Everything I knew about Singapore is wrong

It’s the end of my first full day in Singapore. Before I came, here are some of the things I was told about Singapore:

  • Singapore is clean.
  • There is no corruption in Singapore.
  • Singapore is so small that you can see everything in a couple days.
  • Singapore is completely urban.
  • Singapore is hot.

Singapore is clean.

While most areas of Singapore are cleaner than most areas of Vietnam, I wouldn’t say it’s much cleaner than a nice suburb in the US, or the neighborhood I visited in Vancouver, Canada. It’s not hard to find trash on the ground, and construction debris.

There is no corruption in Singapore.

There’s a major shopping street called Orchard Road, and on this road there’s a place called Lucky Plaza. Every day, shoppers are cheated and scammed at these stores. They look like they have fair prices, and, occasionally, good bargains. There are lots of different small shops in the plaza, so it seems unlikely that all the shops would be colluding with each other, efficiently and effectively squeezing as much money as possible out of passers-by.

Some people think that these shops can only scam the ignorant, or the customers who don’t know anything about IT. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While it can obviously be a little easier to scam an ignorant shopper, these shopkeepers have devised sophisticated and tricky methods for conning even the most suspecting visitors.

Some victims have posted their tales on TripAdvisor.

Singapore is so small that you can see everything in a couple days.

It takes my friend 1.5 hours to travel from his home to his university.

There’s always more to see, depending on how closely you wish to look.

Singapore is completely urban.

There are certainly suburban areas. There are many areas with lots of greenery, and stretches of road with no shops along them. In Vietnam, even long country roads have street vendors right on the edge of the road. That’s closer to a dense, “urban” environment.

Singapore is hot.

Today, it poured rain. I wore a jacket all day and didn’t get too warm. Saigon was much hotter.

One Response to “Everything I knew about Singapore is wrong”

  1. Nicholas says:

    Haha. It’s really interesting and a great learning experience for me to see what others think about Singapore. We always strive to improve ourselves and are never complacent about our milestones. Singapore is not as hot as Saigon? Well, you should check out the chicks. =)

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