What in the world is a Durian and how much trouble will I get for possessing one? The authorities in Singapore love to fine people for minor infractions, especially on the MRT train system. Eating or drinking? That will be S$500 please. Smoking? S$1000 please. Flammable liquids? A hefty S$5000 please. What is the fine for Durians and what is a Durian? No fine is listed, but I would not try and take one onto the MRT!
Durians are a local fruit that smells really really bad! They are a large thorny green fruit that locals prise highly. It is even called The King of Fruits. I smelled a Durian cake and that was pretty rotten. Tastes good though. So enjoy a Durian, in an outdoor area downwind from other people!
Okay, this tip is probably the last one I ever write as my dear Herny is going to kill me. For her the fruit durian is something fantastic, while for me... well, let's just say that my socks smells better after a four hour training pass than a durian...
It's a huge fruit that you can buy all over Singapore (apparently also in Vietnam as I was to realise...). Yellow, looks quite interesting, is said to taste quite good - and smells like nothing else in this world.
To be fair (and to save my own ass...) I won't tell you to stay away from trying a durian. I'll just warn you and say that your nose might never look the same again. If you're think you're up for it I think you should try it. Then maybe you can also tell me what it taste like, as I'll never be able to eat it...
Brochures claim that tap water is safe to drink. While not a foolproof test, I did drink the water and did not get sick.
Some of the water is Newater, a term coined for recycled water. Other water sources include desalinisation, collection of rainwater, and water that is purchased from Malaysia (after which it is purified and some of that water is actually sold back to Malaysia). Before there were threats from Malaysia to cut off the water but the percentage of water imported from Malaysia is going down.
There is a visitor's centre not too far from the Tanah Merah MRT station (somewhat close to Changi Airport) but I've never visited the centre.
Often when you arrive at a place, you must have money and will change it at the airport. I found that the exchange rates at Changi airport are fair. The rates are not lower at the arrival level. This is in contrast to Inchon Airport near Seoul (Korea), where the exchange rates are worse in the arrival level than on the departure level!
If you are visiiting the lobby of Raffles Hotel, for gentlemen, please be aware that, if you are not wearing covered shoes, you will refused entry.
It is ok if you are just walking around in the courtyard and going to the gazebo and gallery of shops.
It is strange archaic rule but there is no choice but to follow the house fules.
Does it mean ladies can go bare footed. Anyway, with so many non-guest visitors, the hotel management has their own quiet way of enforcing them.
Singapore might seem like an advanced country but in terms of sensitive scenes in movies and on tv, this country is still a few decades behind. The guys from the government cut films and censor whatever and whenever they can. It goes that far that the smooching cops in "Simpsons - The movie" has been cut! Some movies are way shorter than the original directors cut.... guess why? Simply to get a lower rating and therefore more movie goers and more money.
Being an expat in Singapore, I really have to get used to it. Even the nicest hits in wrestling are not shown....
Well in something that completely shocked a local I was with at the time I witnessed the egging of a tourist. Couple of younger males on a scooter rode by and threw an egg that hit the man in the neck just below his left ear.
As we walked further down Orchard back towards the city we saw more egg splatter on the sidewalks.
Some locals do not speak straight English, which is kinda difficult to understand (at first). A colleague informed me that, more often than not, their English is a direct translation from Chinese, so there are some dangling prepositions here and there, overused "already," and additional syllables at the end of sentences. Tough, eh? Overall, it's fine. Just pick up. :)
The 117th IOC Session convened in Singapore from the 6th to the 9th July 2005 to elect the host city for the XXX Olympiad in 2012.
Security was tight for the protection of delegates and to maintain secrecy during the closed door sessions.
Once I heard the steward (flight attendant) announce the airplane's arrival into "Singapore, Singapore". He did not seem to have a stuttering problem. The place is called simply "Singapore". In the same regards, one does not refer to "Honolulu, Honolulu" or "Berlin, Berlin". Perhaps, he was reading from a computer printout that automatically classified cities into two part names. In the U.S., the state is often said after the city name. However, Singapore is not the U.S.
Do you know that more then 40 Million sharks are killed every year! This particulary because of shark finning and the idea that Shark Fin Soup is sooo delicious. If you want to make a difference do not eat in restaurants that offer shark meat or shark fins - since without sharks there will be no life in the ocean.
Still not convinced... do you know how shark fins are taken... the shark is caught - the fin removed and then the shark is thrown back into the sea... without fin!
While we hear repeatedly that Singapore is perfectly safe, people are people and travellers should be cautious.
As a youngish, blondish Anglo-European woman travelling alone, in January 2004 I was badly hassled in Orchard Road by a young man who followed me. He first approached me as I walked out the Borders bookshop and he tried to talk, asking my name and where I was staying. I answered that I did not want to talk and wished to be alone. He then followed me for about 15 minutes, appearing and disappearing, brushing up against me and again asking my name, and becoming quite insistent about wanting to know where I was staying. There were no police in sight, and it was about 11pm. Although there were plenty of people around, I really didn't know what to do. I didn't take a taxi because I only had a very small amount of local currency in my purse (I was leaving early the next morning and only had what I thought I'd need), and didn't know how much it would cost to get back to my hotel by taxi.
Eventually I walked back to a public building I'd seen where there were security people guarding the gate, and I pointed him out. The security people didn't speak good English but they understoody. They didn't seem surprised (which in itself surprised me -- Singapore is supposed to be so safe!). They were very helpful and reassuring, and one stayed with me till I'd entered the nearby MRT station to make sure that I wasn't still being followed by the man.
When I did find some police near my hotel (near Raffles -- so some way from Orchard Rd), they didn't show any interest or take notes. The police woman just said it wouldn't have been a Singaporean who'd followed me. I don't really care if he was Singaporean, Indonesian (as the police suggested) or from the moon: I just wanted to be able to walk safely in the street without fear of being followed or otherwise pestered.
Advice: girls travelling alone, stay alert, even in generally safe Singapore!!!
The food may be great, but the toilets suck. Not only do you have to pay 20 cents, they're unclean and filthy and flooded with water and...great if you're wearing sandals that's for sure.
Some people do pay to pass the turnstalls, but I could see most workers simply jumped the barrier...I was too embarrassed to do that.
Beer and alcoholic spirits here are taxed to the hilt. It's expensive to go to a pub and order beer. $10 for a glass of beer during Happy Hour is a bit much for a beer-loving Aussie.
Just buy from a bottle shop and take it to your hotel room. But that isn't fun.
If you live in a country where cars drive on the right, you are at risk of getting hit by a car because you may look in the wrong direction. In Singapore, cars drive on the left.
This is not too much of a problem for me in Singapore because most crosswalks have a light for pedestrians and there are also other people who live in Singapore that cross the street and only walk when it is safe to do so.
Yes, it''s true, even the staff at the raffles hotel say that their iconic and historic hotel are...more
An utterly lovely hotel, situated by the water. Our room had floor to ceiling windows with panoramic...more
We stayed in this hotel for our honeymoon but we were harassed and intimidated by a group of young...more