Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I only had four days in Singapore and by my second day my feet were covered (and still are) in blisters. Although in Asia, it feels like any other Western city. Singapore seems to have a love affair with malls, and shopping. Orchard road has over 30 malls lining the street. The MRT is so easy to use - you rarely have to wait more than 3 minutes for a train. Owning a car in Singapore is really expensive, around S$50,000 just to buy the rights to own a car, and then there's the cost of the actual car on top of that. Because of sheer cost most Singaporean's don't own cars, and so the demand has created an amazing web of public transport.

I was surprised that Singapore's main language is English. It was a bit weird being in an Asian city where everything is signposted in English - didn't really feel like I was very far away from New Zealand. I like the heat, usually, but I did find the climate a bit hard to deal with - walking much more than 500m was a chore. The humidity was insane, and while I arrived at the airport with beautiful straight hair, by the time I'd reached the hostel it was a disaster.

One of my friends back home introduced me to a lovely girl, Cristal, who I met up with and two of her friends. We went to a Hawkers centre and ordered enough food to feed a small village. It was awesome trying some of the local food, although I use that term loosely. Singapore is a vibrant mix of lots of cultures; Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malayan etc which has resulted in a very diverse culture. Apparently it's quite rare to cook in Singapore, and so eating out is insanely cheap. I really loved Little India; we had some incredible food there. The malls are grand, and slightly insane, buildings that are constantly bustling with people.

The Night Safari was really awesome, we drove around in a little tram past all the animals, dimly lit up under the darkness. I was metres away from a sleeping Leopard. There was also a bat enclosure that you were free to walk around. The little baby bats climbed inside the banana and ate their way out. I loved the giant flying squirrels, they looked just like red pandas. It was worth the expensive entry fee (S$30), especially because most of the animals lived in 'open enclosures'. I didn't find Singapore to be as clean as everyone raved about (there is a bit of litter) but compared to other big Asian cities I've been to (Bangkok, Saigon, Hong Kong) it is pretty tidy! Because my suitcase is in storage in Singapore, it means that I have to fly back there anyway - what a shame!!! I think I'll have to spend a few more days exploring. I really want to check out Sentosa!

I love Asia - I'm so happy to be back!

No comments: