Thursday, July 9, 2009

Twelve Things in Singapore..And Maybe Then Some

Spent the last 4 days down in the Lion City, Singapore.

And right now I am in Kuching for the RWMF; decided to bring my laptop this time to catch up with updating my blogs which I have deliberately not done while I was away :)

Singapore - affectionately known as SG, Sings, Singers etc - did not disappoint, and did not impress me that much either.

Having made no specific plans prior, I planned each day only after having my breakfast at the hostel I stayed-in in Little India.

A wobbly pic of my bunk bed at the InnCrowd Backpackers Hostel 2, at 73 Dunlop Street.

What I did :

(i) Got my fortune told twice.
The first was by this Indian man and his parrot (budgies?) along Serangoon Road. I got the Lord Murugan card, which is supposed to be good. Things are supposedly not too smooth for me, however eventually all will turn out well, and I will need take care of my health. And if I wanted to emigrate, South and East are my best options. Huh?

My fortune card with Lord Murugan.

The second time was at the Kwan Im Temple at Albert Mall. You know, the one where you burn the jossticks first, then get a canister full of sticks and you shake them till one stick falls out? I got No. 41, which is Bad. Bottomline : Be Alert. Don't assume all that seems to be good, is actually good.

(ii) Did the Sentosa Island bit via monorail S$3.
Was advised against spending S$19 for the cable car as there is no view right now save for a massive construction site, for the Resorts World Sentosa due to open 2010. It didn't even look half ready so I think it'll be behind schedule unless there is a miracle.

Very Gaudi-like, I thought.

Did the Merlion Tour and Walk. Then it rained so I left earlier than planned.

(iii) Orchard Road

Yupp, this is where my heart broke into pieces. Because I realised that I have lost my shopping skills and enthusiasm. I just could not buy any thing till the 3rd day. Anyway, I am proud that I didn't just give in to senseless buying. The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) isn't great at all, after all.

Also went to VivoCity, Raffles City, Bugis Junction etc. They all look the same after a while.

Shopahalics of the World United.
Wall decor at Bugis Junction.

Tired feet: sat on the steps in front of Paragon :) and watched the shopper-warriors stomp by with their LVs and Pradas.

Tip : If your feet and calves are sore after too much retail therapy, stop by the SVC for a free massage on the OSIM chair. I like this service!

(iv) Little India and Chinatown
Ventured and explored on foot.

A quiet morning in Little India Arcade.

Sign in Chinatown :)

(v) Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
I like this place. Wish we had something like this in KK. A mini-version would do for the appreciation of arts and culture.

An exhibition was on, titled I Love You, by an Indonesian artist Arahmaiaani.

The simple commemorative plaque.

(vi) National Library
There was a photo exhibition on - fantastic pictures of inmates at Surya Home and SunLove Home.

I love this place because it's modern, airy and spacious. Why can't we have libraries like that in Malaysia?

(vii) The Merlion
A must? For a photo-op, I agree :)

Posing in the hot mid day sun :P

(viii) Ice cream from street vendor
I had it once at the Bay and then at Orchard Road in front of Wisma Atria. Red Bean on wafer for S$1. Yummy on a hot sunny day.

(ix) Ate.
Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malay cuisines, in the spirit of muhibbah.

(x) Tried the bus service
Rode on the bus twice. Got someone to explain to me how to read the schedule and fare tables.

(xi) Foot, Back and Shoulder Massage
Chinatown. Comparably pricey, but good. My shoulders and back were hurting and I needed a relief. My feet were also killing me by Day 3 as I walked an average of 10 km per day.

(xii) Mustafa Centre - 24 hours shopping
I heard about this place from Ian Wright on Globe Trekker. On Saturday night after a late dinner on arrival at the hostel, I decided to take a walk which took about 10 minutes. People were in a shopping frenzy! I thought the place was buzzing like it was day time rush hour, cramped and really confusing. I think it's a serious fire hazard, exits are not clearly visible and the whole place feels like an intricate maze. I can't imagine how in Singapore this is ever approved.

What I deliberately chose not to do due to budget constraints:

(i) The Zoo and Night Safari things.
(ii) The Singapore Flyer - I wanted to try this out, but the weather was bad so I cancelled this plan.
(iii) The Jerudong Jurong Bird Park. (Thanks for pointing this out, Tuty! Haha, I got mixed up. Duh.)
(iv) The Hop-On Hop-Off Tours.

I will try to post some pics later as Blogger is not very co-operative right now. (Updated)

So, is Singapore a sterile, boring, over-rated destination?

I'm still debating on that.


  1. Singapore to me is boring to a certain extend because the country shares similiar culture, language and food as Malaysia. Whenever I travel to Singapore it feels like I never left Malaysia :-)

    Good idea that you skipped the Jurong Bird Park. I went there couple of years back and nothing impressive. But the zoo and night safari was fascinating.

    How much was the hostel per night?

  2. Hi Julie

    You are right, esp when it came to food I really wasn't inspired with anything since our 'cuisines' are basically the same. One day I will try the zoo and the Flyer :)

    The hostel was S$18, inclusive of a simple breakfast.