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Singapore: The Hong Kong of SE Asia
Touchdown! 36 hours of traveling, 1 book, a tour of Taipei and 3 awful airline meals later, I finally landed in Singapore. The airport struck me at first with its clean, modern lines and gorgeous flower displays.
That being said, Singapore is a very modern city-state with an incredibly developed economy. It used to be a part of Malaysia, but detached and formed its own country because the ethnic Chinese majority in Singapore didn't feel they were represented under the Malay government.
The first thing tha struck me was how cheap everything is in Singapore. After my flight I was relieved by a 2hour massage for....30 bucks. And Singapore is the most expensive city in SE Asia. After that, sleep, I would go exploring the next day.
Singapore itself is a drab city, a business town so-to-speak, but carries a rich colonial history mixed with loads of striking, modern architecture. Although located on the Malay Peninsula, the population is mostly Chinese, because they were most eagar to profit after the British started developing the island into a major port. There is no such thing as an ethnic Singaporean, the other races there include Malays, Filipinos, and Indians. After staying in a great hostel (Inn-crowd), chatting, and throwing back a few beers with some fellow English and Australian backpackers, I would take the bus north towards Malacca.
A few pictures for everybody...
The Cannonball Tree is a sacred Hindu tree with a maze of branches sticking out of its base with produce the most beautiful flowers.
Due to being almost spot on the equator, foliage grows EVERYWHERE, as seen on the lush environment growing on this tree. There are plants sprouting out of sidewalks, drainage ditches, buildings, and even walls.
Its is almost chinese new year, the year of the ox, so there are a great many signs announcing planned festivities and the sort. This is signage outside of one of the many malls located on Orchard Road.
A nice cotrast between downtown and greenery seen from Cannery Park, Singapores central park. The park used to be an esate for the citys founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, and later became home to a British fort. (Singapores signature hotel, The Raffles, is where the drink the Singapore Sling was invented)
The OTHER SMU, Singapore Management University. A very highly regarded university for Chinese in SE Asia.
Development is everywhere in Singapore, although who knows what will become of the literally hundreds of new buildings now that the world econmy has collapsed.
Trade is not as regulated in Asia, and this real Tiger pelt goes for about $1000 in this high-end furniture store. Other pelts included bear, fox and leapord.
A beautiful golden painting of lotus flowers floating in a stream found in the same high-end furniture store.
on January 16, 2009
from the travel blog:
I Meet the SouthEast
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