Joo Chiat road - red light district?

Trip Start Mar 27, 2006
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Trip End Dec 03, 2006


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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yesterday we left the YMCA hostel and headed east towards the airport on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transportation - known as the train to the rest of us) which is the cleanest, cheapest, most efficient public transport system I think I'll ever use. Plus it has air conditioning as standard on all trains so very tempting to not get off at all.

We left the German guy we were sharing a room with in the YMCA hostel exactly where we found him - in his bed. In fact the first two nights we were staying there he spent the whole day in bed then would disappear in the evening and come in at about 8am and spend the rest of the day in bed like a beached whale. He said he had been there about 10 days, and wouldn't have been surprised if he hadn't seen daylight in all that time. Admittedly I'm not one to talk as before I came traveling my life consisted of crawling out of bed for breakfast when most people were finishing a days work. But to come half way around the world and do the same thing would be a bit pointless.

So anyway we checked into a hostel called the Betel Box yesterday on Joo Chiat road which is away from the main city centre of Singapore. This is similar to the first place we stayed in Singapore, with 14 to a dorm. The staff are really friendly and there are loads of facilities like free Internet, free breakfast, free tea and coffee, free DVD rental, a million free travel guides to read, snooker, table football and god knows what else. Definitely worth staying in if your in Singapore for any length of time. After checking in we headed towards the beach which we eventually found. It's quite nice but it seems that every beach we come across since leaving Thailand doesn't really compare. Still a beach is a beach and spent the rest of the day there watching all the fitness fanatics running and roller blading up and down. Last night we went out to go looking for a pub as we had walked past loads in the day on the way to the hostel. It took a while to realise that they weren't exactly pubs or kareoke bars in the sense that we expected and I suppose it should have clicked earlier with them all having blacked out windows and signs saying visa/mastercards excepted here. Although it doesn't say so in any of the guides I've read on the Internet I'm pretty sure this is the red light district of Singapore. It's definitely not geared for tourists in the same way Thailand is with the girls standing out on the street literally dragging you in. It says that any foreigners must have there passports on them if they want to enter, I can only guess this is so they can take it off you and charge ridiculous amounts when you want to leave. So sufficed to say we weren't about to learn the hard way (can't really see what other way you could learn about it) about the Singapore sex scene and didn't venture in any of them.

Today it has got to be the most humid it has been, although seem to be saying that everyday. Definitely to hot to do anything and really tempted to pop back to the YMCA hostel to use there pool.
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