I was sent to Singapore by the school I work for in order to get my visa. I've been here on a tourist visa for the past two months which is the maximum length of time you're allowed to be here on one. Since you can't get a new visa directly from a tourist one, I had to leave the country. No complaints here. I want to see as many countries as possible. So I got a free trip to Singapore.
The school wanted me to fly there and back in the same day, but since there's no direct flight anywhere from Palangkaraya, it would take two flights to get there, and I refused to take four flights in one day. So I talked them into letting me stay for two nights. It's not a whole lot of time but just enough to do some site seeing.
The first thing I noticed when I got to Singapore was how clean it was. I read about it being clean, but you really don't have an idea until you see it. It's basically perfect. And it's not clean in the sense that there are trash cans everywhere for you to put your trash either. You can rarely find a trash can. You're not allowed to eat or drink in most places, can't really smoke anywhere, littering is out of the question, and you get fined up the ass for any of these offenses. And they take their jobs very seriously.
Their public transportation is the nicest, cleanest, and easiest to navigate that I've ever been on. You can't get lost. And you can't eat or drink on it. That's a $500 fine. I had a can of soda with me and realized I could be in a lot of trouble if I took a sip. Luckily, I had already finished it but couldn't find a trash can. I had to pocket it.
After not being able to get too many pictures of orangutan (which I covered in my last post) I did some research and found out that Singapore has a very famous zoo, so I decided that would be my first stop. I haven't been to a zoo in at least 10 years so I figured it would be fun, and I'd also be able to get some fun shots out of it. So I spent the day there. It's pretty big and they have a lot of animals. Surprisingly all of the animals are active too. It's not like going to some crappy zoo, paying an ungodly amount to get in, and then walking around to see sleeping animals. I actually got a bunch of pics of animals looking directly at me, and a ton of orangutan pics.
I got to see this guy...but I forget what he is. Some giant flightless bird from New Zealand. I saw hippos, white tigers, elephants, a bunch of different kinds of monkeys, and well, things you see at the zoo. I'm not gonna name them all. I was there for about six hours and still didn't get to see everything.
They had this one exhibit, though, that you could walk in and it was filled with ring-tailed lemurs, giant bats, tiny little elf deer, different kinds of birds, butterflies, and a sloth. Yup, a sloth. And these animals have no problems with people so they come right up to you. I was so excited that I hastily tried to switch lenses on my camera and watched as a lens cap slowly rolled off of a deck and into an area I couldn't walk into. Didn't care, better a lens cap than a lens. More importantly, there was a sloth eating upside down next to a bat and I wanted a picture of it. So here's what I got in exchange for a lens cap.
When the zoo closed I moved on to the Night Safari which I thought would be really cool. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It was just a night time zoo that wasn't lit that well and filled with nocturnal animals. Some of the animals you couldn't even see at all. But I'm still glad I went. It was a fun day and I got a lot of fun pics. Check out the gallery for more.
The next day I woke up to rain. A lot of it. I was disappointed because I really wanted to walk around and take pics of Singapore. I had to instead check out the other thing that Singapore is famous for, shopping malls. I'm not much of a shopper, but I did have a lens cap that I needed to replace so at least I would be a little productive.
Singapore is literally miles and miles of malls. Everywhere you go there's a giant mall. And across the street from it? Another giant mall. Sometimes they even connect to one another. And everything is pretty expensive. It took me a while but I found what I needed and ended up paying about double for it than I would have in America. Oh well. Such is life. Because of the weather I ended up having to check out a few different malls for half of the day.
When the weather finally cleared up a bit I decided to check out Little India. It's just a district where it looks like India. Not very exciting. In fact, it was just more shopping but for Indian things. I walked around for only about 30 minutes and had enough. Next stop, China town.
China town was also more shopping, but it was a little bit more exciting than Little India. This had more of a street fair feel to it and there was more to look at. More people to watch, salesman trying their best routines on you, and tons of junk to buy. One salesman actually got me into his store with a good pitch. He started talking to me about my tattoos, which always gets my attention, and asked if he could get a picture of them. Then he proceeded to try and sell me some silk shirts. Even gave me a free beer. I enjoyed the beer but walked out empty handed. He never took that picture either. I found an Indian temple after leaving that shop and stopped in. It had a lot of colorful ceilings that I took some pics of. They'll be down in the gallery at the end of the post.
I walked around for about an hour and then wanted to check out the Singapore Flyer for the sunset. The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris Wheel on the bay that you can see the whole city from. It's 541 feet tall. I was hoping for some really cool sunset shots but the weather wasn't working with me. But here's me in it.
That building over my left should is the Marina Bay Sands. It's a giant 3 tower building with a boat structure on the top connecting the towers. It also has a very upscale mall, museum, casino, and other attractions in it. After the Flyer, I wanted to walk over there and get some really cool night shots. I took quite a bit. First was the Gardens by the Bay which is in those domes. Then I walked under a bridge towards the Sands and got some really cool shots of the skyline and the bridges.
I started hearing music on my way over that blue light bridge and eventually found a light show was being put on by the Sands on the bay. It was really good timing and I found a nice spot where I could get some different shots of the Sands where no one else was standing and then some awesome shots of the light show itself.
After the light show I went into the mall and had some dinner and then decided to go to the very top of the Marina Bay Sands. Here I was able to see the whole city and get a couple shots. This was the end of my night, and basically my trip. The next day I was leaving and going back to Palangkaraya.
Check out the gallery for more images!