Singapore First Timer, Part II

So the Part I post was a month ago. Yeah… And we’re back for more of Singapore! For Day 1 & 2, click here.

Day 3

Lucky Plaza – ION Orchard – Takashimaya – Cineleisure – 313eSomerset – Funan – Chinatown – Clark Quay

The third day didn’t start out in the best possible way. I woke up in the middle of some pretty deep REM with the worst twisting pain in my stomach. And no this was not the usual hyperacidity or “I ate too much rice” kind of pain. By 6 AM, I not only threw up all the contents of my stomach, but also whatever fluid my insides was producing. To sum it up: I was a weak, sleepy, cranky mess.

Somehow, I convinced my body to cooperate and go through with the day’s itinerary, which started with a trip to Lucky Plaza to exchange our US$$$ into SGD$$$. Lucky Plaza would not be my favorite place to go on a Sunday morning. The place was absolutely packed! There were an awful lot of Pinoys there too and well, I hate to say this but Filipinos can be incredibly noisy. Thankfully, there was a heavenly place amidst the chaos:

Chocolates! Lot’s of ’em! And there are free samples!

It was then off to ION Orchard, Takashimaya, Cineleisure & 313eSomerset for– what else?– shopping! A couple of my friends seemed to have found their spiritual homes in Uniqlo and was quite put out that we had to wait until July for the brand to open in Manila.

I got myself an Aeropostale winter jacket (on sale!) for my S. Korea trip later in the year and a few knickknacks for my sister from this cutesy school supply store in 313eSomerset.

Hipster display is hipster.

We also went to Kinokuniya in Takashimaya, this MASSIVE bookstore I could happily get lost in. There was just one thing missing from the store: they had no stock of that month’s Arsenal magazine. Actually, this was the fourth store I checked (and it wouldn’t be the last) but there was a serious shortage of the magazine. I guess it’s because of the dates that we were there or maybe the Per cover was popular.

It was a boon for our tired feet that there was time to rest in between all the shopping (or window shopping) and magazine-searching. Sharra treated us to this 1 SGD street ice cream which was sliced then put either in a piece of bread or between two thin wafers. I got mint choco chip, because that’s my go-to flavor. It didn’t disappoint!

1 SGD street ice cream!

Our next stop was Funan, which was a good place to buy gadgets and gadgety things, I was told. Since I didn’t plan on buying gadgets, I sat this one out. Okay, it was more of I slept this one out. Without shame, I settled into a seat in Mcdonald’s and promptly took a nap while Mils (?) ordered fries or something to justify us being there.

Barbecue sauce for the fries! (Photo by Mils)

Refreshed from the nap, I traipsed along more energetically as we head towards our dinner destination. We rode a double-decker bus to Chinatown just because we can. We passed this great temple near Chinatown that was incredibly impressive, it could be used as a set for a Street Fighter movie. Upon googling, it’s apparently a Buddhist temple + museum called the “Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum”. Such a shame that it was closed already when we were there.

More of Chinatown:

Pretty lanterns strung all over the place. (Photo by Pat)

Colorful chopsticks.

Matching bracelets!

You cannot miss out on the chili king crabs in Chinatown! There wasn’t just one place that sells them, but the one we randomly picked had a decent price for it and the crab was so, so, so delicious. I also got to impress Mils with my awesome crab shell-cracking skills, haha!

I just realized that I have now been in four Chinatowns in four countries. Which might not be as impressive as I think it is. I don’t know. Is it?

Since we needed to walk off all that we chowed down, we went to Clark Quay /clark ki/. It’s an area with lots of bars and places to go dancing (I’m just assuming this last one, based on the number of girls all decked out to par-tay). It looks pretty busy, considering the late hour. But no, we didn’t party the night away. We just sort of chilled and got to stare out at the water to think about our life choices. Wait, was that just me?

Pretty, pretty lights hitting the water. (Photo by Jing)

All the single ladies… This is how we troll.

We decided to go home after Clark Quay, so I was still able to catch the 2nd half of the Arsenal game at the hotel. We won and to celebrate, I went with the others to the bean curd place we went to the night before. It has become some sort of a ritual, I suppose.

Sure, it might have caused my stomach problems earlier in the day, but whatever.

Day 4

Universal Studios Singapore – Vivo City

Early the next morning, we went on a looooong train ride to Sentosa so we could spend the day at Universal Studios Singapore. Being camwhores, we took a million and one pics along the way.

I love theme parks! I really do, even if I have motion sickness. Universal Studios Singapore, though a bit small, was still loads of fun. It felt like a dream, except if it was, I wouldn’t have gotten the urge to throw up after riding the ‘Battlestar Galactica: Human’ roller coaster ride. I steeled myself and still rode the Cylon half of the ride, though I only survived by screaming out the lyrics to “Defying Gravity”. Yay me!

Transformers 5, anyone?

All the restaurants inside USS had their own themes, but we chose this 50s diner-type that had jukeboxes and everything.

My favorite part was when we watched the show at Water World. The athleticism of the actors was jaw-dropping!

How can we not go to USS and have our pictures taken with some, er, famous faces?

When we had our fill of the rides and attractions, we decided to head on to Vivo City mall for dinner. We passed this candy store along the way and Raph bought me jelly beans!

Photo by Raph (and the photo below this)

Pat and Mils had dinner plans with a former colleague in the college yearbook so the rest of us were left to fend of for our selves. Carl’s Jr. was where we ended up. The franchise has long since closed here on the Philippines, which was a pity because it was my favorite when I was in high school (Remember the SM North branch?). Oh, the Carl’s Jr in Singapore had unlimited salsa, by the way.

Since we were in the company of two friends (Raph & Sharra) who live in Singapore, I did not bother with my usual travel research and O.C. itinerary planning. In hindsight, I should have. Though we managed to cram a lot of things into a few days of travel, it’s not smart not having an input or opinion about things since I was pretty much ignorant about the what’s what in the city. Oh well. At least I have a reason to go back and explore more of what Singapore has to offer.

Many thanks to our hosts, they were superb! Not only did they accounted for the time and the taste of the majority of the group, but they also saved us a lot of money in the 9th most expensive city in the world by treating us to random places. And as I said, we crammed so many experience in a few days. I can’t thank them enough for the experience. I have so many great memories of the trip.

I enjoyed my short stay in Singapore immensely though I have to admit that it did not appeal to me as a place to live forever and ever. Not like London, or even Liverpool, tarnished as the latter was because of the bedbug experience. Okay, maybe just London. It would be a great place to work though, at least while I don’t have a family of my own. (I’m sorry, but I cannot raise my children in a country dominated by Man Utd fans; I can’t risk it!)

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