Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Travel of the week - Singapore

Singapore is a small and modern “city-state” in Southeast Asia. It is frequently called “Asia for beginners”, and it is easy to understand why. Despite the different cultures and religions mingled together, everything is highly organized and seems to work in an orderly fashion. English is common enough, streets are safe and clean and foreigners abound. In sum, it is a very different experience from what you get in other Asian countries.
Marina Bay Sands

The infamous wacky laws are strictly enforced, and you are often advised not to chew gum, not to leave the toilet without flushing, not to smoke in public or not to litter, all of which are subjected to heavy fines.  More universally recognized offenses, such as robbery, assault or “overstaying by more than 90 days after the visa expiration date” can be punished by caning, i.e., being stroke by a rattan cane for a number of times on the bare buttocks. The punishment is offered in addition to more traditional ones, such as jail time or death penalty.

Singapore may not look and feel exactly like the “exotic East”, but it’s unique anyway. You get a glimpse of (very clean versions of) different Asian cultures, in special Chinese, Indian and Malayan. You can get lost at street markets, visit many temples, enjoy the modern architecture, empty your pockets at the fancy Orchard Road, and, if you are lucky (like I was), watch the F1 Grand Prix from the food court balcony of a local shopping mall.

Text & Photos: Jonathas Delduque Jr.

Indian temple

Durian close-up


Many beliefs

Old lady


Street market

Sultan Mosque

Temple details

Temple door

Why so serious