Christmas wishes
in Singapore

Singapore

After Port Kelang, we spent one last night inboard the Azamara Quest before finally arriving in Singapore. We have spent five fantastic days here so far, enjoying the festive season in this lively and exciting city. We adjusted quickly to life without the cruise ship, thanks in part to the city itself. Singapore is clean, modern, well planned, easy to navigate, and very English speaking, all of which has made our introduction to Southeast Asia much easier than expected. We have no illusions that this is the case everywhere in this part of the world; in fact, we’d be sorely disappointed if that was the case. Still, Singapore has proven to be one of our favourite cities so far.

The hostel we are staying at is in Little India, which is a wonderfully vibrant and delicious area. We’ve eaten some of the best Indian cuisine we’ve ever had in the restaurants and hawker centres nearby. The public metro and buses connect the entire city and are ridiculously easy to use, and we’ve seen so much just by riding to new neighbourhoods and walking around. There are wonderful public spaces and walkways everywhere, and it feels safe and comfortable to wander along the water and through the streets even at night, which is when the city really comes to life. Singapore is very modern and exceptionally clean, due partly to the strict laws that prohibit spitting and chewing gum. The people here seem to take real pride in their city, and there is a noticeable absence of litter on the streets too. Add to this some really wonderful new architecture (our favourite was LaSalle College for the Arts) and some sensible city planning, and you’ve set the bar pretty high already. And we haven’t even talked about the fun stuff yet!

Malaysian tiger

On our second night here we went to the Singapore Night Safari, which is connected to the Singapore Zoo. We got to walk through rainforest landscapes for hours after dark, when so many of the animals are waking up and moving about. We saw leopards, rhinos, hyenas, zebras, anteaters, fruit bats, flying squirrels and tigers, just to name a very few. Although it was a zoo, it was constructed in a very open-concept way that allowed you to watch nearly all of the animals without having to look through glass or cages. Some of the viewing locations did have glass, and they allowed you to get very close to the animals. One of the highlights for me was when I came face to face with a leopard through the glass. Our noses were about 6 inches apart. He was magnificent.

Christmas wishes!

We visited the shopping area of Singapore several times over the last few days, mostly because of the incredible Christmas decorations that line Orchard Road. It really helped get us in the Christmas mood. On Christmas eve we went on a Xootr tour with a bunch of people from our hostel. For anyone who doesn’t know what a Xootr is (I didn’t) it’s one of those little push scooters with the handlebars that you often see kids with. It was so much fun! We zipped all over the city, weaving through pedestrians, eating delicious satay and peanut sauce, and smiling every time we saw more Christmas decorations. The attitude to Christmas is different here than back home – instead of staying home with family for quiet dinners, it seems everyone takes to the streets to dance and sing and revel in Christmas spirit. On Christmas day we were down Orchard Road again, and there were literally hundreds of people line dancing to some very un-country style music, while thousands more watched and took pictures. It was truly festive, and we had so much fun walking through it all that we completely forgot to eat dinner! By the time we remembered, we resorted to ice cream and raisin bread with peanut butter. Not turkey, but close, right?

Now that Christmas has come and gone, we are going to make our way down to Indonesia for a few weeks. We had a great time in Singapore, and would have to highly recommend it to anyone visiting this part of the world.

Comments

  1. Gabriele Bigoloni

  2. Hey guys you are so lucky, really jealous I am!

    Hope you enjoy your travels, we’re having a good time here in BC.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and a wonderfully adventurous 2010, Gabri and Family

    Hey guys! Merry Christmas! I have just been catching up on your adventures. I am glad that you are both doing well. I had a good laugh at your video! Mark – I am so glad that Meg has found someone who is as quirky as she is. :0)
    Doug says you should go to Bali. He’s heard it is a nice place.

  3. Agnieszka Sakanovic

  4. Hey Guys:
    Merry Christmas and of course a wonderful New Year. Dinko and I always read your new adventures on wewander.ca, it’s so nice to see where you’re going and where you’ve been. I’m sure that the two of you are having a fantastic time. Can’t wait to read more.
    All the best for the upcoming 2010.
    Ciao
    Agnieszka

  5. Fiona Boey

  6. I LOVE your Christmas “project” – I guess you really did have some time on your hands! Wishing you & Meghan all the best for the coming New Year – may your adventures continue to inspire you!

    Oh and my sister is kinda doing the same route that you guys are travelling…she was with her boyfriend in Singapore for Christmas and I think has headed to Bali for a week…maybe you might run into her…she’s a shorter thinner version of me hanging out with a tall skinny German

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