I was in Singapore for a week in March, staying around the Chinatown area before making my way to the downtown Swissotel.
Singapore has somewhat fascinated me because of its growth and place within the global economy for finance, technology and how they appeal themselves to expats. Therefore it was also good to have a look at what the city-state is like in the flesh.
Large conglomerates are based here
Large conglomerates use Singapore as the base to the Australia and Asia-Pacific region (or at least, Asia-Pacific). They are also here due to fairly unique business rules. Did you know that even Interpol has a base in Singapore?
I think this stems from new money mentality, but in Singapore, the Louis Vuitton store has its own.. floating .. building right outside the main tourist spots and convention centre. The shopping centre itself features what designer brands are inside. Totally geared towards foreigners, expats, wealthy Singaporeans.
Really humid weather
I underestimated the humidity, so I bought a new pair of shoes that’s more suited to the weather. It was so hot that even my glasses fogged up in the train whenever the doors open to let the hot air in!
Really proud of their country
I was in Singapore when Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, died and shortly after there was the funeral procession through the streets. My hotel and the surrounding areas had notices of some areas being cordoned off. His portrait was in an art gallery shop in the downtown. TV shows were broadcasted dedicated to him. There were lines snaking all through downtown of people paying their respects with flowers. I have a lot of respect for Singapore and Singaporeans with this act.
Another positive take of Singapore is the good food and going to the hawker markets for it is well worth a try. Pretty much most things that I ate were all new to me. On another end of the scale, I went to an upscale Japanese restaurant for sushi which offer jewellery and six-figure watch magazines for light reading and a bill to match.
I didn’t actually head out during the night (combination of being exhausted at the conference and having other tasks to catch up on), but you can scour through and see what’s available. During my stay, I saw listings for a free concert and also a fair bit of deals at the clubs.
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