Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Singapore, "The Fine City"

Hello all,
A woman was kind enough to let me stay in her lovely apartment thanks to CouchSurfing.org

This organization has proven to be such a useful source.  I had never met this woman but was searching for a place to stay in Singapore.  Serenity is an accomplished self-employed woman who has lived all over the world and speaks eight different languages.  It was such a treat to stay with different people from CouchSurfing.  They open up their home to complete strangers and the payoff is so much more than just a few free nights at their place.  There is a cultural exchange between the host and the surfer, time spent getting to know people and their way of life and a wealth of information on places to go and travel tips in their country.

I have never been to the island of Singapore.  It is located on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.  It is only 646 square kilometers (252 square miles).
Staying with Serenity was so helpful because she was also centrally located in the Orchard Road.  This is the main area of all of the high end shopping of Singapore.  This strip is similar to Michigan Ave. in Chicago.  You can find any high end designer imaginable from Gucci to Prada.

Most expensive hotel in Singapore.  Rooms ranging from $1150-$3650US per night!  

Filipinas who worked for the Raffles Hotel

Inside the lobby of the Raffles Hotel

My last night was spent meeting other CouchSurfers for a drink in the Clarke Quay area.  This place is filled with restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, retail shops and more.

Met with Fellow CouchSurfer, Porus Satwe who showed me around Clarke Quay.

Other CouchSurfers, he introduced me to that night.  

In the evening, I checked out this salsa club and made friends with the Columbian band members.  This club was located in the Amara Hotel.  This is where I paid for an 8 oz bottle of water for $10 US!  I couldn't believe it.  The bartender said the hotel discourages people to drink water so they would buy more alcohol.  The cost of the water was the same price as a glass of wine.  This is one of the most expensive places to live in the world mainly because the real estate here is so precious.  It is such a small island but the only way to develop and expand is through reclamation where you add soil and building land space on top of the water to expand the island.

I found this city to be so fascinating!!  It is known to be one of the cleanest cities in the world.  Singapore is also known as the "fine city" because it is a beautiful place to live but also because there are strict fines to maintain order, cleanliness and safety!  There is a fine for everything, especially to keep the city perfectly clean.  I did not see a single piece of trash anywhere!  http://ezinearticles.com/?Singapore---The-Fine-City&id=235580

NO drugs is strictly enforced.  Any solicitation or peddling of narcotics is punishable by DEATH!
Because of the strict penalties and law enforcement, there is virtually NO CRIME and extremely safe.

A couple of interesting facts about Singapore.
1.  Chewing gum is not forbidden but bringing in large amounts of it into the country is illegal and the gum seller can be sent to jail.
2.  NO NUDE sun bathing even in your own backyard or you will be sent to jail.
3. You will be fined $500 US if you do not flush the toilet in a public bathroom.
4.  Littering will cost you anywhere from $500-$1000.
5. Jaywalking is punishable by a $300 fine or up to 3 months in jail.
6. 70% or higher humidity year round.
7.  Population is about 3.87 million and composed of 77.3% Chinese, 14.1% Malays, 7.3% Indians, 1.4% others)
8.  One of the highest standard of living in Southeast Asia and one of the best living conditions. Singapore is the 3rd most expensive city in Asia and #10 in the world.
9.  For the tenth year running, Singapore has topped a list of cities around the world offering Asian expatriates the best quality of life. An annual survey by human resources consultancy ECA International found that Asian expatriates ranked Singapore as the most favourable city to live in because of the quality of its infrastructure and health facilities - llow health risks, air pollution and crime rates added to its appeal. The survey compares living standards in 254 international locations.

People were so friendly in Singapore.  There were a ton of Australians at this club and I met people from all over the world that shared my love for salsa!

1 comment:

  1. Another well rounded, fun filled day!! Do you ever rest?