Sunday, June 26, 2011

Singapore!

Happy morning! The view outside our room in Singapore Marriott Hotel, overlooking the shopping district of Orchard Road was a good sight to see in the morning and would definitely perk you up to be wide awake. This is the view that greeted us yesterday after our good night sleep following our day trip in Sentosa.
 
Likewise, Ethan is already awake. Again, he had fun crawling around and practicing his standing skills holding on to furniture inside the room.
 
After having breakfast, we went straight to MRT Orchard station to take the train going to City Hall station (SGD2 each).
 
From here, we did a walking our of Singapore landmarks similar to what Chester and I did a couple of years back.
 
Singapore Cricket Club
 
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles monument, citing his landing site in 1819
 
 Boat Quay as seen from the other side of the river
 
skyline along the river
 
The Fullerton Hotel
 
Singapore River Boat Quay historical information
 
We crossed over Singapore river via Cavenagh Bridge, the only suspension bridge in Singapore and among the oldest, being built in 1870.
 
 Roshie and Ethan
 
Anderson Bridge, completed in 1910. This bridge is for vehicles while Cavenagh Bridge is for pedestrians.
 
Then we crossed the Esplanade Bridge going towards One Fullerton, to reach the Merlion Park.
 
The Merlion Park, as viewed from Esplanade Bridge
 
 
The Merlion Park is a popular attraction in Singapore and is home to two Merlion statues. The Merlion is a half-lion half-fish mythical creature symbolizing Singapore as its name derived from Singapura meant "lion city".
 
the smaller merlion
 
 
the bigger merlion
 
view of The Marina Bay Sands from Merlion Park
 
the bigger Merlion
 
Esplanade Bridge and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
 
Then we walked towards Suntec City Mall, where we plan to meet a friend and have our lunch. We chanced upon Koi Garden and spent a few minutes killing time there.
 
At the heart of Suntec City Mall is the Fountain of Wealth, listed in Guinness Book of Records as the "largest fountain in the world". Visitors and encouraged to walk and circle the mini fountain in the middle 3 times with their hands touching the water. Doing this, as what we were told, would bring luck.
 
 
 
pathway to the mini fountain
 
 
gong
 
We met with our friend Gretch who is currently residing in Singapore for work. Since it is lunch time, we had our lunch in Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.
 
Ethan ready to eat
 
We had the following items in our table
 
 
prawns with oat cereals
 
yang chow fried rice
 
 hakaw
 
 
 
 
Ethan and Gretch
 
One thing to note, Gretch paid for our lunch (thank you!!). After lunch, we walked over Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay again enroute to Marina Bay Sands. The building structure of the theatres cannot be mistaken from afar as it is the only place in the city that has two durian-like roofing.
 
the family
 
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
 
Marina Bay Sands as viewed from the Eplanade
 
From here, we can also see personnel lined up practicing for the National Day Parade over the Marina Bay Floating Stadium. The event is still far away (August 9) but practice was in full swing.
 
approaching Marina Bay Sands
 
The Helix Bridge
 
Gretch feeding Ethan ice cream sandwich
 
Nearby is the ArtScience Museum. Shaped like a lotus, it is actually part of the Marina Bay Sands complex, the museum usually houses touring artifacts coming from museums around the world.
 
At the resort complex, there is also a mall housing high-end designer brands and entertainment activities such as a rink for  ice skating.
 
a pantomime that plays violin when you put money on her case
 
Walking further, we reached the hotel lobby where guests of the hotel checks-in and visitors to the observatory deck take the elevator for a good view of Singapore, the Sands SkyPark.
 
Entrance to the Sands SkyPark is SGD20 each. There, one can have a view around the city, take a dip on its signature infinity pool (available for in-house guests only) or lounge around the bars and restaurants located at that level. The said park also interconnects the three buildings making up the complex and is the structure that looks like a ship on top of the said buildings.
 
view from the SkyPark
 
the swimming pool from afar
 
Roshie and Ethan
 
 There were also Jacuzzi tubs and dipping areas scattered across the level for guest to take advantage of.
 
But the most important (and highly acclaimed) feature of the hotel is its Infinity Pool. Whether you are dozing off on one of its poolside benches or taking a dip on the swimming pool, the feeling and experience of being here overlooking a good view of Singapore on a good weather day is simply marvelous.
 
Ethan and Roshie
 
view of Marina Bay Sands from the ground
 
We then took a bus (SBS106) from Marina Bay Sands to Orchard Road to get back to our hotel for some rest that afternoon (SGD1 each).
 
Later that evening, we scouted out again, riding the MRT to Ang Mo Kio (SGD2.80 each), this time heading to Singapore Zoo for the Night Safari. From Ang Mo Kio Station, we took the bus (SBS138) to Singapore Zoo (SGD1.80 each).
 
Night Safari is located just beside Singapore Zoo. It is said to be the world's first nocturnal zoo.
 
Roshie and Ethan
 
We were on time to line up for the Creatures of the Night Show, the last show that day. Like before, it was a showcase of animals and in the end teaches us how to respect the animals and mother nature.
 
some animals during the show
 
Then we took the tram, that led us to different animals and its "habitat" around the place. As it was night time and flash photography wasn't allowed, I didn't get much clear picture to share.
 
me and Roshie (Ethan was asleep on the lap)
 
on display near the entrance of the safari
 
From Night Safari, we took the Rider Pass going back to our hotel (SGD4.50 each). We were dropped off at the nearby Hyatt and walked towards McDonald's to have a quick snack prior to passing out for sleep last night.
 
Early today morning, we took a cab (SGD6) to hear mass at the nearby Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. It is said to be the oldest Roman Catholic church in Singapore.
 
inside the church
 
We haven't had our breakfast yet so we walked around to look for a place where we can eat and happen to pass by Singapore Art Museum.
 
We had our "brunch" today at Kopitiam along Bras Basah Road.
 
We had the usual fare of dimsum and hainanese chicken for our brunch. And a few drinks to spare. We were definitely full when we exited the food court!
 
Ethan happy with his meal
 
Then we walked around the area. I'm a bit familiar with the place since Chester and I stayed near this area a couple of years ago.
 
We happened to pass by Waterloo Street too and saw Sri Krishnan again, a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu.
 
And just nearby, almost beside the Hindu temple is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, dedicated to Kuan Yim, the goddess of mercy.
 
There was also an on-going weekend street market where they sell clothing, household items and different stuffs and locals flock the stores.
 
monument
 
Ethan on his baby carrier
 
We walked towards Sim Lim Square which is our final stop for the day before we take a few rest and head to the airport. As described, it is indeed a "Disneyland for geek adults" as a lot of gadgets are sold in this multi-floor structure.
 
jade carvings on display
 
Then we headed back to the hotel to pack things and get some rest. But before we left for the airport, Ethan happily opened the present given to him by Gretch yesterday. Unfortunately he is too young to play Tamiya today so we just kept it (and managed to keep him from destroying the box). 
 
From the hotel, we again took the MRT to the airport and I should say it is very convenient and economical to do so. As we took off back to Manila, we had meal at the airport food court first, having laksa and hainanese chicken, as well as some drinks. Again we anticipated that Jetstar wouldn't serve anything in-flight (unless of course you pay for it).
 
The flight wasn't that full again going back to Manila. The flight took off at 4:55PM and scheduled to arrive in Manila by 8:30PM. By the way, since today is June 26, today is actually my first wedding anniversary date with my wife!
 
 a few drinks and Pocky sticks to spare in-flight
 
As I write this blog post, we are already in-flight bound for Manila. It also made me reflect and realize that yes, I've been to Singapore for the third time already but I kept coming back for more as new opportunities for exploration come and new exciting sights to see open in this ever-evolving place.

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