I have just got back fom a quick visa run to Singapore. The volcanic ash in Europe, and the Bangkok political problems, seem to have certainly affected the numbers of people using Suvarnabhumi airport. I got there at 9am and the place was practically empty.
No queues at 'check in' and no queues at Immigration. In fact there were only two desks open for passport control in the area I went into. It was the same at the security check point.
Then to cap it all my Air Asia flight left on time and arrived at Changi early. A most pleasant start to the day.
I had a few hours to wait for my return flight to Bankok so I went downtown.
I haven't been to Singapore for about 5 years, and was a bit dissapointed with the obvious degradation of the housing complexes that I saw on the way into the city centre. They reminded me of the old high rise ghettos built in the UK in the 1970's. It looks like the ones I saw in Singapore are going the same way as the ones in UK did.
It is sad really, as I thought Singapore would have learned from the mistakes of the West.
Anyway, I got into the centre and was not impressed with the main shopping area. It felt as though I had really arrived in the centre of any large town in England. The same big stores you find in England were prevalent, but the prices of goods seemed higher. I had a couple of beers in a bar and went back to Changi airport.
I was pleased to get back to Bangkok.
You might ask why I went to Singapore. It is easy really, my passport has only got one empty page left in it, so I needed to go somewhere that only uses entry / exit stamps. On a normal run to Cambodia they use 1 page just for the entry visa ( not including stamps ) so that was out of the question.
So it was going to be Malaysia or Singapore - both countries just use stamps, and on the day I went, the flight to Singapore wa the cheapest !