Saturday, July 21, 2012

Singapore : At a Glance

Singapore, one of the most modern city in South East Asia and also the economic giant in our region. From their beautiful people, efficient public transportation system, gazillion number of shopping malls and well-manicured lawn, how do they maintain everything in tip top condition? Are they trying to emulate the Utopian dream?

Singapore, ranked the most 'liveable' Asian city for expatriates due to its extensive and well-connected transportation and their modern and chic environment. It is also the host for many regional and global MNCs. Is the first choice for many Malaysian who wish to work abroad. With their now strong currency we can't blame our local talents from switching their direction towards the Southern neighbour.

A trip on the bus, a journey on the subway, a walk along the streets, you will encounter many beautiful men and women who were mostly expatriates dominating the country. It claimed that 40% of the Singapore population is foreigner, I really doubt that figure because we assume among the 60% citizens, many among them acquire their citizenship instead of being born Singaporean. 

During the night, a stroll by the Fullerton Bay Hotel and Merlion Park enable you to experience the skyline view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel from across the river. If you time your trip, you might be able to catch the light show being showcase at 8pm and 9.30pm daily for 15 minutes. 
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The newly launch Garden by the Bay had garnered much attention for the locals and tourist alike. From afar, you can see the magnificent 'Supertrees' standing erect by the garden. Viewing it during the night is much more interesting as you can see them powered up by the lighting giving us a futuristic feel as in the movie Avatar. 
Garden by the Bay
Shopping malls are the main attraction in Singapore for the ladies. There is a total of 22 malls at Orchard Road itself and we lost count how many malls are there in the entire Singapore. Orchard Road, house for many high-end luxury brands such as Fendi, Hermes, Channel and others is a walk not to be miss by the ladies with healthy saving account. Currently, their largest shopping mall is Vivo City that is connected by Harbour Front station. 
Shops at Orchard Road
Moving away from the modernization, they have Chinatown and Little India to give us a bits of cultural flavour. The Little India businesses mostly cater to foreign workers from India, Bangladesh and the like. You can find anything from groceries, electronic item, household item and etc under one roof. They have a good bargain for a variety of Indian traditional clothing as well.  

What's better way to travel within Singapore than through their most efficient mode of transportation the SMRT subway. They now have a total of four different lane that connect the entire island. All their interchange station are packed with people almost from morning until late at night. In order to suit their fast-paced lifestyle, their escalator travelling speed is much faster than we usually experience in Malaysia. People just seemed to walk at a rushing speed and each of them carrying a prerequisite iPhone. Is not surprising to find the train rather quiet with people engaging with their latest gadget instead of talking with others. Many occasion you can see the middle age women staring at the younger ladies who occupied the priority seating. At such stressful moment, you would rather stand the entire journey. 

The subway is the place where you can see the unfriendliness of the stress out Singaporean after working hours trying to catch the train back home. They had to suffer standing in a packed train and elbow their way among the expatriates from high level executives to low level manual labour. Is no wonder they looked extremely unapproachable.
The crowd at Dhoby Ghaut Interchange Station during 9pm weekday