Monday, March 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
I've decided to break my trip entries into two parts, one for each place we stayed.

We arrived in Singapore on Saturday, March 11 at 6:20am after an 18.5 hour flight. We checked into the Pan Pacific hotel. The accomodations were nice, but I wouldn't recommend the hotel for the food, which was only so-so. Then we were free to explore the city for the weekend.

The thing that left me a little disappointed about Singapore was how Westernized it truly was. Singapore was colonized by the British and is a relatively young nation state. Everything is in English as it is the spoken language, even though the population is approximately 80% Chinese. The Singaporeans also have a fondness for shopping malls - everywhere you go is a metro station that lets out into a mall. The prices are expensive, the brands are the big labels you find in places like Beverly Hills.

So the first day we started off in Chinatown. We arrived about 10am in 80 degree heat and humidity. Gotta love the tropics.

Clark Quay
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
After Chinatown, we hopped on the Metro and headed down to Clark Quay on the Singapore River.

Singapore is a small island, approximately 27 miles east to west, and 15 miles north to south. It is bisected roughly east to west by the Singapore River.

Clark Quay is a neat area full of restaurants, bars and clubs. By day it is a quiet place to sit on the river, or take a river cruise. By night it becomes a big part of the city's nightlife.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
While at Clark Quay we took a river cruise to see the sights. The biggest attraction on this trip was getting to see the Merlion. The Merlion stands at the entrance to Singapore's harbor. Traditionally lions are placed in Asia's gates as a symbol of protection. Singapore also stems from the word Singapura which means Lion.

After the River Cruise we went to Orchard Street, the site of the biggest and best shopping malls. We wandered Orchard Street for quite a while, and then headed back to the hotel to change and get ready for dinner. Dinner was at the hotel's Italian restaurant and then we all fell into bed by 11pm after over 24 hours of travel and awake time.

Elephant in Little India
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Sunday we slept in a little bit and had a quick breakfast and then headed down to Little India. Though I was somewhat disappointed in Chinatown, I loved Little India. We walked for several hours through streets upon streets of shops, flower markets and restaurants. The streets were filled with interesting smells of incense, spices and foreign foods.

Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
We also wandered Little India until we found one of the larger Indian temples. Out front there were flowers and offerings, and the intricate work on the temple was amazing.

After Little India we wandered back towards the hotel. We found an Indonesian restaurant near the hotel and enjoyed a pretty good meal. Then we opted to try foot massage and reflexology. Though some found it painful, I found it a really good remedy for my sore feet and legs.

The Raffles Hotel
Originally uploaded by littledevilworks.
Sunday night, a big group of us headed to the famous Raffles Hotel. This hotel is an amazing example of British colonial architecture highlighted by Indian influences. It boasts dark wood and a sort of safari feel.

The Raffles is by far the most expensive hotel in Singapore, and locals and mere visitors can't get a room there. The hotel is reserved for visiting dignitaries and guests of the government.

The other reason the hotel is famous is for the Long Bar which serves the famous Singapore Sling. We all had to have our Singapore Slings. I have to tell you - it was the most expensive spiked Koolaid I've ever drunk!

The rest of our time in Singapore was spent visiting and touring companies and exploring the city. Though we had a good time, we all looked forward to having fun in Thailand.


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