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Kuala Lumpur/Singapore: Presenting culture "live"
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My trip to Singapore was my first to the Asia-pacific region.  I enjoyed my three months there and I miss the region already.  The most attractive part of Singapore and Malaysia is the "live" culture.  At anytime during the day, you will find people packing the MRT, buses and walking the streets There is something for every taste.  If you like small bazaar-like shopping and restaurants you will not be disappointed.  However, there are plenty of ultramodern malls for those that enjoy conveniences and appreciate modernity and technology.   There are also upscale restaurants, five star hotels and other ammenities that will please the luxury life style.  The multiculturalness of Singapore is really unique.   I live in Los Angeles and am used to a multiracial society.  However, in Singapore the ethnic quarters are really unique. In L.A., although people are multiracial, they walk and talk like Americans.  In Singapore, the unique cultural identity of its inhabitants are accentuated with language, food and sometimes even dress.  The melting pot effect is pleasantly subdued, leading to a more vibrant experience. 
  1. Getting There. I flew Singapore Airlines from San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore with a stop in South Korea. At SFO, I found the the Singpore Airline counter attendent quite rude. This was in dark contrast to their attendents in Singapore who were friendly and accomadating. The entertainment system on the plane was good with plenty of movies to choose from. The service is hit or miss. On the way to Singapore, I got good service but I was a bit disappointed on the way back. However, overall, it was a great airline. On the return, I flew from Singapore to Los Angeles with a stop in Japan.
  2. Public Transportation in Singapore. - I would say that their public transportation is one of the best in the world. The MRT system (train) is integrated with the bus system and supplemented with the state run Taxi service. Rarely do you have to wait more than five minutes for a train and ten minutes for a bus. You can catch a taxi at the taxi stand or you can request one by phone to pick you up at your doorstep for only $2.50 extra. You can also flag one on the street. State regulated metered fares are straight forward and you can literally go anywhere on the island for about 20 sing dollar ($14 US).
  3. Site Seeing:

    Sentosa Island - This resort island has a Disneyland feel and there are many attractions to visit including Underwater World.   Famous for its walk-thru aquarium,  Underwater World is world-renowned for its Tiger Sharks.  Getting there can be an adventure if you take the cable car from Harbour front MRT station or Mount Faber.  Suspended over 60 meters above the ground, the cable car ride gives you a bird's eye view of the city and the island.  Although you can drive to Sentosa, I would recommend taking either the monorail or the cable.  Getting around Sentosa is easy because Santosa has its own bus system and it is very efficient. 

    Singapore Zoo -  One of the unique aspects of the Singapore Zoo is the use of natural barriers.  Rarely do you see concrete walls or fenses.  They do a good job of using natural barriers that blend into the scenery.
     
    Ethnic Districts - Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street, Malay village

    I liked visiting the ethnic districts on my trip to Singapore because it gave Singapore its multicultural appeal.  Little India really did feel like India especially during the holidays when the streets are decorated in preperation for Hari Raya (Eid al Fitr - Celebration of the end of Ramadan) and Diwaali.  The streets were complete with street vendors and rows of jewelery stores, spice markets, restaurants and boutiques.   I also visited Arab Street.   The Sultan Mosque is the main attraction there.   In what seem like its courtyard, there is a market with several hundred stores.  Specialty items such as carpets, hijabs and islamic souvenirs can be found there along with delicious arab cuisine.  My favorite spot,however, was Malay village or Gualang, where there is a real bazaar everyday. It's a farmer's market with many food vendors and shopping opportunities.  The best time to visit is during Ramadan when the decorations are amazing.

Habib going globlal blog - Priceless Exprience, Cherished Memories, Valuable Insight
Want some tips before you travel? Read these blogs and plan your trip wisely. In addition to offering insight into cities around the world, a intricate aspect of traveling is discussed in each blog to help you make your trips more enjoyable. Each blog is varied in style and content.

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