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Singapore Travels

June 6 – 8, 2006

After a much better journey than our previous train ride, we arrived in Singapore around 1 pm (although our projected arrival time had been 10am). We’d heard such good things about how organized and convenient Singapore was that we were surprised to find ourselves virtually stranded at the train terminal. There was no ATM machine for us to withdraw cash in Singapore dollars, and there was no bus station or metro to help us get anywhere. And it was raining.

Singapore was off to a bad start. But, there was nothing to do except take out our umbrellas and head out in search of an ATM. We found one soon enough, and then walked to the nearest metro station only to find it completely automated. So we had to walk to another one to actually find a person working there who could give us change for a ticket. We finally boarded the metro and then walked to the nearest hostel in Little India. But we didn’t like it, so we walked to our second choice, only to find that it was full. It was about 2:30 pm by now, we were hungry and tired and near a breaking point. Another traveler directed us to a hostel just around the corner, and we happily checked in there. We walked across the street and had Indian food for “breakfast” at 3pm. So you can understand why we’re a bit tired of traveling and are looking forward to all the creature comforts of home.

 Despite our difficult entry into Singapore, we were willing to keep our minds open and indeed, we ended up liking it a lot. Transport turned out to be easy, the food was great, the air and everything else was super clean, and best of all, we could drink the tap water!!!! For the past 15 months, we’ve had to pay for every drop of water we’ve drunk. Free water seemed nearly miraculous. It was a good thing the water was free, because Singapore was painfully expensive. For most of our trip, we’ve paid less than $10 for our own room with a bathroom, and in Singapore we paid about $24 for beds in a shared dorm room. So although we liked the clean and efficient city, we could only afford to stay there two nights.

Apparently the main thing to do in Singapore is shop, but since it was so expensive compared to the rest of Asia, we just walked around and drooled. I found my perfect mall, not because of what was in it, but because of the great design. It was a spiral mall, meaning you could start at one point, and walk up a gentle slope round and round and see every store in the mall. All malls and museums should be designed this way. Zac also found his perfect mall: an IT mall, filled with computers and electronics. It was a true “man mall.”

Singapore skyline

Our hostel

fabulous Indian food for our 3pm “breakfast” at this restaurant

the spiral mall

Singapore skyline


city hall

statue of Sir Raffles

the Fullerton hotel

art building
Singapore is very much a Chinese city.  This is evident in a lot of the architecture.


Posters decrying the Chinese communist party

Where would we be without our Chicken Rice?

“Fan” means “rice” in Chinese

The rice-bun was indeed fan-tastic

Little India where we stayed

Pottie Pie….yum yum!

So of course we had to eat it.

Hindu temple
Singapore is also famous for its many rules and harsh penalties.  But they do keep the city clean and nice.

Apparently, strict rules have a long history in Singapore, as shown by this original sign in front of a bridge, prohibiting use to overweight vehicles and cattle and horses.

Singapore at night was also an impressive sight.

The Fullerton Hotel

The Esplanade

The Merlion was under construction

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