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Deb & Roger’s YB Travel Adventures to Singapore 1997 – Present
Singapore is a city/country and other than the people being Asian, they all speak English. And with them this is a matter of pride, and prestige. Visiting Singapore is like visiting a city in the US, only cleaner. It is sophisticated, And each year we return it seems they continue to dream up ways to bring more people to the country by giving them a myriad of things to do. And when you are travel weary from places like India, it is truly a sanctuary in the Tropics.
Singaporeons love to eat and there are food stalls, restaurants, and malls offering some of the most mouth watering and varied foods you could ever want. You can literally spend days eating your way through the city. And we have done just that.
The shopping is great, too. If this is your thing you won’t be disappointed. If you shop in the Orchard Road area be sure you will need plenty of cash, or credit cards. But I prefer the local markets where you can get good quality merchandise at really reasonable prices.
In Singapore there is plenty to keep you busy. There are theme parks, bird parks, night life, and once a year the world’s most prestigious and glamorous car race, the Singapore Grand Prix, through the street’s of downtown. Chef Tetsuya at Waku Ghin, one of the most versatile chefs in the world, was at his restaurant in Marina Bay Sands overseeing a special six-course degustation lunches (S$250 per person) served specially for the Grand Prix period. No we didn’t attend.
Recently Singapore entered the age of the mega clubs with the opening of two-story, 17,000 square feet Avalon and the super sophisticated Pangaea ultra lounge at Marina Bay Sands’ Crystal Pavilion. Closing the F1 season on a high at Avalon was pop star and cult DJ Boy George and upbeat electronic duo The Chemical Brothers.
There is the Helix Bridge, an architectural marvel, chic boutique hotels, the Ballet, Jazz and other festivals, Theater, Concerts, Film Festivals, the Botanical Gardens, Cooking Classes, the Zoo, Museums, Sands Sky Park, China Town, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, East Coast Park, Arab Street, Parks, The Science Center, Bugis Village, Merlion Statue, the Iconic Raffles Hotel and more.
The Louis Vuitton Island Maison, and the Tanjong Beach Club, voted 41 out of 50 of the best beach bars in the world. This hideout on the sands does its best to recreate a relaxed beach attitude on the outskirts of the uptight city-state and came into existence thanks to a pair of not-so-uptight Aussie brothers who saw the sands of Sentosa as the perfect environment for seafood platters, tropical cocktails and good healthy fun like beach volleyball.
Another year when we were there in 90′s, the palm oil plantations in Borneo were using slash and burn practices illegally (another issue I’ve written about) and it got out of hand. We didn’t see the sun for the 3 days it took us to get out of there. And the air quality was over 250 when an index of 50 represents good air quality. So everyone was wearing a mask. But who knows what sort of damage was being done. This was in ’97 and it also affected air traffic allegededly being responsible for a plane crash in close by Medan Indonesia. Not to mention all the orangutans that were killed.
But thankfully, nothing like this has happened since and the city continues to change, grow and evolve, in a quest to be the best and offer something for everyone.
Singapore is one of the great cities in Asia and definitely worth a visit. We use it as one of our hubs as we journey around Asia. And with all the embassies being there, when you need a Visa it’s quite simple.
While it isn’t cheap, reasonably priced lodging can be found just outside the city center. With its great mass transportation system you can be anywhere via bus, subway or taxi in no time at all. It’s also fun to just hop on a double decker bus and ride it to the end of its destination and back again to get a tour of the various areas of Singapore.
And without question, Singapore has the very best airport in the world.
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