Someone hurry up and make a mess
Trip Start Jan 28, 2006
47Trip End Feb 20, 2007
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When I boarded the plane I was lucky enough to get a seat in the emergency exit seating area. It is the only row on any plane that offers business class leg room at a budget seat price. On this Tiger Airways budget airline there are never assigned seats. It is up to the passenger to find the best possible seat. The leg room for all the other seats on this budget airline doesn't have enough leg room for a dwarf
I arrived in Singapore early Thursday morning. On the bus on the way to the hostel I took notice that Singapore was remarkably clean and well kept. My eyes searched endlessly looking for a flaw in the towering city. I arrived at my hostel and became acquainted with other travellers. I was introduced to the highlights of Singapore, and went exploring. I was amazed at the fact that everyone in Singapore spoke english fluently. I learned that for the last few decades english had been declared Singapores first language. I was also made aware that there are very strict laws here with extreme punishments for those caught in the act. For example, it is illegal to use a toilet in Singapore and not flush it. You will also be given a $500 fine if you are caught spitting in public. And chewing gum...don't even think about it!
Singapore is a culturally diverse country with the majority being of Chinese descendent. Minorities include Mayay, Indian, and fewer then 1% European. I strolled along the footpaths of the city taking notice that Singpore is far more technically advanced then anywhere I had ever been. The architectural design of the seamlessly never ending skyscrapers were unbelievable works of art. Massive statues and monuments stand at every corner. Singapore has a smaller land area then Toronto but is populated with 4.3 million people living in what appears to be perfect harmony
After my introductory stroll through the city the hostel owner to a number of us on a dinning tour. For $20 I enjoyed several meals from all over Asia. From 5PM to 3:30AM I indulged myself with food from Singapore, Malaysia, Veitnam, Thailand, the Phillapenes, Indonesia, China, and India. In the meantime countless jugs of Tiger beer were ushered in. Due to the amount of food that padded my stomach, the alcohol surprisingly never got to my head. For about $14 Canadian dollars I ate more in those 8 hours then I had in the entire previous week!
The next few days were spent digesting and touring the island. I visited all the must see places. My favorite place being Little India. Singapore's Little India is recognized as a mirror image of Calcutta, India. From the vibrant colours that chaotically dress the streets, to the unique variety of Indian food eaten on banana leafs, using only your fingers as utensils, Little India is its own country here. Chinatown is a large district that retains significant historical and cultural significance. Shopping and dining at its best here. The food is great and cheap. I ate fried rice, a serving of sweet n' sour chicken, pork satay, and an array of steamed veggies for $2. Street vendors make several attempts to lure tourists into their stall by waving, pointing and smiling. Not far from Chinatown I visited Raffles Hotel where the Singapore Sling was invented. Myself, Chris from England, Meryal of Italy, Dave from Sweden, and a guy who's name I don't remember from Holland sat at the overpriced restaurant and ordered the $18 drink, and nothing more. I must admit, the Singapore Sling there was rich in flavor, but no drink to me is worth that much.
No trip to Singapore is complete without visiting the icon that the country is famous for, the Merlion. The Merlion is a half fish, half lion statue that stands several meters high. It's majestic presence is a major tourist attraction. I got there just about the same time as every Japanese tourist in Asia.
After five days in Singapore I can safely say that this is one of the most structurally sound, and wealthy countries that I have ever seen. Laws Singapore are strict, but crime is low and the country is booming. I was good for five days, but now it's time to move onto Thailand. Next stop, Bangkok, Thailand.