Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Lion City: Singapore

So here's my long over due post about our trip to the Lion City, Singapore.

Took a vacation leave from the Death Star (McCann) last April 2013 to go with the family on our first out of the country trip together. We spent three wonderful days exploring that beautiful and pristine city. Since it was my second time there, I made a list of all the places I wasn't able to visit during my previous trip. Sadly, I never even got to complete 50% of that list. Ah well, that warrants a return trip I guess. (Mental note: Visit Buddha's Tooth Relic in Chinatown, Little India and Holland Village next time).

Here are the little snippets from my trip through the Lion's den:

Took a three hour flight from the Philippines and hit Changi airport sometime late afternoon (too bad I wasn't able to get any good shots.) The place was huge. Must go back and dedicate half a day to shooting around that place. Anyway, settled in at the hotel during the afternoon and did some light sight seeing.

I have a general discomfort when I lug my photo equipment around when I'm with my family or people who don't like taking photos. Out of respect to them, I would rather venture out solo with my camera gear at some other time than hold them up by stopping on the sidewalk, pulling out my camera and proceeding to take thirty minutes in finding the best angle for dodgy looking, one-eyed alley cat that I happen to stumble upon.

So I decided to make a solo photo flight at night when they were all sleeping in the hotel. No matter how tired I am from a day of walking or travel, I will always, always have the energy to chase 'that' shot.

Anyway, proceeded to snap around the Singaporean Art Museum (SAM) below. It was closed during the time of our trip due to renovations. Oh well.

Walked a little ways off and was able to spot another gem which was the Singapore National Museum (below). Too bad that not all windows were lighted. Would've made a better shot.

Headed back to the hotel after that to turn in.

The next day we had the 'semi-traditional' Singaporean breakfast of Kopi, Kaya Toast and soft boiled eggs. The Kopi is pretty darn sweet and goes very well with the unique sweetness of the jam in the Kaya Toast. The soft boiled eggs counter the sweetness finely with its mild saltiness.

Headed to the Singapore Flyer next. The shot below is the audio-visual presentation that you have to walk through in order to get to the Flyer. We breezed through this as we wanted a compartment all to ourselves.

Luckily, since we were a group of 5, we didn't have to share the compartment with anyone else. We had a caboose all to ourselves. It was a spacious place where we could stand up and look around at the sights that the Singapore Flyer had in store for us.

The ride took about thirty minutes, the Flyer was probably the highlight of our trip there. You could see as far as neighboring Malaysia (If I'm not mistaken) and you had a grand view of the metropolis. The ride was very comfortable with the smooth operation of the Flyer, the cool aircon despite the heat and the soothing music coming from the on board speakers. Well worth it for S$33 per person which translates to about Php 1,100.00.

You could see Marina Bay quite nicely as demonstrated by my youngest brother here. (He unofficially became my model during the trip.)

Captivating view of the Botanical Gardens as well.

After, we took a cable car from Mount Faber to get to Sentosa. Paid around S$26 (Php 900) for the 12 minute ride. Exciting for me since I don't deal that well with heights. What made it worse was when the wind buffeted our cable car and made it dance on it's hinges. Fun, in a morbidly cool kind of way.

Stop over for lunch at a Toast Box resto in Sentosa. Nice interiors.

The next day we took to the streets in search of things that glittered and shined but will eventually lose their luster. We headed to Orchard Road to take a look at them classy window displays and stuff.

Here's my little bro taking the well designed subways in Singapore. Wish we had this in Manila.

Couldn't leave Singapore without having a taste of those ice cream sandwiches. Great how they plunk it in between a rainbow loaf of bread. All that for S$1.50!

That night, at around 11 PM, took my brothers to see the Merlion up close. Had a dazzling view of the Marina Bay Sands as well.

The next day, my youngest brother and I explored a old military fort that was turned into a park. The place was called Fort Canning. It served as a British garrison during the second world war and now serves as a nice and green little park between the bustling urban structures that circle it.

Walked around the rest of the day exploring the city.

Couldn't leave Singapore without trying Fatty's authentic Chinese restaurant. (It's actually called Wing Seong Fatty's) (Link here)  My cousin brought me here during my first time and I devoured every last bit of their tiger prawn in bread crumbs and special Chinese fried rice. One of the best Chinese restos I have been to.

Dropped by the Bugis district which is famous for their flea market. Lots of hustle and bustle around here but you'll be able to scavenge a good deal if you know where to look. What most people don't know is that there is actually a second floor to add to the cacophony that is the first. Still, the place offers a lot of shops where you can buy souvenirs before heading home.

And to cap it all off, downed a couple of Tiger Beers with the brothers before our early morning flight out of the Lion City.

Can't wait to head back and explore more of the Merlion's city.

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