A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

A city of shopping malls!


View My Trip so far! on Sophfidoe's travel map.

Having been moving on every other day, endlessly packing and unpacking, it was a great feeling to arrive in Singapore and have a 'home from home' location for a week. It was also an opportunity to fix broken zips, holes in trousers and the chance to have a 'proper' glass of red wine which I had so long been craving! Cass has family in Singapore who kindly let me stay there for the week, using the pool and showing us the sights, it felt like a summer holiday in the middle of my travels!

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Cass, her Uncle Gordon and very hospitable family.

The city was still buzzing from the night time F1 race and I was lucky enough to get to go on the track, all be it in a 'duck and dive' tour vehicle!

The city was much more than I imagined, despite not being keen on shopping (there must have been at least 15 big shopping malls I went to), I really would make a return trip.
Cass had talked about it previously, but the efficiency and cleanliness of the country was definitely noted straight away. It seems that Singapore likes to do everything in the best way possible, thus making a great impression; everything seems to have been thought of, chewing gum isn't sold to reduce litter on the street and their transport system runs like clockwork. I get the impression that they like having the best of everything, even their tourist wheel is higher than the one in London (soon to be outdone by China, however!) and if you thought that Singapore had no beaches, fear not as they have made an artificial one for you!

You can spend a whole weekend wondering around without venturing out into the humidity or if you so wish you can leave the city and venture over to the island of Sentosa which was specifically built as a holiday destination for both tourists and locals. They even have a separate island just over from the city itself, which has their oil depots on in case of any explosions.

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Sentosa Island has numerous attractions for all ages. The luge being a favorite of mine, not that I'm competitive!

It's a city full of modern buildings, anything deemed old or slightly tarnished is knocked down and a new form of architecture takes its place. The main hustle and bustle of the city lies along the riverside and at night it seems like a different world. The bridges light up, the bottles of wine come out and fresh seafood is eaten in great quantities alfresco style, overlooking the water. The majority of those who are working in the city are British ex-pats and at times I did think that I was wondering around Canary Wharf and not Central Singapore.

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Just one of the shopping malls

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The Fullerton hotel is a 5* wonder that has it's own Chocolate buffet on certain nights!

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You can even have a drink at the local clinic!

To get a good view of the city the top of the Swiss tower was an ideal location (Level 72). For a $25 fee at night we could go up to the top and that price included a complimentary standard drink. I joked that the standard drink would include Champagne and low and behold it did!

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Live bands are aplenty in the city but watch out for the older men who are there to find the younger woman it's a little disturbing to say the least. Cass and I were kindly offered a few drinks by men of the tender age of mid 50, however we quickly declined and they moved on to the girls next to us and then continued to circulate the room, amusing to watch it must be said!

So really not knowing what to expect from Singapore I was pleasantly surprised. There is a great atmosphere in the city, it's clean and it feels like the city is constantly trying to make a good impression. It was great to feel safe again, I mean even jaywalking you get fined!

Posted by Sophfidoe 06:22 Archived in Singapore Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur

Seeing a friendly face!


View My Trip so far! on Sophfidoe's travel map.

Kuala Lumpur

So after just under 2 months, I was ready to see a familiar face from home and was overwhelmed at the thought of meeting Cass (Old University flatmate) in KL.
We had arranged the flight before I had left on my travels, however as I hadn't heard anything from her I was a little worried that I might still be venturing around KL without her! However with a few days to go I had contact and we were all set to meet. Having taken so many buses around Asia I decided to treat myself to an Air Asia flight from Phuket to KL. You can get some great deals with Air Asia and Thai air, except you have to be careful with luggage allowance which on this day was only 15kg (mine was a little over with all the extra bits I'd seemed to have accumulated).

Our flights were expected (I emphasize!) to get in within 15mins of each other so we had in our minds a reenactment from "Love actually"!
Well things began to go a little pear-shaped when my Rucksack came off the conveyor belt with a ripped zip and suncream everywhere. Every other cream was in a bag, the suncream however had escaped! After patching it up I was keen to get through to the terminal (which did seem a little small) and catch up with all the news from home.
15mins later, still no Cass so I gave her a ring and unbeknown to us there are apparently 2 different terminals at KL, one of which is just for Air Asia flights! So a 20min shuttle bus later we attempted to do the "run and hug scene"!

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Cass and I in KL

Transport into the City was easy on the metro there and we had our hotel already booked. Having been living in $5 accommodation for the last few months, I had high expectations for our 25pound a night room. Well they say that everything happens in threes so I guess it was to be expected. They had no knowledge of our booking through the agent Asia Room (wouldn't recommend unfortunately) but found us a room after a short time.

Hari Raya[b]

It's actually really amusing as the list of problems continued over the next few days; the air-con didn't work and we got caught in a rain storm on the way to china town and got drenched. These were just little annoyances, however the main silly mistake that we made was arriving in KL when it was Hari Raya, their Holiday Festival.

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Petronas Towers seen from the KL Tower

Well it did take us a while to work out why it was so quite in the city and why we weren't able to go up the Petronas Towers! The KL Tower was open however and I would thoroughly recommend going up this as the view of the city and the towers from there is stunning. We weren't able to go up at night however due to the celebrations being held, but there is a well priced restaurant up at the top which would give a great view of the towers at night (when they really come to life!).

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Towers at night lit up the sky!

It only took us two days to get to grips with the modern city and just wondering around gave us a really good feel for the place and a chance to look at the different architecture there. Chinatown is a perfect place to buy labeled goods, such as handbags, at a cheap price, however always start at about 1/4 of the asking price, even though it seems harsh at first.

We were both keen to head down to Singapore after a few days in Malaysia and found the best form of transport to get us there. For only 15pounds we got the airbus which took only 6hrs, in what was luxury, to get to Singapore. The seats fully recline with acres of leg-room, you have movies to choose from, complimentary lunch served and friendly service. The best value trip so far!

I have to also mention that on seeing me the first thing Cass said (other than Hi) was "Oh my goodness, your browner than me" and I think for the first time in my life I was!

Posted by Sophfidoe 05:31 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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