The road to Melaka was easy. As I’ve mentioned here, I booked our bus tickets through Redbus.sg and used my BDO debit card to pay for the tickets. I choose to book our tickets with Redbus because I noticed they were giving 20% discount for all ticket purchases. Even if its just a few dollars, it’s still savings.
The photo above (by my husband) represented to me what Singapore is, at least through my eyes. Far from the tourist-filled parks along Clark Quay and Orchard Road, the fast lanes in the MRT, the magnificent man-made structures that signify the city-state’s modernity, is the heart of Singapore — it’s people.
The original title of my Singaporean trip was “The Little Piggies Went to Search for the Seven Merlions” or “The Search for the Merlions” or “Finding Merlions.” The itinerary I made was supposed to revolve around the seven official merlions in the country (I learned from the Your Singapore website that the Singapore government owns the merlion trademark and no one, yes, no one, can create a merlion without the government’s approval).
I had an obsession with James Clavell books in college. I consumed all of his books one after the other not because I love stories on power, but because I loved the fictional historical accounts of old cities. Clavell is famous for setting his books in Asian cities, notably Hong Kong. King Rat, his first book, was based on his experience at the Changi Prison. So, whenever I think of Singapore, I don’t think of Universal Studios or Gardens by the Bay. I think of King Rat and the conditions of the people in the Changi Prison during World War II before Singapore became the modern city it is now. Because I loved the book, it is no wonder a trip to Singapore would not be complete without visiting The Changi Museum.
Orchard Road is another popular “tourist” attraction in Singapore. It is the place of premium brand shopping — Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, and the likes. While on the red line train, I was imagining Orchard Road to be empty because I was thinking not many can afford these brands. Only to find a pandemonium when we alighted from the train.
Gardens by the Bay is a quintessential Singapore landmark. It is also an engineering and science wonder because the city garden aims to be self-sustaining. The super groves (the big Avatar-ish trees) are not just decorative structures, they are also enormous solar power absorber, which powers the flower dome and the cloud garden. It is not just a popular tourist place, it is an epitome of 21st century living — environmental sustainability.
Singapore is not Sentosa. Many tourists, however, think a visit to Singapore is not complete without a visit to Sentosa Island, and we are one of those tourists. So our first stop on our first day in Singapore was the island resort. Singapore though has more to offer than its modern city scape, although it’s not so bad at all, especially at night. In this post, I’ll share some photographs of Singapore from my tourist eyes. Many of these photographs will include the usual Singapore tourist attractions.
I have a genuine fear of heights. But many times in my life I have proven to myself (always accidentally) that there is no fear I cannot conquer. When my siblings suggested we take ride the cable car in Singapore, I immediately agreed because I read in the website that the trip is only 5 minutes. I think I can handle five minutes of being suspended on air inside a box (which was actually spacious enough for six people). To my horror, my companions took advantage of all the cable car rides, which totalled eight rides in all!
I am home now from our 8-day trip to Singapore and Melaka, and catching up with work at home. It was a fun week — it was my first international flight and the first time my siblings, my husband and I went on a trip together. How did it go? It was fun with a lot of walks. I joked that the Singapore trip will cripple me. Hahaha. Our trip was not budget travelling nor was it a luxury trip. It was what I call an affordable trip. So, I’m going to share our expenses, planning, and itinerary, some tips and tricks we did to save few pesos (and SG dollars and ringgits), and a few lessons learned from the trip.