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Singapore Days 3/4/5

Monday, April 30th, 2007

The night of Day 3 I didn’t have a chance to go to the night safari as I couldn’t change my ticket that I had advance booked.  But that was perfect because I was really, really tired from hiking.  Well after the hike I came back and crashed.  I didn’t go out, only walked around with Jennie and another girl staying at the hostel because they wanted some food.  Our search was really unsuccessful and so we just returned to the hostel.

Day 4 –  Yesterday was a big day of walking around the city.  Frederick this dutch girl we met at the hostel two nights ago and Arnold another Dutch dude I met a few nights ago ventured off through the city.  Frederick was our leader with the map and we followed.  Man did we walk a lot.  Apparently she wasn’t in to the excellent public transportation system Singapore has to offer.  So we went to the harbour again, chinatown, walked through little india and really did one giant loop around the city.

Also funny story.  Frederick needed to find Qantas airlines in Singapore because she had lost her bracelet in Cairns, Australia at the security desk.  So we had an address of some building, and we finally found it and when we got there, we couldn’t access the floor it was on (10).  So we had the bright idea of going to the 11th floor and walking down as maybe there was an issue with the elevator.  When we walked down to the 10th floor, it was under construction, but there was a sign for Qantas.  So I proceeded to open the door, and it really could have been like one of those scenes from a movie where the guy opens a door and there is nothing beyond it.  Well I did and took a giant leap of faith, and then…nothing, the room was empty, it was under construction, and nothing was there.  They had moved.  I guess it was funny if you were there, because it was really weird to just walk in to the room, not knowing what to expect and then nothing…

Eventually we found out where it was, because ended up not going to Qantas anyway.

Well after this boring post and not really typical of my funny ones, I guess I should get to the good stuff.

I have changed my plans.  I am not coming home on May 25th!  I am extending for another 35 days!  I signed up a tour through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam!

It is a 29 day tour with intrepid travel based in Australia.  I got a great deal, had to change my flight, which worked out nicely and just did it.  It was something I had to do.  Sorry to the family for not being able to come down to Florida for the Bar Mitzvah, but hopefully I will get down there soon enough.

I think I am going to attach my itinerary if I figure it out so people can check it out.  It is an overland trip, by bus, train, one plane, boat, and whatever form of transportation we do.  It should be so much fun, I am really excited to do it.

So basically before I ventured off with Frederick and Arnold through Singapore, I got up at 745 to go to the airport to try and change my flight and work out the arrangements with my incredibly inflexible ticket.  To cut the story down, I went all the way there by taking two trains and standing during rush hour, ended up not having my paper tickets with me, the lady said nothing could be done, sent me to the cathay pacific office in downtown.  So I went there, waited forever, then sat down with the lady, worked my magic, and the charm, got her to actually change my ticket cheaper than it should have been, but unfortunately there were no flights from Hong Kong to New York for the next 3 months in the fare classes I was eligible for.

At that point I was really distraught, I thought I was going to go on this incredible tour, so it wasn’t good, but as my sister Jenny knows (there’s a little shout out), I am incredibly lucky.  So after I got back, I decided to pursue other options before I had to leave to go off to look around.  I remembered a travel agent I knew off from being on Boostnall so much.  Charlie from Travel Connecxion in Bangkok.  I phoned them up and after calling them several times, finally got through to someone who could help.  She found me a flight for 19050 Baht (approximately 535 USD) one way from Bangkok to JFK, one stop in Kuwait for only a few hours, and I was flying high (literally).  I was going to have to pay about 350 or more to change my ticket anyway, so this was perfect, coupled with my 400 discount for the trip, this was perfect.

So I was really excited as everything worked out great, I even changed my travel insurance using Frederick’s skype headphones for like 88 bucks, which was nothing for another 35 days.  It was compulsory that I had travel insurance before the tour started.

Ok well I want to talk about the rest of Day 5 but that will come later as my battery is dying

Singapore Days 3/4

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

So I last left you all from the airport in Hong Kong where I was enjoying the free internet and just relaxing before my flight to Singapore.  The flight was nice, I got an emergency exit aisle seat which = a little slice of heaven…it is those things that really makes the trip.  Arriving at Sing airport was crazy…the line for immigration was really long and took about an hour.  I was real pissed standing there waiting to get my passport stamped which should take two minutes, but no, it took forever.  So after I finally got through the line I went to the famous visitor’s centre at Changi Airport.  It definitely lived up to the expectations and reputation it has been given.  They had everything.  Free maps, brochures, passes to clubs, everything.  The lady there told me how to get to my hostel, where to go, what to see, it was really nice.  It was about 4PM after I was done at the visitor’s centre and I was really nackered (tired), so I decided to endulge myself with a cab ride to my hostel.  Low and behold g-d punished me for being lazy and not taking the two trains and the 10 minute walk with all my stuff to the hostel, because the taxi driver did not really speak english.  But what was worse was that he didn’t know where Little India was!  I mean the country is pretty small, its basically like one big city with suburbs surrounding it and Little India is famous and popular.  But after he pulled over several times to look at MY map, he got me there and the cab ride with air conditioning was worth it (mere $15 SGD).

So I was finally at my hostel, tired, cranky and hot.  It was about 91 degrees and about 90% humidity, and I was sweating like crazy.  Anyway I got my room in the dorm and crashed on to the plastic covered bed (like grandma use to have).  I immediately befriended this girl named Jenny from Liverpool now living in London.  We chatted for about an hour and decided to go explore Singapore.  We took a train down to the habour and checked out the skyline at night with all the buildings lit up.  It was brilliant.  We then took a night river cruise throughout basically all of the downtown city, everything was lit up, we had a voice recorded tour, and it was nice and cool with the wind blowing off the water.  The boat had red lanterns and was very authentic.

After the cruise we headed back to the hostel and got some tiger beers, some more tiger beers, some more tiger beers and then played some pool.  It was a nice first night in Singapore, and met some real cool people.

Day 2 in Singapore Jenny and I went to the nature reserve outside of the city.  We had to take a train and and a bus to the Bukit Tanah Nature Reserve.  Now I’m not usually a trekking fan, I like air conditioning, riding on buses and staying cool, but Jenny convinced me to do a hike or two through the reserve.  She got me to go by saying that we could see some monkeys and pythons wild in the reserve.  Well after hiking up steep steps in the mud, hot and humid weather, we saw no monkey or pythons, but all in all was a great hike through the trails to see some wildlife, fauna and vegetation.  Nice break from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

After our hike we decided to get some authentic food.  I forgot to mention that for lunch before the hike we got some real authentic street vendor food in Little India.  It was fresh, clean and amazing.  I got noodles, chicken, mushrooms in a broth.  It was fabulous.  But anyway after the hike we got some more authentic food but this time switched it up to duck and rice with some quality brown sauce and a 7up.  It really hit the spot and kept me going.  After that we eventually made our way back to the hostel and I got some more of that same food from lunch, and am sitting, relaxing and enjoying the confines of the hostel.

I might go out tonight, but most likely will just stay in the hostel, drink tiger beer and play pool.  Tomorrow I will explore the city center, chinatown, little india, buy some chatchkas and the night safari.

Stay tuned for more adventures tomorrow.



Hong Kong – Day 3

Friday, April 27th, 2007
IMG_0148.jpg Well it is Saturday morning here in Hong Kong and I am currently sitting on the floor at the gate waiting for my flight to Singapore...Luckily ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hong Kong Part Deux

Friday, April 27th, 2007
I wanted to break up the posts otherwise they would get too long and people would probably stop reading so here we go. So as I was up at 730 and ready to go after taking a freezing cold shower (welcome ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hong Kong!

Friday, April 27th, 2007
Phew, Finally I have made it to an internet cafe. My hostel has internet but there is always such a long line to get on so I figured I would hunt an internet cafe down. Well I arrived on the 26th ... [Continue reading this entry]

Less than 24 hours to go

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
Well there is less than 24 hours to go before my flight...I will be arriving at the airport approximately at 12PM to JFK...I know my flight is at 345, but because I don't have a seat and wasn't able to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Distances Traveled

Saturday, April 21st, 2007
709 miles - driving Lansing, MI to Great Neck, NY; stopping in Cleveland for one night 202 miles - overnight train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 26730 miles flying - in 30 days!

4 days left

Friday, April 20th, 2007
Really bored today...tried to study, but really couldn't any more...I mean how much can you for one test right? Well don't really have any trip updates just wanted to add another entry to the blog... on a side note ... [Continue reading this entry]

Under 6 to go

Thursday, April 19th, 2007
Under 6 days to go...I am so excited...I have taken 2 finals...2 to go...I have one in about an hour...then one on Saturday. My apartment is basically packed loaded up...Will be driving to Cleveland, OH to stay at my cousin's ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thank you

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
Just wanted to say thanks to my mom for gathering up all the toiletries and necessary miscellaneous items I need for my trip. While I am in law school studying for finals, she is back at home scurrying around, ... [Continue reading this entry]

test: blog entry with photos

Sunday, April 8th, 2007
I am just doing a test run on putting photos in to a blog entry...i have been reading up on how to do it, and i have even downloaded a fabulous program to shrink the size down to a manageable ... [Continue reading this entry]

Update on things

Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Well just to give anyone who reads this an update on life.  I have my law final exams in a few days (starting april 16th -21st), so times are hectic preparing. It is hard not to do research and look up ... [Continue reading this entry]