The poor mans Orient express
Whilst we where in Singapore, we decided to go to Penang in Malaysia for a week, instead of fliying which is quite cheap we opted for the train, as we had not ever been on a train in Asia we thought it would be an adventure, I was so supprised it was wonderful, it took 12 hours from Singapore to Butterworth (just across the Penang bridge). We would certainly do it again as you see the changing countryside and the diverse selection of people travelling to there various destinations. the food from the buffet car was tasty and very cheap. Overall a great experience... Our favorite memory of Singapore, is how interesting, clean & safe the city is, we have been back three times, and each time it has the same magic as the first time we went. It is a very colourful and vibrant city, and Sentosa Island a must see for any visitor. There is something for everboby in Singapore, but it can be a little expensive..
Raffles - founder of Singapore
Oh yes, Singapore has a lot to thank us British for! This is a monument dedicated to Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (located at the point where he landed, next to the Singapore river) on 28 January 1819. Working for the British East India Company, he was looking for a suitable place in SE Asia to set up as a British port and trading post.
The inscription reads:
"On this historic site Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles first landed in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and with genius and perception changed the destiny of Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a great seaport and modern metropolis".
The restaurants and bars that now make up Boat Quay can be seen in the background.
Sugar Cane Juice
The heat and humidity really take it out on you especially if you're a great big anglo like me. It's possible to lose a pint of sweat per 200 metres. The only cure for this is to drink the Sugar Cane Juice thats made in front of you at the hawker stalls. It's full of sugar and keeps you alive - for the next couple of blocks at least.
Singapore is a modern country
Trains in Singapore have escalators and lifts, so backpackers who want to bring wheeled luggage won't have any problem, i.e. having to lug the luggage up stairs like in other countries. Casual and light. Singaporeans don't dress up much unless there's something special going on. Flip flops are acceptable for hanging around and shopping, but not for clubbing/dining in nice restaurants. No problem getting supplies, because Guardian Pharmacy and Watson's can be easily found. These two stores will likely carry any toiletries you might need. At reasonable prices too. Singapore is a modern country :) Digital cameras would be great to bring... photo shops in Singapore also offer easy developing. There are some Kodak kiosks where you can insert your memory card, and print your photos for about USD$0.35 each Bring bikinis if you're planning on going to Sentosa beach for some fun!
Johore Bahru in the Southern Tip of Malaysia was established in 1855 by the late Sultan Abu Bakar (the Father of Modern Johor) and is the Capital of Johore State of Malaysia. Being the closest to Singapore, it recieved the largest share of Singaporean and Foreign Tourist arising from Singapore. Johore Bahru boasts of myriad landmarks, such as The Grand Palace with its distinct Anglo-Malay architecture, which houses the museum where priceless treasures of the Royal Collection are showcased and the Christian Church like exterior of the Abu Bakr Mosque. Connected to Singapore by road and rail via a modern causeway, Johore Bahru is also the Peninsula's southern gateway. Consisting of a diverse ethnic mix of races, it offers the visitor heritage attractions, colorful culture, delectable local cuisine, and exciting recreational activities and easy to book day tours to it originating from Singapore!