Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 August: Singapore: Sentosa Adventure on the Last Day

Travel Date: August 16, 2010 Destination: Sentosa, Singapore This is our last day in Singapore. In Vivo City, we took our breakfast at Toast Box. Then we find our way to the ticket booth for the Jewel Cable Car. The ticket costs 26sgd if you are going to Mount Faber before going to Sentosa. But if you wanted to go straight to Sentosa Island, you can get the 24sgd one-way ticket. Four years ago, as far as I can remember these cars are in different colors. Now, all the cars were painted in black. The trip was just so smooth, no more shakings as you get closer to the cable post or cable station. You would also see Hard Rock Hotel from above. We arrived there before noon and the weather is just so hot.Few more steps and we reached the tram terminal, we took a tram ride that will take us to the Palawan Beach – where Southern Most Point of Continental Asia is found. We took another tram to go on the other side of the island for the Siloso Beach. To return to the main island, we took the monorail. For our last minute (or should I say, last hour) shopping, we went to Vivo City and Funan Mall.
Postcards collected after 4 days
We had our final dinner in Lau Pa Sat. We arrived at the Budget Terminal almost an hour and half before our flight – we are now leaving Singapore!

Thanks to my travel mates Kath and Reg, to our hosts Kim and Darwin (and Ariel), to our college friends Wally, Diane and Ratz and the rest of the Singaporeans who helped us with the directions to reach our destinations safe and sound.

2010 August: Singapore: Amazing Solo Race in 12 Hours

Travel Date: August 15, 2010 To start my solo adventure, I have visited Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Paya Lebar. From Green Lane, I dropped off at Bugis station. Took Exit B, which is the nearest exit to Kampong Glam. I wanted to see Masjid Sultan (perhaps due to my Brunei trip last April) and Arab Street. The houses and stores are so colourful. They are selling silk, traditional Muslim clothes and postcards.
It was still early in the morning and was not able to get inside Children Little Museum. Most of the stores in Bugis Village were also closed. For those who wanted to take a photo of Manila Street in Singapore – you can find it in Bugis. I took my late breakfast at Toast BoxTraditional Kaya Toast for 4.20sgd. Also, bought the Starbucks mug for my collection. Then, I moved to City Hall for the HMV store. I was looking for a local movie – but unfortunately it was not available there. Another type of City Tour is sponsored by Duck Tours (, price range is 33sgd – 63sgd. It is a bus and boat in one that can travel in both land and water. From Yellow Lane: Esplanade, I dropped off at Promenade, followed the street signs going to Flyer. The ticket costs 30sgd and the flight lasts for 30 minutes. I tried to request if I can take a solo flight but the guard told me that it was a sharing capsule. I shared the flight with 6 other non-Asian tourists. Inside, there is a video that explains the World Record of the Flyer, and a map to guide you on the structures you see on 360 degree angle while at the top. From Green Lane: Raffles station, I dropped off at Tanjong Pagar. I saw this building online, and I have never seen a building fully painted in red - that pushed me to see this in person. This is Red Dot Traffic and Red Dot Museum in one. Still on Green Lane, I dropped off at Jurong East station. For those who wanted to see some outlet shops, visit IMM Building. From the station, take the free shuttle bus going to the mall. Remember the local movie I was looking for in City Hall, I finally found it after inquiring in less than 10 shops – The Leap Years. I saw its trailer in channelnewsasia while I was in Bangkok 2 years ago. You can see it too in

After sending the postcards in Sing Post, I immediately went to Orchard Road. My sister’s order is to buy some prawn rolls and barbequed pork at Bee Chiang. From where I am located, the closest store is either in Takashimaya or Paragon. After I bought the goodies at the basement of Takashimaya, I went to Ion Mall.

As recommended by my friend, I tried Four Fingers. Different kick and flavour for a chicken – uniquely Singapore.

Last station I’ve been to before going home is Clarke Quay – I’m now meeting my friends to have dinner and a short walk in the area. What a wonderful solo adventure – 12 hours, visited 4 lanes, been to 11 train stations.

2010 August: Singapore: Universal Studio Singapore

Travel Date: August 14, 2010
Destination: Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa

From Purple Lane: Harbourfront station, find the Resort World Shuttle Bus (RW8). Not sure if it is 1 or 2sgd, but the return trip to Vivo City is just free. Buy your Universal Studios online tickets earlier because when we check it, most of the days are already sold-out. The place opens at 10am. Don’t forget to take the photo with the Globe and the Hollywood signage at the back of the gates. Exchange your online ticket to get your Retail and Food Voucher (discount of 5sgd). There is no security measure in USS. No checking of bags as we go through the gates. In Hollywood area, we took lunch in Mel’s Drive-In – classic 1950’s American restaurant that serves rocket sauce burgers, fish and chicken sandwiches. Not much fun in the Hollywood Theatre that shows “Monster Rock” concert. They had Dracula and Mummy who dance and sing. In New York area, we watched how Director Spielberg adds special effects in his movies. Nice experience, real fire, water sprinkles, cold temperature, strong winds and the strong floor shake/drop completes the show. Don’t fail to watch the Rockafella Streetboys as they perform outside the World Premier building in NY area. We saw Chris Cruz and Nicko Manalo. Some of my friends were able to catch Meynard Marcellano (based on their FB photos). We passed by the Sci-Fi City as most of the attractions are still closed. Accelerator, Battlestar Galactica Human (Red) and Cylon (Blue) are different roller coasters that will twist, turn and propel you in the air – even if it is open, I’ll never try this! Revenge of the Mummy in Ancient Egypt area – was the highlight of my USS trip. It is a rollercoaster in the dark, with fire, heat and video effects. Don’t worry about your bags, camera or phones, there are locker bins in the area that are free for the first 30mins. Water World is the one I’ve been wanting to see in USS, and it did not disappoint me. Nice stunts and effects. There is a sprinkle and splash area that you could choose from. We also tried Canopy Flyer in The Lost World area. You’ll be seating and your feet are just suspended. Get the back seat – for more excitement, so you’ll never see the direction on which side you will be thrown – there goes the surprise! Far Far Away’s castle is like the Disney castle. The Shrek 4-D Adventure is much better than the Mickey’s Philharmagic Show, it is my first time to experience that even my seat is moving and shaking as the character in the movie is running and falling. Donkey Live show is just so amazing, I mean how can a cartoon video follow the live conversation with the audience in an instant. The voice is obviously easy to create, but not for the video. In Madagascar, we watched the Penguins and other characters singing and dancing on the streets. We also tried the carousel – King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round. Got the following collectibles and apparel in the US Store in the Hollywood area. The attractions close at 7pm, but the area is still open until late night. There is also a Hershey’s store where you can find Reese and some other chocolates. You can opt to go straight to the Songs of the Sea, if you have not yet seen it. For us, we choose to go back to Vivo City, we ate at The Asian Kitchen and the crab meat is just so delicious.

2010 August: Singapore: City Tour During YOG Opening

Travel Date: August 13, 2010

Some of my closest friends are already in Singapore (SG). It was last year when I learned that the famous Universal Studios will be built in Singapore. Early this year, we decided to go there to visit our set of friends and go to USS – but not this early. It was June 12, Independence Day – Cebu Pacific (CP) Sale, this is the same day for my flight to Shanghai. I have no way to check the available dates and cheapest price to Singapore. Thanks to my friend who booked for my plane tickets going to SG. Singapore, this is where all it started. Way back 2006 when I first stepped to a foreign land by the help of my sister. August, Friday the 13th, my flight to SG. Noticed that CP has already been using an ordinary receipt type of Boarding Pass compared to the traditional one (just the same as Air Asia in Brunei – April 2010).

We arrived at Changi Airport at around 50 minutes after 12mn. The Budget Terminal is just simple, as if you are just in a Provincial Terminal in the Philippines, but still better than Pinas. Rough ceilings and walls, less decorations, no way you can say that you are Singapore – unlike my first trip. For Filipino travellers, we are allowed to stay at a maximum of 30 days in their country. First freebie that we got – candy at the Immigration.

CebuPac and Tiger Airways arrive in the Changi Budget Terminal. If you arrive there earlier in the day, you can choose to take the Airport Bus or take the Airport Service going to Terminal 2, and take the MRT going to the city. Since it was already late night and the trains are already unavailable; after exchanging some money to Singapore Dollars we took a cab. Due to other charges, like coming from the Airport and evening charge – it costs us 19.50sgd to reach Haig Road, Paya Lebar.

Can’t share much about the accommodations since I did not book for one. We lived in our friend’s place for 4 days. But for those who wanted to check cheaper hostels, a lot can be found in Bugis or Little India area. Hotel 81 will be one of my targets based on my research. After a nap, we are now ready to start our adventure. Purchase your EZLink card from any Train Stations. You can use it in trains and buses. It costs 12sgd = 5sgd is refundable and 7sgd is consumable. You can also top-up your card using the machines like the below. From Paya Lebar, we took the Green Lane and dropped off at Raffles Station.

Birds at the used chinaware in Fullerton

Read the station map, and find your way to Merlion – for most travellers, you have never been to Singapore, unless you have a photo with it.

If you don’t want to do the city tour on your own, try the Hippo Tours ( that would cost from 23sgd – 33sgd. Some pedestrian walks are also closed due to the opening of Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which we did not know few months ago. Just read the road signs and you’ll find your way. After going to Esplanade and checking Makansutra (opens at 5pm – 3am) in the morning, we decided to go to Marina Square and Suntec City malls.

Cultural Exhibit at Suntec Mall

Thanks to the Fountain of Wealth (2006) – I came back and visited you again.

My friends tried Swensens, but since I’m not allowed to eat cold and sweet stuff – I was playing with their coloring book while they were eating. We tried to reach the Flyer, by passing at Millenia Mall. However, due to YOG, most of the streets were closed and the Flyer was also not on service due to the fireworks later in the evening – so we skipped it. From the Red Lane – City Hall station, we dropped off at Marina Bay Station. On normal days, there are shuttle busses from the train station to Marina Bay Resort. Again due to YOG, the roads were closed and we need to walk about 15 minutes to reach the resort. Some of the areas around the resort are still under construction, some stores in The Shoppes are still closed. The gondola is already working, but the one in Venetian is more beautiful. We passed by the Casino until we reach the Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 3. The tickets costs 20sgd and the Observation Deck is open from 10am – 10pm. The souvenir shop closes at 6pm. I bought some postcards, 5 cards for 10sgd. The stairs going to the infinity pool is unnoticeable - so try to find it and you'll not miss the breath-taking view.

Youth Olympics Ceremony - seen from Sands

One thing I find weird is that I don't see the worth of paying for an expensive hotel stay if there is no privacy to the hotel guests. The public can see a large area of the infinity pool where the guests are swimming. Giving a public visit to Sands is enough for me.

Flyer - seen from Sands

We’re just so tired to walk back to the station, so we decided to take the cab going to Makansutra. Had a great dinner and big laugh with some college friends. I'm able to eat again the stingray. Got this nice night shot of Fullerton Hotel and the bridge is so amazing. On our way back to Raffles station, my friends tried the dollar ice cream – Walls, their local brand for Selecta. This time, I got the chance to take this photo of a bike – a good shot to end the night.