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Singapore for a 65 year old - sorry it's long

(21 Posts)
Fanella Thu 26-Jul-07 15:45:40

My PIL are going to New Zealand in January via Singapore. My Mum has been considering whether to go with them to Singapore then on to Melbourne on her own - to visit family over there.

They will all meet up again in Singapore to fly back together six weeks later.

This arrangement suits my mum cos, at 65, she is really nervous about flying all the way to Australia on her own and this helps take a bit of the fear out of it.

They will stay in Singapore for two days together, but then PIL's flight to Auckland is more than a day before my Mum's connection to Melbourne. She is really worried about staying in Singapore on her own for one night.

I've said she'll be ok because she'll have been there a couple of days - she's got airport transfers and if all else fails she could just stay in the hotel for a day. She's thinking of forgetting the whole thing though, which would just be such a shame.

Does anyone have any information about Singapore, any advice or anything I can say to reassure and convince her to go for it?

Thanks in advance!

aloha Thu 26-Jul-07 15:55:38

Singapore is one of the safest countries in the entire world! Seriously. I had a friend who went to work out there, and it isn't a liberal place AT ALL - very strick laws etc - but there is hardly any crime, the streets are pristine, it's even against the law not to flush a public loo after using it! Everyone speaks English and is super-polite and courteous. The hotel will make a big fuss of her being on her own. She really could not be going anywhere safer.

suzywong Thu 26-Jul-07 15:58:45

what she said
when my folks, who are 10 years older, come out to see me they stop over in Singapore and get indulged.

BUgis street is now a mall and the triads and pirates rarely wander within 1 mile of the 4 start hotels.

I knew an elderly Aussie guy who was reminiscing to me about arriving in Singapre as a child by ship in what must have been the 1920s and his mother made him and his sibling put cotton wool down their ears to keep out the malaria and other germs.

funny old world innit

aloha Thu 26-Jul-07 15:59:47

Blimey, oral sex was only legalised in 2006 in Singapore! (that's not aimed at your mother btw )

aloha Thu 26-Jul-07 16:00:34

Eeek - 'srick' is a typo! 'strict'

Fanella Thu 26-Jul-07 16:05:42

aloha - mum just read your post and is now chuckling away to herself..."as if"...

Thanks for your replies, they've helped.... She's reassured a little I think but still thinking about it..

Could anyone recommend any hotels?

aloha Thu 26-Jul-07 16:12:40

Seriously, my friend came back to London several years ago and was absolutely horrified by how filthy and scary it was after being in Singapore. She says she could never live in England now, as it doesn't feel safe to her. In Singapore you can walk down a deserted alley at 4am in a miniskirt and waving money about and feel pretty sure you will be ok (again, not aimed at your mum ).
I've not been there, but I used to email my friend all the time, and she told me it is extraordinarily clean, and very old-fashioned in the way people speak to each other. You'd never hear public casual swearing for example. I suspect it makes Tunbridge Wells look like a war zone or the Bronx during a riot
I'm sure any reasonable hotel chain would provide a completely fab service. An ex of mine used to go to Singapore on business sometimes and said the hotels there have an amazing standard of service.
It really would be tragic to miss out on a wonderful holiday out of nervousness about spending one night alone in the safest city on earth! If she doesn't like eating alone she could have room service and an early night.

suzywong Thu 26-Jul-07 16:15:31

The Merchant Court is vair nice
right on Clarke Quay, a touristy but nice and very CLEAN part of the river, she can wander and get some vibe.
Fabulous swimming pool and right on a metro station

It's the Wongster Family's hotel of choice when in Singapore

Olihan Thu 26-Jul-07 16:26:31

My parents live in Singapore and I'm sure they would be happy to look after your mum for the day - take her to see the sights, show her somewhere nice to have lunch, etc. In all seriousness, they would, so email me at Olihan1 at hotmail dot co dot uk if she would like that, or if you want some ideas of places to go, eat, etc while she's there.

Other than that, I can only repeat what the others have said. It is so safe out there, day or night - my stepmum regularly goes out alone to meet up with friends and I've got a taxi back from the centre of Singapore city to their apartment on my own at 1am. I've never felt threatened or worried by anyone out there so she really has nothing to worry about.

Fanella Thu 26-Jul-07 16:28:29

Thanks Suzy, I've mentioned that hotel and she's googling it as we speak.

Thanks for all the advice - she's going to sleep on it tonight, her flights are held until tomorrow.

I think she'll go for it but she's naturally very cautious. I'll get my other sisters working on her and we'll probably convince her.

More advice or hotel recommendations would be helpful though!

Fanella Thu 26-Jul-07 16:31:31

Aww thanks Olihan, that is really lovely of you. I'll email you!

See, this is why I love mumsnet!

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 27-Jul-07 08:56:42

Hi Fanella,

I'm sure your Mum will be just fine. has a lot of reviews of hotels in Singapore (just type in Singapore in their header).

Fanella Fri 27-Jul-07 12:47:21

Thanks Atilla...but,

she told me this morning she's decided not to go

She says she'll just be worrying about it for the next few months. I think she's being daft and it's a real shame, but she's made her decision.

The flights are held until Monday so there is a chance she might change her mind before then.. here's hoping.

Thanks very much to everyone who gave me advice and information. I'll let you know if there's a change of heart..

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 27-Jul-07 13:58:34

I would try and discuss it further with her, ask her to explain her fears. I say this as she may come to later regret her decision not to go now. She does not know what is round the corner health wise and currently she is fit enough to embark on such a trip.

If she does not visit her relations in Melbourne at this time, chances are she will never go because she could be on her own for far longer.

Come on Fanella's Mum get on that bloody plane and go to Oz!!!. I'm going to Singapore myself next week and for me its the great unknown as well!!!.

Fanella Fri 27-Jul-07 14:38:02

I will definitely be discussing it with her further, she lives with us so there will be plenty of opportunities to bring it up, including showing her all the messages on here!

I don't want to badger her though, I'd hate to think I'd pressured her into it when she really doesn't want to do it. She has been twice before, but that was a while ago.

You never know, I may get home today to find she's changed her mind after all..

ninedragons Sat 28-Jul-07 08:02:08

I do hope you can talk her round. My MIL, who is not far off that age, was really surprised by Singapore when she met us there once. She says she could live there. I think a lot of people have the perception that it's a chaotic, dirty, crowded Asian metropolis like Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh but it's nothing like that. It's absolutely immaculate. You could eat off the pavements if you wanted to! Every median strip has a miniature manicured garden, and as everyone else has said it's one of the safest places on earth. As long as she's ok in the heat (even if she's not, every building is air conditioned) she'd have a great time.

I am trying to think of a place in the UK to compare it to, but I can't think of anywhere that's uniformly squeaky clean, polite and pleasant!

ninedragons Sat 28-Jul-07 08:07:45

Just to add, we live in Shanghai and when we want a dose of civilisation, we go to Singapore. It's like the government sends every citizen to finishing school and a fleet of elves scrubs the place top to bottom every night. It's actually much nicer than Melbourne!

eidsvold Sat 28-Jul-07 08:50:38

loved Singapore. Ditto everything everyone else said. We too loved Hotel Merchant Court right on Clarke Quay - fab restaurants just a short walk across the river. Metro/tube station about 2 minutes walk, shuttle bus to Raffles and huge mall, bumboats stop almost right outside.

She would love it. If she was nervous about leaving the hotel that last day - the hotel has a day spa - she could indulge herself in a day at the spa and travel on to Aus all chilled and spaed!

Transfers all organised make it very easy although we just got one when we got off the plane and then the hotel organised one for us.

Olihan Sat 28-Jul-07 11:39:24

Fanella, my parents are over here this week so if you (or she) wants to talk it over n person with someone who knows Singapore really well then drop me an email and we can get in touch. It would be a real shame for her not to go, it's such a lovely city/country and it seems daft to miss seeing her relatives for the sake of 24 hours. Obviously I can't speak for them, but I know my parents have had my siblings' friends who they've never met to stay at their apartment during stopovers in Singapore. If it would make your mum feel happier to stay somewhere other than a hotel I could ask them if they would provide dinner, B&B for her .

Cammelia Sat 28-Jul-07 11:43:19

Singapore v.v.civilised, everyone speaks english, I lived there as a child and my parents still go back there (aged 73 and 78)

65 is Spring Chicken, tell her to go for it, you only live once !!!

Fanella Mon 30-Jul-07 12:15:05

Thanks so much everyone - been away for the weekend so have only just seen these.

I think we've reached a compromise - maybe. We've found some alternative flights which go out the night before - so she wouldn't have to stay there on her own. My PIL would see her to the airport the night before they fly out to Auckland. I think she may go for it. We're just waiting to hear back from the travel agent now...

Olihan - thank you so much for all your offers of assistance, my Mum is really grateful (as am I!)

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