Singapore, an english-asiatic mix

Marina Bay, Singapore

The plan is slowly turning down toward the Singapore airport, and I start wondering what I should expect of this city-country.
Singapore looks full of contradictions : it is an independent state, yet it is very lonely on this tiny island, with so big and powerful neighbours (India, China, Malaysia, Thailand…).

This city smells Asia, speak English and as a felling of Western-hemisphere with its architecture. The past of Singapore is all about mixes, originally a city of local kingdoms, it became a Britannic trade port, with the different ethnic districts being arranged at this time (Chinatown, Little India, Colonial District …). Independence was achieved 50 years ago.

Little India is the cheapest place to get accommodation (Ali’s Nest, Robert’s Lane, Little India, SD 35/night/double room), and is really a part of India the week end when the streets are crowded by Indian workers, and when everybody eat with their hands at the restaurants tables.

Chinese Temple, Chinatown, Singapore

Next to Little India,and after the Hindi and Buddhist temples is Chinatown. This is a really important moment in the year for Chinese, because it’s time to burn paper-object with the believe that this object will be provided for their relatives in the after world. And this year, paper-ipod and paper-ipad are the massive sellers.
It is easy to find food-courts anywhere , these are large hall full of little stands cooking specialities of every Asian-countries for nothing.

The earth of Singapore has long been the river, where all the goods wre processed, carried by little Malay boats, handled by Chinese and Indian coolies, regulated by English men. After one century of traffic, the river was deeply polluted, and when it proved too small for the modern freight-carrier, it has been carefully reconverted to a modern promenade : Clark Quay.

Clark Quay, Singapore

Nice restaurants and bars populate the riverside, and it is particularly cooling to relax and have a drink in front of the water when the weather is so hot.

Marina bay, Singapore

Or even over the water, as Singapore has took away a lot of land of the sea., which liberated the space to construct Marina Bay, the country of super-trendy buildings designed by the best architects, containing huge spaces for all the luxury shops Singapore has.

Marina Bay Commercial Center, Singapour

All the major fashion brands are here, the best restaurant too (Guy Savoye, the menu, just a dream regarding the prices), ice ring, trendy Internet coffee where your feet are cleaned by tiny fishes while you surf Internet, conference room, and a huge casino.

Internet coffee, Singapore

Marina Bay Casino, Singapore

Interior as well as exterior architecture is particularly well-thought, everything is well maintained, and sometime so new that some shops are still settling.
And in fact all the area is well designed, as everything is new and the public powers have only accepted upmarket projects.

Football field, Marina Bay, Singapore

And politic is important in Singapore, with a unique-party system since 50 years. Really intriguing, as the state is very strict about a lot of things (don’t even try to throw a paper t the ground or to eat something in the metro, you will end up in jail), but spends willingly on public hospital (it certainly looks better than the French ones) and culture, like the magnificent Asian Civilisations Museum.

The need is crucial for such a young ,small and mixed nation. It is difficult to build a common identity while respecting roots and culture of the immigrants (mainly Chinese, Indian, Musulmano-Malay ).
And that’s the museums job! We spent 7 hours in the museum, amongst really good collections. Every culture is well presented with beautiful pieces, good lighting and exceptional explanations. Some other room explain the history of the region trough influencing phenomenon like monsoon, trade and interbreeding.
Every culture and religion influenced each other, and now each is unique.

More sown to Earth, you can easily taste this mix sitting in all the good restaurants and little shops, as described here .

And to conclude you propose you a little extract of a free jazz concert that took place in Clark Quay. Enjoy the Australian-Philippian singer and the Singaporean dancers !

3 comments for “Singapore, an english-asiatic mix”

  1. Magnifique reportage sur Singapour. C’est vraiment le grand écart. Photos sublimes et explicites. Pour finir avec un orchestre et des danseurs délicieusement rétros. Bravo.K42B

  2. La photo des jambes immergées et grignotées m’a rappelé un traitement du psoriasis dans une piscine turque. Je ne savais pas que c’était devenu si tendance !
    Plus sérieusement, j’ai beaucoup aimé votre approche de cette ville-état et votre façon de vous y sentir bien.
    Comme toujours, vous donnez envie…
    Encore !

  3. Bonjour!
    Je voulais savoir si tu connaissais le nom du bâtiment blanc, en forme de main, celui qui est devant l’hôtel le Marina Bay. Soit ta première image.
    Merci d’avance

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