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Singapore :: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 09:09 AM (GMT)


Singapore






Singapore [ Friday 14th January - Thursday 27th January ]

We left Bali behind and jumped on the plane to Singapore. The airport at Changi was really impressive and the airport staff were so friendly, which we've not experienced anywhere yet!
The passport control guys enquired how long we were staying in Singapore and we told them we were staying until the 27th, so they wished me Happy Birthday for the 24th. Well impressed.

Heading through the airport arrivals lounge, there's free internet for everyone. Bonus!
Signs lead exactly to the MRT terminal, where a guy was on hand to offer any help that you needed.

The MRT runs like clockwork, as does every part of Singapore. I think we're like gonna like this place!



Being in South East Asia, we now felt like proper travellers although everyone does speak English. Many better than us!
We did feel like giants though, towering over the Singaporeans. I reckon we gave a few people bad necks!

We were based at the fantastic Inn Crowd, in the Little India area of Singapore. The smells and sights made it feel like you were in Calcutta, albeit probably a bit cleaner.

Singapore is undoubtedly the shopping capital of Asia, if not the world. Orchard Road is the mecca for shopaholics, so we headed down there one day.
The sheer amount of shops is unbelievable, teamed with the outside heat and the people it's a bit of a nightmare.
The only respite is the shop's airconditioning, the problem is they have it set at -5 degrees, so when you go back out you really can feel the heat.
We actually picked up colds in Singapore because of the airconditioning!

I started to noticed a few shops with Lee in their name, so I thought it would be fun to start 'collecting' them.
After about the 30th shop, the novelty of seeing a shop with 'Lee' in it's name, soon wore off. We did see a couple of interestingly named shops - check out the pix below.

The following evening, we went out around Little India with Zack and a few others from the hostel. Sunday night is really busy around Little India, as it's the only day the local Indian population have off.

Earlier that day, a group of 7 Irish turned up and having flew all the way from Dublin headed straight to bed.
When we returned that evening, after going around Little India, they were awake and up for 'the craic'.
We all headed out to Boat Quay where there's a load of bars and namely, karaoke bars. Karaoke is very different here to how we 'do it'. Rather than trying to sing a song you think you know, the Singaporeans are very passionate about it although very reserved.
Each person sits at their own table and sings their chosen song. No one joins in and no one claps following the song.

Once our turn came around, we took it upon ourselves to show them how it's really done.
I took them through a rendition of 'Hotel California' by The Eagles, and keeping with the California theme then sang 'Californication' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Both were received quite well although the only praise was from our group, who after plenty of jugs of Tiger Beer were getting quite raucous.
Dancing in the karaoke bars is an offence apparently in Singapore and as we were all breaking the law, we decided to move to a bar where you could.

Far too many jugs of Tiger later, we all called it a night at 5 in the morning and headed back to the hostel. Those Irish can drink!

The next few days were spent recovering and mainly watching some of the dvd's we picked up in Bali.

One evening we went to the Night Safari, which was fantastic and highly recommended. There were animals there that we never knew existed, let alone ever seen before.
Sadly, there's no pictures as flash photography isn't allowed, it scare's the animals and we don't want that.

Singapore's Botanical Gardens have been voted the best in the world, so we had a wander through there which was great.
After that we went up Mt. Faber, which wasn't too impressive. More hill than mountain, to be honest.

Chinatown was getting ready for Chinese New Year and was brightly decorated with red and gold lanterns.
We had a meal at a hawker stall, which was really nice and so cheap.

During our time in Singapore, the Hindu festival of Thaipusam was on. There's a seperate article for that, which will appear later.
We also visited the island of Pulau Ubin, which again will appear later.
The pictures from my birthday are also in a seperate article, here.

We had an excellent time in Singapore, despite both having cold's and me making desperate runs to the loo quite frequently.
The food was good but my guts have yet to adapt! Indian curries and 8 pints of Tiger every night, are not good for your system!

Enjoy the pictures - there's plenty of em.




Free internet. Lee's favourite!



Orchard Road



What an unfortunate name for a shop.



Lee with one of 'his' shops.



The markets around Little India









Serangoon Road - the heart of Little India



The 7 (6 plus 1 taking the picture!) Irish, Joo, Katy, Anya and Me



"Umm, which song do I 'think' I can sing?"



"On a dark desert highway..."



Take that..... and party!



Joo and Katy



How many pints of Tiger?



Joo, Katy and "Little Mo"



Us at the Night Safari



Gadget heaven - Sim Lim Square



Strange fruit...



Even stranger things! These are dried duck and sausages. Tasty...not.



Joodles!



"Where else should one partake of the Singapore Sling but at Raffles Hotel" poster



Raffles Hotel









Harry's Bar - Nick Leeson's local



Joo and Me 'researching' Harry's Bar



Skyscrapers around Boat Quay









This shop took the piss!



Singapore Botanical Gardens






One of our drinking buddies.



Mee Lee? Yes, I am!



Temple in Little India






Hawker stall



The Inn Crowd, Singapore





 
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