Slice a thirty-hour trip to Europe in two; avoid layovers in regional Indonesian cities drinking five-times reheated coffee or at Asian airports peeling back the cellophane pouch of shrimp cocktail sandwiches
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There’ll come a point when, by accident or design, the Europe or Mentawai island-bound surfer will be faced with a decision to either bunk down on the cold terrazzo floor of his layover airport, in a budget flophouse in some regional hellhole or slide into the crisp sheets of a boutique hotel in Asia’s prettiest city.
Singapore, that little island nation just north of the equator, may not have beach or waves, but for the lover of history, beauty, luxury and anthropology there is no better place on earth to disappear for a day or three.
Imagine one of the most densely populated and multi-cultural societies on earth with high-rise apartment towers spanning as far as the eye can see, but it has the second highest GDP in the world despite no natural resources, where crime is non-existent and where in an atmosphere as hot and moist as a warm towel, the jungle flame, the bougainvillea, the sugar palm fill the gaps between concrete and street.
If you think Sydney or Los Angeles is First World, you haven’t been to Singapore where architecture, design, community and, yeah, global money flows.
When I want to hit Hossegor for the late summer, early Autumn, warm-water swells or to join an Indonesian yacht charter, I always take at least two days to ungird myself of my myriad worries in Singapore.
And when in Singapore, it must be Lloyd’s Inn, a two-storey, modernist concrete structure in a residential street five minutes walk from famous Orchard Road.
For two hundred dollars or thereabouts per night, which includes a pastry and coffee every morning from the artisan bakery down the street, I live in a room with a concrete floor, elevated king-sized bed, a bathroom with a rainwater head built into the ceiling and with various outdoor working nooks, including a day-bed by the dunk pool.
I’m a five-minute walk from Hom Yoga, where forty-nine dollars buys one week of unlimited stretching alongside pretty women whose multi-racial genetic formula is superbly outlined in lycra by their sweaty labours.
Or, if beating hell out of new pals is your thing on the very same floor of Orchard Central as Hom Yoga, the grappler or boxer can join the best in the world at Evolve MMA.
Two days at Lloyd’s and I’m ready to make the fourteen-hour stretch to Charles De Gaulle or the two-flights to Padang, Sumatra, muscles loose, mind clear.