Singapore – a world jewel – Review

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Singapore – un mega oras – stat independent  , situat pe o insula , un nume  cunoscut de orice navigator si orice persoana ce lucreaza in domeniul shipping sau finante internationale.  Desi orasul este limitat de barierele geografice ale insulei , nu are resurse naturale proprii si are zero hectare de teren arabil este unul din cele mai prospere si civilizate orase din lume , fiind unul din cei 4 tigri economici din Asia , alaturi de Honk Kong , Korea de Sud si Taiwan.  Ceea ce are este pozitie strategica in stramtoarea Malaca dintre Oceanul Indian si Marea Galbena  , fiind un nod  naval cu un port imens de tranzit si o legislatie libera care incurajeaza investitiile , dar si o mentalitate asiatica lipsita de coruptie.  Am avut ocazia la ultimul voiaj sa vizitez de mai multe ori orasul asta minunat , si mi-a lasat o impresie foarte buna , daca nu printre cele mai bune , doar in Auckland – Noua Zeelanda sa zic ca mi-a placut mai mult.

In primul rand , primul lucru care te loveste e imensitatea orasului (ok , cel mai probabil va fi imensitatea aeroportului , si dupa caldura constanta de afara , indiferent de anotimp) , autostrazi  suspendate de cate 6 benzi pe sens  , tuneluri masive ,  si foarte multa , multa, multa verdeata.  Orice petic de pamant este umplut pana la refuz cu verdeata si plante , orice trotuar are un raport de genul 3 metri de spatiu verde si 1  metru de spatiu pietonal  , iar desi spatiul este limitat , uriasele parcuri  si rezervatii naturale ale orasului sunt sfinte si de neatins ,reducerea  poluarii din oras fiind in topul prioritatilor conducerii.  Un alt aspect impresionant  este multitudinea de zgarie nori din oras , datorita lipsei de spatiu orasul s-a dezvoltat pe verticala , mai toate cladirile fiind noi , moderne si foarte inalte. Singura exceptie este cartierul englezesc vechi , o zona restransa de stradute inguste , cu un front continuu de cladiri cu un nivel sau doua , arhitectura tipica britanicilor. Aceasta este mostenirea lasata de britanici , istoria orasului fiind strans legata de imperiul britanic.

Britanicii au fondat colonia Singapore  in 1819 , an in care toata insula era acoperita de jungla tropicala cu cateva sate pescaresti ale nativilor  , si care sub conducerea vizionarului Sir Stamford Raffles (un nume popular in oras) , care a construit un port liber si l-a integrat in imperiul mondial Britanic a crescut intr-un ritm exponential la metropola de azi , atragand multi imigranti din toata lumea , in special chinezi si mai tarziu indieni. Mostenirea britanica se vede astazi in limba engleza oficiala a orasului , condusul pe partea stanga a strazii dar si in sistemul de conducere parlamentar. Astazi pe strazi pe langa diferitele dialecte de engleza vorbita se aud multe limbi , dar din fericire toata lumea e tratata la fel , cu acelasi respect , desi din pacate dupa ultima criza financiara imigrantii ieftini din subcontinentul Indian au crescut considerabil de mult. Autoritatile pentru a combate caracterul necivilizat al fluxului acestor imigranti au marit foarte mult amenzile , amenzi pe care le aplica la sange si fara exceptie , amenzi de genul 1000 $ pentru aruncat gunoiului pe jos sau fumatul in metrou sau pe o raza de 3 metri de orice statie de transport in comun , scoala sau lacas de rug , tot 1000 $ scoti din buzunar daca scuipi intentionat pe strada , daca urinezi in public , 500 $ daca mananci in metrou  , 100 $ daca treci strada neregulamentar (desi am vazut ca se poarta) si multe multe altele , printre care preferata mea : 1000 $ daca esti prins cu guma de mestecat – In Singapore este ilegala guma de mestecat , deoarece autoritatile pur si simplu se saturasera sa isi vada trotuarele frumoase umplute de guma de mestecat batatorita de sute de incaltari zilnic , guma ce era raschetata cu greu , si in special cu referinta la guma indiana , o guma cu tutun de culoare rosiatica , care iti face gura punga si te face sa scuipi flegmatic o chestie rosie care odata ce aterizeaza pe o suprafata ca betonul pateaza mai rau ca vopseaua….. de asemenea si semintele sunt interzise , ca sa vezi ce legi bune , oare de ce nu se pot pune si la noi??? (exista cateva dar oricum nu sunt aplicate). De aici si porecla nedorita a orasului “It’s a fine city!” (fine are traducerea dubla in  “frumos” si “amenda” in acelasi timp). Poate ca unora li s-ar parea restrictive atatea legi , dar daca esti o persoana normala si civilizata nu ai absolut nimic sa iti faci griji. Aaa , si daca esti turist si iti iei amenda sa nu cumva sa crezi ca te-ai urcat in avion si ai scapat , nu vei putea parasi tara pana cand nu iti achiti toate obligatiile , si daca nu ai bani , nici o problema – vei face echivalentul de ore la munca in folosul comunitatii.

Ca vizitator , cel mai probabil veti folosi reteaua de metrou MRT , un metrou foarte modern in continua dezvoltare  , cu acoperire foarte mare , si cu preturi bune , 1 calatorie este 1,3 $ singaporezi, adica 1 $ USD , care daca in Romania vi se pare mult , va zic ca eu ca nu este ,mai ales comparand cu preturile din Europa , si mai ales la salariile lor , si plata se face cu un card wireless care se incarca. Statiile de metrou sunt facute cu cap , linia este izolata de peron prin pereti de sticla pentru a nu se pierde efectul de la aer conditionat , iar la fiecare usa sunt marcaje pe jos , care iti indica ca in lateral este zona de asteptare pentru ce urmeaza sa urce in tren , lasand zona din fata usilor libera pentru cei ce coboara din tren , cei din urma avand prioritate , iar rareori veti astepta mai mult de 3 minute pentru un tren.  La fel de eficienta este si reteua de autobuze , dar tineti cont ca daca vreti sa platiti cash la sofer trebuie sa aveti marunt exact. Puteti opta si pentru taxi , dar tineti cont ca chiar si daca faceti comanda la telefon dureaza pana vine , in special ziua in orele de varf , cand la statiile de taxi sta lumea la coada pentru a lua taxiul. Eu unul chiar nu vedeam rostul de a plati de 10 ori mai mult pentru un drum , si sa mai stau si la coada la taxi , ca dupa sa stau blocat in trafic.

Ca turist , recomand neparat Sentosa Island , o insulita amenajata cu parcuri de distractie tematice , inclusiv Universal Studios Parc, care este gen Disneyland , intrarea pentru toata ziua este 80 $ singaporezi , sau daca mergeti cu familia si copii puteti sa va cazati la mini statiunile integrate de la Hard Rock Hotel sau Golden Sands. Pe insula Sentosa se poate ajunge pe langa masina cu Mono Railul , sau cu Telegondola , a carei statie se afla la etajul 50 intr-un turn , si trece pe deasupra navelor de croaziera oferind o priveliste superba. Tot la Sentosa puteti incerca indoor skydiving laIFLY  , daca nu vrei sa sari pe bune cu parasuta din avion, e the next best thing , dar atentie – costa 100 de dolari sing. distractia (merita fiecare dolar ;). Printre alte atractii enumar centrul istoric englezesc , amsamblul Marina Sands , a carei bijuterie o reprezinta cei 3 zgarienori legati in varf printr-un pod pe care se afla un parc ,  Singapore flyer – cea mai mare roata din lume , , viata de noapte  include o gama foarte mare si diversa de baruri , puburi si cluburi ; pentru doritori exista o multitudine de muzee , teatre , galerii de arta  , desi doar mergand pe strada seara veti observa in aer liber o multitudine de galerii , concerte live , si pentru burlaci exista Geylang Street – varianta Cartierului cu felinarii rosii din Amsterdam , dar mult mai restrictiva si controlata si cenzurata si mai ales multe mallluri foarte frumoase pentru shopping 😀

Si bineinteles ca , ca orice loc civilizat si frumos , costa…..mult asa ceva gen Dubai. O bere de exemplu costa intre 3 dolari la barul muncitorilor portuari  si 25 de dolari intr-un local de fite select. O masa decenta in oras 25 de dolari , o cafea 5-6 dolari , o ora de parcare in una din multele parcari supraetajate cam 3 dolari , dar se pot face abonamente , dar bineinteles ca daca cauti putin si nu te repezi la localul din coltul intersectiei mari vei gasi si mai bine.  Dar bineinteles ca si salariile sunt pe masura , pentru cei cu studii superioare capabili sa isi dovedeasca valoarea salariile cu 5 cifre nu reprezinta ceva ciudat.  Un oras cu adevarat frumos , unde voi reveni cu placere de fiecare data.

Daca ti-a placut articolul , iti recomand si unul din celalte articole despre calatorit din lista de mai jos si Vezi de asemenea si pagina de Fb GarciaCalavera.ro  , care daca va place ii puteti da un like.

Vezi si alte calatorii / Check out other trips : Vacanta PragaVacanta MadridDoua zile in Jacksonville USAParalia – Grecia cu masinaBrasov 12.2014Buzau quick stopLepsa & Vrancea countyChisinauNesebarBucharest weekends 2014 , Busan40 de zile in Cluj NapocaHunedoara CastleSingapore 2013Brasov 02.2014 , Istanbul 01.2014 , Cluj Napoca 08.2013 , Sibiu 07.2013San Pedro , Bucharest 2013 , Varna 2012 , Los Angeles 2012 , Budapest & Viena , Salerno , Cluj Napoca 2012 , Firenze , Brasov 02.2012 , Amsterdam , Antofagasta , Valencia , Lima , Bremen , Istanbul 2009 , Valletta , San Juan , Barcelona , Singapore 2010 , Los Angeles 2010 , Transilvania road trip , La Spezia , Bosphor by ship , Sydney , Melbourne , AucklandSan FranciscoTauranga

Alternative tourism: Detroit , Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Pripyat & the alienation zone   , Nouadhibou graveyard

Cum traieste cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives :  KarachiGuayaquil  , Lagos

 

 

 

Singapore – an independent  mega city state –  located on an island , a name known to every sailor and any person working in the shipping or international finance . Although the town is limited by geographical barriers of the island , has no own natural resources and has zero hectares of arable land is one of the most prosperous and civilized cities in the world , being one of the four economic tigers of Asia , with Honk Kong , Korea South and Taiwan. What it does have is  strategic position in  the Strait of Malacca between the  the Indian Ocean and Yellow Sea , being a naval hub with a huge transit port and a free legislation that encourages investment , and Asian mentality devoid of corruption. I had the opportunity  to visit it  several times during my last voyage and gave me a very good impression , if not the best , just in Auckland – New Zealand to say that I liked it more.

Tthe first thing that hits you is the vastness of the city ( ok , most likely will be the immensity of the airport , and after the constant heat outside , regardless of the season ) , highways with six lanes in each direction , massive tunnels,  , and lots and lots  of greenery. Every piece of free land is overflowing with greenery and plants, any pavement has a ratio like 3 meters of green space and 1 meter pedestrian space , and although space is limited ,the  huge parks and natural reservations of the city are holy and untouched , reducing pollution in the city is in the top management priorities . Another impressive aspect is the multitude of skyscrapers in the city , due to lack of space the city grew vertically , most of the buildings are new , modern and very tall . The only exception is the old British neighborhood  , a small area of narrow streets with a continuous front of buildings with a level or two typical British architecture . This is the legacy of the British, the city’s history is closely linked to the British Empire .

The British founded the colony of Singapore in 1819 , year in which the whole island was covered by tropical jungle with a few fishing villages of the natives , and that under the visionary of  Sir Stamford Raffles ( a popular name in the city), who built a free port and integrated it in the British trading empire , it grew at an exponential rate in the metropolis that it is today , attracting many immigrants from around the world , especially the Chinese and later Indian . British legacy is seen today in the official English language of the city , driving on the left side of the street but also in the  parliamentary management system . Today on the streets besides various dialects of spoken English you will  hear many languages, but luckily everyone is treated the same, with the same respect , though unfortunately after the latest financial crisis the number of cheap immigrants of the indian subcontinent grew considerably. Authorities to combat the uncivilized nature of the flow of these immigrants have greatly increased fines , penalties that apply without exception , fines like $ 1,000 for throwing away garbage or smoking in the subway or within 3 meters of any transportation station , school or place of worship , also you will get $ 1,000 out of your pocket if intentionally spit on the street or if you urinate in public, $ 500 if you eat in the subway, $ 100 if you cross the street illegally ( although people do that alot ) and many many more , including my favorite : $ 1,000 if you are caught with  chewing gum – In Singapore chewing gum is illegal , because the authorities simply had enough tof seeing their  beautiful sidewalks filled with gum trodden by hundreds of shoes daily , gum what which needs to be scraped , especially with reference to Indian gum , a  tobacco based gum with a reddish color that stains surfaces like concrete in a very ugly way. Hence the unwanted nickname of the city ” It’s a fine city ! ”  . Maybe for some people  it  would seem like to many restrictive laws, but if you’re a normal person and you have absolutely nothing  to worry about . Oh, and if you are a tourist and you get fines don’t think you get on the plane and you escape , you can not leave the country until you pay all obligations , and if you have no money , no problem , you will do equivalent hours community service .

As a visitor , you will most likely use the MRT subway network , a very modern metro continues that continues to grow , great coverage , and good prices, one trip is $ 1.3 Singaporeans. Subway stations are well  made , the line is isolated from the platform by glass walls so as not to lose the effect of air conditioning,  and you rarely wait more than three minutes for a train. Equally effective is the bus network , but keep in mind that if you want to pay cash to the driver must have just exact change. You can opt for the taxi, but keep in mind that even if you order by phone , it  takes time for the taxi to arrive  , especially during peak hours of  the day when the people on the street form ques for a taxi at the designated stations , also keep in mind that traffic is hard and congested during rush hours.

As a tourist , I recommend as a must see Sentosa Island, an island filled with fun theme parks , including Universal Studios park  , for all day entry is $ 80 Singaporian entry fee, or you can go with your family and children to be accommodated in mini integrated resorts at Hard Rock Hotel and Golden Sands. Sentosa Island can be reached by Mono Rail, or cable car , whose station is located on the 50th floor of a tower , and you will cross by air  over the cruise ships offering a superb view . Also at Sentosa can try  the indoor skydiving facility at  IFLY ,  , but be careful – it costs $ 100 sing . fun ( worth every dollar 😉 . Among other tourists  attractions I can listthe old English quarter  , the  Marina Sands compound, whose jewel is the skypark – a park located on the 65th floor spanning the roof of 3 skyscrapers; the  Singapore Flyer – the largest wheel in the world , nightlife includes a very large and diverse range of bars , pubs and clubs , for fans there are plenty of  museums, theaters , art galleries , even just walking down the street tonight you will see a multitude of outdoor galleries, live concerts and for singles there is Geylang Street – the asian version of Amsterdam’s Red Light district , but more restrictive and controlled and censored and of course many huge malls , perfect for shopping. 😀

And of course , like any civilized and beautiful place , it doesn’t come cheap. Bring plenty of cash if you want to trully have fun , a beer at a pub costs between 3 dollars at the dockers pub to 25 $ at a fancy place. Don’t rush to the first flashy place you see on the river front , look closer on the side streets , there are plenty of great places if you explore. A really beautiful city , where I will return with pleasure every time.

Vezi alte calatorii / other trips : Brasov 02.2014 , Istanbul 01.2014 , Cluj Napoca 08.2013 , Sibiu 07.2013San Pedro , Bucharest 2013 , Varna 2012 , Los Angeles 2012 , Budapest & Viena , Salerno , Cluj Napoca 2012 , Firenze , Brasov 02.2012 , Amsterdam , Antofagasta , Valencia , Lima , Bremen , Istanbul 2009 , Valletta , San Juan , Barcelona , Singapore 2010 , Los Angeles 2010 , Transilvania road trip , La Spezia , Bosphor by ship , Sydney , Melborune , AucklandSan FranciscoTauranga

Alternative tourism: Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Chernobyl   , Nouadhibou graveyard

In cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives : Guayaquil  , Lagos


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