I rolled in last night to the hotel after a very nice flight from Phnom Penh. Singapore Customs has it down folks. It took me 5 minutes and the customs and immigration officer knew I had visited many times in the past and welcomed me back. From there it was to baggage claim and a scary moment or two because I checked my bag. My travel backpack, the Tortuga Outbreaker is within carry on size but I had decided to experiment with checking it in a few times instead. What happened this time was that the baggage carts did not arrive from the flight all together and only a subset of bags were delivered at first. Yet the sign on the terminal said all were done. Changi has airport ambassadors assigned to critical areas and that is a really fine idea! They speak a variety of languages and were able to help Japanese, Khmer, and English speakers understand they had to wait another 10 minutes. I have to say that Changi Airport also really has the whole thing down.
From there it was to the a money exchange stand that also sold SIM cards. I got some Singapore dollars and a nice deal on a SIM card which the person activated and switched on 4G for me. All of that done within 5 minutes of stopping! Having an unlocked phone is a necessity in Asia. I just don’t know how people travel and carry locked phones with them. Buy a cheap android phone and carry it folks! You don’t need state of the art. You just need something with google maps on it! My iPhone 7 plus has been very nice since getting that first SIM card in Japan last year when I left and then the SIM cards in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.
Off to the hotel in a cab. Here its by the meter in the cab so there is no ratcheting up the price or adding more to it. Most things just cost more here and cabs are no different. Got to the hotel, checked in, and headed out for dinner and a beer or two. Found a smaller food court where I got Chicken Rice and a Tiger beer. Chicken Rice is a big thing here and it was so good! Then I walked around the neighborhood getting my bearings a bit and looking for smaller stores like 7/11 or Circle K and restaurants that look cheaper. Found both!
Then off to zombie sleep land with some strange dreams and coffee in the room this morning and deciding what to do today. Its all about walking with the camera today so am enjoying first some moments with coffee in the room and looking at google maps for what I want to do. I want to just wear myself out each day walking and seeing the city again! I will do about 7 miles today and all days.
I’ll save this as a draft post and then add in my end of day thoughts on my first day in Singapore later!
Later that Same Day!
Now I’m back after wandering around Singapore for about 8.1 miles turning this way and that mostly around Bugis Junction, the malls, a number of interesting streets and seeing the wonderful sky scrapers and views I have been missing for awhile! Here is the start of my photo album on my wandering in Singapore. It sure is nice to be back. The city is so clean, people observe traffic laws and pedestrians actually do have the right of way here for the most part except for these scooter things that seem popular here now.
I had a great day wandering the city and catching this and that with the camera. The miles seemed to get me back to the things I truly love doing in a city. For the last weeks, I would walk in Phnom Penh at the riverside or Independence Park or by Central Market but it was not like the city wandering I love to do. It was a great start to a great week here.
More to come!