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Raffles hotel in Singapore

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Old October 3rd, 2003, 12:22 PM
Steve Kramer
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Default Raffles hotel in Singapore

Hallvard Tangeraas wrote:

I'm going to Singapore soon (been there once before and loved it) and
was wondering about the legendary Raffles hotel.
What's the deal about this hotel: why is it so famous?

I've heard that one of the "must do" type of things while in Singapore
is to go visit the hotel (apparently even if you don't stay there) and
take a drink called "the Singapore sling". What is it, and is it
Is the hotel's bar open to the public?

The 'old' Raffles was a delightful visit into Singapore's beautiful
architectural history. Many famous people stayed there over the years,
being greeted by name by the turbaned Sikh doorman (one of whom is still
opening doors there today.) But the 'new' Raffles, built around the old
one, is just another luxury hotel, quite like any other. It was made
even more famous during the 80's when T.V.'s Bruce Boxlightner starred
in the series "Bring 'Em Back Alive," an adventure story about Frank
Buck (a famous collector of animals for circuses) who lived at the
Raffles while collecting in Malaysia. In each episode he would be seen
with the Sultan of Jahore, ( Jahore is a Malaysian state just across the
straits from Singapore,) discussing the next damsel to be saved.

There are many rumors and legends about the creation of the Singapore
Sling. Some credit it's invention by the barman in the Raffles, while
others say that it actually came from a bar down the street and was
'imported' into the Raffles Long Bar. In any event, if you like sweet
gin and brandy mixed with club soda, you might enjoy one yourself.

What remains an interesting event is 'High Tea' at the Raffles in their
outdoor garden. While ridiculously overpriced, with mediocre food, this
was the epitome of social gathering during Singapore's past days of the
Raj. If you are in S'pore and want to taste a bit of history while
relaxing in style, drop in for a while. It's certainly different from
McDonalds. )

Steve Kramer
Chiang Mai, Thailand

"The voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new horizons,
but in seeing with new eyes." - Marcel Proust

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