The city of Singapore, situated a few degrees north of the Equator, was a stopover for us between the Philippines and Indonesia. Especially the cultural diversity immediately caught our attention. Arabs, Indians, Malays, Chinese and many other cultures live here in peaceful co-existence, providing for a wealth of variety, for instance when it comes to food and clothes.
But Singapore’s wealth is more than its cultures. The city state is immensly rich, holding a place among the top five countries in terms of GDP per head, and it shows. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Maseratis wherever you look, and again, as almost everywhere now in Asian cities, glittering shopping malls in abundance. More land is reclaimed from the sea, and more hotels and malls are built. We were impressed with the Marina Bay Sands hotel with its ship-shaped top and the spectacular views from there.
The former British colony is famous for its strict laws and severe punishments, and indeed advertised fines for what sometimes is a minor offense are hefty. However, probably as a result, the city is very safe and clean.
We strolled around town, went to the cinema and to the beach, played drums, visited a Dalí exhibition in the ArtScience Museum, had the most expensive thali ever in an Indian restaurant, and in general prepared for our onward journey. With our snorkelling gear in the backpack we moved on to Indonesia.