by Michael Yessis | 03.17.10 | 11:38 AM ET
Good catch to whoever rescued “Views of the China Seas & Macao Taken During Capt. D. Ross’ Surveys by M. Houghton” from the flames. The book contained some of the earliest known drawings of Singapore, dating back to 1819. It was just sold at auction by the unnamed seller to an unnamed buyer for £43,000. (Via @roncharles)
by Eva Holland | 11.06.09 | 1:44 PM ET
by Michael Yessis | 06.18.09 | 3:50 PM ET
A Wallpaper slideshow looks at how red-light districts in Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney and seven other major world cities have been cleaned up. Or, as the story’s intro describes the transformation of Times Square in New York City, how they’ve reacted after after being given an “urban colonic.”
by Julia Ross | 06.01.09 | 10:31 AM ET
Though the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival has long enjoyed popularity in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, mainland China only made it a public holiday last year—one of many signs that traditions abandoned during the country’s Cultural Revolution are finally being restored.
The funny thing is, the festival—which commemorates the death of a famous poet who drowned himself in a river—has become so globalized that China itself looks like it’s late to the party.
by Alexander Basek | 05.11.09 | 10:59 AM ET
Lists are in the air lately, so I decided to get in on the action. Herewith, my four worst hotel rooms, lifetime. I won’t name names, because I’m a gentleman. And also, because the parties in question might hunt me down and throw tiny bottles of shampoo at me.
Singapore: I was at the edge of Singapore’s Chinatown, which, as it turns out, is also the edge of Singapore’s red light district. Not that I caught on—I thought all the scantily-clad women peering out from cracked front doors were zealous about saving the environment and keeping that AC indoors. My hotel room here was easily the darkest I’ve ever stayed in: a deep red and purple color scheme lit by one dirty window overlooking an airshaft. The only outlet was in the middle of the wall above the bed.
by Alexander Basek | 01.23.09 | 2:31 PM ET
Over at the Hotel Hotsheet, Kitty Bean Yancey is up in arms about the cost of a Singapore Sling at the Raffles in, er, Singapore. Kitty is making a larger point about “hotel sticker shock,” but for our purposes, a pricey Singapore Sling is a fine example of something that’s a struggle for any frequent traveler: the paradox of drinking at the bar of a landmark hotel.
by Michael Yessis | 01.12.09 | 8:27 AM ET
- GlobalPost begins its “bold journey to redefine international news for the digital age.”
- Two Japanese restaurants split the $100,000 bill on a bluefin tuna. Yumiko Ono says it tasted “smooth, succulent and a little on the light side.”
- Turns out cities impair our brains.
- More than 200 people are feared dead after a ferry sank off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.
- During the last two years an estimated 1.5 billion passengers flew on U.S. airlines. Not one of them died as a result of a crash.
- The Los Angeles Times tried out Row44, “a soon-to-debut satellite Wi-Fi system” for airlines.
- Daisann McLaine tells why she always visits supermarkets when she travels.
- Kristen Wiig and Neil Patrick Harris played long-nailed air traffic controllers on Saturday Night Live.
- Alexandr Vondra, the Czech Deputy Prime Minister, says “art is to arouse emotions.” A map of European cliches and stereotypes commissioned by the Czech Republic is succeeding on that count.
- The Las Vegas Mob museum is stirring up controversy in Washington, D.C.
- The Museum of Broken Relationships—“an exhibition of the relics of failed love”—opened in Singapore last week. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to see “an axe used by a woman to break up her ex-girlfriend’s furniture, along with the broken furniture.”
by Jim Benning | 08.26.08 | 12:54 PM ET
The use of incense dates back thousands of years, yet when it comes to incense in American cities these days, I associate it with Indian restaurants, yoga studios and head shops hawking bongs and tie-dye T-shirts. I also think of the glory days of the hippie trail, when young Western kids set off through Asia and, as Rory MacLean writes, “lit sticks of incense, strummed their guitars and read another chapter of Siddhartha, then stepped off the bus to help push the decrepit vehicle over the Hindu Kush.”
by Jim Benning | 07.16.08 | 1:48 PM ET
Pico Iyer once wrote that “Setting foot in Hong Kong’s new airport was the first time I felt I was stepping into the 21st century.” Others clearly agree: Hong Kong International has just been named the world’s best airport—for the seventh time—based on a passenger survey conducted by a U.K. consulting firm that collected a whopping 8 million responses. Coming in second and third: Singapore’s Changi Airport and Seoul’s Incheon Airport.
Related on World Hum:
* Travel Writers Pick Their Favorite Airports
by Michael Yessis | 10.31.07 | 1:29 PM ET
Teases! Singapore Airlines has outfitted its new A380 with 12 first-class suites offering privacy and double beds, and during last week’s inaugural flight from Singapore to Sydney, Champagne flowed. The airline, it would seem, brought some sexy back to travel. Alas, it didn’t bring the Mile-High Club back from the dead. The carrier has asked suite passengers to refrain from sex, dashing “the hopes of sexual thrill-seekers planning to engage in amorous activity aboard the world’s biggest jumbo jet,” according to a Reuters report.
by Jim Benning | 09.10.07 | 3:26 PM ET
The latest focus of Brand That Nation!—our tip sheet for countries that may or may not be considering new branding campaigns and that just might want to improve their image in the U.S. travel market, where simple, easy-to-remember slogans are key: Singapore.
Location: Southern tip of the Malay peninsula in Southeast Asia
Capital: Singapore City
Noteworthy factoids: Durian fruit is not allowed on public transportation. Also, Singaporeans hold the world record for the most people exercising simultaneously while wearing green.
by Michael Yessis | 08.28.07 | 11:31 AM ET
The eBay auction for tickets on the Airbus A380’s first commercial flight—from Singapore to Sydney, on Singapore Air—is only a day old, and already prices are skyrocketing. That’s bad news for airline geeks, who will have to spend a lot to gain a coveted spot on the Oct. 25 flight. It’s good news, though, for the four charities that will get the proceeds.
by Jim Benning | 05.29.07 | 12:18 PM ET
In his Sunday column, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Thomas Swick has some sage advice for international travelers, ranging from ways to stay out of trouble to simple pronunciation tips. Among them: “In Vietnam, don’t say pho with a long ‘o’ when ordering the popular noodle soup. (It’s pronounced more like ‘fuh’). In Ireland, don’t ask, ‘Are there any good books by local authors?’ In Singapore, don’t do a lot of things.”
by Jim Benning | 05.02.07 | 9:17 AM ET
Researchers who secretly studied pedestrians in 32 cities around the globe found that people in Singapore walk the most swiftly, covering 60 feet in 10.55 seconds. Copenhagen came next at 10.82 seconds, followed by Madrid, Guangzhou and Dublin. New Yorkers ranked 8th at 12 seconds flat. (Come on, New York, we know you can do better than that. Let’s get a move on.) Not surprisingly, technology is blamed at least in part for the increasingly frenetic pace of life. The radio show Marketplace notes a correlation between cities where people are walking faster than they did a decade ago and economic growth. The two cities where walking speeds have increased the most in the last decade: Singapore and Guangzhou, China.
by Jim Benning | 04.09.07 | 5:14 PM ET
The first time a Singaporean friend insisted I try durian, that notoriously stinky Southeast Asian fruit, I feared the worst. I’d heard fellow travelers’ horror stories and read all about how the fruit had been banned in hotels and on Singaporean trains. My friend shrugged all that off and carefully selected one of the spiky fruits at a giant outdoor stall near his home, eliminating the need to smuggle it onto a train. Yes, it smelled like sweaty feet. But when we sliced it open and dug in, I enjoyed my first bites, savoring its sweet flavor and buttercream consistency. Then, after a few more bites, I started to feel a little ill, overwhelmed by the rich, nutty flavor and odor. So I’m not a big fan of durian.
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