On the 1st of January we put our backpacks on and said farewell to English village our home for the last year. We were off on the start of a two month adventure and what an appropriate day to begin, an excellent start to 2012.
Our first destination was Singapore but our first stop was Shanghai China for 6hours so technically according to the stamps in my passport I have now been to China as well. We flew out of Korea at 4.20pm flying for just under 2hours before arriving in Shanghai then after a 6hour wait we left China at 11.55pm arriving in Singapore at 5am on the 2nd of January (Happy birthday Dad!). From the very beginning Singapore was one of the easiest places I have ever visited. Straight to the info counter they told us our best option to the hostel which was a shuttle bus that literally dropped us at the door. In to our room (a 6-bed female dorm) to get some sleep after a long day and night of traveling. Next morning we were woken by the 2 other girls in the dorm packing their things to leave. we got talking and the advised us on the sights and then gave us their subway cards to use for our stay as they still had remaining money on them (so nice)! After they left we dragged ourselves out of the beds and set of to find some food. We ate Hainanese Chicken Rice a local speciality and yum it was good. Roast chciken pieces served with rice cooked in chicken broth, so simple and so good. After lunch we got the subway to the Harbour front and walked along the boardwalk by the sea until we came to Sentosa, Singapore's tourist island. There we walked around just looking at most of the attractions as Singapore is very expensive. We found a beach on the island apparently the most southerly point of South East Asia and sat there for a few hours before going to a light, water and fire show on the beach called "Songs of the Sea". The show itself was a bit childish but the effects was amazing. Back at the Harbour front we treated ourselves to a sangria at a spanish restaurant and then home to bed.
Next morning we woke late again (enjoying not having to get up for work) and got the subway to Little India for lunch. Again delicious. We walked around admiring the stalls and clothes and strange smells and bright colours before hopping on the subway again to Chinatown. There we wandered again through stalls and stalls wishing we had bigger bags to put things in so we could buy stuff! Singapore's population is 75% Chinese, 14% Indian, 7% Malay and the rest is made up of other ethnic groups. The main language is English though which made a holiday there so easy. Ask and you shall get an answer (something that hasn't happened up for a year)! That night to avoid the bars and save money we went to the cinema. Sherlock Holmes was surprisingly good.
On our last day we decided to get the city bus tour around Singapore. Which compared to many of Singapore's attractions was good value for money. We bought one ticket which allowed us access to three tours: Original, City and Heritage and we made sure to go on them all. We say all the main sights that way and learned all the little pieces of info you never learn by walking around yourself.
Singapore is a beautiful clean city known jokingly as the "Fine" city because of the fines imposed to keep it that way. Signs in the subway warn of a $500 fine for eating or drinking, a $1000 for smoking and $5000 for carrying flammable goods, trafficking drugs in Singapore results in the death penalty. Singapore is also one of the most expensive places in the world to own a car. The fines work though because I have never seen a city so clean.