South East Asia (Singapore) Diary 6 November 2001

It's so clean. The airport is amazing; a self-contained amazement park. You can make free local calls, go shopping, take in a movie, and do pretty much whatever you like. Just don't spit, drop litter or smoke (S$1000 fine) or bring in any drugs (Death penalty).

The version of the Lonely Planet that I have failed at the first hurdle. You can't take the number 16 bus away from the airport as the book recommends, 'cos it doesn't go to the airport - doh! So an exceedingly helpful (didn't ask for baksheesh) local advised me to take the 34 to the nearest MRT (metro) station and then take the train into the central part of the city.

Singapore is an island city, over 4 million people crammed into a space 24 miles across by 14 miles. The Island sits just to the south of Malaysia, connected by two bridges, over which thousands of workers from Malaysia commute every day.

I'm staying in the backpackers ghetto just north of city hall. The place looks fairly clean, and they're friendly! I spent the day walking around. I've visited 'Little India', the Chinese quarter, Arab Street, did a little window shopping and generally milled about.

It's so clean here. It's a real shock after India. The country is very green with trees and grass and ma-hu-sive skyscrapers all over the place


I needed something familiar that I could grab a hold of as I was a little disconcerted when I arrived, just like when I hit Delhi. So the first thing that I did was head for 'Little India', the Indian quarter of Singapore, for a cup of Chai. It was so clean. It also didn't smell quite right, but the chai was good!

If there's one thing that's gonna annoy me here, it's crossing the road. Everybody lines up next to the pedestrian crossing and waits for the 'little green man' to appear on the traffic light. They then cross in a nice orderly fashion. Most people won't cross when the 'little red men' is showing; even if the road is clear; they'll wait. AHHHHHHHHH!

To tomorrow...

Created by Dan Leigh 7/11/01