Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

The lights of the city….

But before that, immigration controls and luggage checks. All went smooth, and we reached Asia’s financial powerhouse in the evening and went downtown for yet another couchsurfing experience. This time with a Japanese expat based in Singapore. He was rather busy all the time, so there was little we shared during our stay unfortunately.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay

If Kuala Lumpur has many malls already, Singapore has gazillions, and they are huge. So yes, you can shop till you drop- if you got the cash…We opted out.

Yet, as the title suggests, cash we did spent- but otherwise.  But: first things first. Before we relieved our bank accounts of a substantial amount of cash, we went sightseeing around town- visiting Chinatown, the Colonial district, The CBD, the riverside and the gigantic, fairly new Marina Sands Bay area to the South- a huge complex featuring a shopping mall of high end brands, a luxurious hotel with incredible rooftop bar/restaurant (we did not go up, as already that costs 20 dollars…yep, Singapore is expensive) and one of Singapore’s ‘integrated resorts’ (or casino for the layman). Hint- some of our money vanished here…

Legendary Barman from Frankfurt having the legendary Singapore Sling in the Raffles

Legendary Barman from Frankfurt having the legendary Singapore Sling in the Raffles

Singapore still features some old buildings from Colonial times, such as the Raffles hotel, which we visited for the quintessential Singapore Sling in the hotel bar- to our huge disappointment, it was not that great…shame on you, Raffles!

There is this atmosphere of commerce in the air when you walk around town- business men and women everywhere, everyone dressed to impress (did we feel shabby) and expensive restaurants, bars and shops, shops, shops. Definitely not everybody’s cup of tea- and worlds apart from many of our previous travel impresssions.

Nevertheless, there are also the more ‘down-to earth’ suburbs, one of which we visited for some cheap beers along a busy road one night, seated at plastic tables, on plastic chairs, no fuss, just the real thing.

And there is nature to be found around Singapore as well- forest reserves with hiking paths, and the huge Singapore zoo, one of the best we have visited in our lives. It has an open concept, meaning many of the animals are free to roam the area at their own will- no fences. So you may just spot a Orang Utan right above your head. Amongst others, we saw reptiles, alligators, seals, monkeys, birds and many incredible jungle inhabitants like the mouse deer. And the Proboscis monkey, with the most incredible nose ever!!

Well, only one cocktail wasn't enough

Well, only one cocktail wasn't enough

So where did all that money go, then? Well, one night we just treated ourselves to a proper dinner at a French resturant, and the bill would have even been accepteable, had it not been for the wine that accompagnied the meal… After that, we ventured out to the casino to try or luck- as the title suggest, we did not have any, and left the place somewhat poorer than we had entered it….

Another giant fruit bat

Another giant fruit bat

But no regrets, and the lavishness will be doubly compensated by an instant noodle diet once we get to Australia.

Thus ended our time in Singapore and we boarded a plane headed to Kuching on Borneo, the Eastern part of Malaysia for some jungle adventures…

More on that soon…

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