Sunday, 20 September 2009


A drive to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur takes around four hours if it doesn't involve stopping. The trip was planned as a brief one, two days and one night. Mum, Adrian and sis-in-law Sook Yian completed the quartet.

A small town in the southern state of Johor that has seen little interference or regeneration from the 21st century. For my next trip to Malaysia I plan to visit little towns like Jasin in the Peninsula, purely to satisfy my newfound and deep-rooted interest in them.

Kopi Tiam
The above two words translate into coffee shop, the last word comes from the Hokkien dialect. The one shown above is typical of the breakfast culture in Malayisa. The kopitiams are (if authenticity rules) rickety, olde worlde and perceivedly unhygienic. One comes here for thick swampy coffees (kopis), margarine and coconut jam (kaya) toasts, and the odd bowl of noodles. These places were once facing an indeterminate future but thankfully there is current resurgence, the young folks have now realised that there's more to a bowl of cornflakes or $tarbuck$!

Instant coffee costs more than the real thing!

The motorways in Malaysia are riddled with tollgates. A foolproof way for the government to regain the constuction investment, except that it's being going on for more than fifteen years!

As far I'm concerned there are three good things about Singapore; the skyline, the girls take the trouble to make themselves beautiful and no chewing gum debris to speak of. It's different world here to Malaysia, more of a Westerners' cuppa- clean, disciplined, insignificant crime and English spoken everywhere.
(the spot where I took this picture is where the Formula One cars will be roaring through as well)

Orwellian high-rise state housing for the masses.

Shopped pic to compensate for the overexposed sky in the original.

Work is good. Even if the bodily functions have limitations, it stops the brain from rotting away.

Our one night stay at The Rendezvous

Don't be deceived by the atrium, this hotel is supposedly three stars but it's more of an upmarket backpackers' inn. No Wi-Fi here and one has to fork out for a connection by landline. Avoid this crap hotel!

Equally crap and overpriced lunch at the famous Rendezvous restaurant (same name in same hotel but not related). We had a Nasi Padang (rice with a variety of dishes) lunch at this Indonesian influenced eatery. The prices charged were extortionate, ideal for ripping off tourists like us.

The Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) It makes our London Underground hopelessy out of date. I was awed by its efficiency and sterility.

Like Malaysians, Singaporeans thrive on eating, shopping and working.

This country is a curse for smokers. The bureaucrats have succeeded in making addicted souls like me feel like lepers. This was one of the few places where one can have a puff with a cup Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

Jaywalking is discouraged and deemed illegal; you've been warned!

Unlike Britain, the citizens here are proud of their F1 night racing contribution.

A bit of friendly retail espionage. The hi-fi scene in Singapore is more prevalent and extreme than in Blighty. I stock all of the above except the speakers. You'll need at least 30K GBP before I get out of bed.

Dinner at Jumbo, one of many supersized restaurants along the East Coast that specialises in seafood. This restaurant was recommended by one of the most beautiful blogs I've come across, ieatishootipost.

Jar Jee Kai
Crispy Fried Chicken or literally fried paper chicken. The paper describes the crispy skin.
Below average.

Fried dough sticks filled with cuttlefish paste
Below average.

Deep-fried Tiger Prawns with rolled oats
Potentially very good but let down by too much sugar added.

Steamed Soon Hock fish.
The fish is marbled goby.

Highlight of the night.

Singapore Chilli Crab
The national dish of the country. There were countless of Singaporeans tucking into this dish when we were there, they were obviously proud of this dish. As for me, a Malaysian swinging between trees in the jungle I wasn't impressed. The Sri Lankan crab was fine, sweet and meaty, but the spicy sauce was once again over sweetened (they love their sugar!) and spiciness was toned down. The grotty seafood shacks across the Causeway know more when it comes to crab dishes.

The Singapore Flyer
I'm quite pleased with this photo shot from a car travelling at 80km/h (it's metric all the way here). Our London Eye is still the best looking, the u-shaped fork/assembly lets it down!


thora said...

Welcome back to the www. I'd love to visit Singapore again, stayed there for 3 days on my way to Australia about 20 years ago. LOL at the smoking restrictions, bet you were glad to come back to KL. And yes, the London Eye is an eye catcher.

porkknuckle said...

thora- I checked in at Heathrow about a couple of hours early and thanks to the EU regulations, once in I was going through cold turkey for the next 17 hours!
You'll need to go to Malaysia as well, you've been too spoilt by Singapore!