Trip Start Apr 23, 2007
17Trip End May 17, 2007
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Flew to Singapore from manila (clark) via tiger airways, a discount singaporean airline. They have brand new fleets of airbus 320s. manila to Singapore round trip for usd$160, but they charge for food and drinks on-board though. Instant Ramen noodle available too. Going to Singapore after Manila is like going back to civilization. Everything is so orderly and clean. Don't have to worry about taxi or bus drivers ripping you off because corruption is not quite a problem here and most stuff are very well regulated. I got a chance to meet two of my old high school buddies that I haven't seen in 17 years. It almost feels like back in high school again as we reminisce the old times. The main focus for the Singapore portion of the trip is food. Naturally we had the Chili crab, razor clams, satays (grilled meat on skewers with peanut dipping sauce), otahs (some sort of spicy shrimp paste grilled in banana leaf), mutton soap, turtle soup, murtabak (Indian pratha thingie with mutton and onions in it), and of course Hainanese chicken rice which is probably my favourite
Stayed at Mandarin marina hotel the first night at marina bay. usd$190 a night. That was pricey but I think almost worth it for a 5star hotel. The hotel claim they have the biggest atrium of any hotel in Asia. Looks cool with the slanted floors but seems like a terrible waste of space and air conditioning efficiency. There is live music playing in the atrium until 1am every night. The second and third day we decided to look for some cheaper hotel. We found a couple near the geylang red light district. They are anywhere from s$25 to s$69 a night and are reasonably clean w/o cockroaches. Being in the redlight district the hotels also rent their rooms for 'transit' purposes....say if you are tired from walking around in high humidity heat and you want to take a rest with your new found friendly companion for an hr or so. I highly recommend the geylang area because the bustling neighborhood is just full of color. Cheap food stalls remains open late (3-4am), and lots of fresh fruit stands where you can pick your tropical fruits of choice and have them cut it and serve it on a sit down table. All the durian stands are also in this neighborhood. There are many different grades of durian with different prices. We tried 2 different grades one being the highest grade according to the fruit stand keeper. It's called the "king of Elvis" and it was expensive at s$12 for probably half of a durian but I liked it a lot more than the cheaper grade. Well I have expensive taste....nothing new there. In the geylang neighborhood it is really cool to just sit by the café and watch people. It's also fun walking around checking out the redlight district. On a weekend they have literally hundreds of 'working' girls standing around in the 4-5 blocks in the area.
Fun fact for the day: according to the Singapore Zhineng QiGong society one needs to do 108 pelvis thrusts a day to improve one's health.