“If you can’t think because you can’t chew, try a banana.”

One weekend I headed out of Bangkok to revisit Singapore. I was disappointed on my visit in December not to see more of the city than the airport, spectacular though the airport may be. This time I got to see many more things, and the next few posts will cover those.

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Singapore skyscrapers
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Swissotel, home of the vertical marathon

Singapore is a young country, having just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. The country was colonized by the British prior to Singapore becoming its own state, and James Raffles gets credit as the first European to colonize the island.

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James Raffles statue on the Singapore River
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Panorama of Singapore River

I arrived in Changi airport and took the MRT train into the city. The ride was easy – only one connection – but queues were long at the airport to buy tickets. But waiting a few minutes was worth it since the hour-long ride only cost S$2.40. I got to the city and walked through the forest of skyscrapers to my hotel to drop off my bag.

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The MRT guide to/from the airport on the East-West line
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Singapore skyscrapers at Raffles Place

I stayed in the central business district and walked through Raffles Place and past the Singapore River on my way to my hotel. My overall first impression of the city was how clean everything is. Singapore is famous for this – no gum is allowed in the country. Not kidding. 7-Eleven does not sell gum, only a lot of mints.

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Telok Ayer Market
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Closeup of Telok Ayer Market

From my hotel I walked over to the bay past the government buildings. The Supreme Court building looks like a revolving restaurant with its distinctive dome-like top. Apparently the glass design is intended to represent transparency. The Parliament building nearby is symmetric but surprisingly low key.

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Singapore Parliament
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Singapore Supreme Court
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Singapore skyscrapers
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Victoria Theatre
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St. Andrew’s Cathedral
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St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Check back tomorrow for my visit to the world’s largest water fountain.

Title quote: Lee Kwan Yew’s Remark to a BBC reporter, 2000

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Cathay Building, the first air-conditioned theatre in Singapore
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Singapore skyscrapers
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This hospital is one of the destinations as part of the medical tourism industry
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Singapore skyscrapers
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Singapore skyscrapers

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