Amy's been showing me the Singapore lifestyle, together with some friends of hers. The heat and humidity are still getting to me, but luckily a lot of things happen in air-conditioned environments here. 🙂
In one of the malls (in Bugis, which is cheaper than the city center malls) I even found the first two 'Serenity' comics, which excited me to no end! Now I've a question: Could one of you lovely American people buy me the third issue (with River, if possible, else Wash) and mail it to me? That'd be fantastic – and I'd of course pay you back…
Singapore is a bit like I read on the websites beforehand – the main things to do here are shopping and eating. But it's all an experience, with so many different impressions, sounds, smells and tastes to take in. I'm proving to be a bit of a fussy eater, but I'm trying my best, although I'm an utter failure with chopsticks. *g* I was actually quite exhausted from all the new things I'd seen yesterday when we left Chinatown with its many lanterns – but today I'm rested and looking forward to some more. *smile*
The plane ride went quite well, despite some turbulences and hardly any sleep. In Singapore airport Amy and her father picked me up. On first glance, things didn't seem so very different, but looking a bit closer it is clear that I'm not in Europe anymore… 🙂
We didn't do much yesterday, because I'm not used to the humid heat and was feeling the lack of sleep, but Amy showed me around the neighbourhood a bit. Food definitely is a big thing here, and I'm looking forward to trying new things while I'm here.
Today, after 12 hours sleep (or rather, 12 hours in bed – I kept waking up), we'll go visit the Botanical Gardens and have a look around the city. If the heat doesn't kill me, that is – we'll just have to make many airconditioned stops during the day… *g*
Tomorrow morning I'll be off to Zurich airport with my parents, who'll see me off. First one week in Singapore, visit my friend Amy (), then on to Japan, where I'll meet Denise () and Sabine () as well as travel around the country by train. I've been very excited all week – and incredibly busy. But now I'm mostly ready and can't wait to get started!
My mobile won't work in Japan, so don't text or call me after the first week. But you can also always reach me via email, as I'll try to check it at least semi-regularly. As always, this travel log will be the place to keep up to date with what I'm doing as well as see my photos, once I'm back home.
Only a bit more than a month until I leave. Slowly I'm getting a better idea of where to go in the four weeks I'll be in Japan. I have to decide some things before I leave, because things like the Japan RailPass and air passes have to be purchased before entering the country.
One thing is clear: It will be insanely expensive, but I just don't want to miss anything. After all, who knows when/if I'll be back.
Zurich – Singapore – Osaka – Okinawa – Fukuoka – Kumamoto – Hiroshima (Miyajima) – Himeiji – Nara – Ise – Kyoto – Hiraizumi – Tono – Kakunodate – Hakodate – Noboribetsu (Poroto Kotan) – Nibutani – Sounkyo Onsen – Sapporo – Tokyo – Nikko – Fuji – Tokyo – Zurich
I might have to skip some of these destinations for time reasons, but this is what I have in mind so far.
Random useful notes:
Currency conversion: 1000 JPY = ~12 CHF
Time: Sept 10 – Oct 17 (Singapore: Sept 11 – Sept 16)
Railpass 21 days: 57 700 JPY (650 CHF)
Star Alliance Japan Airpass: 11 550 JPY/flight (130 CHF)
Flights: Osaka – Okinawa; Okinawa – Fukuoka; Sapporo – Tokyo
People to visit: (Kitakyushu city), (Kumamoto)
Currently I'm completely enthralled by my new Rough Guide for Japan. I'm planning on going there this October, maybe with my brother (who's a big Japan fan), but definitely at least part of the time alone.
My dream would be to spend four weeks traveling the country and one week or so on a stop-over somewhere else in Asia, maybe Bangkok or Singapur. The problem is money – according to XE.com, 1000 yen are a bit over 11 Swiss francs at the moment, which would make it very expensive. I'm not sure yet I can afford it, actually, since even the cheapest youth hostel is about 3000JPY/night. We'll see, I guess.
But I thought I'd keep track of my 'must-see' destinations here, just so I get an idea how much time is realistic… This will be edited/updated as I learn more.
Attractions are listed from North to South, as you can see on the Lonely Planet map:
– Historical Village of Hokkaido
– Nibutani (Ainu village)
– Daisetsu-zan National Park (Sounkyo)
– Kakunodate (samurai town)
– Tono valley
– Hiraizumi (Motsu-ji temple)
– Mitaka (Ghibli museum)
– Mount Fuji