Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Apr 15, 2008

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The first thing we did in Singapore was buy a new camera. One of the few things we knew about the country before we arrived was that the shopping is amazing and intense. As soon as we stepped off the metro on Orchard Road, the country's most famous shopping district, we had no problem finding an affordable replacement, which happens to be 10 times cooler than our old one. Though there is a bit of a learning curve for this one as it is a bit more technical. Watch for improvements over the coming months.

So we are happily back in picture-taking mode. The funny thing about our little Singapore album though, is that the photos we took don't really represent the what the city center actually looks like. We shot the majority of our pictures at the Singapore Zoo, the Singapore Botanical Gardens, and at a place called "Underwater World." The rest of the city just didn't seem very photogenic, despite all of it's modern and clean lustre.

Yes, the buildings are ultra-modern and the waterfront is totally upscale and neon-finished. But it's still just not terribly interesting. The edgiest thing about Singapore is some of the street fashions that can be bought at the countless shopping centers, which are all perfectly organized and spotless.

Actually, the entire country is pristine. Rather than boasting "The most southern point in continental Asia," Singapore should be promoting, "The cleanest Chinatown in the world." We had dinner there one night and could not get over the distinct Disney vibe.

But the country isn't all that odd, or bland for that matter. The people there are culturally diverse and delightful. Everyone we met spoke perfect English, which made it that much easier to recognize and enjoy their friendly nature.

The food is also wonderfully diverse (and the only cheap thing in the entire country). In Singapore, it's all about the mall food. Hawkers set up their own unique stall in a large food court and you get to shop around until you find the dish you desire...Malaysian, Korean, Chinese, Thai...and at $3 per meal.

Beer and alcohol is entirely different. We overpaid a few times for a pitcher of Tiger beer ($20 or more!!!) and could not even entertain the idea of buying a cocktail. We searched almost every corner of the city for a reasonably affordable Singapore Sling and just couldn't do better than $16. So, we responsibly said no to the country's signature drink and decided to wait until we got back to Bangkok to enjoy a cheap, less-authentic version.
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