At first, I am going to list the most important tourist attractions, so that you don’t get bored. After that I am going to tell you what I think of Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the PHANTASTIC building with “the ship on top”
Art Science museum, shaped like the head of a flower, with petals
Solar powered Super Trees which provide power for the Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay
– and last but not least: Hotel Rafflles. It opened in 1889 and has been enlarged and improved ever since. It features the most exclusive shops under its Arcades, such as Coach, Jim Thompson and Escada.
Now I am going to show you a picture of a small store (shop!) in a mall, which should appeal to the Designers among us. The small house in the picture is not a place for children to play, it just contains more clothing displays. Very original. The lighting was also inspired.
Here is my take on this city:
I had been looking forward to visiting Singapore, expecting an Asian, exotic city. It might come as a surprise to everyone, myself included: I was totally underwhelmed. It is a city of over 5 million, which really doesn’t have a ‘face’, or ‘character’, if you wish. The only Asian aspect are millions of Asian people, many of them from China or Malaysia.
And all of them are shopping. Shopping for designer goods or their fake replacements. There are hundreds of high end malls offering everything from Pierre Cardin via Chanel to Prada. My hotel was centrally located, I could walk up and down Orchard Road until I couldn’t walk anymore. Nothing but malls and fast food places. I wasn’t interested in shopping, since I had too much luggage already and couldn’t carry anything else. And I was certainly not interested in buying western clothes. I was looking for Asian goods and clothing. Very VERY hard to find, and certainly not in the main shopping areas.
The second day I booked a tour in the ‘topless bus’, meaning THE BUS had no top. It was a hop-on-hop-off arrangement, so I spent 6 hrs doing that. I went for a short time to “Little India”, but I wasn’t really interested in that, since I was heading for real India after Singapore. Then you had a choice to hop off in “Little China”, which I was also not interested in, since I have been several times extensively to real China.
If you give a percentage to the shopping areas, let’s say 20%, what you have left is: 30% of the latest glass buildings in the business district, and 50% of satellite cities, 6-15 buildings in a group, all looking alike, 15-20 stories high. Many of them built in the 50s and falling apart, like slums, – and miles of miles of that.
So, I am sorry to confess, I didn’t even take the time to visit the museum, I spent half of my second day re-booking and rearranging my hotel and flight to Delhi. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Which, in turn, led to one of my life’s worst days. Stay tuned.