Sunday, August 17, 2008

Singapore - covered in 1 minute

After my trip to India drew to a close, I found myself in Singpore for a 1 day layover (by choice). Being quite tired of feeling like a tourist everywhere I went, I elected to skip the Changi Museum (about the Japanese occupation / POW history), and the Tiger Beer brewery. The one touristy thing I wanted to do was visit the Sinapore Zoo, for their famous Night Safari, but the rainy weather had other ideas.

I really liked wandering around the city and getting a feel for it. The cleanliness, after 4 months in India was a breath of fresh air (pun intended). I loved seeing all the signs and books in all 4 official languages as well as all the construction going on.
Of special note in the construction scene was all the effort going into something that I really wish I could stay for: the first ever in the world, night time Formula 1 grand prix race! This will occur on 28 September, and all sorts of new technology are in play, most notably the lighting system. I've read it as being many times brighter than football stadium lighting, and a lot of thought went into the design. Throughout the city you can see railings, 20 feet above the street level, only ever on one side of the street (to avoid glare if it's rainy). Here you can see the railing on the far side of the road, a bridge downtown that the cars will cross each direction on one lap. The Singapore merlion (shown above) is directly behind me when taking this picture:


Overall, Singapore was awesome. With it's proximity to the rest of Asia, and accessible outdoors of Malaysia right there, I'd definitely consider living there for a bit. I loved how it had a fantastic public transportation system. The people were very helpful and polite; they seemed to care about others as well as their environment.