Singapore + Kuta (see below)
First up, Singapore!
First Moment Here: After a 10 hour overnight flight, we took an uber pool ride to the Yale-NUS (National University of Singapore) campus to meet our host, a guy Adam went to high school with who is now married with kids. We settled in then headed to Little India via public transportation (one bus, two trains) to walk around and get a taste of India. We had the spiciest food we’ve had on this trip thus far, Chelsea got henna, and we went to the really cool temple. This day just went to show how far we’ve come in our travels!
Funniest Thing We Did: We went out for dinner and drinks in Holland Village with our hosts, Corinne and Chris, and after Lebanese food went for margaritas. Corinne photobombed four asian girls taking a selfie, peace signs and all.
Craziest Thing We Did: Try chicken feet. We went to a really cool outdoor mall/grouping of hawker stands and got to sample a bunch of local foods…including chicken feet.
Best Thing We Did: So hard to choose from all the amazing things we did in Singapore, between little India, Chinatown, the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay and the light show on Marina Bay Sands Hotel. All in all, we loved every second in Singapore and it was all made possible by our awesome hosts! If I did have to choose, I’d go for the 12+ story cloud forest, encapsulated in glass looking out onto the city. So many beautiful plants and flowers, a towering waterfall and two skywalks. Such a cool experience.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Again, hard to choose between the India, Afghani, and Chinese food but because it’s cool - we ate at a Michelin Star restaurant called Hawker Chan which had meals for $4.50 S$. Amazing food at the right price.
Coolest thing we Learned: Riding Singapore trains was amazing. They are super clean ($500 fine for eating/drinking on the train) and people are very courteous. There are tons of PSAs to make sure people offer their seats to the elderly, put their extra bags on the ground (so they don’t take up seats) and even speak in an appropriate volume. The train routes reach everywhere you need to be and when mobs of people are headed into or out of the train station everyone politely “queues” up to ride JUST the left side of the escalator so that if someone walking (not standing) wants to pass on the right there is room. Crazy to witness!
Biggest Surprise: The amount of opulence for a tiny country of only 5 million people. The downtown area is spectacular. The hotels and shopping are over the top. The gardens are amazing, better than our best. And it leaves you wondering, who is it all for?
Mystery Solved: We finally had to ask about the gum situation. Turns out there is NO GUM in Singapore, it’s even on their list of things you cannot bring into the country. This is one example of how they keep their country clean and in check. Craziest thing ever!