Finally it’s not the turquoise Philippine beach or another rocky shore – I made a quick switch to explore the city lifestyle and its grand offers – to where the millionaires make billions and more – Singapore!
To tell you, no city has ever impressed me. The still and lifeless sights of buildings, the playful lights and bursting sounds may be surprisingly astounding to some but they aren’t entertaining to me. These attractions seem not even half to compete with the beautiful white-sand beaches I always bring myself to. But who would ever say NO to Singapore for Php2,500 AirAsia airfare? Parang local flight lang!
So here’s the famous shot: MERLION at One Fullerton – Singapore
With so much love to beaches, I almost forgot to get a good round to places that might as well provide me a new experience. My passport has laid flat inside my cabinet and there was my lonely self asking: Kanus-a man tika magamit passport??Kung expire na lage ka??
I booked a flight and arranged a tour: Tri-city Tour (Singapore – Malaysia – Indonesia) costing Php10,500 for 3N/4D.
Welcome to Singapore.
The initial plan was to go with Ms. Wayne and Rejolene but it turned out to be just me and Rej with Ms. Wayne to attend to some important matters – this lovely lady has something good to get soon in exchange of her failed trip with us.
It was my first time to travel out of the country!
So why Singapore? I haven’t set a special preference of which country to go. However, with the opportunity of cheap fare and availability of the tour to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – I was certain I’ll get off soon!
To travel Singapore is to take good captures of its highly-acclaimed architectures and gardens – that’s the norm. But when I finally arrive to the place – seeing the different races, the unique designs of buildings and the lively mix of lights at night – I got the instant feeling that I would be getting more of what my camera can hold – and there’s the smile on my face.
See how these impressive and eye-popping Singapore pride may just get you to go:
1. Changi Airport
Proclaimed as the World’s 2nd Best Airport both in 2012 and 2013 – what more would you expect inside this well-structured building? I was like a lost child bouncing and dancing while leading my steps out the door – I couldn’t get enough of everything inside the airport.
Each corner, if not directions are great pieces of engineering artworks that are uniquely crafted for a great welcome. Dust and mark-free, well-lighted and organized – this airport is truly deserved of what it claims – world-class!
2. High-end Condominiums
Contemporary condominiums are all over Singapore, they are a common scene. With a small land area of 710 km², people have no way to build their homes flat on the ground but rent the expensive rooms which cheapest could cost $6,000 SGD – $10,000 SGD a month. Price may go higher as you choose a more advanced, city-centered and spacious living space.
This one in Orchard is among the most expensive condominiums in the country costing more than $50M SGD. Singapore is absolutely squatter-free. Everyone has got a good sizeable room from managers to janitors. *Prepare enough cash for your ACCOMMODATION if you got no one to stay in Singapore – it’s the highest expense to eat up your budget.
For a first-world country, high-rise buildings may just be expected. I’ve seen a couple of good ones in Makati and Global City – fair enough we got ours too. But what sets Singapore architecture to “what seems common” to me is ABSOLUTELY the DESIGN of these competing skylines.
They’re absolutely beautiful – I could just die – overness.com.nes. I never have adorned a city before but Singapore – it was such a unique charm to see human artworks and nature perfectly combined. Dirt-free and noise-free, I could just sit here forever and watch the day go by.
MARINA BAY SANDS – Inside Marina Bay Sands is this man-made river patterned to what Venetian Hotel in Macau is known of. Wow, Macau ikaw ba yan? Drown yourself to shopping and to all other pleasures – top-notch brands and everything you imagine are inside this huge – modernly crafted structure. For shopping-addicts, this might just be your heaven on Earth.
GARDENS BY THE BAY is one of the most famous attractions in Singapore connected to Marina Bay Sands by just a short Lions bridge. If you are on the MRT, just drop at the Bayfront MRT station. If you get lost, don’t worry you have all the directions to follow or just simply let the flock of people carry you – it’s more fun!
Gardens by the Bay is the home to attractions including the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, The Supertrees, The Heritage Gardens, World of Plants, Dragonfly Lake and Garden Cruiser. Note * access to the outdoor gardens at Bay South is free while admission charges apply to the Cooled Conservatories and OCBC Skyway for $12/adult and $8/child.
GIANT FLYER – A quick snap of the Giant Observation Wheel at early 6:00am.
SENTOSA – A trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without the visit to Sentosa. This place have probably been captured by millions and enjoyed by thousands – not too much of myself as I’m not a fan of rides and theme parks. The entire place is extremely entertaining with corners in full colors and merry-making. You have 2 ways to get there from Harbour Front MRT Station:
1. take the Sentosa Beach Tram
2. take Sentosa Express: Beach Station.
Universal Studios Singapore is becoming the most popular highlight of Sentosa with more than 10 high-budgeted attractions including Skyride and Climbmax. Admission is $69.90/adult and $53,90/child – valid for 1 day 9am – 7pm.
Songs of the Sea brings you a mesmerizing show with a life cast and dramatic effects like pyrotechnics, water jets, brilliant lasers, special computer imaging, stunning flame bursts and captivating music. Ticket price is $12 and showtime starts at 7:40pm and 8:40pm ONLY.
The show was spectacular, only that it’s short and quick. We were comfortably sitted at the center row and getting a good view of everything. I could only imagine my younger self captivated by the lights and sounds that appeared and moved together – it was a delight.
If you are rooting for some authentic Asian cuisines then heading to Singapore may just be the perfect thing to do. Served hot and mostly spicy, the country has different varieties of foods from noodles to soups. Indulge to the flavorful Singaporean dishes for prices ranging from $4 – $10. *carenderia price. Anyways, try chicken rice for $3 – I had and liked it a lot.
I also noticed a line of stores selling durian. If you think Filipinos are wild about it, just think about this picture.
Ice cream in bread. Plain but good-flavored street-food that we quickly grabbed while leaving One Fullerton to catch another train ride at Esplanade MRT station. The bread was just as tasty as the mango-cheese flavored ice-cream. Definitely a must-try for $2.
5. The People
My eyes were rolling to the different sights while walking around Bugis street but my mind was in full wonder to how would I connect to these people who look and speak entirely different than me – then I start to feel strange – I’m not in my country.
Singapore holds 5.3 million people yet the variations of races appear to be greater than this population. Though locals are friendly and kind, I still feel confined with the fact that “I am not from this place”. Most of the people in Singapore are Chinese and not all can understand English. Despite this, Singaporeans are very disciplined and organized – reflected on their clean and safe country. They live a fast-paced lifestyle with no time to waste. You see elderly locals as old as 70 to still do simple jobs to earn a living – dependency is quite a shame.
The amount of Indians in the area could almost get me lost – I was imagining Singapore to be only for white Asians. Nevertheless, their existence has made the country even more interesting. They were the ones to give us more help in getting to places – thank you.
One can stroll the busy street of Bugis and find this tight avenue with all different things to see and buy. It was hard to get through the crowd as we hope to find a reliable money exchanger. *I have my PHP exchanged to SGD in Singapore.
6. The Culture and Religion
Behind the competing structures are well-preserved temples that tied down Singapore into its roots. This Hindu temple on the corner of Bugis avenue was loaded with praying locals and there I was on the side admiring them.
Another city highlight is definitely this Chinese Temple masked by the tall mega-structures at Telok Ayer St – accessible through Raffles Place MRT Station. Filled with a glittering Golden Buddha and all other Chinese religious relics and Gods, the place is a living reminder of the rich and interesting Chinese culture. A must-visit!
7. The Transportation
The subway transport of Singapore is a thing to admire in the country – tourist-friendly, clean, huge and fast. Almost all stations are connected to huge shopping malls – please don’t get too tempted. To save some cash on the transportation expense, we decided to get the ONE-DAY pass for $25 with $10 refundable (tourist privilege) which you can claim at Changi Airport. *Tourists are granted 7% discount on purchases higher than $100SGD.
Travel is a breeze with the wide highways to accommodate all types of vehicles. Singapore is traffic and smoke-free. However, annual road tax is expensive in the country – granting only those few privileged to own and operate a car.
8. The National Orchid Garden
I know someone who would do anything just to switch places with me at this very moment – Mama. From the Orchard town, we get to the taxi for $13 to reach this place.
Orchard isn’t only the shopping location of Singapore but also the home of these beautiful and colorful orchids. With giant orchid laboratories to secure their growth and speed-up their propagation, this place could almost make you feel out of Earth.
Orchids of different varieties thrive around each corners. I’ve never been around to so much flowers like this before – they were all in full-bloom when we had our visit. We could see the butterflies kiss them gently as they hop from one stalk to another – they are all lovely to the eyes. Entrance fee is $5/adult and $1/student with 8:30am – 7:00pm daily service.
9. The Chinese Garden
It was about to go dark when we decide to rest at Chinese Garden – a park situated at Jurong East where the best sunset can be seen. The place is so relaxing with the combination of Asian architectural features to nature. Apart from its clean, airy ambiance, you could see the trimmed plants giving colors to the tall pagodas – making Singapore well-worth to be called a “City in a Garden”.
This silent place is surrounded by statues of the most influential Chinese philosophers and scientists with some I recognized as Confucius and Mulan. And as I dragged myself closer to each of the replicas, it got me thinking “When will I have mine?”
Our last hours in Singapore was spent inside this park as we waited for the sun to hide. It was a dramatic moment to savor as we continue the good conversation with our selves laying lazy on the flat soft grass.
It was indeed a life-changing travel that I was happy to pursue. Thank you God.
And to the best PEOPLE I owe this trip:
1. MY COUSIN and HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE and KIDS
Kuya Den – THANK YOU so MUCH for all the best treats given especially for the shelter and company. Your guide and presence has helped us enjoy this trip a lot better than our arranged tour. SALAMAT kaau Kuya – see you soon in Bohol!
2. My best amiga CHARLINE.
Cha THANK YOU and sa imung madamdamin at nakakatawang stories. HAHA..I’ll never forget Orchard and the fun we had as we walk those busy streets. You’ve given me so much to bring home – you’re a friend to keep. ENJOY your athletic days out there – balika sad tawun mi diri pag may time!
3. My Travel Buddy – REJOLENE!
REJ – for every struggle – nawala at nagutum na tayo at lahat lahat na – SALAMAT! It was fun to travel with you kahit nadala kana sa di ko pagpasok sa Universal Studios – haha! It was fun to have you as my big ate! Thank you for the guide and patience – I’ll always remember all your advices. More travels for us!
My Short Travel Tips to Singapore:
1. Don’t get a tour package. You can always go around SG all by yourself.
2. For GIRLS, forget your jeans – wear your skirts. Ladies there are just so in-love with skirts so better be in.
3. Forget the TAXI – experience MRT – it will give you a challenging experience.
4. Get the EZ-Link card to get to the public transportations. Load it with $20 and your 5-day train and bus transport is saved.
5. Be always on the left especially when riding the escalator.
6. Just bring enough of cash – it’s not too expensive there if you have someone to stay with.
7. Ask and just ask – you will never be lost.
How would I ever forget this trip? Never in my entire life.
When everything with working online gets me entirely bored, I bring myself back to this travel where I get myself a pleasant treat. With this confinement comes the great desire of stepping out and achieving something bigger and bolder.
GET OUT – EXPLORE – its a HUGE PARADISE out there – I’m just HAPPY I DID!
Stayed at: Hotel 81 Geylang 20 Lorong 16 Geylang, Geylang, Singapore and Parc Vista Condominium – Lakeside
Transportation: Airasia Airbus via Malaysia
Enjoyed most: The stroll to the busy Singapore streets and the locals
Missed: Universal Studios
Overall Impression: 10 stars