Travel Memories: Singapore and Thailand

By the time I graduated from university in 2001 I had only travelled outside of the United States one time. So I was quick to jump at the opportunity to visit my father in Singapore that year for a couple of months where he was living and working.

treetops singapore

Our luxurious expat residence off Orchard Road.

This was my first taste of expat life and I can't say that I didn't love it. We lived in a beautiful complex close to dynamic Orchard Road and I had plenty of free time during the day to explore Singapore.

robertson quay

sultan mosque singapore

Sultan Mosque in Singapore

While plenty of new buildings and restaurants have gone up and the population has increased, Singapore hasn't changed much in a decade. John and I visited earlier this year and found it to be every bit the same efficient, multicultural and world-class urban oasis it was when I first experienced it. Aside from all the great shopping and foodie delights, Singapore has plenty for visitors. Attractions like Universal Studios, the Singapore Zoo and the Singapore night safari are great for families. Being so close to Perth, I'm sure we'll visit Singapore again.

sentosa sandsation

Incredible sand sculptures at Sentosa Island's Sandsation - Singapore

sentosa sandsation

This was my first time in Asia and we quickly planned trips to visit a few other Asian destinations nearby. I quickly learned that Singapore is nothing like the rest of the continent. Our first trip was to Bangkok, which is such an amazing city but like nothing I had ever experienced before. Most interesting to me was the differences in the way people lived there. We talk about income disparity in places like the United States but in Bangkok I saw such extreme poverty that people were bathing in the river. Nearby were wealthy expats and locals living the luxury life in gleaming skyscrapers.

Life along a river's edge in Bangkok.

We only had a few days in Bangkok but we made the most of them, taking in a cultural show, seeing a Muy Thai kickboxing match, visiting the major sites and markets, and enjoying delicious Thai food (still one of my favourite cuisines and never better outside of the country in my opinion).

Traditional Thai dancing

Traditional Thai dancing

Thai fruit carving

I love this Thai tradition of carving fruit into beautiful flowers and designs.

A beautiful place to grow up

We only had time for one day trip so we headed north to Ratchaburi province on a tour. They took us on a ride in fast, motorized canoes to a floating market, Damneon Saduak.

damneon saduak

After the market we visited Nakhon Pathom Chedi, a fourth century Buddhist worship mound, the tallest in the world. To me it looked like a huge bell and I enjoyed walking around it several times and seeing the monks at prayer. I have always wanted to go back to Thailand since this trip and to explore even more of Southeast Asia. Places like Cambodia and Vietnam fascinate me and I hope we will get to visit them one day.

nakhon pathom chedi

Nakhon Pathom Chedi

Something I'm noticing as I go through my travel memories is that I took way fewer photos when I had a film camera than now. I'm sure it was because of the cost and having to carry the film. Is this also true for you?

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9 years ago

Lovely pictures. Oh how I miss Singapore! It gets such a bad rap from it strictness, but it’s the most benevolent tyranny on the planet. Lovely people, amazing food, and a gorgeous clean city. Someday I’d love to move there, but it’s an expensive town. A little cash in the ol’ wallet is important. Thailand I haven’t visited yet, and your photos really churned up the wanderlust in me. Stunning temples. I especially liked the little kid scowling at the camera. Tons of personality, just like my students here in Taiwan. Thank so much for the blog. Happy and safe… Read more »

9 years ago
Reply to  DCH

Thank you so much! I highly recommend Thailand as a destination…

9 years ago

Hello Andrea,

Just discovered your blog.
I spent a week with some expat friends in S’pore, also in 2001. We used Malaysia (my home country) as a base and made tours to other places from there. I visited Thailand for the first time and had a blast. I love the floating market! It was fun to watch the locals plying the river with all those goods. But I love Phuket and the islands even more. Malaysia, if you haven’t already been, is also an interesting country to visit, so stop there on your way to Perth.

9 years ago
Reply to  Eileen Thai

I have heard great things about Malaysia – I’m sure we will visit one day! =)

9 years ago

Went to the Floating Market and I was just so disappointed. It’s purely a tourist trap. 🙁

9 years ago
Reply to  alainsojourner

It’s been a long time since I visited but sad to hear it had that feeling for you…

I’ve yet been to Singapore. I hear it’s got great food but is very developed and a tad expensive. Loooove Thailand. Its got diverse range of things to see and do. As for photos, I don’t take as much as I do now, but I’d go up with a starter of 5 rolls for two weeks.

10 years ago

Singapore is expensive…not a tad, haha =) I agree with you about Thailand – I couldn’t get enough of the food when I was there and would love to go back.

10 years ago

Nice photos Andrea, I reckon the floating market has barely changed, you could probably visit it again today and take almost identical pictures.
So true what you about digital photos, I used to find refraining from taking photos in-case a better opportunity offered itself, digital cameras are the best thing since sliced bread.

10 years ago
Reply to  BlogDaz

Thanks! That is so cool that the market is the same – one of the things I was hoping for with this post series was a comment like that. It’s nice to think that some things don’t change =)

Thank you for working with Straigh To The Point.
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