Is This City Really Part Of Asia?
06.03.2012 - 08.03.2012 30 °C
So we're currently in Goa India where we have found ourselves another little piece of beach paradise. It is truly lovely here and a welcome change from India's crazy urban landscape. Goa has a lot of great history to boot but to be honest we (mainly I) have not been sleeping that well and the heat in Goa has been almost as intense as the rainforest. Needless to say then that we are quite comfortable sitting in beach chairs, reading our books while sipping on cold beverages. I won't give too much away but India has been great so far. Not sure what we expected but I think we were once again very well prepared for what a foreign country can throw at us. The heat and hotel rooms can often get your spirits down at times so we do have to remind ourselves from time to time just how lucky we are to be seeing this part of the world. Quite honestly when your tired and hot sometimes your mind can drift back to home where comfortable weather is a plenty as well as your comfy bed After enduring the heat of the equator for some time now I have decided to alter my response when we're in that classic conversation, "Canada? Isn't it really cold there?" - "No sorry, your wrong.... the weather is perfect. I'd trade freezing for dripping in sweat any day lol"
So Singapore... we arrived at around noon from Bali, quickly jumped on the subway and headed for the outskirts of downtown where we had booked two nights at Wow Hostel. It sure doesn't take a hell of a lot to WOW us about a hotel anymore because we were super impressed with what we got for $35 CAN in Singapore (much more expensive here then most of Asia). Sometimes a fast internet connection, soft bed and A/C is all you need to feel comfortable and at ease.
Do you fancy my new look? lol It didn't last long... there's a story behind it. You see Stacey's sister Jana had brought me hair clippers on their trip to Thailand because my original ones broke (rusted out actually) on our travels. The problem was that they came of course with a 120V adapter which isn't a problem if you have a travel transformer. Unfortunately that too had fried a while back which left me with no option to charge the hair clippers until I found another travel transformer. So I did what any cheap backpacker would do... I grew a beard and planned to shave once a month until we found said travel transformer (which I knew should be easy to find in Singapore). SO, mid-shave my clippers ran out of charge lol. This meant of course that I was left with half a beard covering my face. Enter Stacey with a pair of Crayon Scissors (not actually, but children's scissors bought at 7-11) to cut the rest off my face. End result - ONE SWEET ASS MOUSTACHE.
We decided to spend our first day touring around the city. Singapore is quite large and consists of several fairly distinct districts (colonial, Chinatown, Little India, financial sector etc), so we opted to see as much as we could with what time we had.... this of course meant lots and lots of walking. First place we headed was downtown to size up the skyline.
One of the first things I should mention about Singapore is it's cleanliness... not a single piece of garbage in sight! Obviously a much welcome change from the vast majority of Asia cities and streets. As some of you I'm sure are aware, Singapore is quite well known for it's many laws which include no smoking, no gum chewing, no littering, no spitting, and there's even mandatory toilet flushing (not flushing comes with a hefty fine... how do you get caught? or what if it just won't go down lol?) I for one have no problem with these laws as I think that they would make any city just that much more enjoyable and clean for the most part. Like I touched on before, if educating the populous is not an option then why not fine the shit out of people for littering? I mean honestly why not? Garbage and littering is of no advantage to anyone and it certainly shouldn't be a civil freedom to pollute and litter. Therefore if teaching isn't going to solve the problem then why not start enforcing fines? Any government I'm sure could use the extra revenue and in the process your helping to clean up your nation. Just a thought. It's only going to get worse unless people start changing (just wait till you see our pictures of Mumbai's beach... mind-blowing).
After downtown we headed off to Chinatown... not a real Chinatown by my standards... way too organized, clean and quiet lol.
Before it started to get dark we headed back towards downtown... more specifically Marina Bay, Singapore's new and excited development. It mainly consists of an extremely fancy shopping centre (with Venice like canals), ferris wheel, resort/hotel, and among other things a fancy bridge that forms a 3 km loop around the bay. I can see why people enjoy it so much as it seemed to be just a fantastic place to loiter around and people watch.
We hung around until nightfall... just Stacey, me and my sexy ass moustache lol... To our surprise we found out that every night there's a light/water show in the bay. So we hung around a while longer. Did I mention it was free?
After the show we decided to complete the loop and walk the other way around the bay. Definitely enjoyed the views of the skyline.
We spent the whole next day holed up in our hostel getting caught up on travel details for India, Skyping family, and emailing and blogging. Not very exciting stuff, but when you get ahold of a good internet connection abroad you gotta take advantage of it.
The following day we were slated to fly out in the evening... the initial plan was to spend the day at the zoo, but again we opted to save our pennies and instead visit the very much free botanical gardens. Besides, we thought it rather silly to go see animals in a zoo especially since we will be spending much money in the near future to see them in the wild... HOW COOL IS THAT!! Can't wait. These next pictures are especially for you Aunty Marlene...
What an immaculate garden! Truly beautiful but the heat and humidity almost made it impossible to enjoy. Overall Singapore wasn't too bad climate wise (maybe due to it's close proximity to the ocean) but that day in the botanical gardens, it was just like the rainforest... and I was dripping! Not saying that I would have been eager to learn the latin ass names of all the flowers or plants but at least it would've been easier to relax and smell the roses.
Saw this bad boy kickin' around too...
A Monitor Lizard! A pretty tame one too. I don't know if their dangerous but I got pretty close... fancied myself the Crocodile Hunter (God Rest his soul) for a little bit. Back to the flowers...
After our sweltering tour of the gardens we jumped on the subway (which had amazing A/C !!) and hightailed it back to our hostel. And that evening we found ourselves looking down on Singapore from our seats aboard a 747 on route to India!
To summarize, Singapore was really quite enjoyable. The people were really friendly and helpful (it was nice to be somewhere where everyone speaks perfect english), the food was excellent and diverse, and the city was spotless and modern. Definitely worth a stopover for a few days... even if it was a bit pricey for a cheap Ukrainian's budget... it was a good thing they served a free meal on the plane lol.