Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A quick Singapore business trip

I was back in Singapore last Sunday, this time for a business trip, to attend some meetings and training in the city.
 
Most of our events were held in Hilton Singapore Hotel where I stayed. Located along Orchard road, the hotel is actually in the area of retail haven for shoppers and shop-a-holics. From the airport, I was picked up by a limousine cab (SGD55) who waited for me at the departure area. It was Sunday morning so travel was a breeze to the airport.
 
drop off point and entrance to the hotel
 
I stayed in a Twin Hilton Deluxe Room, sharing it with a colleague from China. The 32sqm room was well designed and the beds were very comfortable.
 
The view from our room was okay. I mean, it looks like there isn't much to expect in terms of view as in reference to where the hotel is located, so this should be just fine.
 
elevator lobby at guest floors
 
hallway towards the rooms
 
 
After checking-in, I left my things and immediately went out of the room to explore the city. The area where I'm staying is very near from where I stayed when I was in the city last June. In fact it was walking distance from the hotel so I'm a bit familiar with the place.
 
Wheelock Place
 
Tangs and Singapore Marriott Hotel, where I stayed couple of months back
 
ION Orchard
 
As I was walking along Orchard Road, I chanced upon a street vendor selling ice cream.
 
For SGD1, I had my fair share of delight that afternoon as it was a hot and sunny day.
 
my wafer ice cream
 
I continued to walk along the length of Orchard road and passed by these places:
 
Ngee Ann City
 
Singapore Visitors Centre
 
Pernakan Place
 
entrance to Istana, the official residence and office of the President of Singapore
 
Istana Park
 
Plaza Singapura
 
In Plaza Singapura, there were promotional stuffs giving away free cup samples of Minute Maid Pulpy Orange Drink. After getting one cup, I was asked to go to their booth so I can claim a solo bottle.
 
my drink, perfect on this sunny day!
 
I also passed by Smurfs Soccer Field display on the way, perhaps a way to promote the upcoming movie Smurfs.
 
The Cathay. Originally built in 1930s. Parts of it were demolished to give way to an expansive development except its façade which was preserved. The place was said to be the first and tallest skyscraper in Southeast Asia during its glory days.
 
School of the Arts (SOTA), Singapore
 
For lunch, I went to Kopi Tiam located in Bras Basah road and had my soy chicken from Majestic Chicken Rice.
 
 
Singapore Arts Museum 
 
 
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, where I heard mass last June with my wife and son Ethan
 
CHIJMES, a historic complex used to house the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, now a commercial complex
 
Raffles Hotel
 
Civilian War Memorial
 
Bonsai Garden, Suntec City
 
My ultimate destination for walking was to Suntec City Mall, to get into a store and buy specific stuffs to my mom. I followed the same route back with some sidetrips along the way to check on the church schedules. It was a Sunday so I plan to hear mass that day too and looking at the map, there are a number of Catholic churches in the area.
 
St. Joseph's Church, where I heard mass 2 years ago with Chester
 
Finally found Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the 4:20PM mass fitted my schedule well. It is located just behind Singapore Art Museum, along Queen Street.
 
 Management Development Institute of Singapore (Dhoby Gaut)
 
another view of Singapore Visitors Centre
 
That night I met with my friend Gretch again, who is working in Singapore and had dinner with her. She took me to a branch Nando's  located inside Plaza Singapura.
 
condiments and sauces
 
What else to have here but their famous Peri-Peri Chicken? I had 1/4 chicken served with two regular sides (potato wedges and rice).
 
Whole Monday was spent mostly for the meetings and training. That night, I met with Johnny, an office colleague and friend who is based in Singapore. He took me to Din Tai Fung for dinner on their branch in Wisma Atria.
 
Of course I had the famous Xiao Long Bao! These soup-filled steamed pork dumplings, together with its companion sauce, has always been my favorite since I tried one in Shanghai.
 
 
 
dumpling
 
beef noodle soup
 
I was looking for a milk tea after lunch, and he brought me to a tea house which I didn't expect. TWG Tea (stands for The Wellness Group) is apparently an upscale tea house and we went to of their locations in ION Orchard. I sure was glad he brought me here as it is an experience on itself to have tea and macarons at this establishment.
 
We ordered TWG Tea Macarons, I believe these are (in no particular order) Bain de Roses Tea, Napoleon Tea & Caramel, Camelot Tea & Praline, Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate and Lemon Bush Tea Macarons.
 
 
 
he had hot tea (not sure which variant) and I had a tea shake
 
Tuesday. Again full of meetings and training the whole day but after all of it, we were treated to a dinner in The Riverwalk Centre along Singapore River.
 
Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) Building
 
poster in MICA building
  
Elgin Bridge, the first bridge built across the river in 1929
 
Coleman Bridge
 
They hosted our dinner in Jumbo, a seafood restaurant. I sure had a good time as I love seafood, specially crabs!
 
appetizers
 
shrimps
 
black pepper crabs 
 
squid
 
steamed fish 
 
fried rice
 
chili crab
 
boxes of crab seasonings. I got a chili crab and black pepper crab flavorings to take home.
 
After dinner, I roamed around the area and went to Clarke Quay to see the displays for their lantern festival.
 
Elgin bridge at night
 
Coleman bridge and MICA building at night
 
Clarke Quay
 
Several lanterns were displayed for the Lantern Festival of 2011, the following are just some of those I chanced upon:
 
 
 
 
 
tunnel 
 
Today (Wednesday) was my last day in Singapore. I had my usual breakfast in Checkers Brasserie, located at the ground floor.
 
 
 
I took the MRT to go to our local office in Singapore located in One Marina Boulevard. I need to connect to our network to sync my computer and to see some people
 
 
 
view from our office
 
After my quick visit to our office, I immediately went back to the hotel to pack my things up, have lunch then left for the airport.
 
It was indeed a quick trip to Singapore. I haven't done a lot of explorations as I was just here a couple of months back but I sure did try out the local cuisine scene. As I checked in at the airport and wait for my flight (I got very early as my flight was delayed coming from Jakarta), I just went to the shops inside the airport to buy some gifts for loved ones at home. That's what I love in Changi Airport - free wifi, lots of entertaining stuffs to do, a number of shopping outlets to see, and lots of food outlets to dine in.
 
off we go homebound!
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