Some of Singapore’s Best

In the interest of assisting with any resolutions to make 2007 visa runs more productive or just plain fun, here is a list of annual events on in Singapore through August of next year: December 31, 2006, New Year’s Eve at Singapore’s Esplanade – Even Singapore’s smallest pubs hold tickets-only affairs the last night of […]

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A River Runs Through It – Bangkok, Part Four

Every time I go to Bangkok, I get a dreamy longing to live in a house on a canal, my boat tucked out of the weather under a falling down pier. Even the meanest waterside shed sparks envy, although I appreciate, too, the mansions and trim gardens behind personal stone quays.   “How much for […]

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In Penang, Visit the Dead Folk — Penang, Part Two

They stopped burying bodies at Penang’s old protestant Christian cemetery in 1892, so if you like bone yards crumbling and romantic, visit this burial ground on Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah. It’s one of the best haunts in Southeast Asia for ghouls favoring the colonial era.   The Penang cemetery holds the grave of Sir […]

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And Now a Few Highlights from Thailand and Malaysia?

As a follow-up to November’s Border Run, here are a few activities to watch for on any visa runs to Malaysia and Thailand in 2007: January-February, 2007, Bangkok International Film Festival – Who doesn’t have a film festival these days? Bangkok now has two. This one opens January 26, and the World Film Festival runs […]

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The Atlanta – Bangkok, Part Two

If sleaze is the disease in Bangkok, then the Atlanta is the hotel with the cure. A sign out front states “Sex Tourists Not Welcome,” and postings inside remind guests of “ZERO TOLERANCE for sex tourists, trouble-makers, possessors and users of drugs, and for all illegal and nefarious activities.” Next door is Bangkok’s Calvary Baptist […]

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Suk 11 Hostel and Environs – Bangkok, Part Three

Normally I don’t recommend hotels where I haven’t stayed. I’m doing it again the second article in a row. Suk 11 Hostel, like the Atlanta in the July 5 issue, is a family-run backpacker joint of the right sort. This place, just down a small lane off Soi 11 Sukhumvit Rd., has a façade and […]

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When Going to KL, Go to Penang, Part One

Once you’re done with Kuala Lumpur’s phallic tourist attractions, there’s a peninsula to explore, and most of if it is accessible at prices for any budget. The island of Penang, just off the peninsula, is a good choice, not least because an overnight train ride provides travel and accommodation at costs comparable to one night […]

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Singapore’s Oldest of the Oldest

If you like Singapore’s PR image as Asia’s brightest, sharpest, cleanest, and greenest — don’t go on this jaunt. Desker Road’s history as a red light district goes back almost to Singapore’s founding. Even then Desker was low-rent, with a primary clientele made up of Bugis traders, sailors, and pirates (so I’ve read). These days, […]

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Kuala Lumpur, Southeast Asia’s Second City

Colonial era rivalries echo every time a Malaysian businessman derides his Singaporean counterparts as cosseted softies with no real-world ability or gumption. Kuala Lumpur, or KL, almost always had the brashness of a rough, upstart jungle city of tin miners, rubber planters, and adventurers. And Singapore, that sophisticated metropolis of trading house and gentlemen’s club, […]

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Singapore’s Longest Bus Journey

If you’ve got time to kill in Singapore and are sick of shopping malls, try a self-guided west-to-east tour of the island. First, to get to the west, hop on the MRT’s East-West line heading that direction and ride to the end of the line at Boon Lay. You will be at the gates of […]

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