Singapore was the first stop on my trip. I did have an advantage however, I went to university with David who lives in Singapore and who said he'd meet me and show me around. That was a great thing, he knew a few places that are off the tourist circuit and he introduced me to a few friends, so it was nice to get out of the throng of tourists.

I went to the Kranji War Memorial. That was an experience. My grandfather was captured in Singapore during World War II and died as a prisoner of war working on the Burma Railway. My grandmother was evacuated on the last boat out of Singapore with little more than the clothes on her back. Finding my grandfather's name was a strange experience, aside from a few photographs it is one of the few pieces of physical evidence. I would recommend a trip to Kranji for most visitors and walk around, don't be like all the tourists I saw, get out of the bus at the steps, take photos of each other and hop back in. Get out and walk around. You'll probably find it a more memorable experience.

One of the more extreme things I did was get a Chinese massage. If you had asked me before if I'd get one, I would have said no, but David kept singing its praises and slowly the idea of a nice relaxing massage started to grow on me. So, on the morning before I flew out, I ended up at a Chinese Doctor's for my massage. The doc didn't speak English, so David translated (This is after David, Katherine and Joe all had their massages and were talking about how wonderful they felt). Then the doc went to work on me.

I think I can quite safely say I have not been in so much pain in my life. Those suction thingies in the photo were fine - they didn't hurt much, but hearing your entire spine go CRUNCH! while you're lying there is not a nice experience, then he did it again... and again... and again... He twisted me, poked me and wrung me around in ways I did not think were possible (Do you know my knees can touch my shoulders with my leg extended!).

That said, I will admit, that if I stood in exactly the right position, then it felt very nice, but if I move a whisker out of alignment, then it hurt like buggery. Not a good choice for a 12hr flight to Cairo :}

Singapore was a great place. A lot more "western" than a lot of the other South East Asian cities, but an incrediable mix of cultures. If you want to experience South East Asia, but don't want to feel too far from the beaten track, Singapore is probably a good place to start. The vast majority of people can speak a little English as well, which (for monoglots like me) is invaluable. The people were really friendly and helpful as well.

Kranji Racecourse
Kranji War Memorial
David, Joe and Katherine
Joe, Katherine and David
Walkway to Chinese Gardens
Bonsai Garden
Temple Lion
Bonsai Garden
Monitor of some sort
Me getting a Chinese massage - yes it hurt
More massage
Door handle
Nutmeg Tree
Fungi :)
Froglet in Botantical Gardens
All four of us
David at Botantical Gardens
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India
Kwan Im Temple (Chinese)
Sri Krishnan Temple (Indian)

Next (Egypt)