I should be lesson planning but that isn’t very appealing right now, let’s blog instead. The next stop on the tour was Singapore, by this point it really did feel like the end was coming and Singapore gave us a fresh reminder of what home was like. Cambodia, Thailand etc. were like nowhere else we’d ever seen before, it was eye-opening. Singapore was the outcast, it felt like going back to the western world briefly. I was walking around the streets around Arab Street and said ‘this could be Brighton’. Countries in Southeast Asia are cheap for us westerners, they sadly suffer from poverty and instability. Singapore couldn’t be more different, expensive and prosperous.
On the first evening we visited the harbour, it’s located next to the central business district. Many international banks are based there and the skyline rivals those of other international trading cities. I can’t stress how different it felt to other places in this part of the world. Every evening a light show is performed from the recognisable Marina Bay Sands hotel. Pretty impressive. The best thing about Singapore was the diversity, I think 4 languages are considered official here: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. It meant we could have a Chinese for lunch one day and a fantastic Indian curry just before we left. Coming from multicultural Britain we take such things for granted but a lot of places don’t offer this variety. Without sounded cliche it seems the different demographics get along pretty well, I hope that’s the case anyway. We were staying in a hostel near Arab Street and decided to visit the big Mosque nearby. I’m pretty sure this was the first time in my life I’d been inside a Mosque, I also had to wear a skirt as my legs were out – what a whore!
A theme of the trip was colonial architecture, the French were the big imperial power/oppressors in Southeast Asia but in Singapore it was clear the Brits had been here.
References to the colonial past were easy to find, the Victoria Theatre (yes even with RE!) being a great example…
Overall, I liked Singapore and thought we saw all we’d want to in the few days we spent there. I wouldn’t call it a must-do if you’re planning a trip to SE Asia but it is extremely well-connected place, maybe starting or ending a trip here would make sense.