Powering future

Slices of Singapore life

Slices of Singapore life

It was a spur of the moment to get out of Bangkok for a few days.

I had never been to Singapore, but I have friends who were born there and moved to the US when they were young.

I guess I was just curious and looking for an endorsement to live in Bangkok, Thailand.

Visa laws can change quickly and have in Thailand, so I used that excuse to visit Singapore.

Their country motto translates as; Go ahead, Singapore.

Singapore is an island that is only about 270 square miles, which qualifies it as the smallest country in Southeast Asia and has only existed as an independent republic since 1965.

I chose to fly with Cathay Pacific Airlines which is a Hong Kong based airline, not that it matters but I thought I’d mention it.

It’s a short flight, so whichever airline you choose, you can put up with any inconvenience or discomfort for a couple of hours.

Including all taxes and fees, my bus ticket cost 20,835 Thai baht, which translates to about $675.

The first thing I noticed once I walked out of the airport terminal was how clean the city was, I mean, it’s very clean. No litter, no gum, no butts. Clean, with a capital “C” and it seems that people are proud of that fact.

If you need a phone card, Green is a big name there (it’s a local prepaid SIM card company) and it’s cheap and easy to put in your phone.

Getting to a city that has a public transportation system that can get you around quickly is always a plus. I boarded the green line (the other two are the red and purple lines) at Singapore Changi airport and it was only about 30 minutes or so (about a 20 minute drive) and I was checking into the Marina Mandarin hotel.

The Marina Mandarin hotel is a 5-star hotel that has just undergone a major refurbishment. It has a great lobby with live entertainment that is quite eloquent.

The hotel is located across from the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center and the Esplanade. The Esplanade is Singapore’s new Center for the Performing Arts.

It’s hard to imagine that this metropolis was once just a sleepy little fishing village that grew into a seaport and what it is today; a great city to visit.

You get a clear view of the high-rise buildings that define Singapore’s business and financial district. From the hotel, you can walk to the heart of the financial district in about 10 minutes.

I almost felt like I was on a movie set, because there wasn’t much going on in the streets. It was kind of like a Twilight Zone episode, where the characters enter a town, but there’s no activity.

Think of the city as having a relaxed elegance. You know there’s money in there, but it’s discreet. I came to call the city Singapore, instead of Singapore because, unlike Bangkok, it was not a cheap place to stay, eat or shop.

Thirty-five dollars for a haircut seemed a bit high to me, and I went to 4 different salons. Common items were expensive but the norm for Singapore.

You can get a good idea of ​​the city and country, which bear the same name, by buying a copy of the newspaper in English; International Herald Tribune.

I stopped eating at the hotel’s AquaMarine restaurant and was disappointed in the Peach Blossoms (Chinese) restaurant, because I like good service and felt like I was disturbing the staff by being there, but I really enjoyed the food, atmosphere, and service at the Italian restaurant on the 5th level of the hotel, called Ristorante Bologna.

If you like jogging, the Marina Mandarin Singapore hotel is on Raffles Boulevard, just a short walk from the War Memorial Park. It is a very clean and safe park.

There are plenty of hotels, but one thing I’ve learned on my travels is to talk to as many locals as possible and get information on the best places to go, eat, shop and drink.

I followed my own advice and found a source of knowledge from many kind people.

I found out from more than one person that the best sushi restaurant in town was Tatsu. Tatsu is a simple and small sushi and Japanese restaurant, but it is a great place for lunch or dinner.

Maggie the Managress (and I love the word Managress for a woman) was so happy to answer my dozens of questions and all the while with a smile.

Tatsu is at 30 Victoria Street and would not be considered a modestly priced place to eat. You will spend money, but the quality is worth it. Again, not a fancy place, but worth looking into.

If you’re not into sushi, don’t worry, there’s a Morton’s of Chicago Steakhouse in the Oriental Hotel on Raffles Avenue.

If you like Indian food, take the purple MRT line to Little India and do some shopping while you’re there. There is a Sikh temple and a very large central market with all kinds of interesting foods and spices. It will wake up your nose.

You have to try the Lassi. It’s a very refreshing fruity yoghurt based drink and I had kind of an addiction to the strawberry flavored Lassi.

Little India scents can also be enchanting, like Campbell Lane’s jasmine and marigold fragrance. You can spend a whole day in Little India just walking around shopping, eating and taking photos.

Across the canal from Little India, there is an area called Kampong Glam and for the shopaholics, some of the bargain areas are open until 3 or 4 in the morning. It is better to go during the week.

The area is named after the trees that once dominated the area; the gelam trees.

The really fascinating thing about Kampong Glam was what I would call the ideal world.

All in the same neighborhood, there is a Christian church, a Chinese temple, a Hindu temple and an Islamic mosque and all of them are in harmony with the people who worship there respectively.

It just made me think that we really can all get along on this planet, if we want to.

Many of the streets are named after Middle Eastern cities.

I met a couple of ladies at an open-air mall and after the usual small talk I asked them about working in Singapore and the answer was, “Good jobs are not easy to find.”

What he meant by that statement is that you can find work, but it is difficult to find a well-paying job in a good company.

If you are looking for a visa, there are dozens of hotels interwoven around the many consulates in Singapore. The Thai consulate is almost directly across the street (Orchard Road) from the Hilton hotel.

There’s definitely no shortage of hotels in Singapore, but like most big cities, the big names get the best prices. My room at the Marina Mandarin was $300. per night all-in and the mini-bar, which is really a cabinet, was very tempting.

The tax on most items is 7 percent and figures are rounded, which will be reflected on a receipt as; ROUND AMOUNT.

English is spoken throughout the city, making it easy to communicate your needs and your destinations.

Something that really caught my eye was the huge Ferris wheel in the Marina Bay area. It has been named the Singapore Flyer.

When I say the Singapore Flyer is huge, I mean it’s very, very tall. It measures 165 meters high. It might be easier to imagine if I tell you that it is the height of a 45-story building.

It is already a milestone. There are 28 capsules that circle this circle of wonder and each capsule holds 28 passengers.

The capsules are air-conditioned and take 30 minutes to make a complete revolution, giving photography enthusiasts plenty of time to take landscape shots of not only Singapore, but also Malaysia and Indonesia in the distance.

This would be a great way to end a day with that special someone or a group of friends. Hire a capsule host and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. It will give you a new perspective of the world.

There are group rates and corporate rates, along with rates for special events. You could get married on the Singapore Flyer for a truly memorable day.

Two other wheels of fortune will start spinning soon. One will be in Dubai and the largest ever built, called the Beijing Great Wheel, will take its turn in 2009.

On one of my MRT trips, I had a long conversation with a middle-aged family man who painted a clear picture of what it’s like to live in Singapore. He seemed a bit bitter about the government and after surfing the web a bit, now I fully understand his point of view.

He said that “the government is like your father. It wants to do everything for you. It wants to make your decisions about what is right for you. It will give you enough so that you don’t starve, but never enough so that you can save and separate yourself.” someday”.

After the man told me this, he asked me if I understood what he meant and I said yes. He wished he could leave Singapore, but he said that was not a possibility anytime soon.

I found it an interesting point of view.

My conclusion was that the country is made up of two parts; Singapore and Singapore.

Singapore has been removed from my list of backups to Bangkok, Thailand, but it is a very nice country to visit and spend money.

If you haven’t traveled outside of your home country, I suggest you do. The rewards of culture, food, architecture, and people help you appreciate just how complex this spinning rock in space really is.

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