|We left our guesthouse and walked through the deserted streets of Malaka, crossing a pretty little bridge over the lazy river that runs through the town. Melaka is picturesque and holds the feel of Hoi An, Vietnam and Penang, Malaysia. The chatty cabby dropped us at the station and another comfy coach smoothly drove us towards Singapore.
Getting out of Malaysia and into Singapore was like arriving and departing from an airport. Immigration was housed in giant terminal style buildings rather than the standard usual land crossings. Joss nearly had to unpack his entire bag on arrival into Singapore as they were interested to see what he had inside the box. Luckily they believed him it was just greetings cards and let us go without any hassle.
Singapore is very small and it wasn't long before we were in the city. Sky scrapers lined the horizon and the sight of trees was very welcoming. Even when deep into the city the pollution was minimal and everybody was driving orderly which is unusual for an Asian country. We were dropped at the bus station and jumped in a cab to our hotel. The cabby took credit card which we were thankful for as we had not past any money exchanges or ATM's the whole trip. We are staying in a Fragrance hotel which is a budget hotel chain in the heart of the red light district. Despite it being the red light district the area is quite safe and it only becomes apparent after nightfall when all the brothels illuminate.
We were nicely surprised at the standard of our room. The price is GBP30 per night which is way above budget but accommodation here is expensive. I had read bad reviews online but everything was in order, clean, tidy and spacious. We set off straight away heading for Orchard road which is the shopping hub of the island. We have a date with 'Topshop' as need some new clothes for Oz as we hear it's expensive there. The MTR station is a short walk from the hotel and the station is pristine white with shiny floors. Like Hong Kong they have a no eating, drinking or littering policy here. We had to stand the length of the journey down to Orchard road as its a Saturday plus a public holiday so the crowds are in their masses. The MTR arrived directly in the mall and we began our shopping. After spending hours walking around the web of malls which are all interlinked underground we eventually found the street which was again full of shop after shop and mall after mall. This city is full of shops and malls. They seem to have malls in malls and shops in shops. The whole city in interlinked underground. There is no need to walk outside as you can get to your destination quicker by using an escalator or metro. We ate at a counter service Tapenyaki grill and feeling weary from the busyness we set off back to our hotel, passing the brothels and sex shops after we left the MTR station....