Singapore

This is a post by David

Singapore is our first stop outside the US and we’ve really enjoyed it. We are here for a total of four days, leaving this evening.

The deadly Merlion - symbol of Singapore, paradox of biology.

Here are a few things to know about Singapore:

  • It’s really hot here. Really hot.
  • Singapore is an island. It is a city, state, and nation. It has a population of about 5 million.
  • English is the national language and every speaks it, though it seems like it is everyone’s second language. Most people are Chinese or Malaysian.
  • Singapore is very modern. More so than any US city I’ve been to.
  • All the cars are new and fancy. It’s very common to see Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Even our cab was a Mercedes. No car is older than 10 years old (taxes are crazy on old cars).
  • Alcohol is very expensive. A Tiger beer will cost you $9 USD at a bar, a six pack of Guinness will set you back $22 USD.
  • Although it is a bustling metropolis, it is very clean and safe. The subway is nice and runs on time. People don’t jaywalk. Everyone is polite. It’s crazy. It’s like a clean, safe, tropical New York City. Did I just blow your mind?

There’s a lot of great stuff to do here. We went on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of the city which was a good way to get oriented. We went to the top of the 57-story Marina Bay Sands for a view of the bay and city.

Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay Sands, with a roof garden on the 57th floor.

We stopped by Chinatown to see the dragons and Chinese Lanterns for the Chinese New Year. We also saw a Mongolian dance performance which was pretty awesome.

Year of the Dragon, baby! This guy was as long as a city block and went over and under bridges.
Mongolian Dance Performance
This is how we get down in Mongolia.

The Jurong Bird Park is quite the experience. Supposedly it’s the largest bird park in the world. There are four walk-in aviaries where birds fly around you and there’s even a 100-foot waterfall in one of them. It’s very easy to forget where you are and start believing you’re in the middle of an African rainforest.

Jenny made some new friends.

Generally we’ve just been exploring the city and its districts like Chinatown and Little India, eating lots of good food (though we don’t know what most if it is), and taking in the sights.

One of the best attractions here is the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. We went to the Night Safari last night and it was awesome. The park is huge and filled with nocturnal animals: tigers and big cats, hyaenas, sloth bears, rhinos, tapirs, and all kinds of crazy stuff. It’s actually pretty unnerving to be wandering around in the pitch black, in the jungle, and to hear roars, barks, and screeches all around you.

The most unique (but unsettling) was the free-flying fruit bat enclosure. You walk through this large netted area where there are a lot of big bats flying around. We’re talking a two-foot wingspan here (look up the Flying Fox). While I’m sure that the bats would never actually touch you, you have to keep ducking as they fly way too close.

The night safari was awesome, but unfortunately we couldn’t take an pictures. You’ll just have to come to Singapore and see it for yourself.

We’ve really enjoyed our time in Singapore and definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Asia. It’s a great East-meets-West city. But now it is time for us to leave and fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand!

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