29. September - 03. October 2009, Singapore
Wow, this is already the start of my third and last part of my trip. On one hand it feels like time flies, but on the other hand when I look back and remember everything I have done, everything I have seen on this trip already, it feels like I have been travelling for ages.
Singapore is a great place to start if you are visiting Southeast Asia. Singapore is a bit of everything. It's a total cultural mix. You have Little India, Chinatown, an Arabic quarter and the modern skyscrapers in between. Here you have a mosque, there a buddah temple and closeby a roman catholic church. And they live all peacefully together.
Compared to Australia and New Zealand, most things are pretty cheap... compared to other Asian countries though, Singapore must be really expensive. So I am really looking forward to that.
The temperatures here are crazy. The humidity is incredible and together with the temperatures of around 30degrees I'm sweating and feel totally finished.
What I find unbelievable is the cleanliness of Singapore. It's really like its reputation. I have never seen such a clean city. I find it really impressive to see what a city/country can achieve with strict rules. Everything is totally disciplined and everywhere you find signs how you should behave.
The city is nice during the day, but everything just becomes better at night. Everything is lit up with chinese lampions, modern colourful lights or oriental lamps. Everywhere you find stalls with cheap amazing food, fresh fruit shakes or trashy souvenirs.
Speaking of fruit... I tried the famous durian fruit. You can already smell it from miles away. It has a slimy texture, it smells like a poorly maintained toilet and the taste is even worse... it's somehow like a strong bad camenbert cheese, combined with a rotten egg, sweetened with honey. I cannot understand why locals love it. Luckily it is forbitten to enter any metro or bus with a durian fruit, as the smell is so strong that you would never get rid of it.
Another delicacy I tried was the mooncake. It's mooncake festival tomorrow. People explained to me it's a bit like Thanksgiving, where families and friends get together and share mooncakes. It's a simple thin batter with fillings in all kinds of flavours. But the original one, my favourite, is with white lotus. Really nice.
As I visited my friend Alex from France (met him in Argentina, a few months ago) who is doing his Master here at the moment, I had someone who played tourguide for me and showed me around. That's so nice for a change.
That was Singapore, a country you can fully explore within a few days. Tomorrow it's time to enjoy the first Southeast Asian island. By bus and then by boat I'll make my way with Alex to a Malaysian island not too far from here.