SE Asia Meets NYC
Getting to Singapore was like magically crossing into a different universe. Huge buildings, sleek facades, fancy cars, it was as though we had stumbled into the Asian equivalent of New York City.
That is, at least, after they let us in. Singapore has super-strict border rules. No chewing gum allowed, for example. Elliott happened to have a machete with him that he picked up as a souvenir in northern Thailand. Upon noticing it the border guards freaked out and rushed the machete away into a private room. They came back out a couple of minutes later explaining that since the machete was 28 cm long it was allowed in Singapore. Had it been over 30 cm long, no way!
And so we hit the streets! As we’ve said before, big cities aren’t really our thing, but we gave Singapore a fair chance. We were only there for about two nights, and any visit in the future will certainly demand a little more time to seek out the city’s hidden treasures.
There were two highlights for us in Singapore. The first was a multi-story shopping center in Chinatown, complete with two complete levels bursting at the seems with hundreds of food vendors selling the most delicious, authentic Chinese food we have ever eaten. We were unfortunately too busy eating to take any pictures. The second highlight was Fort Canning, an elevated hill in the center of the city’s downtown and used in the past as a defensive stronghold. It was a beautiful, green respite from the hectic city surrounding it, and some of the trees were impressively massive.
Unfortunately that’s about all we did in Singapore- walk around, see big buildings, stroll through a park, and stuff our faces with Chinese food. Our last glimpse of the city and deserving of mention is the Changi airport. This place is the best, most impressive airport we’ve ever seen. Free PS3s, free LAN gaming, a free movie theatre, free massage chairs. It’s got everything! Nonetheless, we still did our typical airport thing and found a little corner in which to save some money and spend the night. Have we mentioned that we like to travel cheap?