Singapore Rules!

May 4, 2007 - Singapore, Singapore

Note: We are leaving today (May 5) for Indonesia. We will be gone for 3 weeks with no computer so it is possible you will not hear from us until sometime after May 23.

Phuket

We returned to Phuket from diving in the Similan Islands because that is where we left our extra luggage. It rained a lot in our last days in Phuket but we didn’t care because we were online planning Singapore and Indonesia much of the time. Other than flying to Singapore we had not worked out any of the details for our up coming weeks. We had tried many times and getting lost in the infinite number of choices and details we gave up and put it off for another time. Despite the rain, we continued our sunset swims and had fun in the huge surf breaks caused by the storms. I let the surf break on my head because it reminded me of being pinned underwater as a kid by the surf at Jones Beach on Long Island. After the first two huge waves came out of nowhere and pummeled us, Terry ran from the water screaming (and laughing) at the first sign of a swell. Even the locals exited the water. I had to coax her back in once the ocean calmed to repeat the whole process again.

Terry took a Thai cooking class and learned to make green curry and 4 other dishes. The curry, which she brought back for me, was as good as any restaurant curry I have had in Thailand. We splurged and sat ringside for a special Thai kick boxing event. USA vs. Thailand. When in Rome do as the romans; so when in Thailand, go see kick boxing. We agreed it was more enjoyable than we expected. Although we didn’t enjoy the kids kicking the crap out of each other in the first two fights. The later fights and especially the women’s fights were extremely entertaining. We cheered on the USA fighters, being so far from home, and a couple of them won; they all fought well.The ringside seats were well worth the extra money. The girl next to Terry had a drop of blood on her leg from being splattered during fight no. 8. We showered well that night.

Singapore

Yes, Singapore does rule; as in I love this place. Terry and I both liked Singapore instantly stepping off the plane. The airport was very clean and the tourist desk was a huge help calling 5 different hostels trying to find us a room. Singapore gave us a similar feeling as Hong Kong except English is the official language here which made us feel more at home. But that is not what the title is about. Singapore is a land OF rules. There are rules and their corresponding fines posted for just about everything. No eating or drinking in the train station. No jaywalking. No wheelchairs on the escalator. This one seemed obvious to me. No durian in the train station! Huh? Durian, also called Jack fruit, is smelly Asian fruit which we assume is why it is banned. Drug smuggling is punishable by death. And vandalism, if you remember back to 1992, is punishable by a good old-fashioned caning. Chewing of gum is outlawed in all of Singapore. We were chewing gum we brought from Thailand when we passed through customs!

Singapore is a city of shopping, shows, and really cool architecture. We decided Singapore would be a great place to see Spiderman 3! The theater we went to pre-booked all the seats which seems to be a much better system than in the States. My techy friends back home will like this... You can register your credit card and finger print for “one touch” ticket purchases where the bio-metric fingerprint scanner reads your fingerprint and charges the movie tickets to your card. I love this city! Sticking with the show theme we saw Phantom of the Opera at the futuristic Esplanade. This was a real treat for me since I had never seen it before.

The highlight of all of Singapore for both of us was the “Fish Reflexology”. Our last day in Singapore (we will be back) we went to the Underwater World on Sentosa Island. Sentosa is a theme park island and the Underwater World is the aquarium. As divers Terry and I both appreciate a good aquarium more than we used to. Singapore is very interactive and so the aquarium had both a touch pool and a ray pool. The touch pool had puffers, sharks, and even porcupine fish! We saw pink dolphins later at the Dolphin lagoon. I was impressed with a display of real shark embryos in various stages of development. Again for the techies... There was an engineer testing some equipment and software. They tagged all the fish in one tank with RFIDs and every time a fish swam past the front of the glass a nearby computer would display the species photo and data. There were some bugs in the software and I offered to help if they were looking for engineers, but I guess he didn’t realize I was serious ;-) Back to the reflexology. At the Underwater World we paid for a “foot massage”. You soak your feet in a tank of hungry flesh feeding spa fish. The little fish nibble the dead skin cells off your feet and legs. There were two tanks; the intro tank with the smaller fish, and the tank with the larger African spa fish which fed “more aggressively”. Check out the video, this is just too cool! The fish were followed by a 20-minute traditional foot massage.

Pictures

Rules
Flesh feeding fish
Foot massage
Inside the Espinade
 
 

3 Comments

Vickey:
May 16, 2007
Hey, I asked my friend who did the booking about which company we used, and he never responded. I enjoyed our vans, however. We had a Maui and a Britz; the Maui was MUCH nicer (apparently, vans are Mauis until they get so beat up that they turn them into Britzes...our Maui is definitely going to a Britz after we beat that poor thing up, haha). I'd suggest booking ahead, if only so that you can do some shopping around. However, that might just be me. Enjoy your travels!
David:
May 29, 2008
Umm. Please get your facts correct!!!! Durian IS NOT Jackfruit. In fact, THEY'RE NOT EVEN IN THE SAME FAMILY OF FRUITS. Just thought you would like to know!!!
Mark and Terry:
July 11, 2008
David,

I have no idea who you are but thanks for reading anyway. Thanks for setting me straight. You are very wise in the ways of fruits.
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