Those that know me understand I very much like Singapore.
Early 70’s was the first visit, then again in the early 80’s and 90’s. Since 1993 or so I have been fortunate to make many visits (I’ve lost count).
Knowing that the recent Vietnam trip could easily turn into a Singapore visit I took that option this time round – but 4 days in Singapore is never enough.
Singapore is obviously a gateway to the world. Changi airport is one of the world’s major hubs to Europe, the rest of Asia, Africa and beyond.
Now we all know plenty of Australians who have made the trip through, or even specifically to, Singapore but we’re usually less well enlightened on what makes it a good spot – clean, law-abiding, chili crab, chicken rice, Singapore slings, Raffles, Orchard Road and shopping. The equivalent Australian generalisations are Bondi beach, kangaroos and koalas, shrimp on the barbie, the Great Barrier Reef. It’s both right and wrong and a lot clumsy.
Well these days Singapore shouldn’t be underestimated either. It’s no child-like innocent that is battling its way to the Western world. It’s here already. It’s competitive, aggressive, friendly, cultured, cheap, expensive, always updating, always historic, savvy, exciting. The city embraces change as quickly as they can make it happen. And that’s fast. Intervals of 6 to 12 months always show tremendous progress as they work at new ways of making life, work, play, eating, entertaining, more interesting and easier and more productive.
Singapore builds. And they come.
Singapore reclaims. And they renew.
Singapore desires. And they invest.
In 1974 Singapore was old shophouses and narrow streets with intermittent taller buildings. The reversal is true now. But many of the old places remain as a testament to the hard work of so many. Meanwhile the new places go up and up. Crazy designs. New and challenging uses. New rail lines continue to expand across the island state to bring the workers and the shoppers and the students closer.
My opinion – Singapore is worth a look for so many reasons. There’s plenty of a-typical tourist things to do. And that’s great if you like the zoo, night safari, Jurong bird park, Changi prison, orchid gardens, museums, and a plethora (that’s right! I said a plethora) of other choices. The new Sands casino will win the hearts and minds (and wallets) of lots of tourists. A brace of new hotels across the city and Sentosa give a world of choice. The food in all environments is brilliant. The choice is crippling. Chinatown, Little India and the Arab Quarter are all worth exploration. If you like shopping, in a fortnight you could never scratch the surface of all that is available. There’s too many shops (and they’re not all on Orchard Road). Some of the best shopping centres in the world beckon and call.
Anyway, on with some of the photos I took. I really didn’t take many shots cause I also had our little Lexie with us too. And she loved the place again!
Lexie stands up against the window of our rooms…
The new casino. I understand that it made a first quarter profit that was exceptional (I can’t bring the figure to mind but I think even the Australian banks would be looking at that amount of money with interest…)
The ever present Merlion. The symbol of Singapore. It has been moved a couple of times over the years. It now faces the new casino.
The Esplanade – the theatres on the bay. The bridge above is where the Formula One track race is held.
In Little India is Singapore’s only 24 hour shop. It’s called Mustafa’s. There’s more things to buy in there than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Outside the shops, in the street, it’s just wonderful to sit back and people watch…
The outdoor food stalls are a treasure trove of great food and drinks, good value, and the opportunity to watch Singaporeans.
The occasional rain storm cleans, cools, greens, and makes puddles…
The building never ceases.
On top of Orchard Central shopping centre is an area given over to different art sculptures. And beyond that, the view…