Part 2 Singapore to Nepal
March 29 Around Singapore
The ride from the airport was a fantasmagorie of sights, sounds and smells, all I had ever imagined Asia would be. I was hoping to stay at a Sikh temple that have rooms for pilgrims but the Hindu temple was not Sikh so I had the taxi drop me at the Chinese YMCA, only $1 per night. At the Y, I met a German American and we roamed around the Chinese shops and markets for the rest of the night.
Raffles Place - Raffles Hotel Is On The Right
Next morning I went to Raffles Place (wandered through the Raffles Hotel), tourist office, post office and American Express to pick up letters from Pete, Jim and Aimee. Money changers are everywhere but there is no black market. The canal is packed with boats where people live, wonderful food stalls line the streets with seafoods, cakes, pastries, slices of pineapple, pears, paw-paws, all extremely cheap. Many kinds of juice stands; I liked the sugar cane and coconut juices. I ate lunch in an Indian restaurant, rice with two kinds of meat and cut up vegetables. I selected food from trays at the rear, then sat down and food was served. Washed hands before and after the meal. Only one fork available for the odd westerner who wandered in.
Lower End Of The Housing Market
The shops are arranged conveniently for shoppers; each street specializes in one thing, a street for tailors, another for shoes, others for jewelry, toys, clothes, food, etc. The amazing thing is the variety of goods and the crowds of shoppers. It's all very entertaining and colorful but it seems that all anyone thinks about is money.
Singapore Shopping Street
I found out about Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Garden), a re-creation of a famous theme park in Hong Kong, so the next day I took a bus to it high on a hill overlooking the city. It was truly magnificent if you like sculpture and 3-D scenes from old Chinese stories. Here is only a sample of the many photos I took. I spent most of the day there. Later, I walked out to New World, much like an American fair but I did find the Chinese opera interesting.
Entrance To Haw Par Villa Theme Park
Thematic Statues Are Everywhere
Another Scene From Famous Stories
Bye, Bye Bodhisattva
Friday was a national holiday so almost everything was closed. I took the opportunity to take a rest day and make plans to leave in the morning for Kuala Lumpur. I think I've seen all of interest to me in this big commercial city.