Onto the 6th Continent
Trip Start Jun 12, 2004
50Trip End Jan 01, 2005
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Singapore is sort of South East Asia-Lite. It's in Asia, but it's very urban, clean, and fairly expensive. There are all sorts of rules that are strictly enforced like no chewing gum, no jaywalking, no grafitti, etc. yet there was a fair amount of litter around.
I spent four nights in Singapore. After arriving late on April 13th, I checked into a hostel & watched "American Idol." It seems nearly every country I have visited (South American, NZ, Australia, Asian) has had this show
My first full day in Singapore happened to be my birthday. I walked around the city, visited a few temples, and hung out at the air-conditioned Malls (catching the flick "Guess Who." That night, I went with Anna from my hostel to the Raffles Hotel's Long Bar. The hotel itself is a $500 US a night accomodation, but we wore our best clothes just to get into the bar. The bar serves $12 US drink called the Singapore Sling. It's a very sweet pink slushie-type alcohol drink.
Also in Singapore, I visited Chinatown, the Night Safari at the Zoo, and Har Paw Villa. My biggest highlight in Chinatown was being an extra in some Chinese soap opera. They were filming in a really deserted mall & I happened to walk by. The Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo must be one of the best attractions in Singapore. This is the first zoo in the world that was specifically built for the veiwing of animals in the night time. You know how one often feels they don't see many animals in the daylight since they're all hiding in the sun? Well, the night zoo let's you see ALL the animals. There were some crazy squealing otters and cool fishing cats. The scariest experience was going in a huge enclosure with many fruit bats that were supposedly harmless but still seemed to swoop at your head
From Singapore, I rode a bus for 4 hours to Melaka, Malaysia (crossing the border on the way with no problems). Melaka is a port city that has been ruled by the Islamic Sultans, Portuguese, Dutch, English, and Japanese in the last 500 years before becoming independant recently. Here, I met a Dutch girl & we have visited the museums and churches. We spent a bit of time in Chinatown checking out the shops. Tonight I'll be going out for some cheap Malay food.
The weater has been very hot and humid since arriving in Asia. My hair is frizz-city! I break into a sweat after walking about one city block. Despite this, with enough drinking water I've had enough energy to see all the sites I wanted to see.