After our little break in the UK and Germany, we headed to Singapore for yet another break before going back to Cambodia to continue our work on human rights. Singapore gets a lot of stick for being overly organised, regimented, and strict. In fact, you can even get arrested for spitting, jaywalking or littering. But whilst all of these rules can look a bit obsessive, it does make this lion city, as the locals like to call it, one of the most efficient and clean places I have ever been to (apart from ueber-efficient Germany, of course). Since our bodies had gotten used to the cold British weather during our visit home, we struggled being back in the tropical heat again so decided to take things easy. We found the perfect way to see the sights of Singapore in a relaxed and cool way – with a Singapore bumboat tour (feel free to snigger childishly. We did!).
The Merlion – half fish, half lion and Singapore’s mascot
These bum-boats (huh, huh, he said bum*) are traditional Singaporean boats, although ours had a modern twist to it in that it was electrically powered. So not only did we see the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore flyer, Raffles Landing site, Clark Quay and Singapore’s awesome skyline, we also did it in an environmental friendly way. All for you, Al Gore.
Marina Bay Sands by day…
…and by night
The awesome Singapore skyline
Not all sights are visible from the Singapore bumboat tour, so we made use of the very cheap and very cold subway system to get to those. Having used the London underground for seven years, we were very impressesed by the one in Singapore. To this day I still don’t understand how the London transport system gets away with charging so much money for a subway system that is delayed, completely overcrowded, and often roasting hot. Yes, I am talking to you Boris Johnson! Anyway, some highlights of our little subway-assisted sightseeing tour were the Buddha Tooth Relic temple in Chinatown, the Gardens by the Bay, the Botanic Garden, Little India, and a very nice, albeit somewhat pricey, afternoon cuppa at the famous Raffles hotel.
Gardens by the bay
Buddha tooth relic temple
Prayer wheel at temple
We enjoyed our few days in Singapore as they were the last days before we were back to work. But luckily we have a few nice trips to look forward to and pass our time when we are not at work fighting the good fight…
Have you tried the Singapore bumboat tour? * for those of the Beavis and Butthead generation
Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.
We are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between us we are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. In 2011 we left the rat-race in London behind to work in international development and see the world.