Please beware of swing flapper

Trip Start Nov 01, 2007
Trip End Jun 28, 2008

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Where I stayed
Frankel Road Hostel

Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Now, you know you are going somewhere interesting when the first sign you come upon is "Please Beware of Swing Flapper", and then you see signs that say "Beware of Falling Arm and Cat Claw". In my mind, I imagined Jackie Chan jumping out from behind a bush and trying out some crazy martial arts moves on us! In reality, it was just the immigration area entering Singapore. A Swing Flapper is an automated clear plexiglass gate that swings open and closed to allow one person through and actually then keep the queue behind the yellow line. (Doesn't happen anywhere else in SE Asia!) Falling Arms and Cat Claws have something to do with the parking lot gate arm thingy. Still, what an interesting place we have come to.....signs, signs, everywhere signs!

Our journey from Kota Kinabalu was pretty straight forward. We flew into Johor Bahru (Malaysia) and then foolishly I assumed it was a quick jaunt across the bridge to Singapore. In reality, it took us nearly four hours by the time we got from the airport to our hostel in Singapore. Our time in Singapore certainly turned out to be even shorter than we had planned!

At first glance, its a beautiful modern city, like Hong Kong and (parts of) Bangkok. And it is neat - no rubbish on the ground here. Still, no rubbish bins very often either, so we ended up carrying around empty water bottles etc, for ages. The MRT (subway) is a good way to get about, thank goodness. You have to pay a S$1.00 deposit extra each time for the plastic ticket card, though, which you then can put it back into a ticket machine at the end of your journey to get the deposit back. Seems an oddly fiddly way to ensure the plastic cards get reused. Why not just take the tickets when exiting the terminal like in the UK?

Our highlight of our trip to Singapore was the new Singapore Flyer. Its touted as the world's largest Ferris Wheel, standing at 165m. I guess that means its bigger than the London Eye? It just opened in Feb '08, and seems to be a popular attraction to the locals at the moment. I think we were about the only tourists on it when we were there. It takes about a half hour to do the whole rotation, and we got some spectacular views of the downtown skyline including some docks and a golf course.

Otherwise, we did a wee bit of shopping (mostly window, sadly!) and are now just hoping for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow morning we have to get up and do the whole journey in reverse to get back to the Johor Bahru airport to fly to Surabaya (Java).

Lots of love,
K & M
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