I’m winding down my Singapore adventures today and tomorrow, and, man, it’s been an incredible trip. Summarizing just the highlights is kind of tough, but here we go:
- The Night Safari. O.M.G. So amazingly awesome. Getting to walk through a tropical forest in the dark and encountering all sorts of animals is so much better than visiting a crowded zoo during the day. In the bat area, large and small bats flit all around you, roosting a few feet from your face, their chitters and cries surrounding you. Sloths, lions, leopards, boars, and hyenas all lounge around in the sultry night air as you stroll past.
- Chili Crab Feast: My new best Singaporean friend Janice took me and others to “No Signboard Seafood” for a seafood feast, featuring the famous chili crab dish. The place itself was worth the visit, an open air, family-style restaurant packed with locals digging into seafood delicacies with their hands, while servers rush around from the busy kitchen with platters of food. Along with chili crab , we ate bread stuff with fish, pepper crab, fried prawns, deep fried tiny squid, and funky asian desserts. Best meal I have had here, and such a cool restaurant.
- Shopping and More Shopping: Shopping as an activity in Singapore is practiced like no where else I have been in the world. The only common public spaces are the shopping malls, which interconnect to each other through over- and underpasses so you never have to leave their air conditioned environs. And this happens to be the beginning of the “Great Singapore Sale” — an orgy of consumerism from May to July where most of the stores have big promotions and price reductions. I find it simultaneously upsetting and dazzling in its excess.
Overall the culture of Singapore has more to it than at first might be apparent. I’ve seen political cartoons, graffiti (okay just one), prostitution, and more urban grit than I expected to encounter. But overall it’s ones of the cleanest, most well-planned and structured places I’ve ever been in the world. I thought I would find that upsetting, but it has its advantages as a solo traveler.