This country has always been part of my bucket list. The Merlion has always been part of my dreams; that one day I could get to see the statue and what this beautiful country has. It was just last year when I had the chance to meet one friend from Singapore and he told me wonderful things and that was the start of me saying “I should go and explore in Singapore!”
Known as the Lion city and the Garden city, Singapore is one of the most popular tourist destinations of South-East Asia and without any doubts the most developed, urbanized country in Asia, if not in the world!(as far as I could see) I have stayed there for 3 weeks, which appeared to be not enough to fully discover this unique country-city since my purpose of going there is for a leadership training. It broke my heart to leave the place but I promised myself to go back there though(yas I would).
My trip was sponsored by Temasek Foundation (thanks a lot!) and to learn more of Singapore part of our itinerary is Singapore Series: Past, Present, and Future and among the places we visited was Chinatown. I’ve been to Hong Kong once, but that was many years ago like I was still a kid that doesn’t care about the surroundings except for the rides and the food. (LOL). Chinatown in Singapore was unexpected. It was pretty clean and organized, and the streets was filled with traditional shops and markets as well as cool stores and cafe’s were we bought souvenirs for our families and friends in the Philippines. Shopping at Chinatown didn’t go well at first since we have to rush(I hate being rushed during traveling though) because the bus might leave us. But on the second time we went there, it felt pretty relaxed, which was something I liked since I want to explore more of Chinatown and indeed take a picture of the place(a lot of pictures).
We also went to Thian Hock Keng, the oldest and most important temple of the Hokkien (Hoklo) people in the country. There were different gods/goddesses in the temple mostly of Chinese beliefs. I also read that it was built without using a single nail! (Awesome, right?) Sad to say we can’t take pictures inside since it was prohibited and to respect the people there as well.
After that we went to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) City Gallery where we learned about the story of the city’s physical transformation. It’s so amazing how Singapore transformed themselves from a backwater village to a first-world metropolis in just 50 years. We also got to see the wonderful architectural model that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the city center.
The third place we went to is Maxwell Market, a large selection of delicious prepared foods; and a deli offering sandwiches, soups, salads and daily specials where we ate some Singaporean desserts.
I was lucky to have an aunt living in Singapore so at afternoon, she went to the place where we stayed (Nanyang Girls Dormitory School, thanks NYGDS) and she picked me up together with my 2 close friends. I was really excited to explore Singapore. First, she bought us to Vivo Mall, in here we will ride the Sentosa Express, a bus shuttle service that transports visitors to Sentosa.
There are 3 ways to get to Sentosa:
- By foot.Hours – Open 24 hours, Price – free. From the Harbor front there are travelators that will help you go faster, about 15-20 minutes to get to the island by foot. If you use this choice, you can go back to Harbor front free of charge by train! 🙂
- By train. Hours – 7 a.m. – midnight. Price – 4$. If you are tired and don’t feel like walking, you can use the train, that goes parallel with the travelator.
- By cable car. Hours – from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Price – 29$ return.
Credits to : https://misstourist.com/9-things-to-do-in-singapore/
When we arrived at Sentosa, my heart was like crying and leaping for joy. We went to the Universal Studios Globe which is one of the main attraction in USS (Good thing it was for free). I was standing in front of the globe and all that I can think of is WOW, I can’t believe I am standing in front of this globe;a part of my dream just came true. Good thing my aunt was also supportive she was there to take pictures of me/my friends.
After that we went to the chocolate stores (Why not go, when you’re already there?).
Then we went to the tallest Merlion statue in Sentosa but sad to say I was not able to take a picture of it since it was raining really hard. We then decided to eat our dinner at a restaurant just in Sentosa. We felt really tired but nevertheless we still continued and went to place where you could say “I’ve been to Singapore!” It is the Singapore landmark and major tourist attraction, located at One Fullerton, Singapore, near the Central Business District (CBD).The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish that is widely used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. This time I was crying out of joy. I only see the Merlion on the TV’s and on the internet but this time it was right in front of me (Really, really big!) I could not help myself and I really went near the Merlion.
After the Merlion Park, we went to see the wonderful Gardens by the Bay, where the lights are so bright and it was like a magical moment and I could also see the 3 main towers (Marina Bay Sands resort) from there. Again, I felt so emotional.
If you are tired of sightseeing and want to just relax on the beach, Singapore has one also! Our 8th at Singapore is a bond day since our Singaporean buddies planned something for us and that is to bond with us so they bought us to Sentosa, a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some twenty million people a year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore.
Our buddies brought with them some snacks and drinks for us to eat and drink while watching the beautiful view of Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach. We also learned from our buddies that these beaches are artificial, reclaimed using sand bought from Indonesia and Malaysia. They are manned by a beach patrol lifeguard team who are easily identified by their red and yellow uniforms. We played, enjoyed, and relax while we are there.
We also went to Universal Studios amusement park (my second time to go here) I would really love to go inside, but it would need the whole day(Also,I need the budget) and I didn’t have that much time. Probably, next time! At night, we were so amazed by the tallest Merlion, I actually cried deep inside while watching it. It has colorful lights that makes it more adorable to watch.
On our 13th day, we had Singapore Series: Water. We had the chance to explore and expand our knowledge about NEWater Visitor Centre Tour, Marina Barrage and Gardens by the Bay. First, we went to Gardens by the Bay it is a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The largest of the gardens is Bay South Garden at 54 hectares (130 acres). Gardens by the Bay is also part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”.
One of the things I admire most about Singapore is their love for nature and its conservation. I’ll give 5 out of 5 stars for you Singapore!
The second place we went through the iconic Marina Barrage, the realization of a vision crystallized 20 years ago, boosts Singapore’s water supply, alleviates flooding in the low-lying city areas and is a hot spot for recreational activities. Built across the mouth of the Marina Channel, the Marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th reservoir, and is the first reservoir in the heart of the city.
We enjoyed the magnificent view of the city skyline from the rooftop of Marina Barrage and learned more about Singapore’s water journey at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery.
From interactive tours to educational workshops, we went to the last stop; the NEWater Visitor Center promises a fun-filled experience for everyone! I learned that Singapore gets its water supplies from the neighboring countries. We were allowed to wander around the room where there were three stations of learning points.
They also gave us free water samples and key-chains. The tour was educational and nicely done — the scientific terminologies and treatment processes were easy to understand.
Bugis street is where you will find all sort of cool stuff and it is a budget shopping area. It has a wide variety of clothing, shoes, accessories and retro shops, it is also a great place to buy souvenirs(Next to Chinatown, for me)! But there are a lot of people in Bugis street especially on a Sunday.
In conclusion to all of that, I think my trip to Singapore was a success! A success in terms of my actual duties for going there, and in terms of my enjoyment as a tourist. So, if you’re planning for a holiday or a vacation, you should probably think of Singapore.