Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Merlion, The Bumboats and The Flyer

By Pam Ripling

Can you guess where I've been? It's over 8,000 miles away from my hometown here in California.
The "Merlion" is a huge, water-spewing statue that is half-lion, half-merperson. The water sprays out onto a river that, in the late 1970's, was so polluted most people in this big shipping port avoided the Kallang Basin at all costs. Today, the tidal river is clean and marine life thrives.

The "Bumboats" are brightly painted water taxis that transport residents and tourists alike between points along the river. Decorated with bright red Chinese lanterns, the boats are a clean and comfortable way to travel "across town."

The "Flyer" is really a ferris wheel of sorts, although some prefer the term "observation wheel". This one, (similar to its shorter, sister wheel, The London Eye), soars 165 meters above ground (that's like 42 stories!), and boasts 28 passenger capsules that each hold 28 riders. The view of the Marina and city skyline is stunning. It takes about 30 minutes to go around once, and it never stops--passengers walk on and off as the wheel slowly rotates alongside the platform.

Have you figured out where my family and I traveled last week? It's SINGAPORE! And what a beautiful country it is! Nearly everyone there speaks English. The city is clean and safe, and there's lots of great public transportation such as the MRT (similar to San Francisco's BART and London's "Tube"), city buses and taxis (that drive on the wrong side of the street!)

It takes about 19 hours of flying time to get there from Los Angeles, so bring a good book and settle back for the ride. You will be delighted with Changi International Airport, considered by most travelers to be the best airport in the world. Plan on visiting Chinatown, Orchard Road for shopping, and the Esplanade for cultural entertainment!

Pam Ripling is the author of middle grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake!


  1. Sounds like you and your family had a great trip, Pam!

  2. Looks ande sounds phenomenal, Pam! I've heard it's very clean, and you affirmed that. Glad you had such a wonderful time, but nice to have you back!

  3. They should hire you as advertising maven, Pam. What a great testimonial!

    Nice blog, too.


  4. Wow,good for you! And I usually only get as far as Wisconsin from Illinois!

    Morgan Mandel

  5. Pam, my husband was there just a couple months ago and LOVED it. Said it was beautiful and clean.

    So glad you had this life experience on so many levels!