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View Diary: More Tales from the Lion City (26 comments)

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  •  Great comment, GulfExpat (3+ / 0-)

    Yes, I was completely knocked out by the varieties of food in Singapore!  There was even a German restaurant, for goodness' sake.  :)

    One of the fruits I tried in the Raffles Hotel when we went there for tea was dragonfruit.  Very strange and interesting!  It was new to me.  And of course, my old favorites were present too, starfruit and rambutans.

    Yes, I was told that Singapore had such a good transportation system that a car is hardly necessary.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:52:04 AM PST

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    •  The transport system is brilliantly integrated. (0+ / 0-)

      The SMRT, although it has a 1, 2, or 3 day tourist ticket valid on all basic bus services, is best utilized, I think, with the Auto-Top Up card, which is valid on all public transport, whether metro or bus.  When you enter a metro station you simply place your card - and it can stay in a wallet or purse - against or near a sort of pad at the turnstile; the card is read and the turnstile opens.  When you get off at the other end, you repeat the process at the turnstile and the appropriate amount is deducted to whatever total you might have.  Then, when you come out of the station, bus stops are almost always straight ahead, and departure times are coordinated with arrival times of trains, so you never have to wait more than ten minutes for a connection.  Quite amazing.  The top up cards are "rechargeable" at ATMs, special automated machines inside stations, banks, and, as I remember, at major bus stops.  Oh, and when you leave the country, you hand in the card at the SMRT airport service desk, and you get a refund for the card deposit AND any unused fare still on the card!

       As for taxis, they are ALL metered, drivers know the city as well as London cabbies know London, and almost all speak English.  As for price, they are very, very reasonable, maybe 30-40% what you'd pay in the US.  

      -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

      by GulfExpat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:08:41 AM PST

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      •  Sounds great, GulExpat! (0+ / 0-)

        Our concierge at the hotel, a jolly young Tamil, told us that all school children in Singapore are required to learn English as well as one other language, whether Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, or something else.  I thought this an extremely forward-looking idea as it opens so many opportunities for future workers in tourism and manufacturing.

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:55:29 AM PST

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