Singapore, city of the future. Part I

Most people vacation in Bali, so I think everyone thought it a little crazy that My and Colette’s vacation was to Singapore. But…. I kind of fell in love with Singapore. I couldn’t help feeling like I wished Bali was my three day vacation and Singapore was my home. I guess I am just a city person now, and maybe a little homesick for NYC. So we went to Singapore to eat, to live a fancy hotel lifestyle, to drink fruity cocktails, and to see what lied there.

Singapore is basically the finest example of urban planning that I could ever conceive of. They have skyscrapers and skyways, but still you might randomly walk down a block that looks like it housed opium dens and chinese medicine shops 100 years ago, and in some cases, still does house those things. Everything is clean and pretty, the people are nice, and there is a stunning tropical rainforest in the middle of the city.

Walking around we saw what looked like people of all creeds, cultures, and aesthetics. We walked past a weathered muslim cemetery in the middle of the city, through a turkish and egyptian section, past chinese shops, into little india, and back again past skyscrapers and mod looking apartment highrises. There are tons of cafes and restaurants, especially late at night. I will get to what we ate and drank next time….

The botanical gardens are amazing. As I said, they are smack in the middle of urban excess. There was a rainforest full of ancient trees, a ginger varieties garden, a bonsai area, turtles and lakes, a cactus garden, carnivorous plants, and most impressive to me- the orchid gardens. I will put the orchid pictures in some other format, there are simply way too many to put into wordpress.

The other thing I found interesting about Singapore, was how young it is. We were there on their national independence holiday, which is a huge thing for a country only 45 years old. And people seem to be proud. It seems to me what it must have been like in the US half a century after our own Independence fight. And on top of that, Singapore has a thriving quality of life, not just on paper, but visible in the lifestyle.

There is a curious accent too. It seems to be an amalgamation of the Queen’s English, Malay, Chinese, Indonesian…. Well a lot of things. Which is symbolic of what happens in Singapore, cultures seamlessly melt together to create something new. It seems like the foreshadowing of our certain global future.

More on Singapore tomorrow if I can transcend my digital media apathy. N

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6 Comments

Filed under Singapore, travelling around

6 responses to “Singapore, city of the future. Part I

  1. I felt the same way there…driving in a cab around the city after landing from NYC felt like I had time traveled into the future! Did you buy any spices in Little India? If you have time go to the Chinese Gardens. You can use it as an excuse to see the rest of the island (from the train), its free, and it is stunning.

    • Didn’t go to the Chinese Gardens, no time, next time. I didn’t by spices in Little India, but I did visit some spice, chocolate, and coffee plantations in Bali yesterday. Will write about that soon…

  2. Eleanor

    Such a great blog, Neal and love hearing about your travels! My boss at my old job is from Singapore and she did have a very unique accent! I think your description is very apt. Can’t wait to hear about what you ate, I hear the street food there is amazing!

  3. liz

    that picture of the old buildings all painted is amazing!

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