Sunday, July 17, 2011

A week in Singapore (Part 1)

It has been a long time ago I updated the blog, so after a very busy period I guess it's time for a some news. So I start with a city-trip I made last May.
Destination: Singapore. My interests are the greater
metropolis in East- and SouthEast Asia. Last year I've been in Japan (Osaka/Tokyo) and of course Hong Kong. Another city among the Four Asian Tigers I haven't been yet is Singapore.

A republic at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula which has been repelled from the Malay Federation in 1965 after racial riots and other problems. Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister of the newborn Singapore and was governing the state for 3 decades. Singapore became one of the wealthiest nations in the world and is with Hong Kong SAR the most powerful economy in the asian region. It's after New York, London and Hong Kong the 4th leading International Financial Centre in the World.
Back to my trip. On Dutch Queensday I flew with Singapore's flagcarrier Singapore Airlines. As many travellers may know SIA is one of world's leading airlines, so the flight wasn't a punishment at all. Great services onboard, a 35-inch pit, Personal AVOD, Diner menu cards, flight amenities, real metal cutlery and drinking glass for diner.

Once arrived in Singapore I took a cab to the hotel in the district 'Little India'.

By coincidence the cabdriver was a Singaporean habitant with Cantonese roots, so the conversation went smooth and felt like a warm welcome.
As I dropped my luggage at the hotel, I went into the Central Business District by subway which is familiar and of course super-efficient like in HK.
Like Victoria and Nathan were important persons for HK, the British Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles has been the founder and indirectly responsible for the Singapore of nowadays. Today, there a many legacies of Raffles, like several places in the CBD, streets and SIA's First class is named Raffles Class.
A short while ago, the brandnew Marina Bay Sands has been opened. This megastructure is a 3 column Hotel which towers more than 200 m above sea level with a 350 m curved, boatlike skypark across the 3 towers. Very impressive since it stands on reclamated land
In the CBD there are a lot of heritages from the colonial era under Britisch Straits Settlements. The Fullerton Hotel is settled on the corner of Singapore Bay and is a former Post Headoffice.
Today, many luxury sportscars are crowding the parking lane.
At Singapore River are many ancient tradehouses which are nowadays restaurants and cafe's. On the background you'll notice the business district.
Singapore maintains 4 official languages: English, Chinese Mandarin, Malay & Tamil.
Later that day I went to the Esplanades, a twin Dome p
erforming arts centre which has a shape of two Durians, the king of fruits.

Next part: Sentosa Island; Science center and Orchard Ion Sky.

Are you going on vacation during this summer?

Durian shaped Esplanades & 4 languages

Udon noodle soup & Aqueen Lavender Hotel