We boarded the coach the Singapore from KL on saturday morning, expecting a minibus to which we had become accustomed too! instead, we were surprisingly travelling to singapore in style, a luxury coach complete with reclining seats- perfect sleeping conditions. Reached the border in double quick time, crossing the 'expressway' which simply turned out to be a single road. Walked through customs with minimum fuss, until the security guy took a fancy to Baij and/or his bag and decided to delve into it further. the look on baijus face was priceless- a cross between desperation and the knowledge that his bag was going to take unnecessary effort to close once more!
we were lucky enough to be invited to stay with a friend of baijus in singapore, which was a really nice condo/flat type of place on the outskirts of town, a really american type of place with communal pool and everything- apparently most 'foreign workers' live in buildings like these. Was so good stayin in a homely atmosphere for a few days, a proper bed and the realisation that we would have to pack our bags again in the morning to move onto the next place. arriving on a saturday night, we were given a glimpse into a typical singaporean sat night. after a tasty indian meal, fresh cocunuts an all, we took a visit to clarke quay, an area completly full with an array of bars and clubs- its like a shopping centre encouraging alcoholic consumption! was heaving as we expected, complete with a reverse bungy where ppl got ejected up into the air. theres also jetski 360, a watersports cokplx with jetskiing and waterskiing!
on sunday, we decided to hit the sights of singapore. managed to take in quite a few, including little india- where again we succumbed to cheap indian food, raffles place and hotel which formed the origins of the city and the bar where the first singapore sling was made (actually a nice cocktail too, complete with souvenir glass to add to my burgeoning collection), city hall and the supreme court- which has been newly redesigned as a ufo spaceship kind of building, designed by norman foster too! again, must be a south-east asian thing- we saw the nicest shopping centres- which im sure are designed to cater to different levels of wealth. theres the normal ones with average shops, which are packed, and the super rich centres full of only designer shops and boutiques- which are all empty!
Now on first mention, a night safari probably doesnt sound appealing right? but it did to me, so we tried it out that evening. accompanied by a fire breathing tribal show, a funny host of the animal show, our raucous and loud cheering to attempt to add a bit of noise to the proceedings and some outright comical, stereotypical and sexist accompaniment to our tour of the animal kingdown, it turned out to be good fun!
a visit to singapore would also not be complete without a visit to sentosa island, or so we were told. a man made island south of singapore i think, its kind of a building site at mo, with hotels and a universal studios to follow shortly. its like a theme park of some sorts, with attractions such as the merlion (the symbol of singapore- which we were enlightened about with another cheesy but patriotic video), a carlsberg viewing tower and a downhill luge, of which a typical male+speed=race situation followed, but dont worry kids, i edged home in front lol. the evening sound and light show was pretty good too, using water foam and lights to create 3d projections to allow some guy to sing to a mermaid and rescue her from her slumber in an underwater town- but dont worry tho, i didnt give the complete story away!
luckily, travelling around singapore was not only easy, but also incredibly cheap. the air conditioned metro was like a luxury compared to the memory of stuffy tube journeys, and the oyster card system was similar to the one at home. in the evening, we headed back out to clarke quay for a few bevvies. nightlife was good here too, in fact id be disappointed if we didnt go there for a stag! walking through, we saw this bar called clinic- its actually laid out like a hospital, with drinks served in test tubes, drips and bottles on tables, beds and wheelchairs! i know, sounds a bit wrong, but curiousity killed both the cats on this occasion and so we had a drink, served from the drip an all lol.
our time in singapore was a good one, a fusion of cultures from which we were able reminisce about home comforts, but also learn about singapore as a country on its own. the history of its origins, the mixture of indian, british, chinese and malaysian cultures and the modern day business and economic importance of singapore have culminated in a city which provides an atmosphere that we would consider moving into for a small amount of time. the bars and nightlife were also appealing- as i mentioned before- it should be on a shortlist of stag venues! Fortunately too- we didnt get arrested for jaywalking, littering or dropping chewing gum!
Next stop- india, excitement was running high- my first time there! wasnt sure what to expect, esp after all ive seen and heard about it- but knew that even if it came close to my expectations, i would have an amazing time!