Time patrol, Singapore


“Morning Scotty. Cape East please. Full speed. The city of Lions.

“Morning Captain. The city of lions? Singapore? That is full West”

“Yes, you are sooo right. Full West then.”

The Far East?. The Orient Extrême? Look at a world map and you see Asia to the right. East. What used to be months of traveling by ship, around the Cape of Good Hope, then through the Suez canal, to Bombay, south around Ceylon, then back up to Calcutta, and southeast again to the Straights and the city of lions.

But when you live on the American continent, Asia lies West. Quite another perspective, ain’t it? 30 hours flight… (Bring a pillow) For Asians, WE are the Orientals. 😉

Singapore. The city state. One the highest GDP per capita on the planet. Not really a tourist destination. More for business. What do you imagine? Skyscrapers and concrete all around? Wrong. Singapore is a beautiful, green city, combining modernity and tropical vegetation. Exuberant trees and plants everywhere. Singapore is a garden.


On the Southern ridges, Singapore.



Singapore today. Yet, it was not always that way:


Turn of the 20th century. National Museum of Singapore.

There are many layers to any trip. The first, obvious, layer is what you see. The monuments, the landmark. Another, immediate layer is food. And beer in Asia. Too hot for wine really. Another layer is sound: the languages one hears on the street, words exchanged with the waitress at a restaurant. Though the announcements in the metro are done in at least 3 or 4 languages, English is the common denominator.


A typical Peranakan house, Singapore. We shall see more of those in Penang. Singapore has maintained a lot of its history.


Painting by Bromley at the Potato head, on Keong Saik. Western child book characters.


MRT. Mass Rapid Transit. Singapore appears to me to have one the best and newest transportation systems that I know of. (Brand-new) cars by Bombardier, the Canadians, who seem to be making a killing in public transportation worldwide. Think of the new York or Paris metro…


Singapore zoo. Those carved figures show Malay and Indonesian influence. They can be found in various styles and names all the way East to New Guinea or NorthEast to Polynesia.


Gardens by the bay at night. Spectacular. (And my faithful readers know I put a tight lid on adjectives)


Straights Chinese houses.


Hindu temple. (Don’t ask me the name. Ganesh was presiding over the entrance) Another layer.


The neon pigeon. Great food. (One layer)



And beer. 🙂 As a true Frog, I am  more partial to wine for obvious reasons. But, Hell, when in Asia, do as the Asians do…


The southern ridges are one of many huge tropical gardens in Singapore. This one has miles of “boardwalks” sinewing across the forest. One can hear the monkeys at a distance. Did see one actually.



Noise @ Keong Saik. Do not miss Mandarin (or Hokkien?) hip-hop. (You don’t believe me?I have a Penjabi Hip-hop record at home. Top stuff.)


High street. Chewing gum may be forbidden, but not street art. 😉


Beauty comes from within.

“That was quite a long post, Captain? 19 slides?”

“Yes, Scotty. Almost double what I normally post… Sorry folks… Like I said, there are so many layers to any trip… Thank you for flying Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle. And until our next flight, fair winds.”


60 thoughts on “Time patrol, Singapore

  1. Love it. Such diverse buildings. But what of the people. I was under the impression that Singapore was getting more regressive in matters of civil rights. DId I misread that? Hugs

    • It is very unusual in the “South”. (and I’ve spent all my life in the “South”). And the plants, the trees, the gardens… It feels like a clean New York in the tropics. You should go back. Quite pleasant.

  2. Loved this post and your photos!
    Having been to Singapore several times now over 30 years, one thing that hasn’t changed is its cleanliness – a good break when travelling through other not-so-clean SE Asian countries.

    Not too hot for wine but too expensive! Sadly, I don’t drink beer. 😉

  3. The picture of Singapore in the early 20th century contrasted against your current-day images says it all. Amazing how the Singaporean people under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew took it from poverty to a premier world economy and in a relatively short period of time. Admittedly, I had great difficulty ‘bonding’ with Singapore initially. After four months in Indonesia, I found it sterile. But Singapore’s natural beauty acted as the muse that allowed me to fall in love with the place in the end. Wonderful to travel there again through your lens.

    • Yes, I can understand the “sterile” impression, but I think one has to dig beneath the surface. The young people playing and singing Hip-hop on Keong were anything but sterile. And… as I will repeat, having lived in the South most of my life, if a bit of “uptightness” is the cost of moving to a premier economy, then so be it. Glad you enjoyed the view through the lens.

  4. Love this article. I’ve been living in Singapore for just a couple of months and I’ve learnt lots of new things from you, thanks. I especially appreciate the car brand for MRT, my husband kept saying it’s high quality (he used to work at metro station construction) but we didn’t know the brand. It’s the small things right? It’s always the small things.

    • Two months in Singapore? I am jealous! Though surprised you should learn something from one brief post. I loved that city and will most certainly go back. Enjoy the city of lions. (More posts to come)

      • We’ll be staying here for at least two years, and every day I keep learning something interesting about this city. I’m looking forward to reading more of your insights!

      • Two years? Splendid. (Green with envy) Take advantage to visit Asia. Everywhere is close from Singapore. And if I have only one piece of advice: learn the language! I would learn Hokkien, but try Mandarin. You won’t regret it.

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