|Sri Mariamman Temple, which we’ll tour in the next few days.|
It’s expensive in Singapore… in restaurants, hotels and for products and services. We realized this fact, prior to booking a one week stay when we had a gap to fill in the itinerary and hoped to apply for necessary visas.
So far, we’re doing well staying within our daily dining budget of US $100, SGD 135 per day. We’re reading online reviews on local restaurants as well as walking through the area to check out endless menus posted outside a wide array of restaurants. This is an adventure in itself!
|Shoes left outside the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple.|
With the two embassies we visited yesterday and this morning, we weren’t able to have breakfast before heading out, nor did either of us have coffee or tea, fearing we’d have to make to bathroom stop. We’ve been on a mission to get as many of these three visas knocked off.
|Hindu temple rooftop adorned with the revered cows in India.|
By noon, we’d returned from today’s two embassy visits with the much needed completed Vietnam visas we collected first thing this morning. From there, another taxi ride to the Thai Embassy where again we applied for another visa for the upcoming six-week stay in Phuket.
|Soon, we’ll tour the Sri Mariamman Temple in its entirety.|
Efficiency and organization is of the utmost importance in Singapore, we weren’t surprised when the process at the Thai embassy would be seamless as it was at the Vietnam Embassy.
We were well prepared with all of the required documents, including passports and extra passport photos, copies of airline tickets in and out of Thailand accompanying both completed signed applications with cash fees of SGD 100, US $74.14.
|Chinatown is a very exciting area to scout.|
On the return drive to our area, we stopped at a restaurant for a somewhat mediocre brunch/lunch. Currently, we’re back at our hotel preparing today’s post and documenting all the receipts we’ve accumulated over these past few days.
|Each business has its own unique storefront.|
Once we’re done with these tasks, we’ll make a plan for the remainder of the day, most likely heading back outside to walk more of the exciting streets surrounding us. We chose a perfect location allowing us to walk to one amazing area after another.
|At dusk, the streets began to fill with hungry tourists and locals.|
Based on timing, we won’t be able to apply for the Indonesian visa while in Singapore. With a morning flight on Tuesday and the fact the Thai Embassy has our passports right now which we’ll collect tomorrow between 2:00 and 300 pm, the required time slot, we won’t have time to apply for the Indonesian visa with its two to three day processing.
|The number of dining options in our immediate area is astounding. We’ll try a new spot each night.|
As a result, we’ve decided to wait and apply for Indonesia once we’re in Hanoi arriving next week for a five night stay. The Indonesian Embassy in a 10 minute drive from the Hanoi hotel allowing us ample time to get it done with relative ease, we hope..
|The evenings activities begin at dusk in Singapore with lots of cars, taxis and pedestrians.|
With peace of mind intact, we’ve begun to relax a little to fully embrace this short period in Singapore as long as we observe some of the peculiar laws in this country which may result in fines and jail time:
|On our first night we wandered through Chinatown at dusk. Diners had yet to arrive for the evening rush.|
2. No walking naked in one’s own house.
3. No jaywalking.
4. Failure to flush the toilet in a public venue.
5. No urinating in elevators.
6. No public displays of kissing or cuddling.
7. Gay and lesbians couples are not allowed to live in the country.
8. It is illegal to come within 50 meters of a pedestrian crossing marker on any street.
9. It is considered illegal to enter the country with cigarettes.
10. Singapore is not a place for lefties. It is considered rude to eat, wave and greet with your left hand because it is associated with using the bathroom.
|Interesting historic buildings are seen throughout the city as well as modern high rise hotels, business centers and residential properties.|
Of course, there are serious consequences including public canning for failure to observe these and all laws. As a result of the strict laws, there is little crime in Singapore. In addition, there are no typical slum areas. Every area is clean and maintained to perfection.
Also, there’s no “countryside” in Singapore. The entire small country is built and developed into one of the most influential business meccas in the world. So far, we’ve met and spoken to many business travelers from many countries.
|The exterior our hotel, the Scarlet Singapore. Its quite a steep walk up or down the road.|
Mandarin is the primary language although many service providers speak some English. Many locals have a thick accent and with Tom’s bad hearing, I’ve been “translating” for him as needed.
More on Singapore as we continue to explore this country over these next few days. With the high cost for tourism here, a one week visit will prove to have been ideal for our needs. In the interim, we’re enjoying every moment.
Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2015:
|After leaving the beach we drove to a high point in the Yorkey’s Knob area of Australia with this expansive view.For more details. please click here.|