June 21 - June 30, 1996

Tara had to work in Singapore, Seth came along for a vacation.

Overall Experience:
Singapore is a nice, gentle introduction to Asia. It's official language is English and the Singaporeans are friendly and warm. It is the cleanest city you can imagine and also very new. Many people call Singapore sterile, but we found it a nice mixture of Eastern and Western cultures.

Singapore - the clean city

This is the view from our wonderful room at the Ritz-Carlton.
It seems as though most of downtown Singapore is made of shopping malls. Wonderfully clean and new shopping malls. But to our pleasant surprise there was a strong U.S. influence. And yes, we were staying at the Ritz-Carlton and shopping at K-Mart.
Dragon Boat Races

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There's no photo here for the yearly dragon boat races. We thought they would be great. We heard they were wonderful. We "accidentally" slept through them. So instead we had a very nice relaxing day by the hotel pool. A first for Tara I think, who either seems to be dragging me (Seth) through miles of a city or asleep. There doesn't seem to be an in-between mode.

The Night Safari

Singapore is known for it's excellent zoo. We went to the Night Safari together, since it's open from 8 till midnight. After walking around for several hours (and several miles it seemed to Seth) enjoying the animals, we boarded the tram. As we went on the tram around the park, it had to stop many times for herds of free roaming animals. Memorable animals include the biggest bats in the world, the family of otters, the roaring lions whose voices echoed throughout the park, a shorebird stalking his dinner (although we couldn't see it and the musk ox we could see eating from the restaurant. Chris and Geoffrey from Tara's work went with us.
The Zoo

The zoo is based on a concept that is difficult to do without a lot of money and land - a moat based enclosure. This eliminates the need for fences and the animals have much more natural space to roam around in. Some animals don't even have a moat and come right up to you such as many of the birds and some of the monkeys. This zoo is the best we've been to in the world, and you actually feel like the animals aren't caged in so much and bored to death.
White Rhino

This is my favorite picture of the whole vacation. This is a White Rhino and her baby. It's called a white rhino because the word white actually means "square lipped" in the language the rhino was originally named in. Notice the mouths and you can tell how they really are square lipped. This closeness and the open area behind the rhino is typical of this wonderful zoo.

Seth and Tara with the Ritz-Carlton on our left and K-Mart on our right.

This picture is a great example of the greenery that was all over Singapore. The plants even climb up the street lights and the expressway concrete supports. Looking at this on a Mac, this picture looks like the city behind us is a radiation accident. That's due to the color pallete and the compression. Oh, well. You get the idea. Let us know how this looks on other systems.

To go to the official Singapore web Site: Singapore Online Guide

We went to Hong Kong for a long weekend after Singapore.