We’d left Vietnam behind, but we weren’t quite done with our travels yet. Instead of heading straight to Sydney, we stopped for a week in Singapore. What a way to round out our time on the road! Singapore was also the 30th country that I’ve visited, so that was a great milestone to reach at the end of this trip.
(Side note- It’s a super fun game to count up al the countries you’ve been to. Brings back tons of fun memories. But, there are a few rules. You can’t count places that you’ve only had a stop-over in. So, even though I’ve been to the airport in Frankfurt, I can’t count Germany. Also, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don’t count because they’re part of the United Kingdom and Great Britain. Angry Scots, please don’t email me about this. It’s just how it is. So, how many countries have YOU been to?)
Anyway, after almost three months in Vietnam, Singapore was a little bit overwhelming! Gone were the sweaty afternoons spent wandering amongst colourful local markets and dodging locals who spit all the time. Instead, we went from mega-mall to mega-mall, never leaving the air conditioning in a country where spitting is literally against the law. It was a culture shock to say the least!
Our hotel was in Little India and we had a fantastic time exploring the neighbourhood. I was especially keen to pop into every single Indian grocery store that I saw. It killed me not to fill bags with all the gorgeous spices and mixes that I saw, but I knew I’d never be able to get them past Australian customs.
Our friends James and Briony, whom we last saw in Buenos Aires, were in Singapore for a few days as well, so we reunited over great food and many drinks. It was messy, but great to see them again!
I was amazed by the buildings in Singapore. It’s super hot there so people seem to go outside as little as possible. Instead, huge malls and office buildings are all connected via underground corsos. We went shopping one afternoon (shopping is the Singaporean national sport I think!) and we got off the train at one mall. After walking and shopping for a few hours we went outside and discovered we were blocks and blocks away from where we’d started our day! It’s like being a very pampered, very posh hamster!
One of the most amazing things about Singapore is what an international little nation it is! There are people from all corners of the world living and working in Singapore… and it seems like they all brought their favourite foods with them! In the space of one week we ate Chinese food, Indian food, German food, Malaysian food, Singaporean food (duh), American food, Japanese food and Turkish food. And that was just a sampling of all the cuisines available to us!
So, it was a culture shock to enter Singapore with it’s giant shopping malls and endless choices of food and drinks. But, I think it was just what we needed to prepare us for our reentry to Australia! Here we come!