I was in a 10 bed, relatively spacious dorm, and when I arrived I was the only person there! Less people in your dorm makes it a bit harder to meet people but does mean less disturbances. I slept for a few hours (the beds were really comfy by the way and had duvets which always makes me happy) and then went to check in properly. The hostel is relatively new, but the staff are very friendly and helpful, and the facilities are great. There is a roof top garden where you can sit out and look across the city - its partially covered which is helpful due to the amount of rain I've experienced since I arrived, and has comfy wicker chairs all around. There are 3 computers in the reception which you can use for free and free wi-fi as well. The toilets and showers are really clean and there is an overall chilled out atmosphere. They often have music playing through the day too which is a nice touch.
When I tried to return to my hostel I got quite lost so ended up jumping on the underground to the station closest to where I was staying, Boon Keng. I'm not a city person in all fairness, and up until now undergrounds have always confused me. Over the last couple of days I've used the underground so many times that I've become a bit of a expert! I even had to help some Asian tourists to use the ticket machine, and direct some others to the correct line. The underground is immaculate - not surprising really considering there is a $500 fine for eating/drinking and $1000 fine for smoking on the premises! I was really impressed with how quick, easy and efficient the system was. Obviously we don't have this sort of transport in Carlisle but I have used the underground in London and a couple of other cities, and I found the transport in Singapore one of the best and relatively inexpensive.
Singapore itself is incredibly clean, as I'm not a smoker, I hadn't been aware of the fact you had to pay taxes on cigarettes brought into the country. A couple in my dorm told me they were asked to pay a total over $160 just to bring their cigarettes into the country, however they were allowed to leave them at the airport and collect them in a few days time when they were flying home to Holland. In addition to this, chewing gum is illegal! I can understand fines for putting it on the street etc but making it totally illegal seems a bit steep. Having said that, the streets are spotless so I guess it pays off.
|The Merlion - Half Lion, half fish|
If you're a fan of cities, and have plenty of money to spend, Singapore is a great place to be. I've only spent two and a half days here, and there's not an awful lot more I can take. It clean, friendly and easy to get around but its so big and busy. Compared to Kuala Lumpur I much prefer it but at the end of the day, its another big city so I'm looking forward to leaving. Tonight I fly to Cairns, Australia: I'm feeling almost back to normal now and I cannot wait. So for now its Goodbye Asia, but I can almost guarantee I'll be back!