A sign as we left the ship reads ‘WARNING – DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS UNDER SINGAPORE LAW’ – (Even first time offenders!) Along with caning for theft and vandalism as well as possession of any kind of drug, this city is very safe and the crime rate is extremely low! Gum is not even sold in Singapore and there is a fine for spitting it on the street. Begging is also a crime, so all that makes for an exceptionally clean and safe city. Also something we noticed is that there isn’t a lot of police presence either, compared to Manila where there were shotgun armed police or security on every corner! The city has an abundance of flowers and all different kinds of palm trees line the roads. The Heritage tree (umbrella tree) is a large tree that is totally bare from the ground up and then fans out with lots of leaves at the top like an umbrella giving welcome shade, it was very hot! So many sky scrapers with unique and varied architecture intermingled with beautiful colonial buildings. We went to the famous Raffles Hotel where the Singapore sling drink was created, you can order one for a mere $28! A beautiful hotel of a bygone era right in the middle of the city. Chinatown is an experience in itself, I’ve never seen anything like it. Tried some dumplings and bubble melon drink and wandered around through the small streets.
Singapore got it’s independence in 1965. At that time there were no tall buildings! This year is their 50th anniversary, how it’s changed! It is a fabulous city, well organized, clean and green. There is not a ton of people on the streets and that is because they are all under the streets in the many layers of subways that connect to all parts of the city in a most efficient manner. Also below the streets are endless malls joining all the subways and tunnels. It’s quite easy to find your way and people here are very helpful.
It is truly a melting pot of all different peoples, religions and cultures. Right next to Chinatown is a huge Hindu temple, there are pagodas, mosques, temples and churches. It is a shame we didn’t have longer to explore this extraordinary city.
Off to the airport to fly back to Chiang Mai. There are three huge terminals with a fourth under construction. Inside the airport feels like you are in an upscale mall, every high class name brand store is there along with Burger King, MacDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks of course.
Back in Chiang Mai it’s time to regroup and get caught up on our wash. Then Michael is flying in from Taiwan hosting a group of Taiwanese kids for their winter holiday. He’ll be taking them to all the sites and attractions in the city and I get to tag along! The adventure continues a little longer