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Posted By: Bruce Gibbins
Posted On: Tuesday June 23, 2020 at 10:46 PM
My thoughts on Singapore are varied, but mostly good. But if you want an authentic Asian experience,
you will be SOL Having said that though, Jack, going back with the thoughts of an earlier visit being repeated is bound to be disappointing. I liked old Singapore and the country of when you were last there, but now, not so much and not in the same way as before. But it depends mostly on what you expect and what you would like to do when you get there.
On my last visit to Singapore was to keep my daughter company when she was recovering from some surgery and to be with my grandkids. I never left the house from when I arrived to when I was driven to Changi Airport to get back home again. I had become too familiar with the place to venture out.
You will find that costs have markedly increased not just because of the last time you visited there in 2004, but generally, Singapore has become expensive anyway.
Still there are some great restaurants, sea food is a wide spread specialty- especially crab.
A night tour of the Zoo is worth doing again. A day trip by train across the border to Jahur Baru gets you back fifty years and is primitive now by comparison to modern day Singapore.
Back in Singapore, many of the older British colonial/Chinese style buildings remain, but generally the place is a field of skyscrapers of a unique design and are impressive.
Little India on Sarangoon Road is worth a day vist, I've eaten there without any after effects, but nothing is guaranteed. A sign stuck to a building wall, "please dont piss here" is not as indicative as this may first appear. Because, I am tall, white and English looking and to Indian people probably resemble their one time colonial oppressor, I have receive discourtesy from mostly elderly Indian males who remember first hand how it was when the British ran the place - and the sub-continent of India itself. I dont care really, it's all part of lifes rich tapestry of experiences.

The many shopping centers along Orchard Road can have you on a Mall Crawl that can become repiditive. Start first at the top with the elderly Tanglin Mall and work your way all the way down the road. The old Lucky Plaza, the modern Sunday hang out of Philipino domestic "helpers", is old, and run downish, but a basic feed of spicy Singapore noodles on a coloured plastic plate is cheap and filling. You won't be able to do any of all that though in just one day.

If, like me you enjoy the familiar comfort of American franchise fast food joints there are plenty there in Singapore too. Home grown burger joints, whose burgers are not much better than Micky D's, but look more appetising, can set you back a bundle. A meal there for me and my two grandsons was $75 Singapore - not much less in CDN$.
I saw no Tim Hortons there.

A harbour cruise is cool and some include a feed and beer.
Singapore drivers are idiots, they are aggressive lane changers who have no driving skill and seem to close their eyes before they start their sometimes suicidal maneuver, so dont bother with car hire - taxis are relitivly cheap though and plentiful.
Oh, BTW, flipping off an annoying fellow road user can result in trouble. A recidivist flipper can receive three strokes by the police using a rattan switch.

Where once, Santosa Island was layed out in gardens and the main British military barracks were the main features, that's now all changed and is the domain of high rise shopping arcades and upscale restaurants and hotels. But the big thrill there for both tourist visitors and locals alike is this massive fairground like thing owned by a Hollywood movie company whose name escapes me for the moment. I remember now - Universal Studios.
A tip if you visit there. School holidays in Singapore, they follow the British academic year, can be off putting, long lines await you. However, there is a solution for this. By paying an added pre-booked premium online, you can bypass the lines and join the que at the front end.

Clark Quay on the Singapore River, once lined with Godowns, aka warehouses, is a must visit, but at night. Depending on the night though, the place is abuzz with locals and visitors alike. Bars and cafe restaurants and countless bands, many Philipina - excellent players, btw, are everywhere. You will soon get used to the sight of Chinamen playing electric blues, standing Poe faced and glum - they can mimic musically quite well, but lack soul.

If you are not offended by the results of Singapores, turning the other cheek pragmatically tolerating what is currently illegal in Canada, a cheeky visit to Four Floors of wh....s - it rhymes, can be hilarious to a bystander as the parade before you is ever changing. To a Nth American visitor this place may appear as Hells ante-room. I go there sometimes to watch the free freak show, because I'm amused by it and I have no skin in the game.
Singapore has a large expat community working mainly in the finance industry. The bored wives of these guys go here to act single while seeing double - the rate of marital infidelity is high in this community. The temptations are many and insecurities are part of living life in Singapore where local women, many outstandingly beautiful, set their sights on a wealthy European (white) banker for short time fun in exchange for long time financial security. These babes are fireball homewreckers.
A couple of the four floors are popular as dance venues by some of Singapores young people - one of these is vast and noisy. In contrast, the Tanglin Club, with probably affiliates in Canada, provides a more wholesome environment where you can play Tennis, if you like, the food is nice, staff quiet, but accommodating and I enjoyed regular visits there to relax with beer and a coffee or two, read the Straits Times and be at peace with the world.
Dont forget the almost obligatory visit to Raffles Hotel and the traditional Singapore Sling. The Raffles (shopping) Center is not the same thing, but worth a visit especially if you can stand up to the, seen one, seen 'em all, highrise shopping mall experience.
Anyway, Jack, I just about run out of words, but the most important this to understand is that you will always be comparing your last visit there to the current one.
But, if you visit Singapore again, it's a good idea to enjoy the visit as a brand new experience - it's better that way.

Bali. I've never been there, For generations of young Australians, Khutta Beach is like Californias popular surfing beaches are to young Americans. But Khutta Beach is not the real Bali.
When she lived in Singapore my eldest daughter did a lot of business in the other Bali away from the 3rd world Khutta Beach with its population of stray dogs and mooching locals. So, if you were to return to Bali, you should still have an agreeable time there.
Because Indonesia has the worlds largest Muslim population, it may be wise to wear a Canadian Flag badge- only kidding - but. Everybody loves Canadians so be sure the locals are aware of you being Maple People.
There is a helluva lot there and more than you need to know as a visitor, but these are my experiences, both good and sometimes a bit less so. Fascinating it always is. Enjoy.

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Message thread:

a question: when was the holiday you will never, ever forget ? and where ? by Joop Gisbers #48847
Nice question Joop. 1988, the last week in May, over Memorial Day Holiday. A backpacking trip thru by Steve Jakubczak #48847.1
Steve....I was in the Marine Corps in 1988, on Camp Lejeune, and was here on that same weekend...... by BenD Lampson #48847.1.1
Camp Pendleton ? (EOM) by Steve Jakubczak #48847.1.1.1
Only Marine corps base 29 Palms while in California. Were you at Pendleton? (EOM) by BenD Lampson #48847.
No Ben. Viet Nam was winding down in '71 when I was a senior. I went to work right away. (EOM) by Steve Jakubczak #48847.
1968 While going to school at Henderson Hall in DC The rioting started when MLK was assassinated . I by Tom Ciryak #48847.1.1.2
A trip to Singapore and Bali in 2004. Two very different & fascinating by Jack Dodds #48847.2
A bucket list is not a thing I am wanting to create, but I do know what it is. by Bruce Gibbins #48847.2.1
Munich, Rome, and the Almalfi coast of Italy in 2010. With my family when we were all together and by Tim Kubiak #48847.3
Yes, I adore Munich and all of Swabia in the winter. (EOM) by Robert Bolin #48847.3.1
A favourite holiday will of course include our children and the time spent by Bruce Gibbins #48847.4
I would like to know your thoughts on Singapore Bruce. I loved it. (EOM) by Jack Dodds #48847.4.1
My thoughts on Singapore are varied, but mostly good. But if you want an authentic Asian experience, by Bruce Gibbins #48847.4.1.1
Very interesting observations. Thanks for taking the time Bruce. (EOM) by Jack Dodds #48847.
No worries, Jack, mate. I got all carried away reminiscing. It was fun. (EOM) by Bruce Gibbins #48847.
BTW, when it comes time to get into some in depth planning check if the Indonesians by Bruce Gibbins #48847.
no work = no pay = no vacations I know why my body is falling apart, called worn out. (EOM) by Bruce Parsons #48847.5
Many, but Mykonos in late spring of 1984 remains unparalleled in beauty. (EOM) by Ed Glorius #48847.6
(pics) The Black Forest region of Germany during Christmas 2005. by Robert Bolin #48847.7
A wonderful experience to remember, Robert. by Bruce Gibbins #48847.7.1

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