Singapore Part III

Chinese Gardens

Chinese Gardens

Originally published in the Fenton Patch newspaper April 2012

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Yet another puff writing by Yahoo placed its teaser on my Email screen. They got me. This one caught my eye because the day before I had been in the exact spot the photographer clicked the photo. The picture article that the link took me to stated that Singapore is now one of the ten most expensive cities in the entire world in which to live. The country’s paper had just run an article stating that rental prices for many of the old 2,000 to 3,000 square foot colonial homes range from $22,000 to $42,000 a month for a two year lease. Heck, an out of the main area apartment is $4,000 a month.

Still though, I recommend the island as a place to visit. Singapore has much to offer that you can’t find elsewhere. The culture is a blend that influences many unique sights. Informative museums abound. Beautiful gardens enchant. Food choices invite and delight. A rich history intrigues. Fantastic shopping places excite. Just walking around admiring the sights makes one smile.

Because of its diverse ethnic culture the city features Chinatown and Little India. There you find the culture and food of those countries as well as the ambiance associated with it. Mosques and beautiful Hindu temples dot the country. Many allow visitors and even explain more about their religions. In one Hindu temple you can use a method of shaking sticks to reveal your future.

During the early 19th century only males from China could come to Singapore. They married Malaysian women. Those descendants are known as Peranakans. To understand Singapore you must understand that culture. The Peranakan Museum located on Armenian Street is a must see in my opinion.

The National Museum of Singapore is the people’s museum. It uses latest technology along with an excellent assortment of ancient artifacts to tell the story of the history of the country. After visiting there you have a greater understanding of both the country and the people.

Shopping is a delight. While the prices for electronics are not as attractive as those in Hong Kong, nevertheless they are good. As for clothes – Singapore is home to many excellent well know designers. But at Bugis Village you will find unique pieces from up and coming designers, and of course at attractive prices.

Malls feature more restaurants than I usually see elsewhere. I wonder if anyone cooks at home. Most dishes are Asian. There is the traditional food of Malaysia, China, India, Korea and Japan as well as those places that blend the different country tastes together. I have eaten lunch for as little as $6. Most meals are in the $12 to $15 range with many of the specialty restaurants averaging $30 a plate. Unless you want to be chained only to the tourist restaurants I suggest you practice eating with a Chinese spoon and chopsticks before leaving home. Because some of the tastiest restaurants are in places that have no forks and no napkins.

The major expense in this county with much self abstinence is anything alcohol. Beer starts at $5 a bottle and swiftly rises from there.  However different healthy herbal teas are in abundance.

With what it offers the tourist Singapore is still a value. In coming writings I will tell you a little more about more specific places to add to your must see list.  But for now, here are a few photos.

Singapore Part I                                   Singapore Part II

 

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