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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Palau Ubin


Yesterday I went to Joo Chiat Road to experience Peranakan culture. Peranakans are people of Malay-Chinese descent and they have produced some of the most ornate buildings in Singapore. With tiles and lots of color these buildings line Joo Chiat Road down to Katong which is where I stopped for a bite before taking the bus back to the city.

After making my way to the Sands Casino I tried my luck again but this time I spent about $35 and realized it would be better get out while I was still technically ahead. At this point I raced to Tampines to meet up with YK. He bought me a bubble tea and brought me to his home where I dropped off my stuff.

Down in the basement YK loaned me his bike so I could take it to Palau Ubin, a traditional village on an island off the coast of Singapore. Down the road about 30 min I checked a couple roads until I found the ferry where they charge $2 per person and $2 for the bike. There were only a few of us so the captain offered to take us at $5 each and we were happy to accept since we would otherwise be waiting for 30-60 min.

On the island I began my ride and eventually ran into Daisy, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal. Her company has sent her to live abroad a couple times and at one point she even lived in Singapore for two years - at this point she was just visiting friends though. As we talked a bunch of monkeys started running towards us and we were soon in the middle of a troop of jumping, swinging, and running monkeys... all intent, no doubt, on robbing us of our goods or at least any food we might have. After taking some footage we moved on and found a giant quary where Daisy has formerly swam but now is fenced off. It was a very blue quary with lots of cool places to jump off the rocks and get eaten by mysterious objects moving through the water.

After finishing the bike ride we decided to get some food but since everything was closed up we hopped on the ferry back which was only $4.50 thanks to a large group who showed up as we were leaving. Back at Changi Village, Daisy and I ate some chicken rice and vegetables then parted ways. On my way back I found that I arrived pretty quickly and YK wasn't due back for a while. After he got back I took a shower up at his place and we walked to the bus stop for the airport. It was moments and the bus was there so after a quick goodbye I was on my way. Next stop: Australia!

Singapore POI:
-English is the primary language
-Small yet has its own holiday island getaway within its borders
-Costs $100 to gamble unless you're a foreigner

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