I was eager to leave Tonsai behind. I ended up having a good time, yes, but I’ll admit relief washed over me as the longboat that was taking us to Koh Lanta sped away from its white beach. I was ready for a new destination, new views, and most of all: food as far away from Tonsai Tummy as I could get.
As a traveler, I find that not many things are as rewarding as being able to go deeper than the faux-facade places usually put up for tourists, to keep digging until we reach that gold-mine of authentic culture, people, and moments. There’s nothing quite like really getting the place that you’re in.
The taxi driver who was taking us into town from the airport didn’t speak English. This may come as a surprise to you, but we don’t speak Thai. “Tomorrow,” he said, looking at us through the rearview mirror, when we stopped at a red light. With his hands he made a pair of guns and started “firing” them, all complete with sound effects worthy of Star Wars. His eyes came alive with anticipation. Then, he laughed and laughed.
Three or four days. That’s exactly how long people say it’s enough to stay in Singapore. It may be enough for a quick run down of all the major sights and checking them off your list one by one, but it’s definitely not enough to let this amazing city captivate you. It’s not enough to, as it says by a sculpture by Bruno Catalano in Gardens by the Bay, "take with you beautiful memories and leave a part of yourself behind."