BootsnAll Travel Network

culture shock singapore

jess and i are not your typical backpackers. we don’t carry around those big turtle-esque bags on our backs, roaming the street for hostels when we arrive in a city. we appreciate comfy beds and fluffy pillows. and we (usually) don’t smell too bad. but at the same time, especially in a city as flashy as singapore, we do occasionally feel like we’re “roughing it”. and coming from the craziness of thailand, singapore was quite a change…

people here drive withing the lane markers in their own lanes. they obey traffic lights, and there are hardly any mopeds anywhere. you can’t chew gum, litter, jaywalk, or eat on the subway, and all of these are punishable with fines of up to $500! the city is spotless, parks are elaborately maintained and interspersed throughout the city, the public transportation is efficient, and just about everyone speaks english. as a friend of mine told me the other day, singapore is like “asia lite.”

even the (amazing food centers) are incredibly organized. instead of mobile carts on the streets (one of the things we loved so much about thailand) carrying all our favorite goodies, all of the food vendors here are located in “hawker centers” where you can grab a seat and have your fill of the most amazing dishes, all served family style within steps of each other – kind of like a big food court made up of individual vendors’ stalls. singaporeans LOVE their cuisine and everyone’s got a recommendation for a dish to try or a particular hawker stall to seek out. we’ve tried many of the local specialties including chili crab, chicken rice, carrot cake, kaya toast, and some of the best indian food i’ve ever eaten…

here in singapore, shopping is the national sport and orchard road is a must-visit for those with disposable income (not us). trendy restaurants are all the rage, and nightlife is always on. on friday night, even our cab driver was disappointed that we were heading home at midnight and tried to talk us into going to a disco. (“you know, lots of women come here to meet their husbands… let me take you to the disco”) haha! much to our cabbie’s dismay, we were firm in our decision to head to bed early. but we’ve definitely had fun during our stay in singapore which – unfortunately! – ends tomorrow. just a few of the things we’ve gotten to do/see while we’ve been here:

– touring the tiger brewery and getting to see the assembly lines and taste all the local brews, including a stout made with ginseng
– playing tourist in sentosa island, a big man-made vacation paradise just off the coast of singapore and joining friends for a free jazz concert on the beach
– wandering the amazing grounds of jurong bird park
– dinner at a wonderful thai restaurant overlooking boat quay
– eating til we’re stuffed at the local hawker centers (this could be a whole blog in itself… i’ll try to get pictures up soon!)
– meeting up with old friends and new for dinner, drinks, and sightseeing
– singapore slings at the raffles hotel (and throwing peanut shells on the floor – so fun!)
– posing for pictures with two pythons wrapped around our shoulders
– foot massages at a fish spa (we’ve got video on this one, it’s crazy!! you put your feet in a pool full of little fish that nibble off the dead skin to soften your feet!)

we’ve really enjoyed our time here but we can’t wait to settle down in bali! we leave tomorrow evening and will be there for a whole month… if anyone’s got recommendations for things to do or see, send them our way! will try to post the rest of our singapore pictures and videos soon, including the crazy fish spa! =)

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3 responses to “culture shock singapore”

  1. Mom says:

    Singapore sounds like such a huge contrast to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia!!! Anyway, glad you had fun and good luck in Bali!

  2. wisa says:

    I would’ve loved to have fish eat the dead skin off of my feet.

  3. kim says:

    did you say the national sport was shopping???? hmmm…i’ve GOT to visit singapore. =)

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