Quite a culture shift! From Bali and a country that is still highly rural with an average per capita income and GDP of a few thousand dollars - to one of the richest and most developed nations.We stayed on Orchard Road at the Marriott hotel in the heart of the shopping district - one of the few or only places where we plan on staying in chain hotels.
The first morning we visited the Arab Street area, where Sue bought 2 silk carpets for shipping to Vancouver and visited a large mosque.Sue had to wear a floor-length covering and head scarf to enter the mosque - and blended in very well. Little India was not too interesting and we set off to the new marina district.
I made several trips to Singapore about 10 years ago. The development during the period since then is pretty impressive.The old harbour from which I had previously set off on boat-cruises around Singapore is now a freshwater lake - as the entrance has been dammed. There is now an enormous brand new Sands hotel and surrounding shopping and entertainment complex. The architecture is really stunning both from without and within. I don't think I have ever seen so many high-end stores in one place. It makes Vegas look pretty downmarket.
We wandered around in the heat along the waterfront and up to Boat Quay, opposite the old colonial buildings of Singapore - and had a beer in the same English pub I recall from my previous visits.
On our 2nd evening in Singapore I came down suddenly with a case of gut rot. Not sure if it was a delayed effect from Bali or something I ate in one of the food markets in Singapore. Anyway, I had a fairly unpleasant evening and night and slowly recovered. Sue had felt bad just before leaving Bali - but made far less fuss than me so, I don't think we realised quite how sick she was. I, on the other hand, made it quite apparent that I was battling a near terminal illness. I even got some sympathy - which I assume is because we have not spent that much time together as yet.
We all spent a while in an internet café today - until I left to get some rest. It surprised me, considering how technically advanced Singapore is, that we had problems getting internet or wifi access. The Marriott had access for some exorbitant rate - about Can$32 per day - which we refused to pay on principle. They also seemed to have been able to block any other WiFi signals.In the villas in Bali we had good wifi access for free - even getting it to work on my BlackBerry.
In our last night in Singapore Sue and I went to Clarke Quay - which used to be a quiet mix of restaurants and bars along the old harbourfront and is now the night-life place and includes a semi-covered areaof false-fronted buildings and fountains with bars and clubs pouring out live music. Jessi and Krista decided not to join us and went back to the hotel for a quiet evening - after reminding us to behave ourselves and not stay out too late.They claim they are saving themselves for Europe where they will be on their own and can really enjoy the nightlife - with parents far away.......
We are now at Changi Airport in Singapore - on our way to our next stop - Krabi in Singapore ...........