Singapore Trip 2013 (Part 1)

It was already my third time to visit Singapore, my first Singapore trip was with my older sister, way back in 2009 while the second was with Moche in 2010.   Despite that, I still managed to experience several “firsts” during this trip. Foremost was that it was my first time to travel with almost everyone in the family.  I was with my mother and my little niece (both were traveling outside the country for the first time) and with my older sister (who acted as our tour guide).  Since it was a family trip, I only saw Honey and Babe for several hours and basically devoted my time to taking care of my niece.

Special thanks to Moche, who was willing to wake up super early just to drive us to the airport, saving us the hassle of trying to hire public transportation and letting us reach the airport quickly.

Singapore Trip 2013

crack of dawn flight

I got our tickets last October at a Cebu Pacific seat sale and our fare was only P3,519.34 each. Our original flight was rescheduled: we were supposed to fly out around 10am but we ended up getting an early morning flight and an added bonus was that I was able to experience riding their A330-300 plane.  Our flight was right on schedule and we arrived at Singapore at 9:05am.  We exited through Changi Terminal 2 and made our way straight to the MRT station.

At the MRT station, we bought our EZ link cards at one of the center booths. Having an EZ link card affords great convenience because it can be used on the trains and on buses.  The EZ link card is available at 12 SGD and despite our numerous MRT rides, we only tapped up once (10SGD) during our five-day stay.

MRT route:
Changi AirportTanah Merah (take the train to Joo Koon) → Outram Park (take the purple line train to Punggol) → Little India

Singapore Trip 2013

En route to Mustafa Shopping Center

We emerged from the Little India station into Buffalo street where our hotel was only two blocks away. But since we weren’t able to print a map to the hotel, we walked from the station all the way to the Mustafa Shopping Center where we had lunch at the ABM Restaurant.  It was only my second time to eat Indian food and the only dish I recognized was Chicken Masala.  I tried it out and it was so spicy!  But I still managed to down a good portion because I was already so hungry that time.  Meanwhile, my mother and niece had Chicken Briyana and I think it tasted better.

Singapore Trip 2013

Chicken Masala

Singapore Trip 2013

Chicken Briyana

During lunch, I found our street on one of the maps that we took from the airport.  As it turned out, our hotel was only a couple of blocks from the Little India station.  So we walked about 12, thankfully, short blocks back the way we came and that was when we finally found Madras Hotel.

Read review of Madras Hotel here.

Special thank you to Babe who texted us the directions and called our hotel to check if we arrived.  However, Globe, once again, failed to properly set up my roaming account so I was not able to get messages from Singapore.

Read more about the first time Globe failed to activate my roaming.

After resting a bit at the hotel, we headed out to the Marina Bay Sands area to look at the Gardens by the Bay, one of the newest attractions that Singapore has to offer.  But before we entered the train station, we stopped at the City Square Mall to eat some snacks. The little kid and I ate at McDonald’s while my sister and my mother went to Fair Price to buy some food and drinks.  I tried McDonald’s Rendang Beef Burger because the picture looked appetizing.  Upon getting my order though, my niece commented that it smelled bad.  And yes, it had a distinct taste and smell that I have come to associate with anything Indian.  But that was not the bad part.  It should’ve been fine, but it was too salty for my taste.  I finished it anyway, my meal being punctuated by several pieces of fries in between bites.

Singapore Trip 2013

Singapore Trip 2013

From Little India station, we took the MRT to the Bayfront station and traversed the underground link way.  Upon exiting into the daylight, the Marina Bay Sands immediately grabbed our attention with its unique architecture.  We couldn’t decide if it looked like a surfboard on three stilts or an ironing board with three feet.  One thing was sure:  we couldn’t stop taking photos of it.

The next stop was the Supertrees. It was my first time to see them and they were really a wonder to look upon.  Even my little niece felt the urge to take photos.  We also checked out the Dragonfly lake with its wooden boardwalk and took lots of photos.

Singapore Trip 2013

Best photo goes to Ate Robelle

Singapore Trip 2013

Singapore Trip 2013

Dragonfly Lake and its wooden boardwalk

We then made our way to the Heritage Gardens where we learned how some plants were connected to Singapore’s cultural heritage.  It was my first time to visit the Gardens and maybe due to overall exhaustion (I only managed to squeeze in an hour of sleep before we set off for Singapore), I did not really appreciate it that much. I didn’t find myself overwhelmed by the sights. I think I had a better reaction when I visited the Botanical Gardens during my first Singapore trip.

Singapore Trip 2013

the Supertrees with the domed conservatories

We no longer went inside the cooled conservatories (28 SGD for adults and 15 SGD for kids) but contented ourselves with a taste  of Seventh Heaven.

Singapore Trip 2013

large cup of 2 scoops (cotton candy and rhum raisin special)

Meanwhile, we waited for the lights and sounds show that started at 19:45.  We watched the Supertrees light up while listening to orchestra music.  I wasn’t so impressed with the show because it wasn’t as engaging as what I am used to in the Ayala Triangle Gardens.  There weren’t as many lights and the Supertrees weren’t as photographic because the “branches” were not lighted. The changing of the lights also did not go well with the music and there weren’t many variations.

Singapore Trip 2013

underlighted supertrees

Singapore Trip 2013

Singapore Trip 2013

Singapore night skyline

After the lights and sounds show, we started going to Makansutra, the very popular food center where I was set to eat my favorite: Sting Ray Sambal.  Unfortunately, our little Dora could no longer walk that far so we ended up eating at the Rasapura Masters Food Court, at the Marina Bay Sands.  There we had the perfunctory Chicken rice dinner.

Singapore Trip 2013

Photo courtesy of Robelle Joyce

After dinner, it was time to go home so we could all rest and recharge for the next day.

to be continued…  HERE!

Singapore Trip Day 1 Expenses:

  • Travel tax: P1620
  • Terminal fee: P550
  • EZ link card: S12
  • ABM restaurant lunch:
    • chicken masala S5,
    • plain rice S1.5,
    • mineral water S1.2
  • City Square Mall: McDonald’s Rendang Beef Burger with large fries and iced tea: S7.10
  • Seventh Heaven: Large cup / two flavors (cotton candy and rhum raisin special) S7
  • Dinner at Rasapura:
    • chicken Rice S6.80,
    • mineral water S1.80
  • Taxi to Hotel from MBS: S12.75 (S3.20 flagdown)

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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