7 weeks in Singapore

Feb 15th, 2000, 08:21 PM
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7 weeks in Singapore

I'll be traveling to Singapore from the U.S. the end of February for a 7 week business trip. I would very much appreciate any tips or information concerning life in Singapore. Any places to get a decent bottle of wine there? (At a reasonable price?) Are prices on electronics significantly better than in the US? I'm interested in birds and orchids also, and have heard that there may be some interesting sights to see from those two perspectives. Anything else, of any nature, would very much be appreciated. Thanks.

Feb 15th, 2000, 10:02 PM
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Check out these Web sites for good info on Singapore:

www.makansutra.com (fun restaurant reviews)

For wine, try these wine bars:

Que Pasa: 7 Emerald Hill Road

Beaujolais Wine Bar: 1 Ann Siang Hill

Les Amis Wine Bar: #02-16 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Centre, 1 Scotts Road

For birds, you should enjoy one of Singapore's top attractions--"Breakfast With the Birds at Tiong Bahru." Also, try Singapore's two other top attractions--the "Night Safari" and "Breakfast With the Orangutan" at the Singapore Zoological Gardens.

Forget the electronics. No one can beat US warehouse and Web prices. Who can compete with below cost prices on US Web sites? (try www.buy.com, www.valueamerica.com, www.amazon.com, and numerous other "cannibal" sites). At least price electronics in the US before you arrive in Singapore. Chances are you'll pay more in Singapore. Furthermore, you may have problems with system capabilities as well as international guarantees when you buy electronic goods in Singapore. Be a savvy shopper in this area.
Feb 16th, 2000, 03:40 AM
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Thanks very much Ron. Looking forward to the trip.

Feb 16th, 2000, 04:12 AM
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Jim, In SINGAPORE wine and reasonable price could be called an oxymoron eg. on our way home from Europe we bought a very ordinary bottle of wine and it cost us as much as a gondola ride in Venice. so we found it was better to stick to the local beer. Even so it's a great base to explore Asia and I think you will have a great time. Peg.
Feb 17th, 2000, 10:19 PM
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The French restaurant (sorry - can't remember the name) at Raffles has an excellent wine list - any list that includes Cloudy Bay is good in my book. It's not cheap - but no more expensive than you'll expect to pay in Europe.
Feb 20th, 2000, 04:17 PM
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I've been living in Singapore for 18 months. People are pretty nice here, food is great, and it's great to feel safe walking alone at midnight. On the down side, good wine is available, but is definitely more expensive here (about 1.5 times the cost in the US usually). Best bet is to find a friend/co-worker who belongs to a private club (The American Club, The British Club, The Tanglin Club), where decent quality wines are more reasonably priced (by the glass or bottle). There are also some wine wholesalers around that sell quality stuff at fair prices (look for ads in newspapers/expat publications).

If you don't mind heat and humidity, you will enjoy your time in Singapore. Life is good here, and many visitors remark that the island is like one big country club. Aside from Orchard Road, you'll probably want to visit Clark Quay, Boat Quay, and Holland Village-- which are popular hangouts for Ang Mo's. Doc Cheng's and the Long Bar at Raffles are great. You can eat very well and very cheap at a number of hawker stands around town. Beer (Tiger and Anchor) is pretty cheap at the hawkers too. A good hawker center is Annie's at 6th Ave. and Bukit Timah Road. There are hundreds of others to try. Most are pretty good--black pepper crab is awesome. Little India is a wonderful place to hang out for a day or two. Chinatown is pretty cool, but more touristy, and the shop owners aren't as friendly. Arab Street is fantastic for buying fabrics, basketry, etc. (probably not your thing, but amazing to see).

As for birds: Jurong Bird Park is a very well-done natural-looking aviary. Other places to go birding are Sungei Buloh Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, McRitchie Reservoir Park. Butterflies are also plentiful and beautiful in the nature parks, and you will get a kick out of the brown macaques and monitor lizards (I think). You can contact the Nature Society of Singapore (741-2036)for organized weekend trips. There are also a number of good bird-watching spots in Malaysia--Cameron Highlands and Frasier Highlands are supposed to be good. You might also want to think about a trip to Taman Negara or Sabah in Malaysia to try to spot some hornbills. Some beautiful beaches (Tioman, Langkawi, Ko Sumui) are easily reached for weekend trips as well.

Finally, I agree with the above post on electronics. There do seem to be some bargains, but things we buy here seem to mysteriously die out after a very short time (and exchange policies are not as good as in the US).

Have fun, lah. Barbara
Feb 24th, 2000, 04:39 AM
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Barbara, thank you very much for your wonderfully detailed message. I'm in Singapore now, after a really long flight. Will take me a couple of days to get my bearings. I've got lots of work to do but will find some time to enjoy too. Thanks again.
Feb 25th, 2000, 12:16 PM
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Hi Jim:

Just returned from an amazing vacation in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
I notice your interest in nature. If you have a weekend go up to KL. The KL Orchid Garden, Bird Park and Butterfly Park are worth a trip. (They are all within walking distance of each other on Jalan Perdana.
Also, (another weekend) take a trip to Taman Negara. The birds in the vicinity of the canopy walk are awesome. We arranged our trip through Nusa Camp (write me if you want more details). "Achi" is one of their guides and has an extensive knowledge of the birds in Taman Negara.
Hope you get a chance for some R&R.

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