having seen the World Heritage historical sites and downtown area the previous day, I chose to visit the Malacca Strait Mosque and shop at the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall.
Summary: Malacca (also Melaka) is about 4-5 hours by bus from Singapore - even longer with traffic - and I woke up super early to catch an 8am bus. It did not pick up from my hotel in Singapore but dropped me off at Hotel Equatorial in Malacca, where I was staying. After dropping my stuff off it was past noon, and I proceeded to see the UNESCO World Heritage historical sites, explore the downtown area, and take a Melaka River Cruise at night.
Summary: I’m sure anyone who read my Day 1 and Day 2 itineraries will understand why I was a bit tired this morning – two back to back >12 hour days in >80F weather is pretty taxing. At breakfast I was on a mission to rehydrate from the previous day's hiking, drinking four glasses of water and three glasses of juice (thanks Fullerton Hotel for the delicious juices). My day didn't start until I caught a cab to Chinatown around 11:30am. It was a day of religious places – I saw Sri Mariamman Temple and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown and Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India. They were all beautiful and, in my opinion, enjoyable no matter what your religious beliefs.
Summary: Probably my most strenuous day, I hiked the Southern Ridges and Mount Faber in 80-90F heat, with some uphill climbs, although the shade from trees helped. In the early afternoon I explored a beach on Sentosa Island. After a short break, I explored the sights around Singapore River and saw Cavenagh Bridge, Singapore's first and only suspension bridge. My evening was spent around Marina Bay taking in the colorful lights, eating Singapore Chili Crab, watching the Marina Bay Laser Show, and eventually walking over to Gardens by the Bay to see the Supertree Grove at night.
Summary: I flew in around midnight and had my first glimpse of Marina Bay from the taxi ride, and it left an instant impression. It was just. so. beautiful. When daylight came it did not disappoint, with dazzling views in spite of the Singapore haze from Indonesian forest fires. My first day was spent crossing Singaporean icons off my list – Merlion statue, Marina Bay, Marina Bay Sands, ArtScience Museum (lotus-shaped building, The Esplanade (durian-shaped building), and the Supertree Grove in Gardens by the Bay. These are all located in the downtown core within close proximity of each other, but it’s still quite a walk to see them all, especially in the summer heat. After lunch and a break, I briefly visited Chinatown.