Singapore and problems with law

We had to wake up early in Melaka to catch our bus to Singapore at 9 a.m. However, the set alarm let us down in the morning and didn’t ring. Fortunately, we woke up at 8:15 a.m. and it was still manageable to catch the bus in case we found a taxi quickly. We swiftly packed our baggage and asked the owner of our hostel to call us a taxi. After 10 minutes of trying, the guy told us there were no taxis available at the moment. He said the probable reason was because it was Sunday morning and it rained heavily so the drivers were rather lazy than not available. We thought we had to give up on our bus but the guy offered to bring us to the airport by his car. With his help, we managed to catch up our bus just in time. Thanks!

The bus was again very comfortable. I took a nap in the hope I would wake up in Singapore. I woke up 3 hours later and realized we were not in Singapore but in a traffic jam. We were stuck there for 2 another hours.  So in the end some similarities to Czech highways? At least there was a nice view to a palm forest.

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Few hours later, we reached the border of Singapore. I read in my book that you can bring one litre of alcohol and besides other “common” stuff, it was confirmed to me that chewing gums are really forbidden (as I heard once at a Geography lesson at my high shool). That sounded good because we were bringing one small bottle of Chinese vodka. Regarding chewing gums, too late, I had one packet in my pocket. Let’s try to smuggle it. At the passport check, we received a card with our personal details that must be returned on our way back from Singapore and there was written also in bold letters: TRAFFICKING ANY DRUGS PUNISHED BY DEATH. The country is really strict. Then, we approached to the baggage check and when checking my luggage, the security asked me if I brought any liquid. I had to open it and show the small bottle of Chinese vodka. I didn’t know why they took me to police office for interrogation. I was told that it is forbidden to bring any alcohol from Malaysia and it should be fined. After my complaints about information form my guide, they claimed  it can be brought only via planes, not at all if you are coming from Malaysia. Thank you Lonely planet for your advice. I had to wait with my friend who had the same problem for an officer who would make a decision about us for some minutes. It was not so comfortable when other six policemen stared at us. Fortunately, the officer was a reasonable man understood our mistake and put the bottle back into our bag and we could go back to our bus.

Due to the traffic jam and our problem, we were delayed a lot so we didn’t manage to see what we wanted. We went just to the Marina Bay to see the famous Sands hotel (btw. Owned by the same guy who owns many of casinos in Macao) from where some of my friends have a picture on facebook with hundreds of likes. It must be cool there. On the roof in the shape of ship there is a large swimming pool with a wonderful view to the rest of the Marina Bay.

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We had a similar one from the ground:

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At the time we reached the hotel, there was a light show, accompanied by music. Pretty interesting.

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Behind the hotel, there is a newly open gardens where are huge artificial trees. There was another lightshow, little boring compared to the previous one.

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Next morning, I woke up early because it was crazy hot in our room. I had to leave out. Later I found out that the receptionist forgot to turn on the air condition. Anyway, I will not blame him because I managed to see more in Singapore. As we were living in Chinatown, I visited a local temple (Buddha tooth relic temple).

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Later, I headed again to the Marina Bay to see it during day and I visited a local theatre in a shape of durian (local fruit which smells like…)

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…and took a picture from its roof with my chewing gums. I felt so illegal. Haha.

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I wanted to see a local beach and took advantage of nice weather so I went to Sentosa island afterwards. Unfortunately, it started to rain again when I came there. However, it didn’t put me off swimming there.

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The rain became stronger and stronger so I came back to our hostel. Going from metro to the hostel meant being completely wet.

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So I changed my clothes, packed my stuff and headed with my friends to the airport to take our next flight to Bangkok.

Singapore is a very interesting city and it is worth visiting more days. I felt like back in Europe for a while. It is just too crazy about forbidding stuff. Prohibition signs are everywhere you look. Probably, the strictness is the reason why the city is so clean and economically successful.

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Just one note to the end: Local public transport company is named SMRT. For Czech people, the welcoming means: Welcome on board DEATH. I felt very safe when travelling with them…

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About jarinek

I am a graduate Master student in Business development and internationalisation at Umea University, Sweden. In the fall 2013 I went for an exchange programme to Macau, University of Science and Technology. My blog approaches my experience there in China. View all posts by jarinek

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