Singapore is so modern and westernised that it is sometimes easy to forget which part of the world you are in (apart from the heat and humidity that is).
While walking around I would often see an exotic looking bird - a flash of blue as a Kingfisher flew from tree to tree or another species foraging in the grass for food.
Introducing the Fort Canning Tunnel (FCT) which is opened in 2007.
Could not help noticing this new and short tunnel which recently opened in downtown Singapore.
It connects Armenian Street to Penang Road and Orchard Road. Now you know!
The Singapore Postal system is efficient. There are post offices all over including one at Ngee Ann City at Orchard Road.
You can get buy postcards as well. However all addresses must be in English to send out your parcel or mail.
Some of the staff I found are impatience and not so tolerant. So don't worry as long as your mail will arrive back home. So far all my postcards sent from Singapore arrived.
Check the website for the Post office ofyour closest lcoation and the operating hours.
Singapore is a shinning example of many different people coming together in a peaceful and well run country. Most residents are ethnic Chinese, but there are so many workers from around the globe that are not counted. A few facts:
Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (year 2000)
Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8%
Languages (officially English):
Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9%
In its absolute organization and cleanliness, Singapore reaches a strange balance between the preserved colonial buildings and the modern look of the skyscrapers. The Orient looks present everywhere, but the way of life is closer to the west.
What a strange but perfect blending...
This is a photo of a ship from the Republic of Singapore Navy that I saw sailing in the harbour. It was speeding much faster than the little ferry that I was on. Upon doing some research, including the MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) website, I found that this ship is one of the Fearless class of patrol vessels commissioned in 1998. It is the RSS Resilience. It is equipped with a 76 mm gun in the front and two Mistral surface to air missiles. The ship was built by ST Marine in Singapore.
Maybe if you look at the harbour, you may spot something of interest? There are some some islands that might be reachable by water taxi.
Who says Singapore does not have any waterfalls?
Fondest memory: Jurong Falls, measuring 30m or 100 feet, is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Water plunges over the top of a towering cliff at a rate of 8, 300 litres or 1,800 gallons per minute. The water is recirculated through a meandering stream, that cascades down over successive levels through the waterfall Aviary, creating an ideal environment for water birds, fishes, plants and other life-forms to live in.
Fondest memory: Singapore, like Miami Beach and the Kings Road in London, has a disproportionately high number of performance cars on the road. In Singapore even mid-range European luxury cars are about 300,000 SGD so I hate to think what these beasts cost. The accumulation of wealth and material things though, and the conspicuous display of wealth, is of extreme importance to Singaporeans. Flashy mobile phones, designer clothes, Rolex watches and luxury cars are what it's all about here.
Fondest memory: Temasek Tower. A pretty insignificant building and yes, I admit, a boring photo but with every visit to Singapore I learn a little more about what's going on here. I admire Lee Kuan Yew for engineering the remarkable changes that have taken place in Singapore over the past 40 years and the island's transformation from a swampy third-world backwater to a technologically advanced nation that is more first-world than many developed countries. However, he has also created quite a dynasty. Since stepping down as Prime Minister in 1990 after 30 or so years at the helm he has remained in office for the PAP as 'Senior Minister'. His first son was finance minister at one time, I believe, is now the Deputy Prime Minister and is widely tipped to become the next Prime Minister. His second son runs SingTel, the Singapore Telecommunications company. It doesn't stop there though. Temasek Holdings, a holding company for several major companies in Singapore including Singapore Airlines, is run by the wife of his eldest son. It has been suggested that she relinquish the post if (when?) his son becomes Prime Minister. Whether she will or not remains to be seen.
Fondest memory: I met and chatted to a group of youngsters dressed up in punk gear with spiky haircuts. They were hanging around Clarke Quay down by the Singapore River. I can't actually recall the last time I saw someone dressed this way in London. The punk thing that came to life in 1977 was way before these kids had even been born. They were the most unthreatening punks I had ever met and I doubt very much that a drop of saliva has ever been spat from their lips or that they have ever muttered an obscenity against royalty or the establishment. I can sympathise though with teenage kids getting to an age when they want to express themselves and be independent of their parents. Singapore, being the most regulated country in the world, must be a tough place for them in which to live at times.
Fondest memory: I have been to Singapore 3 or 4 times when the Christmas decorations have been on display and I must admit that the Singaporeans do a great job, especially for a country where the dominant religion is not Christianity. Then again, religion doesn't really come into it. The Asians just seem to enjoy lots of bright lights. Barely have they taken down the lights for Deepavali then it is time for Christmas and after Christmas they are getting busy for the Chinese New Year.
Fondest memory: Singaporean youngsters, like their Thai counterparts, are obsessed with computer games. At the Funan IT Mall there are several Microsoft X-Box consoles around the place. I think they might even be free to play but they are always in use. All I know is that they make a hell of a noise and annoy me. Ever since the first ping-pong electronics game machines appeared in the mid to late 1970's when I was at college I have always been bored by games machines.
SOMETHING I ENJOY IN ANY PLACE IS SITTING ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER AND WATCHING THE WORLD PASS BY..TO ME SITTING THERE AND ENJOYING THE PEACEFULNESS OF THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS....AND SINGAPORES' RIVERBANKS IS ONE OF THE PLACES TO ENJOY ANY SERENITY...
Fondest memory: WISHING I COULD HAVE SEEN SOMEONE THAT I WANTED TO SEE......
Last time I was in Singapore (before Sars) I met loads of local cats living in the bushes down by Boat Quay.
On my latest trip I went back to reacquaint myself but could find only one, a cute little girl. It took quite a lot of coaxing to get her out from her home. I've been told that during the Sars crisis the authorities took the oppotunity to destroy thousands of the homeless cats. Poor things.
By the time I had made friends with this one she didn't want me to leave but I had to go.
Fondest memory: I love all this nonsense. What shall we do today to make us feel better about our future? Read a horoscope in the paper? Let someone read our palm or the tea leaves from our morning cuppa? No. We will give this nice man some money and let his parrot pick out a card for us. The card the stupid bird picks up with his beak will give an accurate forecast of the life we are yet to lead. Simple, eh? What are you waiting for?
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