Singapore: New Dawn

Posted on July 14, 2011

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In spite of dreading my thirty-hour, three-flight trip from Rio to Singapore for weeks, by the time we actually touched down I was very happy to remain on my Emirates Boeing 747 choosing from a huge selection of movies and drinking free wine rather than stepping into the blistering heat of the Singapore afternoon. Nevertheless, I made it to my hostel, Backpackers Cozy Corner, and ventured out to counter the jet lag and explore the city.

The sparkling skyscrapers of the Colonial District contrasted sharply with the relaxed riverside charms of nearby Clarke Quay, making for a pleasant place to stroll around, though the high humidity did its best to ruin it. I treated myself to a pint of IPA at the excellent Brewerkz, marking myself out even more as a visitor. Singapore offers very little to the tourist other than ample streets and districts for exploring. This is what I spent the next two days doing, first walking around bustling Chinatown and sampling spicy duck at a local hawker centre. From there i walked the shopping district of Orchard Road, a mass of shopping centres and brand retailers that suggested I could be anywhere in the world.

The one quintessential, and extremely expensive, Singapore experience is to drink a Singapore Sling cocktail in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel. This I reluctantly did, and probably threw a few too many nutshells on the floor in revenge for the outrageous cost of my drink. I sloped out and got an early night, ready to depart the next morning. Singapore is a charming and lovely place, but I was looking for a more typically Asian experience.

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Posted in: Experience, Travel