Singapore, the cleanest city in the world, has no trash cans! I found myself time and again hauling my empty water bottle, metro and bus tickets, and other trash I’d generated throughout the day for quite a while before finally finding a trash bin! I imagine that everyone else is doing the same! I finally asked a security guard at the metro station where a trash can was and he said, “No trash cans”. What the heck?! Maybe that is why they are so clean! No overflowing garbage recepticles and major fines, or even jail, if caught littering! Hmmm.
I was only in Singapore for 4 nights and, though I enjoyed the Flyer and the Gardens By The Bay (the 2 main attractions), the materialism is, to me, appalling! I’ve never seen so many malls and markets in my life! I’ve never seen so many seemingly manic shoppers in my life! The most beautiful and travel friendly airport in the world and yet, still, so many poor locals. I visited Sentosa Island where Universal Studios is along with a multitude of attractions, live music, restaurants, and beaches. I simply walked around it all then walked the boardwalk away. Again, all about making money and much too expensive!
My last day in Singapore, I rose early and doggedly found my way to Pulau Ubin Island, the last “original Singapore village”! It took 3 metros, a bus, and a “bumboat” to get there. Just as I arrived at the ferry station, the skies let loose so I had to wait until the rain let up a little bit before heading to Ubin. Crossing over was so foggy that I could see little. On arrival, it was still raining so I found a restaurant where I enjoyed the local food & Tiger beer!
I rented a bike for $5.70 SGD (that’s all I had except for big bills) and rode out! I never really knew where I was going at any point (turns out that I can no longer read maps very well!), I had issues with the seat but finally got it to quit sinking as I rode! THEN the chain came off in the middle of nowhere!! Three tourists who, like me, were off road, came along and managed to get my bike chain back on so off I rode again! Along the way, I saw a python, wild pig, a monitor lizard, and some kind of giant tadpole! At the end of it all, I was soaked in sweat and definitely got my cardio!!
Penang! Heat, humidity, art murals, food trucks, and Uber!! What’s not to love?? Traffic!! That’s what! LOL I feel like this blog is so negative!! I don’t mean it to be but I honestly am not a big fan of either location.
The thing about Penang is that, because I lived there when I was 8 years old, I wanted to see it as an adult. After 46 years, it’s a completely different place so was not what I expected! This formula makes for a less enjoyable experience. That being said, I adored visiting my old school, St Christopher’s International Primary School, and my old street where I actually saw the house I lived in all those years ago!
The art murals of Penang are amazing, the people are as well, as are the temples…with the exception of the Snake Temple. Don’t bother visiting that one!! It was great back in 1969 but it’s not now. In the end, don’t take my word on any of this!! It’s all about your own experiences!! Asia offers a multitude!!!