An exotic stop, Singapore!

Ok so here I go into the exotic trip or is it connecting trip. Well there is a story to me been here, and was hidden in small bits of previous posts. This is the time to tell all.

I was going to another country (lets call it I), and on my way there I needed to transfer at Chiangi Airport in Singapore. Never been here, had never any idea of been here, and just by chance I landed here. Always a nice experience checking out a new place.

Upon landing at Chiangi airport for my connection, I realised that my passport (French) was almost expiring lol!! Never occurred to me in my years of travel, which are many, to have to worry about expiration dates on a passport. Well ,there is always a first.

The bottom line , was not allowed to continue my travel. So what to do? Well change plans go to another country , lets call it V. I needed to do something or waste the travel money. I in my old world brain, thought that the embassy can put a page on my passport and I could go on. Well not so fast old traveler.

I went out of Chiangi, so was practically in Singapore! I needed first to get me a hotel. Well the Ibis was fine I figure, French chain Accor no problems ;only to found out ,it was super expensive here (as find out most is) , the charge for the night was 162 euros!!! for an Ibis , you know. Ok so I pay.

Next day, ask for a taxi to take me to the French embassy/consulat to fix my passport. Well, the French rigueur told me that the reception was pretty cold, not even allowed in the building!!! I was interviewed by a security guy (not French) who relay my message inside, and came back saying no changes possible in passport as it was biometric. Oh well ,whatever happened to the good old days you can just add a page to the passport!

The funny part was that from the hotel I asked for a taxi, he came in , took my French embassy address and lookup on a  paper map!!! I told him are you sure you know how to get to the embassy,and he said no ,not sure! Oh shields , I told him no thanks, came back to the hotel reception and told them need a taxi that knows how to get to the French embassy! Finally got one who took me there!!

I needed to change plans and country V did not require my passport to be 6 months before expiration but they needed a Visa! Call my office in country V and they send me the visa right away to my mobile telephone. I flashed the visa to the airline staff ,first yes, then no needed a paper copy! ok so from a phone lol! Here quick old reflexes told me there is a Crown Plaza hotel at the Chiangi airport, rush to business center and it was closed!

Ask the reception is an emergency needed to open the business center! how can this be close! She hurried up and opened it for me. Got to email my visa to her desktop computer to print the Visa and rush back to the airline to get on the plane and finally landed in country V. End of story,the rest was easy.

An experience, to tell the grandchildren , eventually. First and only one so far, but can imagine the hesitation and stress of it all. No thanks. Need to check those darn dates on the passport. Of course, this was about 4 years ago.

So, this is my experience of Singapore, two days ,one night and thank you. The island nation has a lot to offer but it is very small. Some pointers on it.

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore is officially the Republic of Singapore, a city State and island country at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia’s Riau islands to the south, and peninsular Malaysia  to the north. Singapore’s territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets on 130 sq km or 50 sq miles. The main island is call Pulau Ujong. There are two man-made connections to Johor, Malaysia;  the Johor-Singapore Causeway  in the north and the Tuas Second Link  in the west.

Singaporean residents pay high prices for their cars and there is a lot of public transport on bus, Taxis, Train (MRT and LRT) with the networks of SBS transit and SMRT Corporation.  There are six at least taxi companies, who together put out over 28,000 taxis on the road. Taxis are a popular form of public transport as the fares are relatively cheap compared to many other developed countries. The Chiangi International Airport is wonderful and a treat just to stay there ! It has been rated one of the best international airports by international travel magazines.

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. However, English is the common language, and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools.

A bit of history I like.

Stamfort Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company’s collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During , WWII,  Singapore was occupied by Japan. It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences , becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.

Singapore was not much affected by  WWI, as the conflict did not spread to Southeast Asia. During, WWII, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded British Malaya,  culminating in the Battle of Singapore. When the British force of 60,000 troops surrendered on 15 February 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the defeat “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history. British forces had planned to liberate Singapore in 1945; however, the war ended before these operations could be carried out. It was subsequently re occupied by British, Indian and Australian forces following the Japanese surrender in September 1945.

On 9 August 1965, the Malaysian Parliament voted 126 to 0 (with Singaporean delegates not present) to move a bill to amend the constitution providing for Singapore to separate from the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore gained independence as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the  Commonwealth of Nations).

For tourist information, the official webpage is here: Tourist office of Singapore

And there you go ,another hole or point on the world map for me and my 80 countries visited,and counting…. Enjoy the ride.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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