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Last updated : Nov 2009
Last Stop: Singapore!
Rating: ( 4.6 ) ( 28 votes )

Singapore, Singapore
Jan 24, 2004 12:34

Pros: clean, efficient, beautiful and amazing place
Cons: expensive

Happy Lunar New Year! It's the year of the Monkey, and we were fortunate to be in SE Asia to celebrate its arrival. We had planned the trip perfectly to start our trip around the world in June at the Inti Raymi festival in Cusco, Peru, but we got lucky when we arrived in Singapore and discovered we would end the trip with yet another celebration!

Singapore gets a rather bad rap from most budget travellers, who complain its a bit too much like the west. In fact, I think its actually a few years ahead of the west -- most places are positively pristine, and the technology is superb and ubiquitous. In any event, we loved Singapore. Its well known as a foodie's dream come true, and we got down and dirty with the fused Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines. Susan also went absolutely mad shopping -- everything actually fits her here, and is cheap, cheap, cheap! The museums are also brilliant and very well thought out to give you a great idea of all of Southern Asia.

For the actual arrival of the new year, we watched a brilliant fireworks show over the harbor at midnight. However, the general celebrations go on for almost three weeks. The whole city was caught up in celebrations, but nothing like Chinatown. The entire place was essentially cordoned off from traffic, and a huge tent city sprung up so you could shop and eat to your heart's delight. So we spent a lot of time just wandering around and enjoying the ambience. We also took in a lot of dances, drum concerts, and, on our last night of the trip, took in a performance by the Hong Kong Ballet.

Ah yes, all good things must ultimately come to an end, and it's time for us to say goodbye to the road and start looking for a home. We've been travelling a bit over seven months now, and its really been the trip of a lifetime. We've had so many unforgettable experiences, have seen so many amazing things. and have met so many fantastic people along the way. Its been a difficult trip too, of course -- there were moments along the way we would have traded a national monument or two for a hot shower -- but its a price we gladly paid to live out our dream. We've taken well over 4000 pictures, have seen eighteen countries and five of the seven continents, and had ourselves a spectacular time.

And to answer what seem to be everyone's question, yes we'd do it again, and, in fact, on the flight home we mapped out our next trip around the world . . . sure, we may not be able to take it until we retire, but we can always dream!