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The Singapore night

Singapore, Singapore


It is 11:35 pm in singapore, i am very tired but i will arrive melbourne later, that wt i just want to say

permalink written by  ttw on July 9, 2006 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Australia study tour
tagged Singapore

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Hurry up!!

Singapore, Singapore


When we arrived Singapore, the time was 16:40, out boarding time of the plane back to Hong Kong is 16:00!!! We ran as fast as possible when we got down the plane and we nearly ran 1 km. But I dun think we have to run there since we all by Singapore Airline(SIA), I think the airline will wait for us.

permalink written by  ttw on July 22, 2006 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Australia study tour
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Singarich

Singapore, Singapore


So, we've been traveling frequently on “discount” airlines. Either there is no such thing as a discount airline or the old adage of getting what you pay for is without a doubt true. I think the truth may be somewhere in between. Joc and I chose to fly Tiger Airways from Krabi, Thailand to Darwin, Australia because it was less than $100 (without taxes and surcharges, of course) to do so. However, this approach required a 24-hour layover in Singapore. No worries. We’ve never been there, so we thought it would be cool to check out a new city for a day.

It really is an amazing city. It is so rich with culture, commerce and history that it was well worth the visit. In our 19 hours in the city, we managed to see a large chunk of it, including the Arab quarters, Little India, Chinatown, the Central Business District (CBD) and the Government district. By the end of our day I was beyond tired from walking, but I am really happy to have seen the colorful neighborhoods, tried some various ethnic foods and somewhat experienced a truly world-class city.

I can clearly see why every Singaporean I’ve ever met is proud of their city state. It is an incredibly clean city with amazing public transportation. It has food from everywhere, business from everywhere and cultures from everywhere. Overall, an impressive place that I highly recommend checking out.

As far as Tiger Airways, they were pretty good as far as discount airlines go. They only charged us for excess baggage upon leaving Singapore, so we got away without paying extra on one-leg. The planes also had enough space and the personnel were friendly.



permalink written by  GoBlue on July 29, 2007 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Carl's Circuit
tagged Singapore

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Malaysia, the fool's story

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


It's quiet, too quiet...our entry into Malaysia was disconcerting. There was something wrong, something missing...the trip from the airport was lacking in some way; the car was fine, the driver was nice, we had our bags but still there was something absent. We finally realised halfway to the hotel, no-one was beeping their horn. Nothing. Just people driving. After 3 months of constant noise in India the sudden calm had an unnerving effect , like the calm before the storm. Lucky for us we had booked 5 star, the Swish Gardens awaited us.

On our arrival the air conditioning hit us like a slap in the face from the angel of Fonzie, it was cool, ayyyyyee! Backpacking realigns the values: the beds were firm, the pillows were soft, the sheets were smooth...and clean; something we'd not had for months. It was expensive but it was worth it. We spent our 5 star week lounging, and we even saw a bit of the city, not much admitedly, we knew we were coming back, how many times we didn't know, but we knew we would return...

We had been planning to do some serious planning in Kuala Lumpur, the conditions were perfect. We had maps, we had books, we had a buffet breakfast, there was nothing on TV...the conditions were perfect. There was only one flaw in the plan, Delaney's. The staff were friendly and the bean-tastic snacks were plentiful, but we digress...and we did. After 2 days they knew our faces, after 3 they knew our order, after 5 they knew the songs we wanted the band to play. Luckily we had one more valid distraction, Thaipusam.

Thaipusam (yet another Hindu festival) is either a show of great devotion or a parade of masochism, depending on your point of view. For the faithful it involves piercing the back, face, cheeks (facial cheeks that is) tongue and anywhere else you fancy with some vicious, and to our unenlightened eyes, frankly unsanitory hooks and spikes and carrying pandals and urns filled with milk for the 13km from Kuala central and up the 272 steps to the shrines held within the Batu Caves. Our main reason for leaving India at the time we did was to see this and film it with our brand new spanky video camera, however, our stupidity prevailed and we hadn't charged the battery so it cut out after 5 minutes of dreary, uneventful footage moments before the gruesome spectacle unfolded. This thing is actually banned in India, not exactly the most health and safety conscious country on the planet, so how it's allowed in Malaysia is a mystery.

We decided that we had had enough of the five star life and the hotel agreed so after dragging us kicking and screaming from the buffet we headed South to the cleanest place on the planet, Singapore. Afetr a rigorous customs check to ensure that we had no illegal substances (like drugs, daggers and chewing gum) we breezed our way into the city, as did the monsoon rain. Seeking refuge from the torrential downpour we dived into the nearest bar (always our favourite kind of refuge) before diving out again when we saw the price of the beer. 2 hours later we had finally found a bar within our budget, a hawker centre (surpisingly bereft of birds of prey, but full of canny locals) so we settled down to enjoy our Tiger and watch the city boys splashing the cash at the more upmarket venues on the street opposite. Though concerned for our cash we did manage to prise our wallets open long enough (and wide enough) to catch some live Jazz @ Southbridge, a bar full of cool, black-clad beatniks clicking fingers and nodding to the music. We even managed to get a song played, dedicated to a 'lovely couple', as we couldn't see one behind us we figured they had made the all too common mistake and thought that we were a pair. We are considering getting some T-Shirts printed to avoid the confusion - we figure "I'm not with stupid" should do the trick.

After 3 enjoyable but costly rain and jazz filled days we headed back up to the peninsular to Melaka (if you speak Greek you may find that funny). Our hotel had a midnight curfew which we almost missed on our first night. After dashing through the streets we arrived with seconds to spare to be greeted by the amused looking owner, Mister Yen. When we explained that we had run back to avoid being locked out he laughed and promptly took us out around the town's seedier bars for an all night drinking, pool and karaoke session. Mr Yen is well known in the area and we were treated with the upmost respect, despite Will's singing and Becca's distinct lack of pool skills. Back at the hotel at 5am for a night cap we found out that this was partly due to the fact that he is a kung-fu master and he regaled us with stories of his training and various arse-kickings he had administered in his younger days. We managed to prise ourselves away some time after dawn broke and spent our first full day sleeping off the effects. When we finally rose, desperate for sustenance, we made our way to the mall for some traditional Malaysian Burger King. After filling our stomachs we headed back into the air conditioning inside and stumbled accross a promotional stand for massage chairs. As we relaxed into our 30 minute free pummelling session we smiled and lied to the staff about our intentions to buy, even checking import costs for the UK and New Zealand. To be honest we were actually seriously considering the possibility but the 8000 Ringit (about £1200) price tag snapped us out of it and we headed off to find a disguise to get another free trial.

A couple of days later it was time for the main attraction in Melaka (as far as we were concerned) Intrudu, a water throwing festival held every year, which involves alot of water...being thrown. We had checked on the Melaka tourist information site for times and they had insisted that last years festival (no mention of this year's) started at high (not dry) noon. We rocked up in swim gear, with a change clothes and everything wrapped in special waterproof bags to find a big, wet, empty square where the event was supposed to take place. After wandering around we were somewhat disappointed to learn that the festival does in fact start at 9am and finish at 12, a big round of applause to the tourist board there. In our experience this is a common problem in Malaysia, they have a big tourist industry but don't bother to tell anyone about it. There is infuriatingly little information in the country about what is going on, where it's going on and even if it's going on. But we did know about one thing which was definitely coming up, Chinese New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

Where better for Chinese New Year than the capital? Well, apparently nearly everywhere except the capital where people celebrate by closing all the businesses and going to their home provinces, namely Melaka. Foiled again! We did manage to catch a big street festival involving dragon and lion dances followed by speeches (in Bahasa Malayan) by the Prime Minister, the minister for culture and the head of the Chinese community in Malaysia - party time! All the time in the city had made us eager to get somewhere a bit more natural and we soon headed off to the oldest rainforest in the world, Taman Negara.

We decided on an early night on our first day there as we were eager to hit the jungle trail early the next morning. Instead of sleeping we had to spend the night cowering under multiple mosquito nets to avoid the barrage of outsized insect life intent on sharing our blankets. Undeterred we headed out into the forest the next day and after a couple of hours eager to explore and spot the wildlife which is so abundant, but not so apparent. Also not apparent were fellow travellers to make up the minimum numbers for the various tours and activities in the park. We're not sure but Taman Negara may translate as minimum 4 persons. We had to settle for some gruelling self guided treks up a couple of Bukits - that's hills to you folks back home. After reaching the top and resting for a few minutes to avoid the impending heart attacks we looked out from the lookout. You can see for miles from the top of the Bukit, miles and miles of trees, they're everywhere. If you like trees, you'll love Taman Negara - as long as there are at least 3 other people with you. We took the scenic route back to the bus. 60kms on a boat looking at yet more trees, and torrents of other travellers who'd obviously been in hiding or on the tours we had tried and failed to get on.

Now we're back in KL (for the fourth time!) but getting ready to leave for Thailand. Malaysia is nice, it's clean, it's safe, it has a rollercoaster inside a shopping centre and the 'best bar in Asia' amongst many other distractions making it a very easy place to waste time, and because of the high price of beer (especially after India!) a very easy place to waste money, but we're not wasters (stop laughing!) so now we are going to go do something more challenging, more adventurous, more dangerous, we're off to the beach!

permalink written by  BecnWill on February 17, 2008 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
from the travel blog: The World By Knight
tagged Singapore, KualaLumpur, Melaka, Lion, TamanNegara, ChineseNewYear, Dragon and Thaipusam

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Arriving Singapore's Airport: Changi

Singapore, Singapore


It was my fist visit in Singapore Changi Airport. This happened last 2001. I hardly had time to visit the tourist destination in Singapore that time. That was because I also had to rush to Johannesburg within 24hours time.

But just when I arrived at the airport, I was really amazed by the cleanliness of the airport. Coming from a third-world country (so they say)---like Philippines, the cleanliness of Singapore was really something to be surprised of. The airport was like a mall; that time I remembered the airport of Philippines was not yet renovated give the comfort and the convenience like that of being in a mall.

That was my impression---and it lasts. Actually from that experiece, I vowed to return to Singapore. And I did just last 2006 of January. I really had a great vacation there with my wife.

I will post some photos for the next entry that I will make on Singapore.


permalink written by  testblog on November 3, 2008 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Singapore
tagged Singapore, Asia, CleanCountry, CleanCity and TouristDestinationInAsia

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Singapore: The Hong Kong of SE Asia

Singapore, Singapore


Touchdown! 36 hours of traveling, 1 book, a tour of Taipei and 3 awful airline meals later, I finally landed in Singapore. The airport struck me at first with its clean, modern lines and gorgeous flower displays.
That being said, Singapore is a very modern city-state with an incredibly developed economy. It used to be a part of Malaysia, but detached and formed its own country because the ethnic Chinese majority in Singapore didn't feel they were represented under the Malay government.

The first thing tha struck me was how cheap everything is in Singapore. After my flight I was relieved by a 2hour massage for....30 bucks. And Singapore is the most expensive city in SE Asia. After that, sleep, I would go exploring the next day.

Singapore itself is a drab city, a business town so-to-speak, but carries a rich colonial history mixed with loads of striking, modern architecture. Although located on the Malay Peninsula, the population is mostly Chinese, because they were most eagar to profit after the British started developing the island into a major port. There is no such thing as an ethnic Singaporean, the other races there include Malays, Filipinos, and Indians. After staying in a great hostel (Inn-crowd), chatting, and throwing back a few beers with some fellow English and Australian backpackers, I would take the bus north towards Malacca.

A few pictures for everybody...


The Cannonball Tree is a sacred Hindu tree with a maze of branches sticking out of its base with produce the most beautiful flowers.

Due to being almost spot on the equator, foliage grows EVERYWHERE, as seen on the lush environment growing on this tree. There are plants sprouting out of sidewalks, drainage ditches, buildings, and even walls.

Its is almost chinese new year, the year of the ox, so there are a great many signs announcing planned festivities and the sort. This is signage outside of one of the many malls located on Orchard Road.

A nice cotrast between downtown and greenery seen from Cannery Park, Singapores central park. The park used to be an esate for the citys founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, and later became home to a British fort. (Singapores signature hotel, The Raffles, is where the drink the Singapore Sling was invented)

The OTHER SMU, Singapore Management University. A very highly regarded university for Chinese in SE Asia.

Development is everywhere in Singapore, although who knows what will become of the literally hundreds of new buildings now that the world econmy has collapsed.

Trade is not as regulated in Asia, and this real Tiger pelt goes for about $1000 in this high-end furniture store. Other pelts included bear, fox and leapord.

A beautiful golden painting of lotus flowers floating in a stream found in the same high-end furniture store.


permalink written by  JohnJack_Crestani on January 16, 2009 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: I Meet the SouthEast
tagged Singapore, Skyscraper, SMU, Colonial and Raffles

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Singapore

Singapore, Singapore


Land in Singapore and stay two nights

permalink written by  joe91 on June 23, 2009 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: To Singapore and beyond in 6 weeks.
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Day 20: Singapore (14th cruise day)

Singapore, Singapore


Day 20: Thursday, December 31st, 2009

14th cruise day: Singapore

Happy New Year's Eve!

Today was a busy day as we started our adventure in Singapore at 7:45am and walked and explored different districts, and shopped until 5 min before the “all aboard” time of 4:30pm. Boy, is it getting harder and harder to pick our favorite cities! Several people had told us prior to our trip that we would love Singapore as it is a very livable city with much to do. And the city certainly didn't disappoint. However, it was a very different city from the others that we've toured on the cruise as it reminded us of a big American city. The whole day we did not feel like we were in Asia, but rather back in America. For this reason, I am ranking the city below Shanghai but above Taipei.

Singapore was the only city that we didn't plan out thoroughly in advance because I was tired of all my trip planning by time I got to that city, and because the city is so large we thought we would ride the Hop On-Hop Off bus around the different districts to get a feel of the city before starting our exploring. But after listening to our port lecturer and talking with other passengers, we decided the Hop On bus might have too many delays and that we would be better off taking the metro. So during one of our days at sea, we took out our guidebook and a map and planned an ambitious walking tour.

Our day started early and we were cleared from the ship at 7:45am vs. the 7am docking plan originally scheduled. Princess has been off about a half hour for disembarking at every one of their ports and has also requested passengers to be on board 30 min earlier than the original schedule in every port. We got off the ship at HarborFront, which is a big shopping complex at the southern tip of the city. We found the attached Metro easily and bought a single-trip pass as the ticket office (where you buy the all day pass) was closed until 10am. We were a little disappointed in the metro. Everyone said Singapore is the cleanest large city in the world because of all the heavy fines they enforce on littering and graffiti and spitting and chewing gum, so we expected the city and the metro system to be sparkling clean. It was pretty neat – especially compared to the NYC subway – but we wouldn't say the metro sparkled. The cars were modern and fast and had signs that told you when the next train would pull in, and we never had to wait more than 5 min for the next subway. The ride was smooth, but we hated the ticketing system. Because Singapore doesn't want littering or garbage, they issue metro cards that have to be returned/fed back into the machine in order to get back a $1.00 deposit. This was a pain, because every time we wanted to buy a new ticket, we couldn't add value to the card but had to take the time to first return the card to get our money back and then purchase a new card. This created long lines at the ticket booth. As an alternative, we could have bought an all day metro pass for $18, which had a $10 deposit, but the ticket booths were never open for us to buy one, and for some unknown reason, the ticket machines didn't sell all day passes. We are actually glad we never purchased one as the line at the ticket booth to return the all day pass was so long by the end of the day that we would have missed our ship if we had to stay in line. Singapore is so modern we expected it to have a much more efficient metro system and were surprised at the problems their metro ticket issuing system caused. But the metro was fast and could take us to any part of the city, so it was the best form of transportation.

The first hotspot on our list was to check out the Chinatown district. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and has many Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Arab influences. As such, there is a district representative of each culture – Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street, etc. – similar to such little districts in NYC. We decided to check out each one to get the full flavor of the city. The metro dropped us off in Chinatown and we followed one of the walking tours detailed in our tour book. It was a nice walk and we could see how busy the area would be, but all the market stalls were still closed because it was still before 9am. We really liked the setup and thought it would have been the least hectic, and most easily navigable of all the Chinatown districts we've seen as each market vendor and food vendor had its own distinct space, not just movable carts. We visited the flashiest temple in Singapore which had a room with 1000 mini Buddhas, organized around larger Buddha shrines. It was very pretty and reminded us of the prayer candles that are organized around statues of Mary in a Catholic Church. Someone could purchase a mini Buddha for $88 Singapore Dollars (~$68 USD). We also visited a Muslim mosque, and we had to wrap shawls around our bare legs or wear a robe provided by the mosque and also remove our shoes before entering. We heard we will have to do this a lot in Thailand too.

One of the highlights of the Chinatown area was stopping at the free admission City Planning Center. We walked through a 3-floor exhibit that showed the history of Singapore and how the modern city was developed. The exhibit included several miniature models of the whole city so we could gaze at the skyline and different districts and see how much of the land was covered in beautiful parks and water ways. This helped form our overall impression of Singapore as a very “balanced city.” There are tons of shopping malls, different culture districts, official “city centers” with government buildings, but despite all the concrete buildings, the city has a beautiful, relaxed feel to it because interwoven among all these buildings are peaceful, green parks and lots of trees and flowers planted on walkways and around the buildings. The other reason we think it is “balanced” is that even the architecture is a great mixture of old Colonial and new, modern chic. Shanghai was all modern, slick “wow factor” buildings, but Singapore has the nice balance of the Old English Colonial presence with its columns and shuttered windows.

Leaving Chinatown, we took the metro up to Little India and followed a walking tour from our guidebook. We were pretty disappointed in Little India as it was more rundown than the other parts of Singapore and we saw a lot more street garbage and rough roads – potholes, narrow street sidewalks, etc. The district was filled with eateries and markets and had a distinct aroma of Indian cuisine. However, we felt that there was a much more vibrant Indian community in other cities, like NYC, and this was a small one. The buildings that house these food markets had apartments above which were brightly colored blues and oranges and had brightly painted window shutters which made them look so pretty! We then walked from Little India to Kampong Glam, which was the Arab section of town. There we walked through rows and rows of tailor shops and silk merchants that made us wish we had more days in Singapore so we could get some dresses and suits tailor-made. The materials were gorgeous – we can see how Holly got such a beautiful wedding gown made here!

From Kampong Glam, we were able to walk down to Raffles Hotel as the distances in the city are quite close. We had a good map and were afraid things were very far, but it was all walkable if you had the time. The weather was holding up although it always looked like a downpour would start any moment. The thick humidity made the heat seem much worse, as it was only 86 F but felt like over 100 F with the humidity. Because Singapore is so hot all year round, the shops all have large awnings and the streets are covered in huge arching trees to provide shade, so even when the sun peaked out, we always felt protected from the intense rays. It is just another example of how the city is so well planned!

We LOVED Raffles Hotel! I wanted to sit there all day as I felt like I was in a movie, transported back to the early 1900s, living in the tropics under colonial rule. The hotel is still as beautiful as it probably was at its debut. It is a large crystal-white building complex with pointed roofs and large window shudders and colonial columns. There is a shopping arcade around the hotel with high end stores and boutique shops, but they were all closed as it wasn't quite noon yet. We ate our sandwiches in the Garden, sitting in white painted cast iron garden lattice chairs, facing the fountain. We then went up to the 2nd floor Long Bar and had a famous Singapore Sling drink ($24 Singapore dollars!), which was created by a bartender at that bar. It was sweet but very refreshing in the hot climate! It was such a romanticized atmosphere, sitting in the room covered in dark wood panels, sitting under spade-shaped bamboo fans moving rhythmically from the motorized poles suspended from the ceiling. Again, you felt like you went back in time. It was my favorite spot in Singapore!

After the short break, we kept moving and walked to Orchard Road, the busiest shopping street in Singapore. This one major thorough-fare had no less than 10 distinct shopping malls! Of course we went into one of them and were amazed at this 9-story mall as it was all decked out in glittery sparkling streamers to celebrate the New Year. The whole Orchard Road was covered in New Years lights and red and orange decorations. Inside the mall, there was not one great toy store for Hunter, but 6 in a row! However, we didn't buy much in Singapore as the prices were extremely high. We talked to another cruise passenger who was in Singapore 4 years ago and was shocked at how high prices for everything had risen – from hotel rooms to food to clothes. It is a very expensive city. We'll keep our money reserved for Thailand!

We continued walking down Orchard Road until the next metro stop, which we took to Clark Quay. This was Hunter's favorite spot in Singapore! It was a riverfront promenade that was filled with outdoor cafes and gelato stands and shops. The shops were brightly painted in pastel colors and there were large overhangs the provide shade on the outdoor eateries. It was so nice to just walk up and down both sides of the river – the Boat Quay and Clark Quay. On the Clark Quay side, one block in from the river was a pedestrian only street of more restaurants and cafes, with a big musical stage in the center. If we lived in Singapore, we would come here to eat all the time and listen to the music! We walked down the river to the Raffles Landing Site, where the founder of Singapore landed. After the requisite photo opp, we headed north to the “Civic Center” to see the Supreme Court building and St. Andrew's Cathedral – the first church we've entered in these last three weeks! It was pretty but stark compared to the cathedrals of Western Europe. By this time, it was approaching 4pm and we decided we needed to get back to clear immigration, so we took the metro back to Harbor Front and poked around the market stalls before heading back on the ship.

Overall, we really enjoyed Singapore and think it is a beautiful, balanced, city. It doesn't have the impressive skyline of Shanghai, but has old world charm mixed with modern comforts. Aunt Kathleen remembered a big disparity between the rich and poor sections of Singapore, but in all our walking, we did not come upon any portion of the city that we would consider to be “poor”. Perhaps the city planning department has really cleaned up those areas, and if the rising prices in the city are any indication, Singapore is only going to get more upscale as the years go by. Granted, there was still so much of the city we couldn't see in one day and we would enjoy a second visit, adding the Botanical Gardens/Orchid Garden and Sentosa Island. We would love to come back on business! The city had so much of an American feel to it because English was everywhere, English chain restaurants were everywhere (remember Swenson's ice cream shops?), and the locals dressed and acted more American than any other city.

It is probably a good time to recap our list of favorite cities, from our favorite to our least favorite. We are both in agreement with this: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing, Saigon. Okinawa and Hue aren't included because they were such small ports of call. We are looking forward to seeing where Bangkok slots in to this list! Hunter later changed his list to tie Shanghai and Singapore in second place.

We had a really fun New Year's Eve, once back on the ship. We attended the 6pm dinner seating and actually enjoyed the New Year's Eve menu and then retired to the stateroom for a quick 1-hour nap before returning to the Cabaret Lounge to watch the “Motor City” motown dance show (fun!) Then it was time for my 2nd nap, until 11:45pm when we went back to the Cabaret Lounge and ordered champagne-based drinks just in time to clink our glasses and toast to the New Year. They had a large screen projecting a countdown clock, and we all threw confetti and streamers all over. Shane was dressed as Old Man Time an Ian as the baby in a full fledged diaper. We stayed there watching the dancing until 12:30am when we switched to the Tahitian Lounge and realized that was where the real action was. We stayed there until 2:30am, dancing the night away with the crew and Jim and others and also enjoyed a second drink. We packed it in right as the Captain was heading out – he was there partying alongside us into the wee hours of the night! Side note on our captain, Stefano Rivera. He is great and a lot of fun. He is always out and about, mingling with passengers, and every day makes a shipboard announcement that he hopes we have a pleasant day on board “the beautiful white lady, your home away from home, the Ocean Princess.” We and our other passenger friends joke that the Captain never takes command of the ship as he is too busy socializing with the passengers!

We had such a great time today – it was the best New Year's Eve we have ever celebrated! How are we going to top this next year? We crawled into bed after 2:30am and watched a little TV to try to unwind and then turned off the lights at 3:15am!!



permalink written by  mohicanfan on December 31, 2009 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Beijing/Shanghai and a Princess Southeast Asia Cruise - Dec 2009
tagged Singapore, Asia and Cruise

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Half-way in Singapore

Singapore, Singapore



On landing in Singapore, we were the last people to leave our flight and enter the wonder that is Changi airport, the last except two people anyway! Not having booked any accomodation, nor actually having any idea we asked them if they could recommend either a place or area. To our surprise they actually owned a well-known hostel in the center of town and so we soon found ourselves filling out our immigration cards and making our way to G4Station, where we stayed throughout. We met a Finnish girl called Alina on the way and on arrival 'the rules' of living in Singapore and our hostel were clearly explained! Remember, sanitize your hands before using the internet!

A la sortie de l'avion, nous ne savions pas ou dormir et il commencait a se faire tard. Au hasard on demande aux derniers passagers, un jeune couple, s'ils ne connaissaient pas un endroit pas trop cher pour dormir. Bingo! L'homme nous dit qu'il est le proprio d'un hostel assez connu dans le centre! Hop on passe le service d'immigration pas commode du tout (ils voulaient une adresse a singapour, mon email et mon telephone!!) et on se dirige vers l'endroit en question, G4 avec Alina une finlandaise qui etait dans la meme situation que nous. Des fois on a vraiment de la chance. Nous decouvrons alors Singapour et ses reglements. Impressionnant! Nous n'avons par exemple pu acceder a internet qu'apres s'etre lave les mains avec une solution hydroalcoolique!

These rules are great though because what you have in Singapore is an immensely clean city with older men happily cleaning already clean metro station floors - most certainly giving you a different impression than Indonesia. A city that works and a city of order. We spent most of our time walking around the city - no we didn't! We walked to Orchard Road and got lost in the never-ending number of shopping centres and food stalls. We both left very happy, a few good deals in hand!

Ces regles contraignantes font toutefois la reputation de la ville, propre et efficace! Il est agreable de se balader dans cette ville ou on se sent en securite. Toutefois certains diront que cet extreme donne l'impression d'une ville aseptisee et sans ame. Nous on a plutot apprecie, et pour etre honnete on s'est vite dirige vers la fameuse avenue Orchard Road, le paradis du shopping. Des centres commerciaux a perte de vue. C'est dur car il faut prendre des decisions! Pourquoi aller dans celui-ci et pas un autre? Sur quel etage porter son attention? Lol. Ce qui est bien c'est que c'est un peu moins cher qu'en Europe et qu'en plus c'est la periode des soldes (nouvel an chinois) alors.... ca vaut pas le coup de s'en priver!

In the evening we went to the Night Safari and it was really good, efficiently organised [as everything] and worth the money. Sadly there are no photos because the conditions were not very good and using a flash is forbidden with the mostly nocturnal animals. Highlights were; the Asian Rhino, the enormous Tapias and a special crocodile with a huge bump on its nose that we got to see quite close up.

Nous avons passe notre soiree au zoo a faire le night safari. La aussi, bien organise! C'etait une experience originale. Par contre nous n'avons pas de photos car le flash est interdit pour le confort des animaux. Ce qui nous a le plus marque c'est de voir d'aussi pres des rhinoceros asiatique (peau tres speciale!) des enormes tapir et des crocodiles avec une grosse boule sur le nez dont je me rappelle plus du nom.

On the last evening, we ate across the road in an Indian that we got to know quite well and then made our way to Marina Bay / Barracks to see a point of view. We never found the viewpoint but we got to see a huge number of workers from the nearby construction sites who were changing shift. By day and night it seems that Marina Bay is being developed with some incredible skyscrapers. However the night was certainly not over and the main mission awaited - getting to the Indoor stadium where Muse [English Music group] were playing. Lenaic is a big fan of theirs and although we couldn't afford the tickets we decided to see if we could catch them afterwards. After the adventure that was getting there, we met their driver [a really cool guy] and incredibly got both an autograph and photo! Somebody was very happy! Then we walked across the city and home, eventually getting in at 3am. Singapore is finished for now but we will be back in a few weeks and hope to discover a few more places then!

La derniere soiree, nous avons mange indien (ici c'est nourriture indienne ou chinoise) puis nous sommes parti pour Marina Bay/Barracks la zone portuaire d'ou parait-il nous aurions une belle vue d'ensemble. Nous avons surtout vu des tours immenses a l'architecture tres design. On s'est retrouve parmi les travailleurs immigrants qui rejoignaient leurs baraquements pour la nuit, pendant qu'une autre equipe prenait le relais. La construction semble ne jamais s'arreter a Singapour. Mais la vraie mission de la soiree etait de se rendre vers le stade couvert de la ville ou jouait mon groupe de musique prefere, Muse! Bien que nous n'avions pas les moyens de nous acheter des places, il etait important d'etre sur place... au cas ou. Deja on entendait pas si mal de l'exterieur et on a pu faire la connaissance de leur chauffeur (qui nous a lache plein d'infos) en attendant la fin du concert. Mission accomplie, autographe+photo! Super contente! Du coup le retour de plus d'une heure de marche jusqu'a l'hostel est pas trop mal passe. C'etait la fin de Singapour, mais nous revenons dans quelques semaines pour en decouvrir un peu plus. Vivement!

Thought about staying here but changed our mind... ;)



permalink written by  Lenameets50 on February 4, 2010 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged Singapore, City and Civilisation

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Singapore: The bit we missed!

Singapore, Singapore



So after the fabulous adventure that was 'Borneo' we find ourselves back in Singapore and back to our hostel between Little India and Bugis. We sit here after two days catching up on the things that we missed last time we were in the city and making sure we got those bus tickets to our last stop before Kuala Lumpur and the flight back to Europe. Not even two days and absolutely tired out! Cream-crackered! Sapped of our energy, new things to do and more significantly - Singaporean dollars, money!

Apres notre fabuleux periple a Borneo, nous voila de retour a Singapour au meme endroit que la derniere fois. Nous avons pu decouvrir les quartiers que nous n'avions pas eu le temps de faire. 2 jours epuisants a depenser notre energie... et nos dollars singapouriens!!!

After we arrived yesterday morning, we went across to the Islamic part of the city and found several good places to eat and a few roads that resembled the city of old. However the skyscrapers and huge commercial centers were never far away and made the back-drop to our walk quite picturesque. It was hot, real hot and the hustle and bustle of the streets we took the MRT [Metro] to Clarke Quay and found solace by the side of the river. We watched others eating and drinking, the boats passing-by and then a little reminder of Borneo - two eagles flying from a telecommunications mast. It was quite incredible to see nature there in such an urban theatre! Before the evening ended and the shops closed Lena managed to grab herself a bargain, giving her much enthusiasm for the following day, more shopping!

Nous avons tout d'abord decouvert le quartier islamique, ou l'on trouve toujours les meilleurs endroits pour manger. Cette fois-ci, notre trouvaille etait un sublime restaurant... indien!C'est tres bizarre car a Singapour il y a le quartier indien, little india. Cela reflete bien la mixite rencontree dans cette ville avec les communautes chinoise, musulmane, indienne et tous les expatries. Ensuite nous sommes alles a Clark Quay, l'endroit ou tout le monde sort pour boire un verre le long des quais. C'est tres agreable. Nous nous sommes poses la, le long du canal a profiter de l'ambiance tranquille et animee a la fois. Et surprise, nous avons pu apercevoir 2 aigles qui avaient fait leur nid en haut d'une tour de telecommunication! Borneo n'etait soudainement plus tres loin!

Did i say 'more shopping'? ...Singapore has more shopping centres, arcades, underground passages, kiosks, stands, markets and luxury department stores than you can imagine. Then just as you think that you can imagine it, you have to double, treble and add to the picture you have, it's incredible! Days, weeks and small holidays could be spent browsing, wandering and spending! There is an enchanting amount of choice while customer service and the general shopping environment is something far beyond what we are used to in Europe! It's safe to say we loved it! But WARNING - it will leave you in need of a good Indian meal, some iced coffee and an early night - and that's exactly where we are going, so goodnight from us and goodbye Singapore!

Bon nous sommes encore tombes dans le panneau et n'avons pu resister a la tentation du shopping. C'est tout simplement impossible! Cette fois-ci nous avons mesure un peu plus a quel point Orchard Road est une rue demente : des centres commerciaux a ne plus savoir ou donner de la tete, qui sont quasiment tous interconnectes! On pourrait passer une semaine dans cette rue sans voir le jour! Singapour c'est bien, mais c'est la ruine!


permalink written by  Lenameets50 on February 25, 2010 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged Shopping and Singapore

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