Friday, January 08, 2010

Random Notes on Singapore

I went to Singapore on the first day of 2010. Last year, I flew to the island republic with Firefly. This time, I made a last-minute decision to travel. Hence, I had to drive.

There were two immigration buildings at the checkpoint – block 1 and 2. I drove through block 2. The immigration officer told me that the ‘road tax’ of my car had expired, and asked me to renew it at the office. I parked my car at the side and walked to the office, but found nobody working there. Thus I had to walk to the office in block 1. The officer in block 1, in turn, went to block 2 to check at my car! The whole process wasted 20 minutes. Singapore’s government is known for its efficiency, but I had experienced its inefficient side!

After leaving the checkpoint, I continued my journey along PIE – Pan Island Expressway. I observed rows of rain trees on both sides of the road, and even ‘on’ the divider. Rain trees shaped like an umbrella, and were very shady. In this tropical nation, they helped to lower the temperature.

By comparison, driving along the North-South Expressway in Malaysia on a sunny day can be uncomfortably hot...


  1. I think there are actually more trees in the Singapore city than our KL city! how many days u spent in singapore?

  2. So Singapore not that efficient after all? Haha!

    Yes, Malaysia should have more rain trees along the highways and roads!

  3. road tax expired and you still dare to drive?? somemore to Singapore!! you are superb man..

  4. xin
    Just 3 days in Singapore.

    Apparently Singapore's government is not fallible.

    I already renewed my road tax, but Singapore had no record. That's why they wanted to look at my road tax sticker.

  5. Raintrees are not good trees to plant. They harbour spirits. Besides, their buttress roots ruin pavements and such. I don't think it's practical to plant trees along Malaysian highways because they do require maintenance like trimming unless they plant those that do not need maintenance. Unlike the little dot's (no offence), Malaysian highways cover a lot more ground for maintenance to be effective.

    So, was that a good trip to Sgp?

  6. Haha :D The Singapore government will not be happy with this. ;p

  7. driving to spore should be fun as i did 2 yrs ago.

  8. Happysurfer
    I'm sure Singapore's government does a lot to maintain the trees. But why not?

    Singapore government should be opened to comments.

    Driving alone is no fun. The toll cost too much.

  9. drove all the way to Singapore. Tiring isn't?

  10. driving all the way? quite a daunting task indeed

  11. No pictures of the raintrees in the middle of the road? I have a Taiwanese friend who came for biz in Penang and was so excited when he saw the raintrees by the roadside saying hardly any trees in Taipei.

    [HappySurfer] raintrees harbour spirits? Oh! Thought would bring more rain

  12. It is pleasurable to drive in Singapore, thanks to the car owners who pay heavy COE, road tax, ERP etc. I guess, haha...

    Heard that every tree in Singapore has a record in its botanical database..

  13. Mei Ting, Bengbeng
    Yes, the drive was tiring.

    I was driving. I couldn't stop my car to take pictures.

    Every tree has a record? @@

  14. Sometimes I notice that some people have built an altar or mini temple below big trees along the road. Maybe if there are more raintrees in Malaysia, we may see more temples and if somebody hit the jackpot with 'datuk's help, there will be a traffic jam or big crowd obstructing traffic. Ha Ha, just joking only lah.

  15. i think malaysia is not too inefficient when compared to singapore. btw, yes, raintree there is like an icon there. one productions company (under media corp) uses that as their logo :)

  16. It still looks smooth compared to crossing to the US. I can't complain now that I have a Canadian passport, it's easier. But it still takes a while and you must answer a lot of dumb questions.