It's difficult to describe Singapore without mentioning all of the massive skyscrapers that dominate the skyline so I won't even try. There are loads of massive new looking buildings all over the place and to be honest it looks great. We've always thought of Singapore as quite a boring place, full of office workers doing there thing, but not much else, a bit like living in Canary Wharf perhaps but we are happy to say that there is a lot more and that we really enjoyed Singapore.
First a confession, we planned on spending two and a half days (three nights) in Singapore which would be enough to see the main bits we thought. Unfortunately someone (me) assumed that our flight to Bali was on Wednesday 11th, but on Monday we looked at the flight schedule and found that our flight was on the Tuesday. Cue a bit of a panic and plenty of abuse being sent in my direction about how I should check these things, the net result being that we missed a day here and won't be getting to go to the zoo or night safari. Personally having missed two flights in my past due to poor planning I think this marks a definte improvement for me so pats on the back all round I think.
So....Singapore. This was the first genuine youth hostel that we have stayed in, although we didn't go for the dorm and had our own private room (next to the dorm, but there was a flimsy wall seperating us from the prols). It was nice and clean and friendly so can't complain. We were based in the quiet Arab quarter which had a lovely mosque at the end of the road, which provides a great backdrop to a pedestrianised street of cafes and shops but unfortunately it does loudly call people to prayer at 5am waking up everyone in a mile radius in the process.
Singapore is very hot and humid and you sweat just walking out of the door, but we weren't going to let an little thing like that keep us from our wanderings which took in Little Arabia, Little India, Chinatown, the old Colonial section including Raffles Hotel, the fort on the hill set in quiet gardens and the many shopping malls. My God there are a lot of shopping malls here, at times it seems like they cover half the city centre, but they do provide a great air conditioned haven for the sweaty Westerners.
We went to see the Sex in the City film on the first night, which was as you'd expect it to be really. After that we met Rhiannon's friend Nicole who lives here and took us to some cool bars. Sight seeing on the next day and then the flight fiasco before more bars that night with Nicole and despite it being a Monday and alcohol prices being very high, they were busy. We also ate at a hawkers market which hi-lighted the difference between Singapore and the rest of the region, in that it was clean. Spotlessly so in fact, unlike the dirty bacteria infested food stalls in the other countries, but personally I think the food wasn't as good and it lacked the atmosphere of the other countries.
So to sum up we both really liked Singapore and of all the places in SE Asia this is where we would want to live and it's just a shame we didn't get to spend more time there, but we will surely come back. Recommended.
Only two weeks to go now. Gutted.