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Published: September 6th 2009
Three months and 16 days to go before we're home, for any of you that are interested in us when we return! With a massive adventure and the biggest cultural differences we will come across on our travels we're really excited about Asia. Our first stop for a few short days will be Singapore. A tiny little country at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula. Its probably best we eased ourselves into South East Asia by coming here first. Its similar to any western city and has all the trappings to go with it.
When we arrived in Changi Airport we took the bus to our hostel. As we were tired after a long days travel we just wanted something cheap and cheerful to eat. They have food markets here called Hawker markets and they are everywhere. They turn out all types of Asian food at very reasonable prices. Our first dinner was only €5 for two mains and two waters and this is meant to be the dearest country we will visit in Asia. The next day we said we would try and take in Little India and Chinatown. Breakfast finished and ready to explore we were a little
too early leaving at 9am. Most of the markets were only just opening up so we didn’t get to see much. The humidity here is tough going and its hot as well. We wanted to see the city but the hot weather was making us cranky and irritable and we knew we wouldn’t survive walking around for the day.
A big red bus went by with an open top roof and peoples hair blowing in the wind. We thought if we’re going to see this city that might be the only way. We waited for the next bus and got a ticket that allowed us three different tours. A city tour, a heritage tour and a river tour all for €16 each and we could use it the second day as well. The bus did offer relief from the heat but only until it stopped in traffic. I wouldn’t normally be a fan of seeing a city from an open top bus but sometimes it makes sense. You really get to see more and makes it easier to get to places.
That night in the hostel we met a guy from Scotland (Scott) and ended up going out
for a few drinks with him. We drank in the hawker centres first and a big bottle of beer was only €2.50 each. After a while we went down to the very popular if not posh, Clarke Quay. We ordered a jug of beer and got the shock of our lives when we got the receipt. 45 Singapore dollars. That’s €22.50 for 2 and a half pints of beer. Budget again gone out the window. After finishing that we took a walk around the area. Its full of bars from different countries and with different themes. We decided to return back to the area where the hawker centres were, as the bars were cheaper there. We found an Ice Bar and as it was a novelty our budget took a hit again. When we went inside we were given but warm jackets and the freezing cold was a relief from the heat outside but not to our pockets. €25 for 5 small bottles of beer in a bucket of ice. Cheap in Ireland, expensive everywhere else.
Next up was KTV bar, which is a Thai nightclub. To say people in there were interested in us would be a gross
understatement. They were coming up talking to us all the time and Michelle got more hugs and kisses from girls who were clearly fascinated by her. As Irish we are not used to that kind of open friendly talk. We always assume that the people are up to something. We thought maybe they were ‘working girls’ but after awhile it didn’t seem like that. Its hard to know. You don’t want to let your guard down but you don’t want to be defensive all the time either. We had fun there and none of us were propositioned so we can only assume they were being friendly. Beer was somewhat cheaper too so that helped.
One thing we have noticed is that it is impossible to tell who is from Singapore and who is not. The country is made up of Malaysians, Indians, Chinese, Thai and lots of people from Europe and America. When you meet someone you have to ask where they are from because you really wouldn’t have a clue. The shops here are big, huge, enormous, gigantic etc etc. The main shopping street is lined Prada, Guici, Luis Vuiton and every other expensive shop in the world
you can think of. It’s a sight to be seen itself and looks really impressive when lit up at night. Next up is a trip to Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Its rated as the top thing to do in Singapore so we cant wait.
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: Oasis - Half the world Away
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