|Singapore at Night|
The contrast between Siem Reap and Singapore is incredible. In just 3 hrs we flew from a 3rd world nation to a sophisticated 1st world nation that is so well developed we in Canada could learn a lot from it.
|Fireworks Happy New Year 2014|
|Happy New Year from Lafiandra Singapore|
And in typical fashion (i.e. planning for no delays) we flew in New Years Eve for a dinner reservation I had made at Lafiandra Trattoria while planning the trip. And guess what, it all worked and we arrived just in time, then went to Marina Bay for the 2014 Fireworks to bring in the New Year. 300,000 revellers came down to take part. Amazingly orderly, the Fireworks celebrations were fantastic. To feel the energy of this many people celebrating, sitting on the grass at midnight in 31C temperatures, in shorts is something we will never forget.
And Singapore is known as one of the main New Year’s celebration cities in the world along with Times Square in New York. We have really set the bar pretty high for the future.
Singapore has approximately 5.3 million citizens and highly diverse. Also striking is the amount of people who can speak English fluently, and the friendliness of its people. When we first got on the plane to Asia Sandra said, “prepare to be in the minority”. And yet during this whole trip we have never felt that way.
On New Year’s Day we were walking through a market close to our hotel in Bugis.
On several occasions as we observed some celebration taking place, one an Indian temple celebration and on another a Buddhist celebration, Asians would smile at us, then approach and begin explaining what we were witnessing. It felt to us they were welcoming our interest in their celebrations and wanted us to understand. Like in Cambodia we were met with many smiles, and here they are very well spoken in English.
|Fort Canning Friends|
Later in the evening we wanted to see the Marina Sands Light Show, so we returned downtown. There we watched the city-scape explode to become this gorgeous night skyline. And the architecture here specifically the Marina Sands area is so unique, where they have 3 towers (actually six that merge to 3) in which they have a large ship atop that straddles them. You can see that this end of the world has incredible wealth associated to buildings.
|St Andrews Cathedral|
Singapore has had a lot of British influence starting with General Canning who wanted a rest spot between the Far East China and Britain. Of course that port in China was Hong Kong which we will visit later. Singapore became that intermediate port, and Malaysia became the centre for tin mining for Britain. All this took place in the 1800’s. We got a chance to visit a cemetery in Fort Canning Park that revealed merchant sailors from all over the world that died on ships in the harbor or while establishing business relations. These were truly the adventures of our world.
|Fullerton Christmas scene|
|Merlion with the Fullerton Hotel $$$$$ in the background|
|Chocolate Ice Cream sandwiches in white bread|
|Post Modern Architecture|
|Sculptures on Sentosa Island|