Sunday, April 24, 2011

On our way to India

After the Gili island, we slowly made our way to India, trying to transition ourselves from a peaceful island to the craziness we'd been told to expect. This path first took us to the heart of Bali in Seminyak, close to the international airport, where we re-encountered traffic and people.

Rolling in style
 Seminyak is supposed to be a slitghtly less crazy version of Kuta, with a little less tourists but still great big beaches perfect for surfing.

It allowed us to rent a scooter again, which frankly is the best way to get around those places as it makes you part of the flow instead of a tourist haggled for transport.
We walked and drove around the nearby area, doing some window shopping and testing some trendy restaurants.

Offerings are everywhere, but it's the first one we saw with a cigarette

Hello cows!

They get comfortable with riding at a very young age. At least this one had a helmet

We also went to the beach of course, where we swam and fought the huge waves rolling in like clockwork. The waves were awesome but the beach was pretty sad. In one picture this is what Seminyak is to us.

Yeah, trash!

Granted this is the worst part of the beach, but it was nonetheless lined with rubbish washing up from the ocean. It actually made the swimming kind of scary after a while. There's so much plastic junk you can have wrap around your legs before it starts to freak you out.
I have no doubt that there are better areas of the beach but the amount of plastic pollution was really sad.

The sunset was killer though

After Seminyak we left Bali and had a one day layover in Singapore. Now talk about a big change! We had no idea what Singapore was really about and boy were we impressed. In one word: BIG
Not the city in itself, but its malls for example. They are underground complexes that never stop. You enter a (thankfully AC'd) mall and seem to never be able to get out. You walk for ever and just end up in another huge mall, then another one, etc... without ever going back over ground. The scale of this underground shopping complex is truly breathtaking. And they seem to make it deliberately hard to find the exit :)

So many cool buildings. This is a mall

Not Wall St. a mall (the part with the cheap stuff)

After a LOT of window shopping (we can't really buy anything with our bags already full) we went and visited the Marina area and its amazing skyline (thanks to the Sands casino and Science museum).

Now, I've been to Vegas a few times and I've seen some huge out-of-this-world casinos but the Marina Sands takes the cake.

Museum, and the moon!

Add to that the fact that you can never find the exit of a mall (another staple of Vegas) and I have to say one thing: "Vegas ain't got shit on Singapore!"

Ok, I stop. You got it, it's amazing

Of course this is mostly the downtown area and there is a lot more to the city that this. The area we stayed in, close to Chinatown, was a little run down and definitely not as extravagant. But nonetheless, even with only 24hours, Singapore blew us away by the scale and excess of its downtown. Paris and New York are definitely old school!

Food doesn't take room in our luggage, so we can shop for it!
Check out this fancy wall that looks like it's blowing with the wind, on the casino itself

Find the rest of the photos here.

View Seminyak - Singapore in a larger map

1 comment:

  1. You've convinced me. Singapore, here I come!