The ultimate city-state

Trip Start Aug 23, 2010
Trip End Jul 15, 2011

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, October 2, 2010

What an interesting place. I can't believe how much the locals are in touch with, and how knowledgeable the residents are about their country...I guess you'd have to be in a country that is just a single city! Many people refer to Singapore as a "fine" reference to the multitude of fines you can wind up paying if you aren't careful. The government is strict in some regards, but not as harsh as people sometimes make it out to be from what I understand. They do take control of many things though, to try to steer people in the direction that they want: things such as offering subsidized housing to families (to encourage Singapore people seem to concentrate more on work then play these days).....they apparently also control the percentages of each race that live in each building in order to keep a healthy mixture. The streets are devoid of gum, as it's sale is banned in Singapore. People need to use crosswalks, and taxis can only stop at certain sections of road. In the subways, durians (smelly fruit) are banned, and eat and drinking ($500), smoking ($1000), and explosive material ($5000) carry hefty fines. The positives of all of these rules and fines are that you are left with an extremely clean, safe, and green city (you aren't allowed to cut down ANY trees in Singapore....even if it is growing in your property). In short, I liked it here. Very ethnically diverse, and increasingly so... the government wants to increase the population in order to keep the economy strong, and with Singaporeans reproducing at an all time low rate, they are making it very easy for foreigners to obtain permanent resident status (as long as they are educated). About 20% of the population is foreign born. I stayed in an area called Kamplong Glam, the Muslim quarter of Singapore. It is close to downtown, and the LRT, so it was a cool spot. During my time in Singapore, I hung out at the zoo,  hiked through the rainforest at Macritchie reservoir, went on a night safari, and hung out downtown. Pictures to follow.
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