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After searching for "affordable" housing in Singapore, we opted to stay on the Malaysia side of the border in the city of Johor Bahur. Our plans for the week included spending several days in Singapore. Being right on the river that separates the two countries, it was a one minute taxi to the immigration terminal, a five minute train across the strait, and then a twenty-minute taxi into the city center. The whole journey on paper looked like a snap...in actuality it took us almost three hours...LOL. Even though we got a very early start, we didn't arrive until 11AM.
Singapore is lovely. It is like visiting the United States. Everything is modern...more modern than back home to be exact. Everything is in English as well. The architecture was outstanding and it was fun to see some of the iconic buildings up close that one sees in movies and advertising.
We opted once again to use the Hop On Hop Off system to get a good overview of the city. What we learned very quickly was that like most major modern cities, it is all about big buildings, finance, and high ticket, tourist-oriented venues. There were countless amusement parks (LegoLand, Universal Studios, 4D Adventureland, Hello Kitty World, etc.) and it was UNBEARABLY HOT...like over 100^.
We did one of the two circuits offered and took a few notes. We opted to return on the circuit for a stroll through the Botanical Gardens in hopes of not only seeing some awesome flowers, plants and trees, but also that it would be cooler. The prior was spot on and the park was beautiful...the later was not and between the humidity and the heat we just about melted.
We enjoyed a REAL beef burger at a lunch joint, a $35 Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel bar, and strolled several of the air-conditioned, underground malls. With the day ending quickly, and the sun setting, we opted to return the next day for to visit Little India, the National Mosque, and the National Museum.
We hailed a taxi and headed back to the immigration checkpoint for our trip back into Malaysia. The earlier 20 minute drive took almost a full hour, the checkpoint was jammed with some of the 500,000 migrant workers who come across the border daily for work, and the lines were amazing. Two border checks, to passport checks and we were back in our apartment on the Lohur side in two plus hours.
It was at that point that we decided one day in Singapore was enough...smile. We have a great apartment with amazing view of the island and that will be enough.
Here is a video of our "day in Singapore."