Trip Start Jan 04, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Mary and I said our goodbyes in a tired and hungover state, and I boarded a bus which looked really nice until it started moving, and I found it had egg shaped wheels. Either that or the suspension was shot as we bounced all the way to Singapore, where the lazy driver dropped us at the border with all our bags and no idea what to do. I had no idea what the currency was like so drew some money out, and realised later it was probably too much. I alsmost had to plump for the deluxe suite at the Gallery hotel, at 238 Singapore dollars, about 80 quid (I was secretly looking forward to it, very posh). But just before ringing them back I found one more place which had a room for 75 dollars, so stayed there instead.

After arriving I set straight out wandering around the city, which is a fantastic place. Costs are pretty similar to UK for general things, but all the shops and buildings are spectacular, huge hotels and malls everywhere. I got back just in time to go out again to an area called Emerald Hill, which is an area where lots of expats and travellers would hang out. With good intentions I meant to have the odd drink interspersed with walks around to see the area, but I ran into an american and we got chatting and drinking. He then took me on his own version of sightseeing, which involved more bars. Got home quite late and just managed to force myself up in time for the free breakfast about 10am. I checked out at 12, and spent the afternoon wandering and seeing more sights, before setting off for the airport in the evening to catch my flight to Sydney, which happens to coincide with the England v N Ireland World Cup qualifier, a bit of bad planning on my part.

I couldn't finish the Singapore section without mentioning the airport, which is typical of Singapore itself, incredibly clean and well organised. It has a pool on the roof, a gym, cinema and loads of shops and restaurants, and it makes the whole experience of the airport quiet pleasurable instead of the usual stressful nightmare. I got to the airport a few hours early as I had to check out and it was raining so didn't fancy wandering around the city. I checked in and had a look around, then went to the gym and had a shower afterwards.
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