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back to "Taipei" (click pictures below to view) on to "Hong Kong"

It has been said that, “East is east and West is west and never the twain shall meet.” Not true in Singapore, where they have not only met, but blended together. Driving along a major artery into downtown, with late model cars and buses, one might be in modern Orlando or San Diego….with one exception, namely immaculate cleanliness and order. (The later is reportedly due to the strict laws of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew that govern behavior, such as heavy fines for littering, jay-walking or chewing gum in public.) Singapore’s location, only 90 miles north of the equator, produces an exquisite variety of lush tropical foliage and orchids. Discovered by Sir Stamford Ruffles in 1819, she became a British Crown Colony in1867. Occupied by Japan from 1942–45, Singapore was made part of Malaysia in 1963, but gained full independence in 1967. Since then it seems to have been economic full-steam ahead, as today this city-state is considered the financial capital of Southeast Asia and has the second busiest harbor in the world. We rode the cable car right through the World Trade Center (photo) to Sentosa Island, for spectacular views back of Singapore’s impressive skyline (photo) and her Merlion symbol, a lion with a fish’s tail (photo). We visited the Images of Singapore Museum, housed in a former British Military hospital, where with the benefit of state-of-the-art technology, we learned about the pioneers of Singapore and the rich multicultural heritage portrayed in the rituals and festivals of early Chinese (photo), Indian (photo), Malay and Perankan immigrants. In a more grim section, we experienced Singapore’s darkest hours under Japanese occupation in WW II (photo). At the Asian Civilizations Museum, we gained further insight into Singaporean origins and cultures. That evening, we were royally treated to a gala affair at the elegant six-star Ritz-Carlton Millennia Hotel to bid farewell to Captain Warwick, who is leaving to take the helm of Cunard’s newest jewel of the sea, the Queen Mary 2, as well as to welcome aboard the QE2, our new Captain Paul Wright.

Surrender to Japan Indian Herritage Singapore's Symbol
Singapore Chinese Heritage World Trade Center