Not that Singapore seems to have all that much time for backpackers. The network of streets connecting the 21st century cityscape dance to the brash tunes of commercialism, mass entertainment, finance and corporate presence. It's a world away from the Malaysian jungle just a couple of hours bus ride to the north.
But Singapore is an ethnic patchwork with an idiosyncratic character, which makes the city-state a worthwhile stopping off point en route to Malaysia or Indonesia. Here, traditionalism fuses with the extravagant technology apparent in the downtown shopping malls. And here alone, the curious and unique signs banning passengers from taking the foul-smelling Durian fruit onto the metro system with them.
"We must take over Singapore by any kind of means.
In short, Singapore is everything we could desire..."
Thomas Stamford Raffles,
British Colonial Administrator, 1819