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Day 5: Bye2 Singapore

Reminder: Make sure you’ve read Day 4 before you proceed! 😀

The following took place on Thursday, 29th October 2009 :-

Being the last day, we went to find the bus terminal to Johor, which is in Arab St., near our hotel. Passed a nice chapel as we walked…

After we found the terminal, we made our way to the MRT station and went to Orchard Rd and had breakfast at McD. And bought more bak kwa hehe…And we passed a convenient store called “25hrs“…kiasu much? LOL.

Pretty soon it was time to leave so we took a cab from Bugis Junction back to our hotel, did some final packings, freshened up and took a cab to the bus terminal – didn’t walk this time cos we had luggage, and then some! Haha.

My travel-buddy BFF May & I during the taxi-ride to Arab St.

Then the bus took us to Johor (Terminal Kota Raya) – fare: $2.40.

From there, used another bus to Senai Airport for RM8…

Senai Airport was in a disappointing state (facilities & cleanliness-wise)…Singapore’s bus terminals were better!

That made us even more sad leaving Singapore behind…

We landed in Kuching that night and went home to May’s marking the end of our Singapore vacation.

But it wasn’t the last I saw of Singapore – I ended up going again a month later, on the first weekend of December to be exact. I couldn’t get enough of Singapore. What can I say?

Singapore is a fine city! ;p

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Day 4: Exploring City Hall area & more

Reminder: Make sure you’ve read Day 3 before you proceed! 😀

The following took place on Thursday, 29th October 2009 :-

‘Twas probably the late night previously that made us oversleep the next day. We only woke up at noon (to the sound of the doorbell at that!)…so we hurriedly showered and headed out, not willing to lose out anymore daylight hours.

And only on our last day in Singapore did we get to try the Singapore Tourist Pass.

For a fixed rate when we “borrow” it (we were to return it and get a refund of our deposit), this pass allowed us unlimited access to all the public modes of transportation (ie. trains & buses) without having to pay every single time. We just had to swipe! Very affordable and convenient! Wished credit cards were this cool. Haha.

Anyways, we headed out to City Hall area…

Really nice church near the city…

The Esplanade – the design inspired by the King of Fruits, the Durian.

Then we headed to the Singapore river area…

Fullerton Hotel, a famous hotel near the Singapore river.

Near this hotel was Cavenagh bridge and to my horror, I saw some kids jumping into the Singapore river!!!

So I tried saving them…

Little did I know then that this good deed was rewarded the following year when I won a free trip to Bali! 😀

And the famous Raffles Landing Site – where it was believed Sir Stamford Raffles landed years ago…

Next, after exploring the City Hall & Singapore river area we were off to the world-class Singapore Zoo

Unfortunately it was almost closing when we got there at about 5pm… 🙁

So we only managed to take a quick trip around the zoo…

White Tigers – sleeping…

And real elephants… :B

When nightfall came and the Zoo closed we went next door to the Night Safari!

We managed to catch the Fire-Eating performance there…

The Fire Eaters were HOT! Pun intended. 🙂

And we suspected they were actually from Borneo!

We also caught the Creatures of the Night show…awesome!!! Unfortunately, it was too dark to take pics…

Soon it was time to leave…but not before taking more pics near the entrance! Hehe

This is a real crocodile. :B

Ben & Jerry’s Flavour Graveyard.

FYI, it being near the end of October, the theme throughout was Halloween…

The Skeleton Tree

Leaving the Night Safari…

It was about 10pm when we left and since we used the public bus to get here we had to catch a public bus back as well…and we didnt know which to take…so we just took the 1st that arrived…the trip back was an adventure in itself but we managed! 😀

(To be continued…)

Next: Day 5: Goodbye Singapore

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Day 3: Exploring Jurong

Reminder: Make sure you’ve read Day 2 before you proceed! 😀
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The following took place on Wednesday, 28th October 2009 :-
We took the MRT to Boon Lay station and from the bus terminal there (heck, the bus terminal would shame some airports in our country!), we took the bus to Jurong Bird Park.

And the first thing we did was to check out the Happy Feets at the Penguin Expedition.

We were there during their feeding time and it was amusing to watch these furry-yet-rubbery-clad creatures waddle their way to the guy bringing them buckets loads of fish. It was also amazing to note how different species were fed in turns and in different ways. The taller ones were fed straight to their beaks, should they miss and the fish dropped to the floor, it was gone. They couldn’t bend over to grab it so it’s then food for the shorter ones. And yet another species feed while in the water. The guy will throw a handful of fish into the water and these will waddle into the water and swim to get their meal…interesting huh?

Next we managed to catch the Birds and Buddies Show at the Pools Amphitheatre.
True to its name, it was a parade of all kinds of birds! There were Flamingoes, Parrots, Hornbill, Hawk/Eagle, Pelicans, etc. And it wasn’t just a parade but these birds also performed. There were those who played “basketball” with their beaks, and those that caught stuff thrown in the air etc…but the most enteratining was Amigo, the talking parrot. Not only does he talk, he also sings! In 3 different languages! One very smart bird!

After that we went to the World of Darkness

If you think the owl behind me is freaky, you haven’t seen the owls in the darkness INSIDE! One owl actually turned its head 360 degrees to glare at me when I was standing by it’s enclosure – real freaky!
After escaping the darkness, we used the LRT-like train to the Lory Loft. It is a walk-in enclosure where the lory are allowed to fly and roam freely. Near the entrance there is a counter where visitors can buy bird feed and feed the birds.

It is ALWAYS Lory feeding time here!!!

Noticed the 3 lory on my hand? One was hanging with it’s claws digging into my fingers! And yet a fourth was in mid-air, about to land (love how the camera caught that!)…now check out the lady with the camera behind me. She actually snapped a good number of pics of the birds. I should have charged her for being the “hand-model”! LOL.

From the Loft we took the train to the African Waterfall Aviary, which was the tallest manmade waterfall.
(Sorry, no pics at the waterfall itself handy at the moment haha)
Oh, btw, if you never knew how the word “Lovebirds” came about to describe “couples”…check this out:

Cool huh? 🙂
Anyways, before leaving the Bird Park, we grabbed a bite at Bongo Burgers

NICE!!! Thick hand-made burger patty!
After Jurong Bird Park, we headed back to the terminal and from there took another bus to…

SNOWCITY!!! Here we actually went snow-tubing (is that the term?) on an artificially-made snowy hill in a huge refrigerated hall, kinda like a big walk-in freezer! You can bet we were laughing all the way down as our ride (just a piece of tyre each) slushed down the slippery slope. And IT WAS FREEZING!!! In the 2 hour’s we were there we had to go out several times to regulate our body temp. LOL.

Then we took a bus to the Science Discovery Centre (where we checked out the ultra cool science-experiments & exhibits there) and Science Centre Singapore (we tried the Omni-Theatre, where the movie was projected on the dome-shaped curved walls, making you feel like part of the movie!)
After that we went back to our hotel, quickly freshened up and then took a cab to…

Zouk!
It was a full house, and I noticed that the clubbing crowd was pretty young…
People hung around the bar, people dancing on the dance floor – the “regulars” by the looks of them, even led the rest on some dance routine to the house music…too bad they don’t have live band…
But you know what I enjoyed most with Zouk?
WE GOT IN FREE! AND had a free drink each! 😀

It might not be a Zouk-Out but a Zouk-In was pretty cool too! 😀
(To be continued…)
Next: Day 4: Exploring City Hall area

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Day 2: Exploring Sentosa

Reminder: Make sure you’ve read Day 1 before you proceed! 😀

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The following took place on Tuesday, 27th October 2009 :-

We left the hotel around 8am and this time made our way to the other MRT station – Little India. This time we were already experts at reading maps so we found it without much difficulty. From Little India we took the train to Harbourfront station and from there, went to VivoCity, Singapore’s largest mall, to get the Sentosa Express to Sentosa Island.

The train was pretty frequent and since most of Sentosa’s attractions open at 10am we decided to have breakfast at VivoCity before heading for Sentosa. And we had breakfast at…


Subway! Choosing which bread + fillings was already half the fun! LOL.

After breakfast, we proceeded to Sentosa Island. We had purchased tickets for the “package” (SD39/pax) of the Merlion…

The “Papa” Merlion (since there’s apparently a family of Merlions in Singapore! The “Mama” & “baby” Merlion are near the Singapore River…)

View from on the top of “Papa” Merlion (I was pointing out the Theme Park & further out, the Casino – both still under construction*)

Inside the “Merlion Museum” under “Papa” Merlion’s (this sea dragon was pretty scary!)

…Tiger Skytower, Segway Go Green and the Sentosa 4D Magix.

I have to share how awesome the Sentosa 4D Magix is! 2D cinematography has been around ages and we all have heard and most likely experienced 3D movies – but 4D was much much cooler! Not only can you see and hear (2D) what was happening in the movie and the images seem to come out of the screen (3D), with 4D, it feels quite like YOU are IN the movie itself! For example, we were watching this Pirate movie and when they were at sea, we were actually splashed with water and when they were attacked by swarms of bees, we actually felt the bees against our skin and the wind from the bees’ wings! I’m sure with 5D we will be able to SMELL what’s happening onscreen as well! Awesome awesome technology!

We also went to the Underwater World…

This giant species of crab – forgot what it’s called though.

This is how big it is if you spread it out…WOAH!

…and Dolphin Lagoon.

We saw the Dolphin show – they were so cute!!! And no joke, the dolphins were really pink! And there is actually a “package” to swim with the dolphins!!! I wish I could swim.

Anyways, we had an awesome time at Sentosa and I personally don’t mind going again! 😀

After that, we made it back to “mainland” Singapore. Tried the Koko Krunch McFlurry (which we don’t have here!) at Harbourfront and bought souvenirs, some BCH bak kwa and tapao-ed some Singapore mee hoon before heading back to the hotel.

*should already be completed by now?

(To be continued…)

Next: Day 3: Exploring Jurong

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Day 1: Singapore welcomes you!

I actually had this drafted last year but I wanted to include pics as well…which I was finally able to upload now -.- so yeah… 🙂

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“So easy to enjoy, so difficult to forget”

That (or something like that) is one of Singapore’s “tagline” and it is so true! This was me enjoying it (and me not forgetting it)

The following took place on Monday, 26th October 2009 :-

It was 10.10am when we landed. We peered out of the airplane window and the words “Changi International Airport” peered back at us. I thought of whipping out the camera to snap a picture of the words on the terminal building but decided to wait till we landed and walked on the tarmac instead. Afterall, it would be a lot more “personal” if I was in the picture and the words were in the background. 😉

(Un)fortunately(?), we were “parked” at one of the gates in the other terminal buildings (that was when we realized how HUGE the airport was!) so we were out of sight of the words and although we were using an AirAsia flight, we did not need to walk the tarmac but was greeted by an aerobridge, which was very well-padded! The carpet was so thick that we felt our feet sink into it! But once we were inside the terminal building, I soon forgot we were at an airport. It was really HUGE and oh-so-awesome!

We didn’t spend a lot of time there though as we were eager to get to our hotel and begin our exploration of the Island Republic.

Leaving the airport, we took in the sights of the city – the high-rise buildings, some of the famous landmarks (like the Singapore Flyer) and the overall developed city feel. We were using the airport shuttle straight to our hotel’s front steps and it cost just SD9/pax!

This was our accommodation throughout our stay in Singapore: Hotel 81 Dickson.


Hotel 81 is a hotel chain that provides the cheapest hotel rooms in Singapore and the rooms are not bad either! This is the standard room and it cost just SD79/night:-

Yes, the bathroom wall is translucent! >:D

Due to the efficient transport, we arrived at the hotel at almost noon, a bit too early to check-in, so we left our luggage at the “concierge” (just at the lobby actually) and went to grab lunch. This was the first time in Singapore for both of us and apart from a “tentative travel itinerary” I had prepared a few weeks earlier (based on some Singapore Tourism Board (STB) pamphlets I had borrowed from a colleague) we knew nothing about Singapore and how to get around. But we were eager to explore and learn the ropes (and maybe get lost trying).

So we left the hotel and proceeded to the main road and right across the road was Sim Lim Tower! We were so pleased because we heard this was the place to get “cheap electronic gadgets”. But when we arrived there, we were so disappointed! It’s not that the gadgets weren’t as cheap as we expected. It’s because there was not much gadgets or anything else in there! It was plain…small. Thinking that STB made a mistake in recommending it, we made our way out. And that was when we saw it. A huge building across the road, with the huge words “Sim Lim Square” written on it and in smaller font “electronic lifestyle mall” (or words to that effect) below it. That was when we realised we were the ones who were mistaken (and learnt not to doubt STB’s recommendations after that!) LOL.

We checked into our room at almost 2pm, freshened up and proceeded our exploration of the Lion City. Our hotel was strategically walking distance away from 2 MRT stations (that was why we chose it in the first place) and we made our way to the first – Bugis – and just going to the MRT station was an adventure in itself! In actuality, the station was only about 10 to 15mins walk away from our hotel, but due to our experience with maps (or lack thereof) we ended up taking twice the time. Haha. But no harm done since we actually took a “scenic route” that allowed us to pass by/through some tourist spots/malls like The Verge, Ilumina, Bugis Street and Bugis Village to name a few. One reason we had difficulty in finding the station was because we kept looking upwards for train tracks as a sign we were near the station. It was only when we arrived at Bugis Junction did we realize that the MRT station was actually underground! LOL.

After we made it to Bugis MRT station, we just needed to figure out how to use the MRT. Observing what the locals did and inquiring at the ticketing counter, we didn’t take too long to find out how the system worked and were soon onboard the train and heading for City Hall MRT station. Alighting at City Hall, we exited at RafflesCity Mall and went all around it looking for the complimentary shuttle that should take us to Suntec City, Milennia Walk and the Singapore Flyer. We didn’t see any shuttle or bus stop nearby for that matter, so we asked a lady working at one of the eating places near the entrance of RafflesCity where to get said shuttle but she didn’t know either. However, she gave us a very useful information – she said we could actually WALK to Suntec City! And that was exactly what we did, all via underground channels! We passed through the bellies of Millenia Walk Mall and arrived at Suntec City Mall and Convention Centre.

This was the reason we went to Suntec City Mall: The Fountain of Wealth.

It is located at the roundabout in the centre of 5 towers which make up the whole Suntec plaza. Unfortunately, it appeared as if the fountain was under renovation when we got there. We had “tea-break” at FoodRepublic in Suntec City while waiting for the 5pm “Ducktours”.

The “Ducktours” is basically a sightseeing tour of the City both on land and on water. The best thing about this tour is, you don’t have to leave your seat! Yep, our “on land” and “on water” vehicle is the same vehicle – an amphibious vehicle, one of the many ex-military vehicles that can travel on land and on water. How awesome is that?

We got to see more famous landmarks like the Esplanade and Merlion Park we got to know more details on the history and culture of Singapore from our friendly tour guide as she gave live commentaries throughout our 1 hour tour (which cost SD33/pax).

Back at Suntec City we took awhile to re-admire the Fountain of Wealth and Suntec plaza as our “Ducktours” guide gave us new-found awe for the whole design of the fountain and 5 towers. The design was actually based on the open palm ie. 4 of the towers are the fingers and the shorter tower was the thumb, with the fountain in the centre symbolizing “recieving” good fortune – guess that’s why the fountain was upside down too! Awesome!

After that we traced our way back to City Hall MRT. We exited at RafflesCity again but this time made our way to CHIJMES across the road from it. This used to be an orphanage but now the grounds are filled with fine dining restaurants, bars and shops.

The church was awesome!

By the time we got out from CHIJMES it was kinda dark already and the view of the City was awesome!

And we went to the Raffles Hotel Arcade just between RafflesCity and CHIJMES.

(rafless hotel arcade)

And then we made our way back to Bugis MRT. We had dinner at Food Junction in Bugis Junction, there was a fountain inside that actually spelled “Welcome to Singapore” when light shone through it! We passed through Bugis Street and went back to our hotel and called it a day well spent.

(To be continued…)

Up next: Day 2: Exploring Sentosa