A guide to cool joints and chic bites from some exceptional chain eateries in Singapore...
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For example, on the third floor is a great Thai kitchen that serves up the best Thai food in the country. Or at any of the tattoo parlours here you can get some of the most wicked art inked into your dermis? How about having a suit made at any of the fine tailors and boutiques? And it's not just sailors, tourists and off-duty taxi drivers who come here, but also groups of office girls out to kick up their heels and the occasional Mormon missionary.
And of course, most local Singaporean men have visited one if not all of the clubs there. While Singapore does what it can to keep its morally clean image, it has also wisely faced the facts that anytime you have tourism which brings people in from all over the world combined with one of the busiest shipping port in the region, prostitution is going to happen anyway, so why not regulate it?
Singapore has legal "Red Light Districts" which many visitors don't know about and Orchard Towers seems to be one of them, all though it's not formally listed like the other four are. This likely protects the local girls from the hordes of sailors in from the U.S. 7th fleet.
During the day, Orchard Towers is like any other mall on the mile long road of this high end shopping street. You'll find excellent tailor shops and electronic shops and a few places to eat or get a foot massage if your feet are tired. Most of these shops start to close up around 7pm to avoid the rush of guys and girls that will soon occupy the clubs and bars. The girls that work in the mall really hate it when guys try to pick them up thinking they're hookers. But most of the time, if not all the time, you can tell the difference, and should leave the "non-working" girls alone.
Should you find yourself in a club when it first opens, you may be the only one there until after 8pm, when some of the local guys start to drift in and the occasional girl sticks her head in to see if anything's happening. So sit back and enjoy the happy hour prices, beer for $5 a mug and pitchers for $15, a great deal while waiting for the girls to pour in. Most happy hours go until 8 or 9pm, but always ask just to make sure, as prices jump way up after happy hour ends.
While you've got the time, check out the different clubs before settling on one, so you can get a feel for the places before they get crowded.
Near the stage is a great place to sit as some clubs have bikini dancers. Once you've found your club, have a beer and be friendly, it's a great way to catch up on the latest gossip and find out what you might want to watch out for. It's a great place to meet fellow travellers and the odd local or two, sure to share some crazy stories about life in Singapore.
Every now and then you will come across Lady-boys (He-she) hanging out in the clubs,but usually, they're out front, sitting on the steps or just hanging out next to the mall before Orchard Towers. Many a sailor has met the girl of his dreams, not knowing they just picked up one of the many Lady boys. These poor guys, many who have never been overseas before, see these great looking, tall Asian girls with big bosoms and take them out for the night. Little do they know most Asian girls aren't that tall or well built!
By 11pm the clubs will be packed, no matter what day of the week it is. On some nights there are thousands of people within the tower. Many of the clubs frequently renovate, so if it's been a while since you've stopped by, your favourite club most likely has a new look. The old 392 club (1st floor) has changed names about 3 times now, but the club is nothing like what it was in its heyday. Now it's called "Queens Disco" and is still a decent place to go when all else fails. The old "Pink Pussycat" (2nd floor) is now called "Makati City" and has really taken off in terms of quality .
Night time is the best time, when the really beautiful people come out, dressed to thrill. As they say, "it pays to advertise" and they do it well. They know how to get your attention, for that glance that will get them to come over to your table for a short chat or a night of fun. I don't care who you are or what you look like, you can meet someone in the Towers if you want too. Sometimes it's fun just to visit to watch all the things that are going on around you.
Just remember that some girls do work in the building and are not "working girls". Most of time this is not a problem until the fleet sailors hit the Towers in force. Too much time at sea, too much money, too many beers and not enough common sense WILL land you in jail in Singapore. Everyone has a cell phone and the police are just a short call away. Here in Singapore it is against the law to harass or grope a girl in public, so keep that in mind boys.
Like anything for sale, supply and demand rules the day. You'll have to see what is going on with each one and take it from there, take your time. Don't jump on the first girl you see. My buddy Larry taught me that one but it was a hard learned lesson. Some of the most beautiful women head for the Top Ten Disco (4th floor) after 11pm. This place has the best music and quality environment I have observed in the Towers. It cost $25 to get in and drinks are a bit higher here, but it's well worth it. Top Ten tops the scales of clubs in the Towers, things are not cheap here. You can find Singaporeans enjoying expensive drinks in the Top Ten Disco if that's what you're seeking.
Makita City and Peyton Place are Filipina hangouts, while the others will have mix of everyone else. Ipanema has a good mix of people, so for variety this should be your place and you'll hardly ever see the Lady boys here, unlike the Crazy Horse where they tend to hang out.
As for the smaller clubs try Checkmate, Club Passion, or Bongo Bar; these clubs have a more homely feeling, and most of the patrons and staff are regulars. Tucked away in the back corner of the second floor you'll find a small Thai restaurant with the best Thai food in Singpaore, where the girls and couples eat and socialise, so you may want to drop in to see who's hanging around off duty.
On Sundays many of the clubs open at 12pm for Tea-dances, since this is when the maids and other imported workers have their day off. You'll find girls just out for a good time with their friends and these girls will be getting messed up fast.
Most clubs have some type of fashion show or dance contest, with a band or dance music. It makes for some great shopping and entertainment for your mid-day experience. Many of the women you find on Sundays during this time are Filipinas, you may find a few Thais or Malays, but its mostly Filipinas. Some of the better clubs for Sundays are Peyton Place and The Blue Banana in the basement, the Ipanema World Music Club and Makati City on the second floor and the Crazy Horse on the 4th floor.
On the backside of Orchard Towers is an eating place called 3 Monkeys Cafe. Ideally located by the steps to both the basement and first floor, you can watch people come and go if that's your thing. Monkeys is open until 5am and if you find yourself the last to leave, you can take your date here.
Sometimes you'll find the ladies eating there before going to work, so this is a great place for some quality time, since many of the clubs are very crowed and noisy. The food here is not too bad, but at 3am it beats nothing at all, so give it a try.
NOTE: Orchard Towers is a place where you have a great time but like anyplace else in the world where you have this many girls and guys looking for companionship, keep in mind that there is a lot of bad people out there, so always use caution, and take care of your health first and foremost. Stay thirsty my friends...