Just a Day of Tourism

by francine Hardaway on June 3, 2010

Orchard Road is the main shopping district of Singapore, although I’d say the entire city-state is one big mall. Singapore is a major port, and you can see goods on display from all over the world here. And they are not cheap! This is not a bargain-hunter’s dream, like Bangkok or Shanghai. It’s a place to display money. I saw small bungalows here that cost more than $5 million. There doesn’t seem to be a glut of them either.

Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for being clean. People just don’t litter. They don’t drive much either, for the size of the city. Cars are disincentivized with 100% import taxes, high licensing fees, and convenient mass transit (buses, subway, and lots of cheap taxis).

Man, it is hot here. It’s right above the equator and very humid, which means many of
The streets are enclosed, and feel like malls themselves and some shopping is underground (Korea has this as well).

Singapore was founded by a man named Raffles in the 19th century, and has a population that’s 25% foreign. It has a tradition of amalgamating Chinese, Indians, and Malaysians, which means there are Hindu Temples, Buddhist temples, and mosques. They all live in Little Indias and Chinatowns where they maintain their customs and native cuisines.

Which means Singapore is the best place to eat yet! OMG, the geeks have gorged on ethnic foods all day and then tried to dance it off all night. I have stayed up later here than I have in years, and I can’t touch them!

Like Korea, Singapore cultivates medical tourism. if one more person tells me how great the American health care system is, I will scream. At least three Asian countries, (add Thailand, because Bangkok has great hospitals) are beginning to see growing numbers of Americans seeking orthopedic and plastic surgery.

The countries we have visited on this trip do not have deep traditions of entrepreneurship yet, but the younger people have traveled widely and are trying to displace old corporate or risk averse cultures with innovation. In addition, we have educated many of these engineers and doctors in America, and they have brought our intellectual property back to their own countries. That is why I want to keep working on the startup Visa program, which will make it easier for someone who wants to start a company to live in the US and create jobs here, rather than in their native countries.

You will hear me continuing to beat this drum:-)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Hattie June 3, 2010 at 10:14 am

I like this a lot. What an adventure. I'm jealous of your get up and go!

hardaway June 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm

All it takes for me is the thought of learning something new:-)

Francine Hardaway, Ph D

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: