Trip Start Jul 12, 2006
Trip End Jun 18, 2007

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wow, what a contrast Singapore is to Hong Kong! We arrived yesterday evening and got the MTR from the airport to our hostel. The first thing I noticed was how hot it was, about 31c and humid as well, although not as bad as Brisbane. It's much cleaner than Hong Kong, a lot nicer and people are so much more polite. Excusing themself if they knock into you and say sorry for getting in your way. It's also not as claustrophobic.

It's very multicultural though, with chinese, Malay and indians as well as having an Arab population. Signs are translated into three or four different languages. We had a wander around the night market after arriving and managed to get some delicious food for about a pound!  I bought a hair clip yesterday for about 4 UK pounds at Temple Street market in Hong KOng and was rather peeved to find it on sale here (in a shop) for the equivilent of about 2 UK pounds. I guess that shows how rubbish I am at bartering!

The hostel we're stayign in is absolutely gorgeous, it's right by Bugis MRT station and was an absolute breeze to get to from the airport. Our room is beautiful, painted in lavender and white with a lovely double bed with iron bedstead.A far far cry from the hovel we've just stayed in. It's also really central to everthing and just about comes under an area called Kampong Glam - how appropriate!

Today we've been wanderign around all the incredibly hi-tec IT centres, Lee really wanted to have a look around them, they're basically like tottenham court road but in huge, huge buildings. Facinating (read: boring as hell!). Still, the buildings were air conditioned and I managed to get a new memory card quite cheaply.

We've had a wander into Little India, which is great. Full of colourful little shop houses selling all sorts of things. We had lunch in an indian place that served food on banana leaves. I also had my first experience of a squat toilet, which is rather difficult with a bag and trousers on. I think I mgiht have to practice that manouver, or face having to buy new shoes and trousers every few weeks! The food we had was delicious but we had to eat it with our hands, which was a bit weird to get used too. It did feel a bit funny, especially after seeing the toilet facilities but I'm guessing things will only get worse as we get on.

People in Singapore are furious shoppers, I've never seen so many people out shopping at once, I've never seen so many shops in one places before and I've never seen so many shops selling so many things to so many people in my life before ever - just think Oxford Street on Christmas Eve, times it by about a million and then you may have some sort of idea what we're talking here. It's pure shopping craziness.

Again, people warned us that Singapore was expensive, but so far we haven't found that at all here either. Good quality food is dirt cheap, cosmetics and toiletries are still as cheap as hong kong. Clothes and shoes are cheap. We haven't really experienced the alcohol side yet as we just had a few beers at a hawker stall last night. We're both tempted to do the whole Raffles hotel -Singapore Sling thing but you need to be dressed up for that so we'll have to see how we get on.
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