Sunday, September 13, 2009

Singapore: A few things to know

As you fly to Singapore, you are presented with the entry papers to fill out, nothing unusual there. Until you turn the card over and notice that they are informing you drug smuggling into Singapore is punishable by DEATH. Whoa. . .they do still take their laws very seriously and while they may seem odd to us (no gum), do us all a favor and just obey them, OK? I really do not need to hear about you getting caned in Singapore on CNN. And yes, it does happen - while I was there the news reported on a caning of a local for some offense or another.

About the airport - Changi:
I was a bit caught off guard by the airport procedure at Changi. Everything went smoothly until I arrived at my gate. Each gate has an additional security screening and there was no water or restrooms past this security point. Plan accordingly. There is the standard security screening as you enter into the gate area also – so two security gates.

What to avoid

Hotel Restaurants:
The Raffles Hotel restaurants: overpriced and frankly - just not worth it. The hotel itself is very lovely, but the food just didn’t cut it. We ate at the Long Bar, a steakhouse and it was super expensive and super pedestrian.
One-Ninety at the Four Seasons: Seriously? You are going to charge me that much for fried rice? Puh-lease. It wasn’t even that good!

Unless you call for a taxi, forget about it. The little taxi stands along the streets are worthless (you cannot flag down a cab, you must wait at the stand). We asked a local about this and were told that a cab driver makes more when responding to a call to pick up a specific person at a specific location. We would actually see cabs go by and turn on their “on call” light before passing us at the stand and then turn it back off. Either carry cards for some taxi services, use MRT or be ready to hoof it.

If you have never smelled the horrible stench of this fruit, well, I suppose in some ways you ARE missing something but not a pleasant experience. People are forbidden to buy this and bring it back to hotels and such. The stench is strong, powerful, rotten and carries a long, long distance. Since I couldn’t get within 20 feet of vendor selling the fruit, I certainly did not TASTE it . . . and really, why would you??

1 comment:

  1. A great activity to check out would be the Singapore night safari

    you get to see animals at night and get dinner if you want, very fun and different experience - i really enjoyed it!