Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 24: Singapore Day 1

Our flight for Singapore departed at 10 a.m. and this being 1) Sunday 2) early morning and 3) Ramadan we didn't know how frequently the metro would be running to get us to the airport. So we were up at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. just to be safe.

KL is an amazing, wonderful place. There's designer stores everywhere you look, the weather is cool by Asian standards, A/C is powerful and abundant, and I am nowhere near the fattest person around. These are all important factors for me. But one thing that sucks horribly about KL is signage. They can't properly display a sign to save their lives. I'd take a piece of notebook paper with crayon written on it, as long as it was a sign! Because of this we had to sit around and wait for the airport train, as there is NO SIGNAGE stating if you, traveling the cheap-o airlines at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, are going in the right direction. But finally we got on the train we were reasonably sure we needed to be on.

It's a good thing we got there so early so we could warm the seats, since our flight was delayed by an hour - BOO! We were still sitting in KL when we should have already landed in Singapore. But the wifi was free flowing so I can't complain too loudly. Plus, once we were able to depart, the flight took only 40 minutes from take off to landing, instead of the scheduled 1 hour. For you Midwestern folk, that's less than a Minneapolis to Fargo flight. Nice!

Singapore runs a tight ship. Like Malaysia, they carry a mandatory death sentence for anyone smuggling drugs. I was surprised that we weren't checked for drugs at all, we just waltzed through the Nothing to Declare door like any other place. Another thing Singapore doesn't allow is chewing gum. Yes, CHEWING GUM. You have to declare it if you bring it in, and it's only available for purchase at a pharmacy. I think you even have to fill out paperwork, much like buying a firearm in the U.S. They will also cane you if you commit a crime. Like I said, tight ship!

Once we got to Singapore airport we headed into the city on the metro. This being a Sunday afternoon you'd think that it would be relatively empty and uncrowded. Singapore has 5 million inhabitants, more than the entire kingdom of Norway, on an island city 1.5x the size of Oslo. This means people everywhere, all the time. Rush hour never stops.

It took us an hour to get through the metro system and to our hostel. Singapore is super expensive so we had to knock our luxury level down a few notches. At least we got our own private room and bathroom.

Marv thinks Singapore is the hottest place we've been. I still reserve that title for Hoi An, Vietnam but I will agree that Singapore is the most humid. And humid = miserable. So once we checked in we immediately hit the hay. We had been up since 6 with no nap, and our room had no windows making it black as night in there. We slept like the dead for a few hours, in really awesome A/C. It was way, WAY too hot to be outside anyways. It felt marvelous and by this time in our travels, over 3 weeks in, we're pretty well beat. Any chance to relax and sleep WILL be seized by us.

When we got up it was time to find dinner, and we were wildly craving Indian food. We happened to be staying in the Little India section of town, so we went on TripAdvisor to find the nearest Indian restaurant. Shoutout to hangout@mt.emily hostel for free wifi (ahem, Mandarin Oriental)! The highest rated Indian restaurant was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel so we made a beeline for the place.

TripAdvisor doesn't lie, this place was AWESOME! It's been far too long since I've had Indian food and we had a feast. We didn't even get any pictures of it because we were too busy FEEDING (that is the correct word for what we were doing). I have never had naan bread stuffed with cheese before, but let me tell you, I am a new woman now that I've had it. Absolutely amazing!

Our time in Singapore is very limited, Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning only. We already pissed away most of our first day sleeping so we had to get in at least one tourist attraction after dinner. So we navigated our way to the Singapore Flyer, the largest observation wheel in the world. From what I can tell it's exactly like the London Eye, which is a huge, slow moving ferris wheel that lets you see the city from high above. The highest point is 165 meters (541 feet) and we could see city lights and sky scrapers as far as the eye could see in every direction. I would have liked to see the view from daytime but at $30 SGD ($22 USD) per person, ride this was a 1-time ride only for us.

It was still ridiculously hot, long after the sun went down, so we headed back to the hostel after our half hour jaunt on the Singapore Flyer. The bulk of our Singapore sightseeing needs to get done tomorrow so we need to rest up!

No comments:

Post a Comment