(This post is written by one of my travel partner and good friend, Sharon. Thanks Sharon, for your contribution 🙂 )
I’ve been to Singapore several times in the past. Singapore is an amazing country and is a great destination to visit with its own marvelous places. But every trip always gave me different kind of experiences and excitement for the new places I’d visited. Thanks to my little sister who’s willing to spend her extra time to bring us to the Marine Park and good food! 😀
We had an awesome few days and nights in Singapore. It is definitely one of the travel bucket list for family & friends. Despite the Malaysian currency dropping drastically, Singapore is still a fabulous place to visit because there are just so many attractions and things to do if you have enough time to explore them. It is just such an easy place to visit with easy to understand transportation system and English being the common language.
We reached about 4pm in the evening and were told to wait at the Harbourfront station. My sister, Ling was already there when we reached. Then we took the MRT to Telok Blangah. This is where the Fragrance Royal Hotel is located. Not too bad for a 3 star hotel if you don’t mind the facilities that are kinda old especially the washroom. It is near to the MRT station, Harbourfront Shopping Complex, Mount Faber Park, Food Centre and of course the famous Resort World Sentosa.
It was almost dinner time when we settled ourselves. So we just went to the nearest place, Seah Im Food Centre to eat our dinner. It is just in front of Harbourfront Bus Interchange Station. Quite a lot of nice local food can be found in the food centre. We tried few things over there. Not too bad to feed our hungry tummy. After that, we paid a visit to where Ling stays, Telok Blangah Crescent, where we tried something different. A big cup of durian smoothie! For those who love the strong taste of creamy durian, should give it a try! It’s yummy indeed! 😉
Marine Life Park
It was almost 3pm when we reached The SEA Aquarium after we went to Bugis Street that morning for a bit of shopping. It was Sunday, hence crowded. If you are looking for low price fashion items, and love to bargain, you will like that place.
It was extremely crowded during weekends at the SEA Aquarium…as we expected. But I wouldn’t be bothered much about it. I was excited about the idea of my first visit to a sea aquarium experience. There were more than 800 species of marine animals, such as Manta rays, Goliath grouper, Napoleon wrasse and Sharks! I felt great to wander around the aquarium and look at all the beautiful sea life. Very informative and nice displays. The best part was the very large tank at the end which almost made you feel like you were in the ocean. Large swordfish and stingrays sliding gracefully along with sharks too. Definitely could stay up to more than 30 minutes on the same spot just to watch those magnificent undersea creatures. I definitely wouldn’t mind to do it again someday, best with no other visitors around. LOL, that would be rather impossible! 😉
I actually thought it would be a short visit but we spent a good 2 hours there just watching the amazing sealife. We needed to meet up with Ling’s friends for dinner at “Shing Shang Ya Min”. Instead of taking the MRT express, we decided on an evening stroll along the Sentosa Boardwalk. If you are game for walking, then you can try this option. It is really nice if you are not in a hurry and could take your time to enjoy the sunset as the walk comes with the great views.
We had quite a sumptuous dinner with few of the shop specialties such as their popular “3 Storeys Rice Noodle”, not sure why it’s named as such. This “san-lou-meehoon” had great “wok hei”, well flavored and presented as a flattened pancake. Not so ‘good looking’ and it tasted so-so for me. We also tried the deep fried fish skin and their famous white pepper crab. Recommended place to have seafood dinner. Right after dinner, we headed to durian feast at one of the stalls at Geylang. Too full. But we just went for it anyway!
Universal Studios Singapore
We reached Universal Studio about 11am. CROWDED. Weather: HOT.
The are seven zones to immerse in, Hollywood, New York, Sci Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away Land & Madagascar. It really is a world full of fun and immersive entertainment.
The first thing we headed to was the Transformer ride. Ling joined us only for the ride and then she left us there. She’s no lover for rides, and so am I. I’ve always been terrified of fast twisty rides and roller coasters, as I got myself a very bad experience from a coaster ride when I was very young. Ever since then I try not to go for it though I really envy those who are absolutely fearless of any scary looking coasters!
Oh dear, the waiting time was soooo long, one can wait up for 90 minutes for your turn. Unless you purchase the express tickets which enable you to jump the queue, it’s kinda frustrating and unfair for the rest if us. Well, money is everything.
The Transformer ride was impressive! I couldn’t predict the 5 minutes or so sudden twists and turns of the ‘car’. My heart nearly jumped out, and I wanted to puke as a result. Probably because I’ve never tried any rides like this before. I got the shock of my life. It was fun though. Messy hair and beating heart when came out from there.
Next was the Revenge of the Mummy ride. Ling took the ride before and told me that I wouldn’t dare to do it based on my previous experience! Ann encouraged me though. I was terrified and uncertain. I know I have to try someday anyway, so why not now? I felt glad I did even though I was scared to death, I shamefully admit that I closed my eyes most of the time! The roller coaster wound through a pitch black maze in lightning speed, leaving me clueless as to where I was going. People next to me kept shouting with excitement. Full of sharp turns, sudden reverses and precipitous drops. My stomach felt like dropping and my heart in my throat.
The Puss in Boots roller coaster was quite an adventure (and a real breath of relief from the Mummy! 😉 ). It was more cute than scary, full of cute cats figurines all along the way to keep us entertained as we traveled along with Puss to gather money by climbing up the giant magical beanstalk and stealing the golden eggs from the angry giant mama goose at the top to save the day. Hehe. Not bad for a Puss fan! 😉
Other than those rides, we also went to watch the The Shrek 4D movie, Meet & Greet sessions with the Universal Studios celebrities from the legendary Marilyn Monroe to the Sesame Street bunch, the Minions and many other glamorous characters that need to queue up if you want your picture taken with them.
One full day just isn’t enough if you plan to explore the whole Sentosa Island and try everything in Universal Studios. All the ride queues are just too long they take up most of your time. I suggest split them to 2 days, so you wouldn’t need to rush through everything and could enjoy the USS theme park in a day and explore the rest of the island on another day. You can have your picture taken with the 37 meters high Merlion, the famous USS Globe, and maybe take a stroll down along the Merlion Walk, a colourful 120 metre-long Gaudi-inspired mosaic walkway with cooling shallow pools and fountain spouts, as well as the 2 sandy beaches on the island, or play The Skyline Luge. Many interesting things to see and do at Sentosa.
Afer that, we took MRT to Dhoby Ghaut to have our dinner there. Ling joined us this time. I have tried this Sakura International Japanese Buffet once, with wide range of good seafood. I thought this would make a good place to surprise my eating buddies as we could indulge in a wide variety of food at a pretty good price. I was however, disappointed this time. All the nice big and fresh seafood I remembered have somewhat shrunken in size, or altogether “disappeared” from the buffet table?? Hmmm….. 🙁
After that, we planned to have a night walk at the Merlion Park. After all, a trip to Singapore does not seem complete without a picture taken with the Merlion 😉 Haha. Nice place overall, especially at night. Such a beautiful and clean night scene.
Gardens By The Bay
Gardens By The Bay is one of the new attractions in Singapore. It is located just opposite the Marina Bay Sands. We spent half a day at the Gardens in a very hazy and humid hot weather. Quite a lot of walking if you cover the outside and the inside features, but it is a beautiful and well planned experience. I would thoroughly recommend this attraction to anyone visiting Singapore. Whoever did the designing and master planning is surely a master as not only the displays and layouts of the various gardens are esthetically beautiful, it also runs on a technologically advanced and environmentally friendly system of power supply and irrigation. To appreciate the full marvel of these Gardens, you will need to read an entire dossier sold in the Gardens souvenir store. Hehe 😉
There are various themed gardens from around the world to explore for free but there are also the pay-per-entry for the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, both spectacular in their own way. We didn’t go for these as we still have a lot to explore outside. Those tall man made flower towers are truly symbolic of Singapore. I really like them, not something usual that I have seen before…It’s like being on The Avatar’s Pandora.
Too bad, we didn’t stay till night time at the Gardens, as we were exhausted from the heat and humidity and I got leg cramps as well. Most visitors would agree that the most interesting part is to watch the light show after sunset. The flower towers light up in a colorful symphony with calming and relaxing music in the background. Definitely another Pandora’s view with the turquoise and violet illuminations from the famous super trees. I will definitely come again for this next time.
It was definitely a fun and awesome trip. Thanks to Ann and Ling for the great company and unforgettable memories! 🙂
Pic : Some of the mouth-watering yummy food we had in Singapore 😀