Slinging it in Singapore!

Asia, RTW: 2007-2008, Singapore, Southeast Asia — By on October 10, 2008 6:15 PM

Nicole and I took a bus from Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore. The bus ride took four hours and cost only $15. It is quite shocking to see how immaculate Singapore is right in the middle of Southeast Asia! It is modern, clean, organized and has the ultra-efficient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train system that can get you anywhere in the city in minutes. We agreed Singapore is a cool and interesting city, but on a tourist level there is not tons to do in the city and most people choose to only spend a few days in Sing. It is home to the worlds largest Ferris wheel (great views!), the Singapore Flyer. Singapore was as clean of a city as we had heard but we never confirmed if it was illegal to chew gum on the street? We did notice gum was not for sale anywhere.

Except for chewing gum, one can find anything they need or want in Singapore! For Nicole and I, we were thrilled to find Cafe Iguana, which satisfied our constant craving for Mexican food and had awesome raspberry margaritas!

Upon arrival in Singapore, we had no Singapore dollars and with no ATM in sight we ended up walking twenty minutes from the bus station to our hostel. We both agreed it is getting harder and harder to carry our backpacks long distances because we keep buying stuff and are packs are stuffed to the max and weigh several kilos more than they did when we started our travels!

We were forced to return to hostel living as Singapore is quite expensive. We booked a four share dorm room at G4 Station Hostel, and each paid $30 USD a night for our bunk bed. The hostel was freakishly clean and the employees a bit annoying as they were constantly wiping down counters and sweeping all around you! There was a big pump of hand sanitizer by each computer and you were required to clean your hands before touching the keyboard! I would recommend this hostel to other travelers as they offer free Internet, breakfast (toast and coffee only), and best of all a washer and dryer! I had to pay to use the washer and dryer but was thrilled to be able to properly wash my clothes for the first time in four months!

The hostel was in the middle of Little India, which felt like a city of it’s own within Singapore. We spent a whole day exploring the city by foot. We walked through the narrow streets of Little India, into temples, and explored little shops on Arab Street…

We jumped on the subway and easily made our way across town to Orchard Street…where all the serious shopping happens! There were huge malls up and down the road with every shop you could imagine. We had lunch in a loud and crazy food court inside one of the malls. We randomly ran into an Aussie girl I met at the airport in Saigon. That was strange, but even stranger was running the guy who got me my job in Sydney. Small world indeed?

The up and coming trend in Singapore is to pay to emerge your feet in water filled with little fish that will eat the dead skin off your feet leaving them smooth. No, we did not do this… we decided there is just no hope for our backpacker grungy feet!

Raffles Hotel is a Singaporean icon and like most tourists, we headed to the famous Long Bar to drink a “Singapore Sling”.

At $22 a pop, we could not afford to stay for a second and headed down to Clarke Quay where everyone goes for the nightlife. We were quite amused by the scene and the most random assortment of bars and restaurants! Our favorite was “The Clinic”, a bar that serves mixed drink in an IV bag and customers sit in wheelchairs or hospital beds! It was bizarre!

I was lucky to be in Singapore with Nicole as she has inside connections! Her mom is friends with an English couple, Dave and Sue, that live and work in Singapore. Dave has the coolest job ever! He works in shipping and his job moves him to a new country every 3-5 years. They have lived in Belgium, the United States, Indonesia, and will be in Singapore for another few years before moving on to another exciting place! Dave and Sue were the nicest people and they took us out for dinner in Little India one night and made sure we saw all the main sights of the city.

And they even took us to the zoo! The zoo was awesome and unique because there were many areas where animals just ran wild! Lemurs, sloths, and fox bats were out and about. The best part was the orangutans that were free to swing from tree to tree throughout the park!

We saw SO many monkeys! I love monkeys!

And we even finally saw a GIBBON monkey! And to think that we trekked for days through the mud in Lao in search of a Gibbon and all we had to do was to come to the Singapore Zoo! 🙂 Aine and Jill…we wished you had been there!

And we saw a Komodo Dragon…SCARY!

After a day at the zoo, Sue and Dave drove us back to their house and encouraged Nicole and I to go for a swim. We were more than happy to jump into a cool pool! Later, we went to their Aussie neighbors house for an amazing BBQ. The couple had the cutest little boy and girl that entertained us all for hours as well as a really cool fish tank! It was such a nice change to have a proper dinner in someones home. Dave and Sue were the best!

After three days in Singapore, I had to say goodbye to Nicole as she left to catch a flight to Japan. This marked the end of our travels together and it was sad to say goodbye. We barely knew each other when we started our Southeast Asia adventure together four months ago, but I have grown very fond of Nicole and consider her a close friend! We will forever be bonded by all the amazing experiences and memories we share of Southeast Asia. Neither one of us know for sure what we will do with our lives next, but I hope our paths cross again!

As for me…I stayed in Singapore a few days longer and then caught a flight to Bali, Indonesia. I have been hanging in Bali for the past four days and I am SO excited that my good friend Sara from San Francisco arrives today! Sara and I will be traveling through Indonesia together over the next two weeks. After only three days here, I know we are both going to love Indo, the only question is just how much trouble the two of us are going to get into together!?!

To see photos of Singapore CLICK HERE.

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa says:

    You are having such an amazing adventure!! You could have used some of those IV bags when you were so sick! Did you ride the farris Wheel? Tell Sarah I said Hi!

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