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  • Langauge will not be a problem as everyone speaks English
  • And if you want to live by the sea, the same apartment will cost more than $220,000
  • The Chinese vegetarian food in Singapore is the best I have ever had in the world, and I have eaten Chinese vegetarian in San Francisco, Houston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and 'Indian Chinese' in India

    • by Meera
      all reviews
      Travellers from the West who want a break from the ‘rustic’ charms of the countries in Southeast will find Singapore a pleasant, if busy commercial oasis. Singapore is a small island at the tip of Malaysia, and is a modern, independent, sovereign city-state. Langauge will not be a problem as everyone speaks English. For travellers from the East like India and China, Singapore represents modernity, success and above all, shopping. Visitors cannot be blamed for thinking of Singapore as another little fast-paced American town.

      Step out of the airport and you’re pleasantly greeted by flower-lined highways as you speed along in your taxi to Orchard Road, the main high (and low) fashion shopping and dining belt of Singapore frequented by most tourists. But go further inside Singapore into the “residential” areas and you will see towering block after block of highrise buildings stretching till the horizon on all sides. These are the HDB (Housing Development Board) apartments - built by the government which houses about 80 per cent of the population. At starting prices of S$180,000 (approx US$1: S$1.

      6) for a smaller than 900 sq ft apartment, these are not cheap! And if you want to live by the sea, the same apartment will cost more than $220,000! Lavish prices but not lavish at all in design! Private apartments are much pricier, starting at about $500,000 for a one bedroom (price may vary by area).


      /> Those who have the good fortune to live in houses bought those for $7000 to $17,000 in the 60’s, or later for the $400,000 price range in the mid to early 90’s before prices hit a peak of $1million to $2 million and more in 1996! Others actually fork out these prices (which are slightly lower now) - don’t know how they do it!

      Ok, so housing is very expensive and small, unless you are able and willing to give an arm and a leg for a spacious (or small) house!

      But the food is something else. I am vegetarian, so I can only talk about that. The Chinese vegetarian food in Singapore is the best I have ever had in the world, and I have eaten Chinese vegetarian in San Francisco, Houston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and ‘Indian Chinese’ in India.

      Nothing beats the Chinese vegetarian in Singapore!If you eat at a hawker center (open air food court) or an indoor food court, food can be quite cheap at $2-$4 a meal. Otherwise, be prepared for very expensive prices at restaurants, even average ones, and about quarter the portions of food you get in an average restaurant in the US. The Night Safari is quite unique and an attraction not to be missed. You get to see the animals at night at the local zoo while you ride in a tram, and later, there ...


      • is an animal show.

        MOst tour operators have tours to the Night Safari. My son and I joined a tour group to the Night Safari last year. Very enjoyable, and in the eerie moonlight, one actually feels one is in a jungle (albet a manmade one)!

        I am not sure if it is on the tour operators map, but don’t miss the East Coast Parkway. This is a very long stretch with attractions in different areas, but ask for the MacDonald’s area, where, besides the latter, there are a variety of restaurants - Thai, Italian, Turkish, Indian, Western, a pub or two.

        Very pleasant and an ideal place for the family to relax after cycling/rollerblading/walking at parkway by the beach. Many of these restaurants face the beach and often, I spend the morning typing on my laptop while watching the sea ahead. Very relaxing and very peaceful during the weekdays. Shopping for electronics can be good depending on where you go.

        There is Sim Lim Tower or Funan Square (you have to bargain at these two places) for computers and related stuff, or there is Carrefour in Suntec City for everything under the sun (almost) (a little like a much smaller version of Cosco in the US). (There are many, many other places to shop. In fact, the whole of Singapore is like one big, giant shopping mall, but I have just mentioned the main

        ones that are known to offer good prices. ) This is why, after years of shopping, I don’t want to see another shopping mall when I visit another country,.

        We in Singapore (or some of us) travel overseas to see goats, sheep, cows, miles and miles of grassland, mountains etc etc!

        For other shopping and food, there is Chinatown and ‘Little India’ at Serangoon Road. On the whole, Singapore is marketed and presented as a commercial hub do don’t expect to find anything too ‘authentic’, ‘ethnic’ or ‘rustic’. Whatever you do find like that has, more often than not, been carefully planned and crafted as such, specifically to attract the tourist. What you can find in the West that is modern, high tech, we have here, and maybe more (except space).

        What many people will find is that Singapore is clean, has very low crime (you walk in the street at out at 11pm without fear), and presents all the comforts and amenities of modern living that you can find in any other developed country. Will be a refreshing break before you start or continue on your trek through the rest of Southeast Asia. Climate: Hot and humid with frequent rain when temperatures go up. Average temp: 26 deg C to 31 deg C.

        (Goes up to 33 deg from June to Aug) Money: bring lots and lots of it, you will need to to survive - prices for basc living are high. Transport: buses, taxis, the MRT (trains) - all airconditioned.




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