The fun begins ...

Trip Start Jan 16, 2007
Trip End Apr 31, 2007

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We arrived in Singapore at 2am local time and made our way over to our mate Tony's place (where we had great fun waking him up). Three time zones in less than a week had messed up our sleeping plans but we slept like logs in a comfy bed (thanks to Tony sleeping on the couch - bless him!)

Singapore is a clean, harmonious, organised country - a mixture of Chinese, Malay and Indians. All the cultures live happily together and the locals pride themselves of having no racial problems nor tensions. In times like these that's a pretty big achievement.

The first day in Singapore we explored the shopping delights of Orchard Road, starting off with a meal of local cuisine (dumpling soup & "roast meat with rice"). Yum!. A couple of very large, very expensive Heineken's at the ex-pat haunt of Muddy Murphy's Irish bar and then we were off to have dinner & Tiger beers with Tony and his workmate in a local eating house.

Our second day we swam in the pool of the condominium where we were staying and soaked up some Singapore sun. After being used to the harsh Aussie & NZ sun it was pleasant to do some sun-baking without having that peculiar feeling of being slowly fried.

Content with being lazy for half the day we then set off to the Hindu Thaipusam Festival within Little India. Devotees walk a 4km course between two main temples, carrying offerings to their God of Favours (Lord Subramanium).

They also carry their 'burdens' along which are symbolised by metal frames secured to their bodies by spikes or hooks. They are doing this to ask a favour or give thanks for a favour received. Even though the hooks pierce flesh, not a drop of blood is spilt and the participants feel no pain.

We were lucky enough to be allowed in the temple when the devotees were being prepared. Incense filled the air as did the loud Hindu chanting from a group of musicians.

Walking along the main route of the parade we felt like we were really in India, it had such a different feel to the Singapore we had just come from. Strangely enough we elicited many stares from the locals, and although we felt relatively safe, we were very aware of a separation between us and the locals.

After the festival we cabbed over to Chinatown which is preparing for their New Year Celebrations in February. Bright red lanterns cover the streets and the stalls are stocked with Chinese treats and delicacies.

We sat in Food Street and ate a mixture of satays, steamed buns and dim sums, all washed down with a couple cold bottles of Tiger Beer. The difference between Chinatown and Little India was marked - here we felt accepted and just one of the crowd. Locals were happy to have a chat and explain to us what exactly we were eating for dessert: crispy thin chocolate pancakes filled with sweet egg white and coconut with spices.

Wandering around Chinatown we rested our legs and watched the Chinese New Year Celebration show which consisted of some beautiful girls performing elegant dances, followed by a lithe girl who spun about 20 hula-hoops about her body - and then 2 little contortionists who enchanted the crowd with their display of strength, flexibility and incredible things that can be done with two large tubes.

We ended our time in Singapore with an excellent meal at a local Malaysian restaurant where we're both throughly satiated for a very reasonable price. I'm finishing this off at Changi airport as we are about to jump on a plane to Krabi, Thailand where we plan to laze on the beach, get daily massages and avoid eating any chicken.

Hope that everyone is well.

Andy and Sam
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mattgb on

Take some real photos
Alright you two, you can stop scanning post cards and cutting and pasting from the Michelin guide now... ;-)

I want hear about the random people you've met. You know, like the ones that Rob can't seem to avoid. (no offence Rob, it's just a force of nature that cannot be altered. Kinda like a gravity constant. Ok, now I'm the wierdo. Bugger.)

Show us the photos of you two asleep next to some random beggar after the jet lag and a night on the Tiger gets the better of you... :-))

Or the photo of the toilet... ok now I need to go to bed.

Night! Have a great trip! Photos are tops by the way.

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