Singapore

After a wonderful week in Thailand, we came to enjoy Singapore.

Day 1 – 29 May 2018

When we were about to reach Singapore, the view from above was stunning. We clicked a few pictures from flight. We finally landed in Singapore at 11:30am. We collected our luggage and waited for the driver to pick us up. We met him at around 12pm and he gave us all the required tickets and itinerary in Singapore. We the sat in our mini bus and went to our hotel.

We reached Hotel Boss by 1pm and waited in the lobby for check in time. At 2pm we did the check-in procedure and got our rooms. We were given 2 key cards per room, so we started our experiment with different possible ways to use the card. We put one of our card in the electricity switch and tried to open the room with the other key card. It turned out that if one of the key card was inside the electricity switch, the door could be opened only from inside. We were locked outside our room but luckily we found a room service person on our floor and requested him to open the door. The other key card did not work after our little adventure, so we had to go get it fixed from the reception.

We were very hungry by then, so we decided to go for a walk and get something to eat. We had to get ready to leave by 5pm. We explored the swimming pool area for 10 min and we could see Singapore skyline from there. We then went for a walk outside and found a general store which sold different flavoured Cup Noodles. We bought 2 of those and came back to our rooms. Mummy heated water to pour in the cup noodles. We were done eating by 4:30pm. We then got ready and went to the lobby.

We reached Night Safari Zoo at 6:30pm. When Night Safari opened in 1994, it was the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. It has become a significant conservation, rescue and research facility. We went inside and waited in queue to go for a show. While we were waiting, there was Thumbuakar Fire Show where fire breathing tribal warriors displayed their skill as they danced and performed their fiery stunts. We saw the show for a few minutes then decided to go inside and catch the Fire show later. We went to see Creatures of the Night Show which featured some of the animals showing off — a raccoon that knew how to recycle, a smoky leopard, even a fox. It was a great show. After the show we went for Tram Ride in the park. The park’s lighting has been specially designed to be only as bright as the full moon, and since animals are used to that, they were awake and active. The forty-minute ride took us through the entire Night Safari, showing us the animals in their recreated habitats. On the tram, recorded tour guide shared lots of interesting animal facts. Since flash photography was prohibited, most of the pictures we took were hazy. So after a few attempt decided to just enjoy the ride and forget about taking pictures. After the tram ride we went for our pre-booked dinner at Ulu Ulu Restaurant inside the park. By the time we were done eating, the last fire show had ended. So we boarded our mini bus and went back to our hotel.

We went back to the swimming pool area to see the view at night.

Day 2 – 30 May 2018

We woke up at 7am and got ready by 9am. We boarded big bus along with other groups from our hotel.  We explored the city by driving round the Financial District & Marina Centre. Our guide gave us lots of information about Singapore.

While the earliest known historical records of Singapore are shrouded in time, a third century Chinese account describes it as “Pu-luo-chung“, or the “island at the end of a peninsula”. Later, the city was known as Temasek (“Sea Town”), when the first settlements were established from AD 1298-1299. According to legend, Sang Nila Utama, a Prince from Palembang (the capital of Srivijaya), was out on a hunting trip when he caught sight of an animal he had never seen before. Taking it to be a good sign, he founded a city where the animal had been spotted, naming it “The Lion City” or Singapura, from the Sanskrit words “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city). Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century, thanks to politics, trade and a man known as Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. In 1822, Raffles implemented the Raffles Town Plan, also known as the Jackson Plan, to address the issue of growing disorderliness in the colony. Ethnic residential areas were segregated into four areas. The European Town had residents made up of European traders, Eurasians and rich Asians, while the ethnic Chinese were located in present-day Chinatown and south-east of the Singapore River. Ethnic Indians resided at Chulia Kampong north of Chinatown, and Kampong Glam consisted of Muslims, ethnic Malays and Arabs who had migrated to Singapore.

Financial District had many banks and IT company offices. In Marina Centre we crossed Suntec CityPan Pacific Hotel (these are the only names I remember). Suntec City Office Towers houses a number of foreign diplomatic/non-diplomatic missions that are resident in Singapore. The five buildings and the convention center are arranged so that they look like a left hand when viewed aerially. The Fountain of Wealth appears like a golden ring in the palm of the hand. With 38 floors, the Pan Pacific Hotel is the tallest among the three hotels which are part of the Marina Square development. The movie De Dana Dan starring Akshay Kumar was shot in this hotel.

Our first stop was Merlion Park. We could see Marina Bay Sands (Marina Bay Sands has three 55-storey hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare roof terrace, Sands SkyPark with infinity swimming pool.), ArtScience Museum (reminiscent of a lotus flower), Singapore Flyer and Esplanade Theatre (looks similar to a durian (a tropical fruit) or microphone).

We then went to click pictures with the Merlion Statue. The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish that is widely used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. The place was quite crowded but we still managed to get some good pictures there.

Next we went to Thian Hock Keng Temple which is a temple built for the worship of Mazu (“Ma Cho Po”), a Chinese sea goddess. It is situated in Telok Ayer Street, a street in Chinatown. This temple is surrounded by buildings, mostly modern, the perfect contrast to this wonderful piece of Asian architecture. There were explanation about carvings on the wall.

We then went to Chocolate Gallery shop. It had variety of chocolates, souvenirs and T-shirts. We bought a few T-shirts and tote bags from there.

We were finally dropped at Mount Faber at around 1pm. We made out guide miss her bus by asking questions related to our Sentosa tickets. She was really pissed and said we should have asked her when we were in the bus. We took a Sky Network and enjoyed the splendid view of Singapore on the way to Sentosa Islands.

We got down at Imbiah Lookout and decided to eat before proceeding. We had packed spring rolls from breakfast buffet. We check our tickets and found out that we had tickets to SkyLine & Luge ride (2 each). We decided to take Luge ride, but it was closed due to some technical problems. So we took SkyLine to go down to the beach. It was a two-seater chairlift that gave us an aerial view of the surrounding area.

We sat down at the Siloso beach and decided to rest for a while. In our itinerary, it was written that we would get to sea Underwater World Show instead of SkyLine & Luge Ride, but we did not get the tickets for the same. So we contacted the travel agent and after a few back-and-forth we found out that itinerary had misprint.

WhatsApp Image 2018-05-30 at 8.39.14 PM

After resting for a while we decided to go for a walk along the beach road. The sun was very bright and we got tired pretty soon. So we then decided to take a bus and see Sentosa from the bus. The bus we sat on was a beach bus. It took us around the beach and took us back to the bus station. We still did not want to walk so we took Sentosa Express train from the Beach Beach Station. The train took us through Imbiah Station, Waterfront Station to Sentosa Station. We did not get down at the last stop. After a few minutes, the same train went on a return trip and we got down at Imbiah Station.

Outside Imbiah Station, was Merlion Plaza. So we took pictures with the Sentosa Merlion and the words Sentosa written there. After our photo session, we sat near Madame Tussauds. There was a peacock roaming around, so we took a few pictures of it.

After resting for a while we decided to go back and finish our rides. This time Luge ride was working, so we took our first Luge ride. After picking up our helmets, we got to the instruction area where we were briefed on how to control the luge. It was a simple matter of pulling back on the handlebars (which look like they belonged on an old-school bicycle) to allow the luge to move forward. Pulling back harder slows down the luge and pulling back all the way brings the luge to a complete stop. The ride was over way too quickly and we were left wanting more. That explained their slogan, “Once is never enough”. We went back up using our 2nd SkyLine ride and went for 2nd round of Luge ride. It was a fun experience.

After the ride, everyone was tired so we went to Palawan Park and lied down on the grass. Mummy and I decided to take a walk along the beach. We went to Palawan Beach and sat on the rocks near the beach. We took pictures of each other along the way. After the walk we came back and we also lied down beside Papa.

After some rest, it was almost time for the Wings of Time Show. So we decide to go to washroom before standing in line. Papa didn’t go to washroom. When we came out, we could not find him. We tried finding him near the washroom and the Palawan Park. After a lot of searching we found him standing in line. We went to stand with him, but there were too many people after him in line and they started shouting at us for cutting the line. So we went back to stand at the end. After standing for some time, we finally got in and got good seats.  It was a 20 minutes show viewed against a majestic backdrop of the sea on a huge water screen, expect awe-inspiring 3D projections, lasers, robotic water-fountains and pyrotechnics, all interweaved into a contemporary storyline. Hosted by the mystical, pre-historic bird Shahbaz and his friends Rachel and Felix, the story took us on a journey through exotic lands, while exploring artistic interpretations of the British Industrialisation Revolution, the Silk Road era, Mayan Pyramids, Underwater World and African Savanna, as it attempted to make its way home.

After the show, we walked to the pick up point and sat in our mini bus. The bus dropped us at Jewel of India for dinner. It was a long walk back to our hotel.

Day 3 – 31 May 2018

We got ready and we were waiting for our cab in the reception area. Everyone else’s cab driver announced their names and took them to their respective cabs. We waited for 5-10 min in the reception then decided to check in the parking area. The cab driver was waiting for us to come and search for the cab on our own. When we reached the cab, instead of us getting angry for not calling us, she was angry at us for not coming on time. It was ironic and and a little funny.

We finally reached Universal Studios in Resort World Sentosa. We took a few pictures with the Universal Studios Globe at the entrance. When we entered the Universal Studios, we grabbed a few maps for reference.

We turned left and saw Madagascar zone. We decided to take a round of the whole area, so we didn’t stop here. As we moved forward, we reached Far Far Away zone. Far Far Away is inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s hit Shrek franchise. The main highlight of the zone is the 40-metre tall “Far Far Away Castle”. We went inside the castle and found that there was a Shrek 4D Adventure Show. Shrek & The Ghost of Lord Farquaad is based on the story of Shrek and his quest to save Princess Fiona from the ghost. After the show we came out and saw a Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop with full of Shrek merchandise.

We then went to The Lost World zone, which is divided into two sub areas: Jurassic Park and Waterworld. We were more interested in the mummy ride, so we left The Lost World zone to go to Ancient Egypt zone. It features obelisks and pyramids which are typical of Ancient Egypt. Also featured are Pharaohs’ tombs which were supposedly commonly discovered during that era. We kept our bags in the locker provided outside which would be free for 1 hour and went for Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. It is a high-speed dark ride that serves sharp turns and fast reverse sections, built within a complex that is partially lighted. The line was very long and it took us almost an hour to get to the ride. The ride was scary but awesome. By the time we came out, it was more than an hour and we had to pay $10 to get our bags from the locker.

The restaurant where we could redeem our food coupon was right in front of us, so we went inside to eat. It was 12pm only and none of us were hungry so we decided to go for a crazy looking ride in Sci-Fi City zone. So we went in line for Battlestar Galactica: CYLON ride. It is a roller coaster that was designed to perform many near-misses and intense maneuvers – 5 inversions: Cobra roll, corkscrews, vertical loop, and a zero-g roll. The trains are modelled after the Cylon Heavy Raider used by the Cylon faction as seen in the Battlestar Galactica series. The line was again too long and we stood in line for almost an hour before the ride. The roller coaster was amazing and all of us enjoyed the ride a lot.

After standing in 2 long lines, we finally decided to avoid going for rides and instead watch shows and explore all the zones. We walked forward and reached New York zone. New York City zone is based on the original New York City, during the era of post-modernisation. This zone features various icons commonly portrayed in movies including the city skyline, neon lights, facades, and sidewalks. This zone also has a replica of the famous New York Public Library with two lion statues at its entrance. We went for Lights! Camera! Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg which had a sound stage fitted with special effects to mimic a major hurricane about to hit New York City. It was quite an interesting show. Next we went for Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase which took us on a journey with Elmo and Super Grover 2.0 travelling into space to rescue the stolen spaghetti from Macaroni the Merciless. It was a ride for kids but we went for it anyway.

We went back to Madagascar zone since we had skipped it when we entered. We went for Madagascar: A Crate Adventure which was a Water Boat Ride with Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman from Madagascar Movie. When we came out there was a Character Meet & Greet going on, so I stood in line got a picture clicked with the penguins.

We were very hungry, so we decided to go for lunch. On the way they announced that one of the show was about to start, so we went back to The Lost World zone. Waterworld is a live-action performance that involves stunts and pyrotechnics, on a stage that is set within a large pool of water. The show was quite interesting and fun to watch.

By the time, the show was over, it was 4:30pm and our driver had asked us to be at the pick up location by 5pm. So we rushed to the restaurant in Ancient Egypt zone and decided to pack 2 meal ($15/meal), 3 paratha($1 each) and chola($7) with our $40 food coupon. After getting the food we ran to the pick up location and reached there by 4:45pm.

We reached our hotel by 5:30pm and finally had our lunch. We then rested for a while and then went down at 7 for shopping. While we were waiting for others to come down, we checked out the shops in the parking area of our hotel. We went for a walk at 7:30 and reached Haji Lane. We did not find shops that we liked but the street was very beautiful. The walls were filled with colourful murals. We clicked a few photos there before going to the next shopping area.

We went to Bugis Street and found the street filled with amazing shops. We bought a few t-shirts, souvenirs, chocolates and lots of tote-bags and purses. We shopped till 9:30pm and then left for our pre-paid dinner at Shakunthala Restaurant which was a South Indian restaurant. The owner advised us to to take 4 different meals – prawn, chicken, fish and mutton meal and share among ourselves. The food was tasty and the service was good. After dinner, we walked back and reached our hotel by 11:30pm.

7 thoughts on “Singapore

  1. Hi Limi ! It’s a great job you are doing. Your all Blogs are not only fully detailed, also well illustrated and well sequenced. We are all proud of you of this gracious gift of God to you. Keep it up. Who knows you too can be a great writer like your JK Rolling.
    I myself wish to give it a form of book” The Life Journey of Limi” my Natni

    Liked by 2 people

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