Not many Americans are aware of the Maldives because it is literally on the other side of the world. It takes three days to get there, each way, so almost a week of travel is involved on a round trip. My eight-hour layover in Singapore went quickly because of the free tour that is offered by Singapore Air. After two months of close quarters in Male it was quite a culture shock to see some of the tallest buildings in the world, wide streets and lush greenery. There’s even a boat ride for a close-up view of the symbol of Singapore, the merlion (half fish, half lion).
But the strange thing is the total lack of people in the streets, not counting tourists. Perhaps it’s because our tour was during the noon hour and only “mad dogs and Englishmen” go out in the noonday sun. Whatever, the free tour is a smart marketing tool and makes me want to stay a bit longer on my next trip.