Friday, March 20, 2009

Goodbye Singapore

I am currently in the lounge, awaiting my departure to Bangkok Thailand.  Singapore was great - I thought I'd list some random notes about the city/state:

  • Everyone backs in when parking. Most cars have the sensor detector (beep beep beep).
  • Not much speeding goes on - maybe 10-20km over the limit (and yes, they are metric)
  • Food courts are a primary way of eating for locals as they don't cook as much from home.  They are relatively inexpensive - a meal at a restaurant for 4 in the tourist area was 200-300 USD for 4, where a meal in a local food court (food just as good) is $40 USD for 4 people!
  • Alcohol, however, is ridiculously expensive.  A beer (ie corona or tiger) can be as much as 12 canadian dollars!  This is due to high taxes.  Cigarettes are also expensive, but relatively on par with Canada.
  • No cars over 10 years old. There is a 10k tax for a new car.
  • Cars are 3x expensive. Example, something like a cheap kia would be 45k new.
  • They do drive on the other side of road (colonized by brits).
  • Many dinners are shared plates with a platform in the middle to spin.  At food courts you share as well.
  • Don't see much cheese anywhere.
  • They are attempting to build out for tourism - ie a casino is being built on the east coast.
  • Largest ferris wheel in the world is here - bigger than the london eye
  • No issues whatsoever with food/water - could even drink tap water at hotel.  This will definitely NOT be the case in Thailand!
  • English is the primary language - most speak it (except for foreign workers)
  • Everyone must do 2 yrs in army.  
  • City has a lot of green. There are some skyscrapers in the financial area (about same at toronto). However, there are 20-30 story buildings everywhere.
  • There is some concern for terror attacks.   When parking under a banking building we were searched (non-intrusive though).

FYI - the picture displayed is in the financial area - it is a row of restaurants/bars that is popular after work.