Feng Shui in Action: The City-State of Singapore.
It’s hard to find anything bad to say about Singapore. It’s clean and buildings are either new, freshly painted, or painstakingly restored. Lots of former British Colonial buildings have been repurposed as things like cultural centers and even hotels. It’s actually reminiscent of EPCOT, except for the lurking presence of a Universal Studios on one of the adjacent islands. The only downside is the heat and humidity, but then that’s just like summers at home in Miami.
Growth here is controlled, there is good rapid transit, and cars are very expensive ($125K for a Toyota sedan); therefore, traffic is under control. This island city/state is very green with good use of vertical and rooftop spaces. Feng Shui also plays a key role in architectural and planning decisions. Our Miami-Dade planners should come over here and take some notes.
There is a bit of Big Brother here with cameras pretty much everywhere, even on many cars. Petty crime is low because they WILL have your crime recorded. International crime may be another story – we saw a huge Interpol building, and the banking laws attract many uber-wealthy à la the Swiss and Caymans. There are all sorts of fines for bad behavior, and you’d better not chew gum because that is one of their many rules. People here do follow the rules, and I enjoyed the security and order of it all.
We really enjoyed our time here. To make the most of it, we hired a great, young guide (contact info below) recommended by some friends, and spent an entertaining six hours touring the various neighborhoods and important sights. When we visit a city, we always love to see the neighborhoods, and we covered the gamut here, from the upscale Dempsey Hill area, to the ethnic enclaves of Indians, Muslims and Chinese, as well as the beautiful embassies, mansions and restored (now-coveted) black and white houses from the Colonial days. We also went up to Faber Peak for the cool breeze and nice view back towards the port area.
One highlight was a visit to one of the traditional hawker areas (Tiong Bahru) for some delicious local food. Hawker stands are like food courts, but with more of a food-truck vibe and cuisine; one even has a Michelin star. We trusted our guide to just get different types of dishes for us to try, with our one caveat to not be too spicy! We had an amazing eggplant dish, chicken, noodles and some sort of wrap. I do have the names of the dishes, but doubt I will ever find them on a menu again.
We caught one of the two evening light shows on the Bay, where they did some incredible things with holograms. Having managed to eat and drink quite a bit during the day, we settled for a late-evening tea and pastry before calling it a night.
Tip: Great guide Phil Choo: firstname.lastname@example.org