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Temple olSri Maviamman

ISingapore is an island city state which lies atthe junction oi the Indian and Paciiic Oceans. 0n|y1 degree north at the Equator. the climate is humid and very hot the whole year round. with the sun directly overhead. Tropical cloud bursts are to be expected too. Currency is in Singapore dollars and cents. The main newspaper in English isthe Straits Times. English is the oiiicial language. although the at-home languages ol the inhabitants will vary.

How to Get There

I Singapore is both a stop-overpointlor travellers on theirwayto Australia or New Zealand and a holiday centre in its own right.

Singapore Airlines (Glasgow ollice 041204 0656) do very cheap stopover packages lrorn £8 perperson in a luxury hotel with breaklast and private lacilities.

I Campus Travel (Glasgow) quoted £523 return (with China Airlines via Amsterdam and ex-London) until 30 Novemberand £556 ex-Glasgow orEdinburgh. With a scheduled airline and advance booking conditions. the standard

PEX return tare is £619 (ex-London) and £721 (ex-Glasgow).

Where to Stay

I Singapore is a city at sky-scrapers. many ol which are hotels. Luxurious and lullyair-conditioned. the majority oi the 60 orso main ones are located in the touristy-anaesthetized Orchard Road area.

I Small hotel guesthouse accommodation in Chinatown will be cheaper. perhaps more interesting. but usually without


Whatto Do

I Hotels willhappily supply you with brochures and guides on restaurants (there are hundreds at every conceivable cooking-style). tours etc. It is hot. so don't overdo it. We iound it impossibleto breathe unconditioned air lor any longerthan 15minute bursts. Do notplan epic treks tor the middle oi the day— you’ll pass out. Singapore is the homeland oi many diiierent cultures (Chinese. Malaysian. lndian and

Eurasian European). so you'll lind shopping areas and sights related to this variety. The tourist guides urge visits to the Botanic Gardens. Chinatown. Little

india. Arab Street and the Bird Park among others. I It should be remembered

lrorn most hotels which gives you unlimited travel on buses oispecitied

thatiorthose who live round co'ou's' the Paciiic Rim. Singapore What to waICh isthe place to buy European 5 out For

clothes. perlumes etc relatively cheaply. Hence mega-shopping stores. arcades. centres etai— where the goods seem quite expensiveto us Brits.

I The Rallies Hotel (specily Old to taxidrivers the new one is the tallest building in the world)still producesthe Singapore Sling in alarming quantities and withirightening amounts olgin in itiorthe colonialIy-inclined.

I BMG are the principle coach-touroperators and oiiertrips all round Singapore. harbour cruises and day excursionslo Malaysia. They're based at Rallies Hotel (3373377) but yourown hotel will hookup loryou.

Getting Around

I Choose irom buses or taxis (the latterare inexpensive. and like all Singaporeans. taxi drivers are keen to promotetheir city by dishing out tourist into as you go). 0rthere's trishaws which look

A extremelyhard-goinglor

the decrepit peddlers who powerthem. You can buya

Singapore Explorerticket

I Sunburn sneaks up on you even when it's overcast. In two hours under a cloudy ' sky. we managed to burn ourselves nearlytothe point ol blisters. Take a hat. good sunglasses. high lactorcream and very lightweightcotton clothes. I Sleazy characters will pick on tourists asthey come out olshops and hotels and try and sell watches. radios etc. Ignore them. orthey‘ll iollow you lormilesaiongtheroad.

I Bartering isthe orderoi the day in all but the most exclusive hotels shops and stores. You can (and are expected to) knock prices down by more than hall. But. in the heat. itmakes shopping very hard work.

I Hotels are very security-conscious. which implies possible trouble. You are warned against any phone calls irom anyone at all— whateverbargains and toursthey may alter. The onlytouting we were subjectedto wasa little business card slipped under the doorwhich promised massages. techniques and good times.



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54'I‘hc List 30 Sept 130a 1988