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Singapur

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Wstęp

Po wojażach na zachodnią półkulę z Moniką i Gosią lecimy na Daleki Wschód. Skorzystaliśmy z promocji Lufthansy – bilet do Singapuru po 2100 zł. W planach Singapur i Indonezja.
Warszawę żegnamy na początku lutego 2012. Jednym z największych na
świecie samolotów Airbus A-380 lecimy do Singapuru.

Singapur

Po kilkunastu godzinach lotu lądujemy w Singapurze.
Z lotniska do centrum miasta można dojechać MRT (Mass Rapid Transit).
Dość szybko orientujemy się w świetnie opisanym systemie transportu. Szczególnie przypadają mi do gustu automaty do sprzedaży biletów. Na ekranie dotykowym jest schemat MRT. Wybieramy docelową stacje, wrzucamy monety i zabieramy bilecik w postaci karty magnetycznej. Wszystko szybko i sprawnie. W cenę biletu wliczony jest depozyt za kartę magnetyczną. Przy opuszczaniu stacji wrzucamy kartę do automaty, który wydaje dolara singapurskiego. I tak też robimy na docelowej stacji – Little India. W dzielnicy podobno są najtańsze noclegi w mieście.
Ceny hoteli w kraju o 3 krotnie wyższym PKB per Capita niż Polska są wysokie. Pokój 3-osobowy kosztuje ok 100 SGD (80 USD). Łóżko w sali 10 osobowej ze skromnym śniadaniem – 20 SGD.
Po zakwaterowaniu zwiedzamy hinduską dzielnicę
Dobrze po północy, umęczeni trudami podróży idziemy spać.
Bagaże zostawiamy na lotnisku w przechowalni na cały dzień – koszt 3.3 SGD. Na lotnisku są 3 terminale i na każdym jest przechowalnia bagażu! Bez ciężkich plecaków jedziemy MRT do Chine Town. W dzielnicy jest mnóstwo sklepów, knajpek i aptek z chińską medycyną alternatywną. Ceny są stałe i nikt nie zaczepia, nie zaprasza do sklepu. W chińskiej knajpie jemy późne śniadanie. Z pełnymi brzuchami zwiedzamy chińską, hinduistyczną i muzułmańską świątynie oraz nowoczesne centrum buddyjskie.
Po kilku godzinach w Chine Town jedziemy MRT do ogrodu botanicznego. Ogród jest przepiękny. Szczególnie polecam część z orchideami (5SGD) – narodowy kwiat Singapuru.
Wieczorem pojechaliśmy do nowoczesnej dzielnicy wieżowców położonej nad Marina Bay.
Dzielnica jest ślicznie oświetlona. Pięknie wygląda tor formuły 1 i Hotel Marina Bay Sands.
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Rady i Ciekawostki


  • W 2012 1 SSD (dolar singapurski) – 0,8 USD - 2.8 PLN

  • MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) 5 linii, o łącznej długości ok 200 km pokrywa zasięgiem całą wyspę. System transportu jest bardzo przyjazny pasażerowi. Wystarczy kilka minut, żeby zorientować się jak korzystać z kolejki. Na uwagę zasługują automaty do sprzedaży biletów. Na ekranie dotykowym jest schemat MRT. Wybieramy docelową stację, wrzucamy monety i zabieramy bilecik w postaci karty magnetycznej. Wszystko szybko i sprawnie. W cenę biletu wliczony jest depozyt za kartę magnetyczną. Przy opuszczaniu docelowej stacji wrzucamy kartę magnetyczną do automaty, który wydaje dolara singapurskiego.

  • Pogoda jest wprawdzie przewidywalna, ale raczej marna. Singapur leży w okolicach równika. Przez cały rok taka sama pogoda. Czyli gorąco i deszczowo. Często nad wyspą przechodzą burze.

  • W Singapurze językiem urzędowym jest m.in angielski. Wszyscy mieszkańcy, bez względu na pochodzenie, lepiej lub gorzej posługują się współczesną łaciną.


























Singapore

Map



Venezuela and Ecuador were my two last destinations. It's time for a change. Instead of South America we (Monica, Goska and I) went to the Far East. We took a flight from Frankfurt to Singapore. Singapore was too tiny for our three week trip, but this was a great port to continue exploration of Southeast Asia. There are many interesting destinations in this part of the world. One of them is Indonesia- the biggest islands country in the world and this was our second destination.
Trip to Indonesia is very complex logistic project. We had about 20 days to visit some of 17 000 islands. Indonesia is as big as Europe. You can travel between the islands by ferries. The option is cheap but ferries are very slowly and irregularly, especially during the rainy season. Flights are faster, more predictable but expensive. We chose planes because our time was very limited. We decided to be very flexible and prepared several options for our holidays. The choice would depend on price and schedule of domestic flights in Indonesia.
The flexibility had one disadvantage. We had to read many web pages and hundreds pages of book guide. Indonesia is too big country to visit it during one month but we had to prepare at least a few alternative options.
We said goodbye to Warsaw in February 2012. It was -10 degrees in capital of Poland. The weather dramatically changed after several hours. When we left Airbus A 380 it was +30 degrees in Singapore. I love tropical climate. 

Singapore


It took several hours to fly from Frankfurt to Singapore. Finally we landed in Singapore. Only one jet bridge was enclosed to the plane. Passengers left the plane almost one hour. 500 people disappeared at huge terminal of Changi Airport. Airport staff organised security and immigration checks perfectly. There were special people dedicated to move people between check desks. Thanked to them the queues were short and tired passengers saved a lot of time.
The most comfortable way to get to the center is MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). There are 5 lines, which covers the entire island. Due to the quality of life and ecology Singapore authorities promote travelling by MRT. Private cars are not popular in Singapore. Mostly there are taxi cars on the streets. Locals prefer to travel by MRT. Thanks to this pro-ecology policy island-city is not polluted like the other big cities of South-East Asia.
The MRT system is extremely user friendly. Ticket machines are provided with touch screens. You touch the destination station on a map, insert coins or note and get a ticket - magnetic card. There is extra returnable fee for the magnetic card. You can get money back at the end of your travel. Insert magnetic card to ticket machine and deposit will be returned.
Little India was our first destination. We were looking for cheap hotels at Besar street. Unfortunately we lost our way and I had to take out a map. I hardly managed to do it and older gentleman approached to us and politely said:
  • Do you need any help?
We were surprised with his kindness and asked about the way to Besar street.
The tips were perfect and we reached the destination after a few minutes. We found cheap hostel. B&B cost 20 SGD. We slept in 10 bed mixed dormitory.
We went for a late dinner to chinese restaurant. The chinese chicken was delicious comparing to plane meals. We walked around Little India district in the evening. Singapore is famous of its cleanness. Little India verified the legend. There were rubbish on the streets. Many Indian people were talking to each other on the streets. They ate, drank and smoked. They usually dropped cigarette ends and other rubbish on the street.
Most of Indians are economic immigrants. They live together in Little India. Many of them transfer money to their families in India. There were long queues to Western Union office. We came back to the hostel in the night and went to bed. It was a very long day.
Unfortunately I often woke up in the night and I was very sleepy in the morning. We had breakfast looking out of the window. It was tropical storm in Singapore. We put on our rain jackets and left the hostel. We followed locals. They were walking close to the buildings. Every house had small roof to protect pedestrians from the rain. Unfortunately we had to cross the street. We stopped and hesitated for a moment. Suddenly local man came to us and asked:
  • Do you want to cross the street.
  • Yes, we do.
  • There is a pass under a roof, over there. - he pointed out the pass 50 meters away.
I looked at the direction and could not believe my eyes. Two buildings were linked with passageway a few meters above the ground. The passageway was just above the pedestrian crossing. Thanked to the solution we managed to get to MRT station and we did not get wet at all.
China Town is always one of the most popular district in the cities all over the Asia. It usually looks the same. There are a lot of shop, chinese medicine stores and restaurant. The Chinese district in Singapore looked like this. We had lunch and visited some sacral sites.
Singapore Buddhist Meditation Center was located in big building. There was very interesting Buddha museum on one of the floors. On the other floor there was the biggest prayer wheel in the world. It was very big but it was quite easy to move it.
Hindu Temple was very pretty. It was colorful and the roof was decorated with sculptures of gods and daemons.
Unfortunately the oldest Chinese temple was renovated. We visited only a small part of the complex.
It took us a few hours to visit China Town. Then we went to Botanical Gardens. The gardens were beautiful. I can recommend orchid garden (5SGD). Orchid is Singapore's national flower. We admired a lot of species of the plant. New hybrids were created in the garden. They were named as vips or celebrities who visited the gardens eg. Jackie Chan, Princess Diana. The other gardens were full of tropical plants. It was a small rainy forest.
In the evening we went to Marina Bay district. The district was full of modern skyscrapers. The buildings and Formula one circuit were illuminated beautifully.
There were no parking area under the skyscrapers. There was underground city under the buildings. The city is as huge as Marina Bays district. The underground city reminded me huge shopping mall.
Singapore is not big but there are many attractions. I think you need 2-3 days to visit all the sites.

Useful Information


  • In 2012, 1 SSD (Singapore Dollar) - USD 0.8

  • MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) 5 lines cover all island. Due to the quality of life and ecology Singapore authorities promote travelling by MRT. Private cars are not popular in Singapore. Mostly there are taxi cars on the streets. Locals prefer to travel by MRT. Thanks to this pro-ecology policy island-city is not polluted like other big cities of South-East Asia.
    The MRT system is extremely user friendly. Ticket machines are provided with touch screens. You touch the destination station on the map, insert coins or note and get a ticket- magnetic card. There is extra returnable fee for the magnetic card. You can get money back at the end of your travel. Insert magnetic card to ticket machine and deposit will be returned.

  • Singapur is nice, very well-organized, clean city. Although it is not sterile clean island. There are rubbish and cigarettes ends on the streets. Locals try to keep the city clean and drop rubbish to the bins. The bins are located at every corner of the street. Maybe this is the mystery of the clean streets.