A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Asia - The Final Chapter

A sophisticated ending to an amazing journey!

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View Around We Go on LauHot10's travel map.

We spent the next day and a half in Kuala Lumpur just tying up a few loose ends, like sending yet another parcel home. Our time in Asia was quickly running out and we only had a few days until our flight to Perth departed from Singapore. So we made our way there by bus, the most luxurious one I have ever been on. It had seats which almost fully reclined and then lifted your legs up, it's a shame we weren't going to be spending a night on it to get the full effects but it was a comfortable way to spend the 5 and a half hour journey.

It was getting late by the time we made it to Singapore. We were dropped off on the side of the road in suburbia which annoyed us slightly as we think it was more for the convenience of the driver than the passengers. Luckily there was a metro stop just round the corner so we made our way and bought our ticket to Little India which is the area that Adam stayed in before. The home stay style hostel had been recommended to him before and in a very expensive city like Singapore it was good value for money. Before we were allowed to board the metro Adam's bag had to be checked by an employee, clearly he looks dodgy! As he was delving in he asked what was in a plastic bag and Adam replied 'underwear' he nervously laughed and the search came to an abrupt end. With the green light to proceed we made our way down into the extensive underground system. Well when I say extensive I'm referring to the fact that there is often a lot of walking involved to get from one line to another, rather than the metro covering a large area. Which it does do, just not very well in my opinion, the gaps between stops are large which means when above ground you never seem to be close to one and it is all a bit slow. This is in comparison to Taipei though, so perhaps we have just been spoilt.

When we made it to Little India Adam did a good job of locating the hostel in the dark, especially considering it was hidden down a little side road. The area is just as it sounds, it is the part of Singapore which is almost solely inhabited by immigrants from India. It had a similar feeling and brought back memories, the difference being that the surroundings were a little nicer. The hostel is run by a Chinese family with the father being the main man, he was incredibly chatty and welcoming so we felt at home straight away. We were given a rather compact room with a bunk bed in it but it was clean and nicely presented. The only problem was the fact that it got incredibly stuffy. There was no a/c and the fan could really only benefit one person or neither to any great extent, but it was bearable. After dumping the bags we went to fill our hungry tummies and visited a place Adam had been to before. Having not had Indian for a while I was looking forward to it, and it was quite a pleasant change although as usual I can never eat as much as I imagine I can. Full and exhausted we went to bed.

The next morning we got up as early as we could manage and wandered down to an electronics mall. We wanted to get a device so we could play our ipod in the campervan, it had come round so quickly that now we needed to get the finer details sorted. It was another impressive display of all the latest technology but the price tags were a little on the steep side. I'm not sure how I'm going to come to terms with English prices when I get back. Still we scouted around for the best deal and decided we would come back the next day in case we saw something better else where.

We then wandered down the road and I was beginning to get more of a feel for Singapore. After everything I'd heard about how regimented it was I was a little surprised when I saw a few things that appeared to be out of place or pavements which were experiencing some surface issues, I didn't see any chewing gum though! In comparison to Taipei I thought people seemed a little more casual here, for example many people j-walked which may just be the influence of many different cultures. Still it was all very modern and sleek, you could almost smell the wealth in the air in some places.

After making an initial error and ending up in the finance district we managed to find our way to Raffles. It had a certain elegance about it and I wouldn't have minded popping in for a Singapore Sling but it would be another occasion when we would been under dressed and over spending.
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We wandered through the plentiful shopping malls and you really have to wonder how all of the shops can possibly be making a profit, there are just so many of them. In one there was some kind of computer technology fair going on but it was absolutely heaving with people and my knees were not really up to it. I felt bad for Adam because I'm sure he would have liked to explore some more although even he found the crowds a bit off putting.

After this we went looking for a park and came across the F1 track that was being set up for the upcoming Grand Prix.
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It was quite exciting to think that soon there would be cars racing around the streets at high speed. Of course it would have been cool to be there to see it but we weren't sure how it would work, there seemed to be a few grand stands but we didn't know whether you would just be able to stand on the street to watch. Next we made our way down to the Esplanade and looked at the skyline which was really quite beautiful.
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Quite compact but being added to at a rate of knots. Singapore seems to be continually expanding as people move in droves for better opportunities and a higher standard of living.
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We then made our way back to Little India and were swallowed up by a crowds of people. The man at the hostel had mentioned that on a Sunday the place is overrun with people and they all stand outside on the street or on the few expanses of grass.
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There is a thrum of noise as they chatter away, it is certainly quite an atmosphere. Needing some food we found a restaurant which seemed to have done most of its trade for the night and was now quite empty. It was actually a really good meal, the best Indian I'd had in a long while and I think on this occasion I could have eaten a whole lot more.

The main focus of the next day was to meet up with Adam's ex work colleague and friend, Florence. Some years earlier her husband's job required them to move to England for a while and she started working for the council with Adam. She was now living back in Singapore and Adam hadn't seen her for a couple of years so was really looking forward to catching up. Very kindly she'd offered to take us out for lunch and we'd agreed to meet her in the early afternoon.

First of all we went back to the electronics mall to make our purchases and then rushed a little as we thought we were going to be late. Thankfully while I was still trying to figure out where we were going Florence put the time back a bit so we managed not to look like sweaty, scruffy messes when we met. She had brought along her little boy Nathan who was about 8 months and a real cutey.
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She then led us through the shopping mall, into a posh hotel and we began to wonder whether we were dressed up enough. As it turned out it was all fairly laid back and we went upstairs to a room where there was a massive buffet. When Florence had asked where we would like to eat we told her we wanted to try some authentic food and there was plenty to sample here.

Over the next couple of hours we went up several times to fill our plates. Adam indulged in a few helpings of raw salmon, although in hindsight we both felt that we should have taken advantage and eaten more. Our shrunken tummies didn't seem to be up to the task though. It was lovely to meet Florence and for Adam and her to catch up. She asked all about our trip and we asked her questions about Singapore and how it was being back. In the end they had to kick us out because the buffet was closed. We said our goodbyes to Florence and Nathan and then went off to explore more of Singapore.

Our next stop was the main shopping area which has been completely redone since Adam was there last.
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The main shopping mall is ultra modern and slightly futuristic, the Bull Ring would look a bit like a poor relation next to it, but I know which one I'd rather shop in!
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When we stepped inside we were confronted with high fashion shops and expensive jewellers, needless to say we didn't spend too much time there. We jumped back on the metro and went over to Clarke Quay which was a sweet little area next to the water.
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It had a bit of funky Mediterranean vibe with all the shops and bars housed in small, terraced, colourfully painted buildings. One of the things I wanted to do while in Singapore was have a Singapore Sling.
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Taking advantage of the happy hour specials we managed to have two drinks without quite breaking the bank, and considering the location it wasn't so bad. We whiled away an hour or so as we sipped and watched the sun go down.

The final item on the agenda was to see the skyline at night, so we walked back over to the Esplanade and watched the lights twinkle and reflect in the water.
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It was very pretty and with the temperature dropping a little it was really nice to sit there for a while. However we couldn't linger for too long as we had an early morning flight to catch. Thankfully we could get to the airport on the metro so there wouldn't be a lot of faffing about.

It was certainly a nice view to act as an end to our time in Asia.
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When this trip began Australia seemed like it would never happen and I couldn't quite believe that we were now six months in or that we'd really seen all we had. It is hard to put words to it but we truly have seen the full spectrum of what Asia has to offer, from ancient to modern and met some wonderful people along the way. We have lots of memories to treasure.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 13:52 Archived in Singapore Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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