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Old 01-19-2013, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
It's not about the being clean, but rather the "stickler for rules" type of culture. In Hong Kong, everything is more spontaneous. Just bring your wallet (cash, credit cards, Octopus card), and you're good to go. If you want to go elsewhere, the MTR is very fast and easy. Even the buses to go to Ocean Park are full within a few minutes.

Contrast that to Singapore where one has to look at the bus timetable to go to the zoo, to the bird park or to Sentosa all the time. And you have to prepare your passport and embarkation card to show the free shuttle to Universal Studios, plus you have to read all these different fee types to each attraction. It gets a bit taxing, and I actually worry that I get accused of getting on something that I am not entitled to, because I purchased the wrong type of ticket. I find it similar to visiting a hospital. Kind of sterile and you better follow all the rules. Believe it or not, due to those warnings about fines and what not, I won't even allow my kids to eat ice cream in Singapore outside where we purchase it, for the fear that they might drop the ice cream and we get fined for littering. Not sure if that actually happens there, but that's the feeling I get when I am there.
Well I've never had to use a bus timetable in either Hong Kong or Singapore, both cities have excellent public transport and it's not hard to spontaneously go somewhere in either city.

Singapore is a more authoritarian city, things like having to show your passport when going to an internet cafe as well as the fines posted everywhere are kind of odd/annoying, but I don't really feel like I'm being massively accosted when visiting. I've never really understood the criticism that Singapore is sterile, regardless of the rules there is still lots of streetlife, and places like Chinatown and Little India are interesting areas which still retain a sense of Singapore's gritty past.

 
Old 01-19-2013, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,631 posts, read 8,315,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
On every criteria Singapore matches HK, but maybe it's not quite as big in stature/well known still. Definitely think it's not far behind, though. Singapore definitely offers a lot HK doesn't, and vice versa. I found the food scene in HK disappointing, but like I said Cantonese is actually among my least favourite Chinese regional cuisines (much prefer say Sichuan). Malaysian/Singaporean food, probably pretty unknown in the States, is still among the best in the world.
Yeahhh I easily agree with you there. I in no way, shape, or form find Singapore to be lacking anything cultural or culinary wise to Hong Kong-- if anything the situation is quite the opposite.

As for the United States. It depends what city you're in, some you'll be able to find enough and others not as much but all around Singaporean & Malaysians haven't left a large mark anywhere in America. I wasn't able to find any Singaporean or Malaysian food in Austin that I can remember on and I've had difficulty here in Washington, Dallas, or in Chicago when I lived in these four. I've found a few but it's not easy and it's actually quite rare.

I was able to find them in abundance in Houston though, in a inner suburb called Bellaire where there's a sizable amount of Malaysian & Singaporean food-- some of my favorite restaurants being Pine Forest, Cafe Singapore, and Banana Leaf. The latter of which being my personal favorite of the bunch and my parents had quite a few Singaporean friends in Houston (my parents are actively involved in the Indian & Singaporean communities everywhere they live) and they had sizable organizations for these. Never had any trouble there but Houston's a magnet for Southeast Asians in particular-- Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, and Filipino so it's not the typical situation. According to the population numbers, they're not a significantly large group anywhere but are largest in (in order): Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, Washington, and than Dallas.

Other than that, aside from New York-- I've had dismal luck locating my Singaporean brothers here in the United States.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 07:50 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
Yeahhh I easily agree with you there. I in no way, shape, or form find Singapore to be lacking anything cultural or culinary wise to Hong Kong-- if anything the situation is quite the opposite.

As for the United States. It depends what city you're in, some you'll be able to find enough and others not as much but all around Singaporean & Malaysians haven't left a large mark anywhere in America. I wasn't able to find any Singaporean or Malaysian food in Austin that I can remember on and I've had difficulty here in Washington, Dallas, or in Chicago when I lived in these four. I've found a few but it's not easy and it's actually quite rare.

I was able to find them in abundance in Houston though, in a inner suburb called Bellaire where there's a sizable amount of Malaysian & Singaporean food-- some of my favorite restaurants being Pine Forest, Cafe Singapore, and Banana Leaf. The latter of which being my personal favorite of the bunch and my parents had quite a few Singaporean friends in Houston (my parents are actively involved in the Indian & Singaporean communities everywhere they live) and they had sizable organizations for these. Never had any trouble there but Houston's a magnet for Southeast Asians in particular-- Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, and Filipino so it's not the typical situation. According to the population numbers, they're not a significantly large group anywhere but are largest in (in order): Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, Washington, and than Dallas.

Other than that, aside from New York-- I've had dismal luck locating my Singaporean brothers here in the United States.
Singapore's food is more based around hawker centres and shopping malls while in Hong Kong it's more restaurants and cafes. Although of course Singapore has a lot of restaurants too. Neither don't seem huge street food places, if I recall, at least compared to Taipei, which I think has better food overall than HK (I think more variety too and cheaper).

Wonder how many Singaporean-Americans there are? Wonder what attracts them to Houston, jobs in the energy/resources industry? My cousin is in Seattle, and I had another cousin in Canada. Canada seems popular. Most Singaporeans in the US seem to go to the west coast or NY, Boston.etc (I actually met a Malaysian student in Boston). Singaporeans are among the top 10 immigrant groups to Australia, and we're only a 5 hour flight away in Perth. In the southern suburbs of Perth there are many Singaporean-Malaysian and quite a few Indonesian restaurants, some better than others, but a lot don't seem to match the quality of what you get over there. I wanted to recommend Malaysian or Indonesian food to my friend in Portland so I looked it up and the only one serving it was closed! Btw do you have any favourite dishes? My list is pretty long, but includes Roti prata, Hainanese chicken rice, Laksa of all kinds, beef noodle soup, Beef Rendang, Murtabak, Nasi goreng, Mee goreng, satay, Mutton/chicken briyani...pretty much most of the major dishes, and the desserts of course.

Are you Tamil? I had a few Malaysian/Singaporean friends of Indian descent in school. Also a Sri Lankan Singaporean friend. Love Indian food, Singapore and Malaysia have great Indian food especially in like Little India.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Singapore's food is more based around hawker centres and shopping malls while in Hong Kong it's more restaurants and cafes. Although of course Singapore has a lot of restaurants too. Neither don't seem huge street food places, if I recall, at least compared to Taipei, which I think has better food overall than HK (I think more variety too and cheaper).
Even in the Chinese food, the Chinatown Market in Singapore to me was infinitely more delicious than comparable environs in Hong Kong. I think it has something to do with the produce and vegetation being much more fresh and richer in quality in general than compared to Hong Kong. My father (presently lives in Singapore for an IT project) told me that the city attracts some of the worlds biggest named chefs, annually for conventions. Singapore is easily a foodies town, the culture around food in Singapore dismantles Hong Kong's which is more on the corporate side. Hong Kong similarly has it's advantage over Singapore in shopping.

I personally love the open air markets in Singapore. Loved Smith Street, Bugis Junction, and Maxwell Street and from my experience Hong Kong has a hard time finding anything to that caliber for quality and just pure diversity.

Another thing about Singapore is that I love how Malaysian, Chinese, English, Indonesian, & Indian food all come together under the same roof, the fusion especially the Indo-Chinese is just extremely delicious. I'm also a huge spicy food nut-- so I may perhaps be biased haha.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Wonder how many Singaporean-Americans there are? .
Singapore born is about 3,250 but people claiming ancestry is about 14,373 in the Houston area. Most of them live in Sugar Land (by FAR most diverse city in the Southern region of the United States-- 33% Asian alone).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Wonder what attracts them to Houston, jobs in the energy/resources industry?
Well you have to remember, Houston is a leading city (the leader) for one of America's 4 most influential industries-- energy (the other three being Finance (New York), Technology (Bay Area), & Government (Washington DC)) which it has a leading role for it on the global stage as well (along with Abu Dhabi & Doha-- both of which are it's "sister cities"). While Houston isn't an overly publicized city-- by choice the leaders want to keep it under the radar (unlike Dallas-- which aspires to be the "Texan city") it's drawing power is significant for business men-- the weird thing is the city has quite a lot of capital ($$) but it willingly chooses not to use it for PR campaigns and advertise the city more. The only cities richer than it in the country (by income) are Washington (richest in the world actually), Bay Area (second richest in the world), New York, & Seattle. It's income barometer is the exact same as Boston both of which come next (Boston has a $240 head lead-- which is practically chump change). It's a very attractive place for immigrants to make some capital ($$) and live in a diverse environment in a very big house.

For Southeast Asians in particular, Houston's one of the largest hubs for seafood in the United States, manufacturing, seaport, trade/import/export, and international business (the city has incentives to lure small business owners from their home countries) and in the large scale the city has succeeded in gaining international exposure for real estate-- it now ranks as one of the worlds top 5 cities for foreign investors (behind New York, London, Washington, & San Francisco and right before Boston). I've witnessed in the last 10 years foreign investors putting a lot of their money into Houston-- one from Dubai had plans to build a supertall skyscraper in Uptown (but lost finance when Dubai's market crashed in the recession) and Japan wants to build high speed rail for Houston, along with people from the UAE donating millions to Houston to build hospitals for them and to revitalize it's public parks. Germans also invest a lot to the medical center there-- which is a leader in nano-technology and global leader in cancer treatment & research. It's a very successful business center, in Houston the leaders want to focus on the money and business rather than the glamor and entertainment-- which is left to Dallas.

The energy industry now more than ever is globally tied, the drawing power is there and especially with the United States expected to surpass Saudi Arabia as the worlds largest oil producer/exporter by 2016. Houston is to the energy industry as Bay Area is to technology, it attracts immigrants from foreign schools like IIT that want to get into that industry or into the global shipping industry-- it also has one of the worlds largest seaports. My ex-girlfriend's father invested in a parcel on the Houston Ship Channel when he moved from India 25 years ago and now the guy makes $13 million a year leasing to foreign traders.

The thing with Houston is, it was a city that largely didn't exist 55 years ago-- it was a very small town (like population less than 500,000 for the whole metropolitan) and it's still is a city in it's infancy. It has another 40 years to go before it stabilizes itself as a player but it has a strong backbone into international culture, it's the urban atmosphere that's lacking (which is quickly improving-- as it's America's fastest city for infill) and the amenities are getting there too (theme parks, global nightclubs, and so on). Right now, it's ehhh as a city-- but I love it's international nature, incredibly diverse for a city in the United States and very hard to beat in that category but doesn't have the transit infrastructure I desire or the urban atmosphere I'd like as of yet.

I still consider it a baby city that will grow up one day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My cousin is in Seattle, and I had another cousin in Canada. Canada seems popular. Most Singaporeans in the US seem to go to the west coast or NY, Boston.etc (I actually met a Malaysian student in Boston). Singaporeans are among the top 10 immigrant groups to Australia, and we're only a 5 hour flight away in Perth. In the southern suburbs of Perth there are many Singaporean-Malaysian and quite a few Indonesian restaurants, some better than others, but a lot don't seem to match the quality of what you get over there.
I've always wanted to visit Seattle actually, it meets 7/10 of my requirements in a city and it just seems so damn beautiful. I'm always left very stunned when I see pictures of it. So beautiful and powerful and modern and to my liking diverse (albeit I've heard lacking in European, African, South American, & Middle Easterners).

One thing about Seattle I've heard from others on this board (some guy in Portland and my real life friend Lifeshadower in Los Angeles) that despite such rich Chinese heritage the food there is a bit lacking albeit we all have different tastes so I wont judge it until I try it for myself.

I have no doubts to Seattle being a major drawer to Malaysians, the Pacific Northwest is socially & economically linked to Asia in numerous ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Btw do you have any favourite dishes? My list is pretty long, but includes Roti prata, Hainanese chicken rice, Laksa of all kinds, beef noodle soup, Beef Rendang, Murtabak, Nasi goreng, Mee goreng, satay, Mutton/chicken briyani...pretty much most of the major dishes, and the desserts of course.
My personal favorite has definitely got to be the Singaporean style Peranakan Cuisine. Best fusion meal of choice is the Indo-Chino "chilli chicken" man I get excited just wanting that (and Thai food).

One of my interests is now shrimp with lots of Singaporean style pungent belachan. I also have a favorable opinion of thosia, nasi padang, koya toast, laksa, and oh my gosh I love the hell out of the hainese rice & chicken.

After that, there are some sweets that I also like but I largely need to try out some more dishes and explore more tasty foods from Malaysia & Singapore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Are you Tamil? I had a few Malaysian/Singaporean friends of Indian descent in school. Also a Sri Lankan Singaporean friend. Love Indian food, Singapore and Malaysia have great Indian food especially in like Little India.
I'm North Indian to a T. People confuse me for a white guy (no one ever thinks I'm Indian haha). I'm from the Himalayan region of India, my kind of Indians are very rare to come across in the United States. Not many of us, most Indians in the United States are Gujarati, Telegu, Tamil, Malyalee, Punjabi, Haryani, Maharasthran, Bengali but hardly any of my kind.

My parents are actively involved in both the Singaporean & Himalayan Indian communities in Sugar Land, there's sizable populations for both there-- hence why my parents love Sugar Land so much, they feel at peace being around people of their own kind there that they didn't get when they lived in Chicago, Washington, or North New Jersey, haha.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 01-19-2013 at 09:07 PM..
 
Old 01-19-2013, 08:59 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,667,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Singapore buses run frequently, I don't know why looking at the bus timetable is SUCH a hassle for you, it's there to make your life easier ya know. lol. I haven't been to Universal Studios but Singapore does have some things that are free for foreigners and not for Singaporeans. I haven't found any of that to be a problem at all, I think it's good that Singapore is organised.etc it makes things easier not harder. The attractions are all world-class. Try going to a museum in Vietnam or something it's like night and day. I would HOPE a hospital is sterile, lol, since that's what they're supposed to be.

It's not like there are cops everywhere and Singaporeans are more understanding than that. If you accidentally drop something I would hope they'd give you the benefit of the doubt.

Although I'm defending Singapore here, I definitely do think it has it's cons. The people can be rather uptight/sticklers for the rules, the immigration officers are often stony-faced and some shop-keepers can be a bit obnoxious. I think customer service seems better than I remember, though. The way some Singaporeans treat their maids is also revealing.
We took the SAEx bus, which I think is not really a public bus and it doesn't really run frequently, as there are no direct buses from the Orchard Road area. Perhaps better if we took the public bus instead of it, but then need to do some transfers.

The Universal Studios shuttle is free, but it does go around the whole stretch (to various hotels) of Orchard Road before going to the park, and it does have a bus timetable as well. Actually, I thought it might have been better if they just charged for it and let any Singaporean residents into the bus too so that the service will become more frequent. Anyway, they chose to do it this way. Am not really bothered by it or anything, it's just that I prefer to how it is done in HK that I don't need to bring my passport everywhere even for a slight fee.

Maybe my assessment is for Orchard Road itself. I always end up around this area when I go to Singapore, and the area is really kind of "soulless". I should try staying elsewhere next time.

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 01-19-2013 at 10:02 PM..
 
Old 01-20-2013, 04:48 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,544,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I actually feel Singapore has a bit more historicity than HK. HK knocked down a lot of it's colonial buildings. Go to the city of Singapore (not Orchard Road) and you'll see many fine buildings like St. Andrew's, Raffles Hotel, the Asian Civilisation Museum, the buildings of Clarke Quay. Go to Katong/Joo Chiat Road and you'll think you're in Penang.

Singapore may lack the hills and islands, but makes up for it in being better located close to SE Asia.
Why did they??!
 
Old 01-20-2013, 04:53 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,544,595 times
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
^ Yeah i mean sometimes people talk about Singapore being clean as if it's a bad thing . As if Asia has to be dirty to be authentic.
Can't agree more! They're probably the type of people who would rule out Japan from the "authentic asia" list.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 05:39 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
Why did they??!
'Progress.' They wanted HK to have a skyline to rival Manhattan.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 05:48 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
^^^ interesting. I can actually barely remember what I ate in HK, it was 6 years ago, but I don't remember being impressed. I remember liking the food in Sichuan ALOT though, some of the best food of any kind I've ever had. Well Chongqing but close enough. Both countries import most of their produce so maybe Singapore just imports the higher quality stuff? Western food in Hong Kong tends to be really expensive, have you noticed, I remember a steakhouse where they charged $80 a steak!

Houston reminds me a bit of Perth 10 years ago. It's cheap, has the energy-info tech industry, lots of money coming into it, very new. The bubble will burst some day, but it's in it's golden years now. SF is probably too expensive for a lot of Asians. I think as Asia gets more prosperous and the US declines it will become less and less attractive to immigrants. Many will probably start to favour Australia and Canada as well.

So you find the Asian lacking in Seattle? Interesting. I've heard it has good Japanese food. So which food in the US has the best South-east Asia cuisine IYO? LA, Houston, SF?

Nothing beats cendol, ice kacang, pulit hitam.etc. Also some of the Taiwanese desserts, like green tea ice cream with mango puree or something.

I met a Kashmiri man in Penang, interesting experience. He said something about us being kindred spirits and meeting in the afterlife... lol
 
Old 01-20-2013, 05:54 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
We took the SAEx bus, which I think is not really a public bus and it doesn't really run frequently, as there are no direct buses from the Orchard Road area. Perhaps better if we took the public bus instead of it, but then need to do some transfers.

The Universal Studios shuttle is free, but it does go around the whole stretch (to various hotels) of Orchard Road before going to the park, and it does have a bus timetable as well. Actually, I thought it might have been better if they just charged for it and let any Singaporean residents into the bus too so that the service will become more frequent. Anyway, they chose to do it this way. Am not really bothered by it or anything, it's just that I prefer to how it is done in HK that I don't need to bring my passport everywhere even for a slight fee.

Maybe my assessment is for Orchard Road itself. I always end up around this area when I go to Singapore, and the area is really kind of "soulless". I should try staying elsewhere next time.
Yes Orchard Road is purely for shopping, I don't think it's that representative of Singapore. Singapore has a lot of history you just have to get off the beaten track.
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