Friday, 27 January 2012


Hello Singapore! It's amazing how such a small and concise island can how so much influence, power and wealth within South east Asia. It is not so big and can be explored within a day or two. As we crossed the border out of Malaysia, we greeted the overcast skies and vast humidity with open smiles. Arriving just before dusk, we ventured into the suburb of 'Little India', known for its metropolis of cheap accommodation, delicious eateries, most being of Indian origin and accessible distance into the heart of the city. 

Our original plan was to somehow work out how to get the boat across from here to Indonesia in the next day or so, well that proved an interesting topic. When we spoke to lots of people about the journey by boat, they each grew a strange unearthly smile. This was because the journey was in fact by a huge shipping container type boat that crossed from Singapore through to Jakarta and the epic journey would last at least 30 hours. This journey entailed you sleeping side by side in one big hall next to 300 local people, queing as cattle class for food and all sharing 2 toilets. My initial response was perhaps not a positive one. Everybody we spoke to urged us to book a flight across and vowed we would be thankful for it. I evidently enquired about the cost of the boat and to weigh up our options, as I dug deeper into research, it all became apparent that the cost was merely the same for both means of travel. So, do I spend the 30+ hours on the shipping container boat, which I do have to say would have been an 'experience' for me, or do I opt for the practical and easy option of flying. We opted to think it over for a day and then settle on a decision in the morning, the more people we spoke to about the journey the more I was being pushed into flying. I heard many stories of minimal safety, people being robbed while they slept and also the boat itself didn't have the greatest safety record. Three days before, a shipping container boat had sank doing the same route we where going to be doing, luckily all crew managed to survive and the next boat that was following the same route managed to turn back to land and not be swept under in the thunderstorms that where occuring that week. This inadvertently finalised my decision to fly, for fear of becoming the next 'Rose' in Titanic 3! 

Once our flights where booked, we had another 2 days to enjoy Singapore on as much as a budget we could, this is one expensive place. In terms of European standards, its probably the same costs of back home in England, however after spending the past 6months in India and most of South East Asia, I felt this economy burn within my purse. Our days where spent wandering the city, taking in the local architecture and meeting people. We ensured we had some time to relax, eat some local food and catch up on some reading. Singapore is a vibrant city and is very forward thinking in the approach to its own society. Here, they are always looking at ways to improve the place, as it has minimal rubbish and the strict laws and rules across the place is clear. It is known as 'fine city', as there seems to be fines for everything, from littering, smoking in public to the more absurd of jaywalking, chewing gum being illegal, dancing or speaking out in public without a license. All sounds a bit crazy, but I found the the people of Singapore are more proud and obedient to these rules in a sense to keep order and harmony among the influx of diverse people that live within its land. 

As our flight approached, I was more so excited about travelling by aeroplane again, its been a while since I'd used this means of transport. Also, I wanted to be open and showed excited to see what Indonesia was like. I braced myself for the rumble of Jakarta but became more focused on looking forward to travelling across Java, exploring the open lands, local people and embracing Indonesia's culture. Looking back upon my decision to fly, should I have easily succumbed to opt to fly or should I have took the slow journey and the 'experience' of a large scale vessel across the seas in the thunderstorm. Who am I kidding, I have the worst travel sickness going and with all the travels I have carried out recently across Malaysia and going to be doing across Java, I quietly reflect to myself... yes Laura you chose wisely!

Walking around Singapore

I think Singapore displays good objectives when it comes to policies, education & the arts

Overlooking the Harbour in the evening

Taking in the sights of the colourful skyline of Singapore

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