Not chewing gum in Singapore

Singapore Travel Blog

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Lion dances around town for Chinese New Year blessings

Instead of heading to Hong Kong for 3 weeks as was originally planned, I decided to stay in Sydney for a couple more weeks of summer, dive in Vanuatu, and visit an L.E.K.er in Singapore.   Singapore is  like on really big Duty-Free Shop.  It's like Waikiki on steroids.  Darryn, my friend in Singapore, describes it as "Asia Light" with very mild  Eastern and Western influences.  For example, a lot of the signs are in English and people speak "Singlish," basically English with a Chinese cadence (basically fobby English).  In contrast, Hong Kong is a place of extreme Eastern and Western influences...so much so, it's a bit too much in your face.  However, Singapore is also incredibly diverse with large and prominent populations of Muslims and Malays.

My rhyming building

In any case, it was great to visit Darryn and see his 'hood, even if I had no use for the Swarvoski mega-store or Prada drive-thru.  It's also pretty cool that the airport code for Singapore is "SIN."  Despite it's reputation, Singapore is pretty clean but I wasn't afraid of accidentally dropping a piece of trash and getting caned.

I spent my first full day checking email in the tiny L.E.K. office (I can't seem to get away!) and taking one of those hop-on, hop-off tour buses, which is just the level of intensity I was looking for.  I had become very worn out from the travels of late.  Singapore does have a good day's worth of sites (I took half a day): Chinatown is pretty ethnic, Little Islam (that's probably not what it was called) is interesting, the Botanical Gardens had cute turtles, and there's a Mitsukoshi with Japanese-filled basement.  Basically, I have the essential pics to show I've been there.

The best part of the day was probably delicious dinner with Darryn's family.  His dad made a feast replete with shark fin soup (I know it's unethical but it's so delicious), steak, fresh fish, seafood spaghetti, garlic bread, and a cheese plate!  Yums!  They were very generous and even gave me hung bao (red envelopes) for Chinese New Year!
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Lion dances around town for Chines…
Lion dances around town for Chine…
My rhyming building
My rhyming building
Cool store shops
Cool store shops
Beautiful colors
Beautiful colors
Chinese store
Chinese store
People eating - recognize!
People eating - recognize!
Riverfront
Riverfront
Chinese New Year decorations at Bu…
Chinese New Year decorations at B…
Buddhist Temple
Buddhist Temple
I decided to take a breather at a …
I decided to take a breather at a…
Garlic eggplant - yums!
Garlic eggplant - yums!
Main hall of Buddhist temple with …
Main hall of Buddhist temple with…
Buddhist temple - I admittedly kno…
Buddhist temple - I admittedly kn…
Thousand buddhas
Thousand buddhas
Soymilk and bao snack
Soymilk and bao snack
Hindu temple in Chinatown
Hindu temple in Chinatown
Famous durian-shaped concert hall
Famous durian-shaped concert hall
Colorful Skittle-looking building
Colorful Skittle-looking building
Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden
Cool turtles
Cool turtles
Iconic DHL hot-air balloon and Got…
Iconic DHL hot-air balloon and Go…
Me and Darryns family
Me and Darryn's family
One of the familys six dogs
One of the family's six dogs
Bish Bash!  Arcade game in Loof Bar
Bish Bash! Arcade game in Loof Bar