Writing about Malaysia and Singapore


Writing about where you stay often becomes your favorite pastime if you are an expatriate. For me, I lived in Malaysia (Kuala lumpur to be precise) for almost two years, then moved to Singapore for an year and a half, and am now back in Kuala lumpur (KL) again. I cannot claim to know either country in depth, but when has that stopped me (or anyone else) from forming opinions and perceptions?

We like to think we know a place and its people if we stay there for a while, because if we admit we don’t, we feel a little disadvantaged…and er…let’s say disoriented. Maybe “dislocated” is the word I am looking for.

Anyhow. Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore and Malaysia. How do they compare? (I know this will end up as a comparison between KL and Singapore, because I have seen the rest of Malaysia only as a tourist would, through predictable weekends at Penang, Ipoh, Cameron, Cherating, Langkawi, and so on.)

Singapore is often compared with other countries, and most often with Malaysia, because Singapore was earlier a part of Malaysia—-we all know about that sort of feeling don’t we?

Well, here goes, Singapore and Malaysia from the eyes of an expat:

  • Singapore is fast and efficient. It took me all of three hours to get connections for broadband, television, cell phone and land-line. It took me more than three weeks in KL for all the same things, and I am not sure I am happy with my broadband speed even now.
  • Singapore is easy even if you do not own a car. There are trains and buses and taxis going any possible place you might want to go, at any time of night or day. Ok, only the taxis run at night, but you can hail or call them anytime. In KL, if you do not own a car, you are handicapped. The cabs are few. You could chat with a cab driver in Singapore but a cab driver in KL would keep asking “Sini?” (”Here?” in Malay) at every turn, eager to drop you off. I am not sure how many Malaysians take buses and trains to work. Can’t be that many.
  • Singapore has an antiseptic sense of cleanliness. The malls are cleaner than some hospitals I have seen. The roads are cleaner than corridors and toilets of some of the world’s hospitals. The toilets? Well, Singaporean toilets are cleaner than some of the world’s living rooms. Malaysians are a little less maniacal about cleanliness, but they can learn a thing or two from Singapore about toilet hygiene. I hope.
  • Malaysia is a place of smiles: the girls collecting toll smile, the security personnel smile, the immigration officers smile, it comes naturally to them. Singaporeans smile too, but their smiles look like they have been reading instruction manuals meant for air-hostesses.
  • Singaporeans do everything the way their government instructs them, and the government instructs frequently (even on chewing gums). I have seen neat placards near playgrounds saying: Children Must Play Quietly. Malaysians let their children loose anywhere they go, malls, hospitals, churches. Malaysian parents seem to think screaming in public places is every child’s birthright.
  • In Malaysia, people drive like the road belongs to them. In Singapore, they mostly drive like the road belongs to everyone else.
  • In Singapore, queues are sacred. You will see queues everywhere, at donut shops in shopping malls, at shops distributing freebies, at taxi stands, cemeteries. Everywhere, in short. In Malaysia, queues are not taken seriously. Period.
  • Malaysians love their food, and they don’t care where they get it. You can have some of the most delicious food at roadside hawker stalls. You will find BMWs and Ferraris parked beside humble Proton Wiras outside a stall that is famous for Char kway teow or Asam Laksa. In Singapore, the rich go to fancy restaurants, and the rest go to lesser restaurants and food-courts. People meet over food in Malaysia, in Singapore they meet over shopping.
  • When you meet people in Malaysia for the first time (naturally at a place where the food is scrumptious), you are likely to be asked, “What would you like to drink?”. In Singapore, the question would be,”What do you do (for a living)?”
  • In Malaysia, expatriates (and their spouses) are not given work permits or permanent resident status despite merit. In money-driven Singapore on the other hand, these things are issued based on ability to contribute to the country, not on race or religion. Sigh, poor me, an expat’s wife. The tough-as-nails Singapore government welcomed me to work and stay with open arms, but in Malaysia, alas, the hospitality and friendliness remains a quality only of its people, not its government.
  • In Singapore, my husband did not care if I took a cab at 3 am alone. In Malaysia, he worries if I take one alone at 6 pm. There are rapes, murders and robberies in Malaysia, much like in a lot of other countries. In Singapore, the crime news consists of accounts of shoplifters being caned mercilessly. (Ok, I exaggerated on that one, but you get the picture.)
  • The most important thing to remember about both countries: Most Malaysians hate Singaporeans and think they are stuck up and kiasu. All Singaporeans hate Malaysians and think they are lazy.

If I really, really ask myself, I like the relentless efficiency of Singapore, but there is nothing really to love or hate, there is great liking and but mostly, there is indifference.

I love Malaysia’s people, its natural beauty, its food. I hate the slowness, and of course, the corruption.

I am not so sure if I should believe that the “opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference”.

But there you go: I have a love-hate thing going on for Malaysia, but for Singapore, it is indifference.

101 thoughts on “Writing about Malaysia and Singapore

  1. Hi Damyanti!

    Quite an accurate decription of the differences between the two countries. As I mentioned before I lived in Singapore for 4 years but I lived in Penang for 2 years a while ago.
    It was my first expat experience and a wonderful shock to the system. Penang was different then; having been back for visits recently it’s changed and not for the better. The heritage, character and warmth seem to have been bulldozed away with the old colonial houses.

    It wasn’t all plain sailing; I had a few bad incidents with men who seemed to think I was there to be abused.

    And the kids, LOL! Waiting for a flight from
    Penang to Singapore we were horrified as a Malay child headbutted a policeman in the stomach at the departure gate, just so he could get past him and be first on the plane. His parents didn’t bat an eye.

    And the food…I loved my murtabak and the outdoor hawker centres, many of which have been replaced by plastic copies. A night of hawker food at the Golden Pheonix on Gurney Drive, listening to the chinese singers, with a bottle of Tiger beer.

    Or a moreish Sunday Buffet at the Park Royal in Batu Ferrenghi, followed by a walk on the beach.

    But Singapore I miss and long for like a first love….Penang I miss like that first bad boy boyfriend.

  2. Haha…enjoyed reading this. I’ve never been to Singapore yet (will be going this Oct) but I can see the Malaysia side of your comparisons. LOL.

  3. Damyanti,

    Stumbled on your site by accident… But it’s more like being in-sync.
    Your writing is an excellent read. Even at 5:35am! Thank you for your perspectives. I find your views to be on the mark being a native of Singapore. Will visit your writings soon.

    Enjoy this Haiku (Senryu) for you!

    Blur sleepy eyes gaze
    Stumble upon crisp ideas
    A surge of feelings

    Leon

  4. I am a Singaporean and I don’t think all Singaporeans hate Malaysians :) maybe just the ones you have met?

  5. I lived in Singapore for a while almost 30 years ago. At that time the double decker buses had big signs on them promoting a government initiative, “Stop that spitting habit! It’s dirty, it spreads disease.” Television commercials broadcast the same message and, for some reason, it just cracked me up.

  6. “Hate” – hardly how I would describe the relationship between Singaporeans and Malaysians.

    One-upmanship, definitely – Perhaps even closer to the relationship between Aussies and Kiwis.

  7. What you wrote reminds me of my visits to Singapore and KL over the years. I am currently in Indonesia and will travel through Singapore on m way to Hawaii. BTW. can you suggest a good by affordable hotel, and a affordable place to enjoy pepper Crab?

  8. I only got to visit Singapore for three days and I didn’t have time for Malaysia, but if I ever go back, I’m gonna have bring your list with me.
    And thanks for following my blog! And I definitely know what you mean about the queues in Singapore.

  9. Hi, Thanks for stopping by to read my post “blogging is a we not a me”. I hope you’ll stop by again. I love reading the travels of expats and people who live around the globe when their descriptions really pull me in. I’ve never been to that side of the world but one of my close friends is Malaysian and I’ve enjoyed learning a lot from him about his birthplace over the years. Thanks for your descriptions; they’re very easy to grasp and feel entirely real. –cheers,bllu

  10. I’ve been reading about Malaysia recently, so it was interesting to read your comparison and description. I haven’t read any books from Singapore yet. Any suggestions?

  11. What a fabulous piece! Absolutely. You’ve captured the essence of both countries. All of what you’ve written about Malaysia could apply to all of the Caribbean islands – save for Barbados, which is the Singapore of the English tropics. Well done. I’ll be back.

  12. I’m a world traveler and hopeful once-again expat myself. I appreciate your following of my blog and your thoughts on Singapore. I have similar feelings. Haven’t been to Malaysia except for the KL airport, where I was stuck for 12 hours once when my plane had mechanical trouble.

  13. I really enjoyed reading about a part of the world I have never visited since my childhood and ancestry drew me back to Europe. Your comparisons of the countries were so vivid – it would be great to visit both. Keep on writing.
    I would love to hear more from you.

  14. Hi Damyanti, first of all, thanks for following my blog! It’s really nice to know that someone out there has read some of my words :)

    I’m an Australian and I’ve always been interested in other cultures and the way that people live in other parts of the world. This is a fascinating insight into Singapore and Malaysia and ties in with what friends from those countries say about their homelands. It’s amazing how different two places so close together can be.

    I’m enjoying your writing!

  15. I could not help chuckling at “Malaysia is a place of smiles” because I knew what was coming: Singaporeans don’t come across as a cheerful people. It was something I noticed when I was there on 2 separate occasions. This description “their smiles look like they have been reading instruction manuals meant for air-hostesses” cracked me up! ;)

    • Don’t know anything about living in Malaysia (like you said, seen some of the islands just as a travelor), but you’re spot on with Singapore! :) Ping me, if you come down here. :)

    • Oh, yes. I worked in Singapore for about six years myself and while I’m quite happy with where I am now (other than that we’re in the midst of a brutal winter), I do miss it and think happily of most of my time there.

      The efficiency of bureaucracies, though, that’s the most disorienting thing. (Government or company bureaucracies, too.) Not just is stuff fast but it’s also precise. My favorite example:

      When I first moved in I needed to get a TV license, which was a form filled out at the post office. It was an annual fee, pro-rated to when you actually got the license if you picked it up (or surrendered it) mid-year. Since it was early May when I got it I figured I’d pay 7/12th of the year’s charge. Later I worked it out, based on the amount I was charged: they had pro-rated it, not just to the month, not just to the day, but to the quarter-hour nearest when I entered the post office and got the form. And I’m sure they were that imprecise just because they couldn’t be sure exactly when I had come in, and if I’d come in when there weren’t so many people they’d have got me to the minute.

  16. Excellent! Having visited both countries in the 1980s, I think your descriptions are spot on. Thanks for visiting my blog in the A to Z Challenge. Monday I’m writing about Singapore!

  17. Hi Damyanti, your statement ‘I cannot claim to know either country in depth, but when has that stopped me (or anyone else) from forming opinions and perceptions?’ made me smile. As an expatriate in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia over the years, I feel the same way — I actually have the gall to set my crime novels in Thailand!

    I don’t know about you, but it strikes me that we are never made more aware of how we are shaped by our own culture as when we experience what it’s like to be in the minority. And as a writer, culture clashes provide a rich vein for tension as well as humour — and even rare moments of shared humanity.

  18. Damyanti, your comment ‘I cannot claim to know either country in depth, but when has that stopped me (or anyone else) from forming opinions and perceptions?’ made me smile. For me, there’s nothing like being in an ethnic minority to realise just how much we are shaped by our own culture. I’ve been an expat in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I now write crime novels set in Thailand, mining the rich vein of culture clashes for both drama and humour – not to mention occasional moments of shared humanity.

  19. Very interesting to me as my mother grew up as an expat in both places, my first boyfriend came from Malaysia, and I am now an expat in the Caribbean. Would love to get to SE Asia one day.:)

  20. Ahh…. I must say I adore Singapore’s slickness and efficiency, I am in awe of it. This I know only from a 13 hour stay at Changi airport, enroute to New Zealand. In the toilets, the old cleaner guy wiped the urinals EVERY TIME someone peed! Jesus. As soon as I, or anyone else, was finished peeing, he would religiously get off his chair and wipe the urinal. Gawd.

    Other impression: Money-Driven. Absolutely. It is one and only national religion, it seems. Many Singaporeans must live stressful lives with their extreme productiveness and money-mindedness..? Hmm…

  21. Pingback: Tokyo Through Expat Eyes | Big Sushi, Little Fishes

  22. I loved this post :) I lived in China for 1 year not too long ago, in Harbin for 5 months and in Beijing for 7, and I can relate to the comparisons you drew between Singapore and Malaysia. Asia is amazing, and China is so huge… Harbin is like the wild west of the upper north, featuring a steady stream of Russian immigrants. Beijing is fastidious and more multicultural.

    I look forward to reading more of your writing on Asia :)

  23. I won’t pretend I have as much knowledge about Singapore and Malaysia after having stayed in Singapore for a couple of days before moving on to Indonesia, but I definitely agree with you about the city feeling very antiseptic. I’m not much of a city person to start with, but I wanted to get out of the place after four days. It just felt sterile – all too planned, all too efficient, and very consumer-orientated. I was surprised to find that no-one walked around on the ground, but instead under the streets in air conditioned tunnels lined with shops. And yes, it was all immaculately clean. That being said, I have very mixed feelings about the place, mostly just due to my own personal tastes. I like open spaces without lots of people.

  24. I really enjoyed this. Brought back a lot of memories and I have lived in both Singapore and Malaysia before. I actually worked in the Art Museum in Singapore at one point.
    Thanks again for coming by my site. I am glad I could return the Visit

  25. I am so glad you stumbled across my blog, as I’m immensely glad to have found yours! I have been living in Latin America for the last three years and am planning on moving to Asia in January. I have job applications under consideration in both Malaysia and Singapore, so your information is invaluable.

    I will be keeping a beady eye on all you have to say! Nice to meet you.

  26. i have to confess that since writing poetry, reading prose doesn’t come easy to these eyes these days. but your relaxed writing and the interesting information and opinions you shared, took me all the way through with ease.

    ju ust thought i’d visit a bit to thank you and acknowledge your follow of my poetry, encouragement is always really appreciated. *smiles*

  27. Your post took me back to my 2 years at Singapore as a student. Loved the adjective you used for cleanliness :) I can assure you the college toilets are not super clean as elsewhere! But yes, better than a lot of other places

  28. This was a most excellent comparison. I feel about Costa Rica as you do about Malaysia; although I would have to say CR would reflect as a mixture of both Singapore and Malaysia at this point. Most places are immaculately clean, even park restrooms, whereas in my home state-well, I won’t elaborate. The food, although simple, is always fresh and wonderfully prepared; and I never have a concern for cleanliness in the Tico kitchens. You have certainly taken much of the mystery out of visiting either of these countries. If I were able to travel more, they would be added to the list! Thanks for visiting my log.

  29. Miss the food and durian in Malaysia :-). Malaysians live to eat. That is certainly true. I live in the Dominican Republic and used to live in Peru. I was born in Malaysia within the chinese culture of Malaysia and moved to Canada. I also understand the love-hate thing going with a culture that is at the opposite spectrum of one’s culture. Diversity. Sometimes it is pretty, other times, not so much.

  30. Thank you for visiting Eight Ladies Writing. What an interesting post you have here! I live in Japan, and my then-fiance and I visited Singapore and Malaysia . . . it must be 20 years ago now! This brought back some memories! From one ex-pat to another, cheers!

  31. I’m a Singaporean and I’m very (X infinty) proud to be one. :)
    but I don’t think Singaporeans hate Malaysians… and I don’t want to believe that Malaysians hate Singaporeans..

  32. Pingback: Writing about Malaysia and Singapore | Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History

  33. Dear Damyanti
    Thank you so much for liking my little post on WordPress.
    I’m still fairly new in all these worlds, so any interest shown helps me wind my way through these confusing bytes. Have a few stories published, and the start of my book series, Kin Ship; Moustache on the Moon, part one available for any kids at heart who enjoy unique science fiction.
    Loved your post – makes me want to visit someday.
    thanks
    dk snape

  34. I’ve never visited either country but I think you make the differences very clear. Efficient but standardised or disorganised but full of character. I guess like in many occasions if one could chose a mixture of the two… but then I guess it’s true that home is where the heart is.
    And thank for liking my blog!

  35. Thanks for liking a post on my blog so that I could find yours! I am half-Chinese – my family on my mother’s side are from Malaysia, and my cousin lives in Singapore, so I’ve been in and out the two countries since I was a baby. I appreciate your depiction! Mostly, when I think about both, I appreciate the foooood :)

  36. Singapore is my birth place and where i grew. I am now a Malaysian citizen, and one thing for sure, though i am not happy about how the Govt is running the country, i can tell all you guy this….i am so glad that i am not living in Singapore. It would be like living with my parents, controlled to a point i will end up hating myself. like in most countries, Malaysia is one…a country. Singapore is just a city. Malaysia is a beautiful country (not city) and there are high mountains, jungle, waterfalls and beautiful island beaches. What is there in Singapore? so what if there are efficient transport and clean roads if you have to live day in day out in a shoe box. So what if Malaysians are lazy, its their country and their birth right.

  37. Great post – I’m with you. I’ve never been to either country, but if I was going to visit one, Malaysia would win for me. It sounds quirky, friendly and fun. And most of all, they love food. Who wouldn’t want to visit :)

  38. I so enjoyed reading this post. I am a lover of perspectives :) Malaysia and Singapore are places I know very little about, and I enjoyed much knowing your perspectives of both places. :) Have a great week!

  39. Thank you for following imaginenewdesigns. I do not know very much about Malaysia and Singapore except for reading and watching a few stories about them, so I enjoyed your detailed firsthand account of these places.

  40. Pingback: Writing about Malaysia and Singapore | Heiditassone's Blog

  41. I totally agree with your observation about Malaysians taking the ‘queue’ culture lightly. I’m a regular user of public transportation because I don’t own a car. You will see perfect queue lines on the platform, whether its LRT or KTM, every time before the coaches arrive. Discipline and manners went down the drain when the train arrives, the lines will merge into a chaotic battle between the impatience mob and the people who are trying to get out.

  42. If you think crime in Malaysia is bad move to America where mass school shootings have become the national passtime because cowardly politicians refuse to stand up to the gun lobby, mainly the NRA. America has become a frightening place. Google mass school shootings, too young to die and Sandyhook elementary, it will sicken you.

  43. I really enjoyed reading your comparison. I’ve been to Singapore a few times and really like it there. I’ve never been to Malaysia yet but hope to go someday soon.
    Of course, I would LOVE to be able to move to either of those places and find a way to support myself. Til I can find work in another country, I’m stuck in the USA.
    I’m sure I could contribute to the economy in Singapore (or Malaysia) but I know Singapore has recently made its allowance for foreign workers much stricter. I hope they will loosen it again.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me :-)

  44. Thanks for visiting and following my blog, I really enjoyed reading your description of Malaysia and Singapore as I used to live in Australia, prior to moving to North Cyprus, and they were on the doorstep. I’ve visited both – I found Singapore soulless but I enjoyed the chaos of Malaysia. Glad to have come across your blog and a pleasure to follow in return.

  45. this is a wonderful study in contrasts. thanks very much for providing your readers with such an illuminating description of these two places. i can understand your ambivalence towards the one and indifference towards the other. kuala lumpur sounds more like real life. (thanks also for liking my blog post!)

  46. Thank you for subscribing to my blog! You and I have something in common – my daughter and her husband are currently living in Singapore and in my blog archives you will find several post about my first trip there and to Bangkok – I learned so much about the Asian culture and can’t wait to go back….
    Pleased to meet you!
    jo – THE CREATIVE EPIPHANY

  47. Pingback: Writing about Malaysia and Singapore | Daily (w)rite | AnnoZijlstra Blog

  48. That was well written and very descriptive. I think if I was going to visit for s short time I may consider Singapore but I couldn’t take being in a repressive society very long. I guess inefficiency is a price that is paid for freedom; there are certainly many examples of that in the USA.

  49. Hi Damyanti
    Thank you for visiting my blog and being kind enough to like my rant about Morrissey.
    Your comments about Singapore and Malaysia are fascinating. I live in the UK but I work for a publisher and we do much of our printing in the region, and so I’ve been visiting these two countries more or less annually since 2006. I’ve only ever stayed for 1-2 weeks at a time and spend most of my time in meetings at printers and in our local office in Singapore – and typically I only spend 1-2 nights in Malaysia, always at the PJ Hilton (if you know where that is) – so I can’t claim to know either place as well as you. There’s nothing like actually living somewhere.
    But I have managed to get out and about a bit, and find both countries enjoyable and interesting places to visit. And many of your comments really resonate with me. Both countries are so similar in many ways (though I’ve only really seen the KL area of Malaysia – I imagine that other parts, like East Malaysia, are quite different), but I identified with the differences you described.
    I remember on my first visit to Singapore, it was front page news on the Straits Times that some graffiti had been found on a train! That wouldn’t even have been newsworthy in most countries. (Of course, a couple of ex-pats were responsible – I can’t imagine native Singaporeans ever doing anything like that.) Singapore must be just about the safest big city on the planet. Mind you the place has changed in some ways even during the last seven years. More cars, more traffic (though not as bad as KL yet!), more glitzy casinos, more Chinese billionaires pushing property prices into the stratosphere. Still a wonderful place though.
    Talking of KL traffic, one of my abiding memories is looking out my bedroom window in the PJ Hilton and seeing the main road towards downtown KL totally solid – at about 11pm!
    Anyway I could write for hours on this topic, but better go.
    Thanks.
    Chris

  50. Pingback: Writing about Malaysia and Singapore | Daily (w)rite | Rane's Blog

  51. Hopped on over after seeing that you visited my blog, thanks! Very funny & interesting post! i’m Singaporean, living in Switzerland now. What you wrote is mostly true but i must say i think “hate” is a rather strong word to use – we (at least the Singaporeans i know) don’t hate Malaysians, some of my good friends are Malaysians, we just don’t agree on some things (ok maybe on many things). And the friends & family i have, we always meet over food, never over shopping (i’m not a shopper). i miss the food in both countries!

  52. Hello Damyanti. First of all, I thank you for visiting and following my blog. Hopefully you’ll get to see my website sometime, which is a step up.
    I’ve been to the US, briefly, the Middle East for the first Gulf War, and travelled widely I Europe, but sadly I’ve never been to the Far East. In your piece you give a wonderful, and dare I say, balanced flavour of two places I would love to see. Thank you for the in-depth study and report. I’ve recently picked up a few followers on my blog, and I will follow all who follow me, so to that end, I’ve decided to add followers to my blogroll. I reckon in that way, I can ensure I make regular contact with all of you. I’ll be back.

  53. Hi Damyanti, thank you for dropping by and liking my blog. It gives you a little buzz to know that someone has read your writing. You have some really interesting articles here – they’re great. Look forward to reading more.

  54. Hi Damyanti,
    Having been to Singapore twice for an aggregate of 7 hours -both visa runs – and more than 2 months in Malaysia for holidays and visa runs I know you hit the mark on every count here. Singapore really loves the Big Brother CCTV and feels full of rules. Far too many in our opinion. KL on the other hand, well in 48 hours we saw three robberies on the streets and I hate the stares the guys smoking on the streets give my good lady’s behind. You would think she was the first woman to ever set foot in the place. Langkawi is a dream if you time it right, hire transport and visit places and get to know the locals. Penang is quaint, has excellent food and has a nice charm, but no more than a week there or you’d get bored.
    Thanks for the insights. I will direct my visa run friends from Thailand here.

  55. Hi, I am British and have lived in KL for over 5 years. KL is becoming cleaner, especially round the city centre, like Pavilion and the redevelopment along Jalan Bukit Bintang. It is also much cheaper than Singapore. I still prefer KL to Singapore, although I love to get to Singapore for weekends. I hope KL continues to progress to the benefit of all citizens!

  56. Nice article on Singapore. U.S. friends who have visited and lived there really like the place, particularly the safety factor. Beautiful pic at the top of your blog. Hope KL gets better for you.

  57. Hi, Damyanti! I love the way you paint a rather paradoxical picture of Singapore – while on one hand very orderly, on the other hand, it feels cold and artificial. I especially love the phrase, “antiseptic sense of cleanliness.”

    I also like the way you contrasted it against more chaotic but also warmer Malaysia. The bit on children playing was the most telling and my favorite comparison. Now I’m curious how my experience would be once I get to visiting those countries!

    By the way, thanks for following my blog! Like you, I’m trying to get into some sort of writing “ritual,” and knowing someone else is doing that, too, it should be easier! (After all, if you can write daily, what excuse do I have to not write weekly?) :)

  58. I don’t know KL, but have spent time around the edges of Malaysia (Langkawi, Borneo). I like Malaysia, but I love Singapore. If you know where to go, such as the hawker markets in among the suburban highrises, Little India and Chinatown, you can see a whole other, much less regulated and less tidy Singo. Hunting the markets of Chinatown for the best chicken rice is one of my favourite things to do, or grabbing a beer in the colonnaded porches of the shop houses in Little India. Magic.

  59. I agree with everything you said about Singapore. It’s very safe, very clean, and almost sterile. It’s hard to “love” it.

    I’ve only been across the border from there into Malaysia and immediately saw a huge difference. I didn’t get to spend enough time in Malaysia to form an opinion, but would like to explore it more.

  60. I enjoyed this post. I have visited neither of these places but you managed to convey clearly the different atmospheres and cultures of both places. I enjoyed the style of writing, and the length of the post also. Just the right length and your tone and style was like you were sitting across the table in a coffee shop. Well done. I suggest a few photos and more personal experiences as readers love personal experiences,.

  61. Thank you for stopping by and following my blog. It’s new and hopefully will gain momentum soon. Your perception of your two cities is really interesting. I like the fact that it is just that, a perception. I read several of the comments and not all agreed with you. I guess they have a different perception. Everyone’s perception is unique. I’ve lived in North Texas and and now I live in South Texas which is like not living in Texas at all. You have inspired me to write about my unique perception of these very different parts of the very same state. God bless and keep writing.

  62. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed reading this post – I love how the internet gives us such a wider view of the world and lets us talk to people from all over.

  63. Thanks for stopping by on my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours. I lived overseas (Indonesia, Romania, Ecuador, Gabon, Manila) for many years and loved it all, especially the people. I wish I had kept journals. Photos and memories are good but writing is much truer to the moment. Keep it going. Rosa.

  64. I’ve never traveled outside of Western Europe, but I still greatly enjoyed this post. You have some very perceptive observations. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  65. I lived in Singapore as a high school student–an ex-pat. Truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. I look forward to reading your blog!

  66. Hey there! I really enjoyed your uncensored opinions about Malaysia and Singapore. My parents were immigrants from Malaysia and I was born and raised in Singapore, apart from spending two years of my childhood in Malaysia. I’d never felt any different from my friends until I was about 17 or 18. That was when I found out that some of my new schoolmates actually hate Malaysians. Even though I was already a Singaporean by then, I was thoroughly insulted by their remarks. I travel into Malaysia most weekends for good, cheap food and to get away from the crowds, and I like how clean Singapore is, but honestly, I don’t know which I love better.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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