Singapore - First day disappointment
Singapore Travel Blog› entry 3 of 35 › view all entries
Drove virtually right around the terminal at Changi - there were heaps of vacant parking spots so I don't know why the plane couldn't have pulled into one sooner. Saw two or three of the Airbus A380's close up.
Made it through customs and immigration relatively easily and with some help got a MRT ticket to Aljunied. I don't know whether it was just me but when I tried to 'touch' the ticket to get out I got red lighted (This seemed to happen about every second time I tried to exit a station the whole time I was in Singapore). A guy in the ticket office helped me out and then also showed me that you need to go back to the ticketing machines to collect your $1 refund for the deposit on your ticket - I would have just walked out and thrown the ticket away.
Walked upstairs to the door of the hostel and rang the doorbell - no answer so I wrote down the phone number that was on a sign at the door, went back downstairs where there was a public phone and dialled the number. I explained to the woman that I wanted to check in early and that I had rang the doorbell but no one was there. She raved on about it being $10 extra to check in early - I said that wasn't a problem and asked how I could arrange to check in. The phone went dead so I phoned again. I still couldn't make any sense out of what she was saying and asked how I get in - eventually a young guy came down the stairs while I was on the phone so I headed up. The manager was still raving on that she was busy and why didn't you come to the door - I tried to explain that I had but no one had answered but gave up.
I wasn't feeling a great lot of love at the hostel so I got a train to City Hall to buy a $8/day tourist pass. When I got to the counter the woman said I would be better off just buying tickets as I needed - for what I did overall this worked out to be right.
Decided to have a look around - first exit I took out put me in a shopping mall. Eventually made it outside and with no map had no real idea of where I needed to go. Walked around thinking I would find some tourist info somewhere but no such luck. Eventually spotted the Singapore Eye and decided to head towards it to see if I could find any info - after going down streets and then having to change direction because you'd come to a dead end I eventually made it to the bottom of the eye - again couldn't see anything to help me find my way around.
Seeing I'd had no sleep on the plane I was starting to get pretty pissed off and headed back towards the station - all I could find were more shopping malls. Got to the station and thought I would go to Bugis - I could remember having read something about it on the web - got there and more shopping malls - so decided to go back to the hostel.
At this point I was pretty disappointed with Singapore. I decided to go out and have a look around the streets around the hostel. I actually found this more interesting as they were different to what you'd see back home. The area around Aljunied has heaps of eating houses - a whole heap of little food outlets in one building. I couldn't work out what any of the food was though.
There were also heaps of shops that sold office chairs and most of these had someone carrying a chair out to their car.
After talking to some people at the hostel I decided to go to Chinatown that night. It was interesting walking around the street markets. I went looking for something to eat (I'm very fussy with food and don't eat seafood). I couldn't find anything on the menus that seemed familiar to what you would find on a Chinese menu at home - eventually decided to go for a mango lemon chicken. This was ok at first but as I got further into it seemed greasy or something.