Far, far from Asia
Trip Start Apr 06, 2007
33Trip End Nov 18, 2007
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After hopping on and off the bus 4 times at immigration stops on the causeway across to Singapore the bus then drove into the city. Being just 85 miles north of the equator the island is covered in greenery, in and out of the city. Greenest city I've been to.
I stayed in Little India which was cool. Lowrise, modest colonial terrace streets with walkways underneath packed with shop wares and fruit markets. Indian beats could be heard from stereos in the markets
I got the subway into the central business district and was more overwhelmed with huge skyscrapers than KL or Bangkok. I could see nothing but buildings, having to crank my neck to see the blue sky. The streets were rubbish free and the pavements had almost no black splodges of chewing gum (chewing gum is illegal in Singapore). The greenery was pristinely kept and the public spaces were neat and sharp. Singapore lacked a human touch. But architecturally it comes close to the top European cities. I found myself at one skyscraper, then at another I'd spotted and then I'd find a nice lowrise building. I walked all day. The colonial buildings and Chinese temples made the city even more interesting sat right against the ultra modern stuff.
There was even cheap stall food in a Chinese food court. This completely destroyed any mental preparation for, compared to the last 6 months in Asia, extortionate prices of Australia. Here I had an interesting and, with an open mind and palette, delicious desert: crushed ice with various sauces served with sweetcorn, kidney beans, rice noodles and crushed nuts.
Plenty of travellers dislike Singapore, dismissing it as boring
So a great end to Asia even though you could be a million miles from it. There are so many things I will miss from Asia: the attention, the markets, food stalls, friendliness, love of football, chopsticks, the native clothing, lack of table manners, expense, hospitality, being the only blue eyes around, buddhism, Islam, monsoon, animals everywhere, children everywhere. And they're just things off the top of my head. If I were to look through photos, my blog and my journal I could write pages of things that are constant in Asia and will be sorely missed.
From Singapore it was a 4 hr plane journey to Darwin in the very north of Australia. I wasn't looking forward too much to Australia, theres no way it can live up to Asia.