Sunday, May 6, 2018

SG Vacay 2018

I don't know what's with traveling but once you started doing it, you would never want to stop.

My experience in South Korea last year made me want to explore the world, one at a time. For 2018, I and my friend, Maueen, visited Singapore (SG) to discover its wonders last April 20-24.

The world is huge. No matter how long we spend traveling, we'll never ran out of new things to see and learn.

It all started when Mau invited me to travel to somewhere tropical and came up with a decision of visiting SG. Mau is one of my college classmates and best friends. We rarely hangout with our group of friends since we graduated due to busy and conflicting work schedules. But when we were able to score a cheap flight fare via Cebu Pacific, wala ng makakapigil samin! We planned this trip two months before our travel dates. Thanks to the vast information over the internet that gave us ideas on how to explore SG in the most efficient way possible. We googled a lot, booked our hostel in advance, searched for fun activities, bought tickets online, noted for the subway stations and exits to different tourist spots, prepared for the pocket money, downloaded the bus and MRT app, planned our itinerary,  prayed a lot, and tadaaaaa! Here yah go, SG!

DAY 1: Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By the Bay, Little India, Chinatown
Meet my friend, Maureen.
If I'm going to describe SG in three words, it's BEAUTIFUL, SAFE, and EXPENSIVE! Thanks to my cousins, Ate Tin and Kuya Paeng- her husband, residing in SG because we stayed at their place on our first night and Ate Tin treated us meals and tour in Gardens by the Bay, Little India, and Chinatown on our first day. We got familiar with the modes of transportation and "tourist basics" in SG such as always keeping on the left lane, addressing the elders as "uncle" and "auntie", and saying "can" when we mean Yes. Transit in SG is very tourist-friendly. In our four days of stay, hindi kami naligaw. Also, according to researches, Singapore is 430 times smaller than the Philippines. You can actually tour the whole country in less than a week.

Walking at the Helix Bridge.
That's Ate Tin on the right!
Inside the Marina Bay Sands. We had our lunch here.

Cloud Forest Conservatory - Gardens By The Bay

Flower Dome Conservatory - Gardens By The Bay
So lucky to witness the #Tulipmania2018 during our visit in SG. Tulipmania is the largest tulip festival in SG. It started on April 13 and will last on May 13. Tulips are sooo lovely! Mukang may kahati na ang sunflower sa puso ko. I wish I could pick one. But a staff said that the tulips will be allowed to be picked on the last day of the event and will be given to mothers (since it's mothers' day on May 13 :)).
Super Tree Grove, Gardens By The Bay
Little India

DAY 2: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands again, Merlion Park again

On our second day, I contacted my high school friend, Emielle, and invited him to join us in wandering around. He works as an engineer there but haven't explored SG that much. There, nagkaroon kami ng instant travel buddy and photographer. Hehe. We meet him after visiting the SG Botanic Gardens. He brought his college friend, Mendrin, who happened to be having a vacation in SG too. The more, the merrier! We then visited the Singapore Zoo.
That's Emielle at the center and his friend, Mendrin at the right. :)

Our original aim is to see the pandas. But travel mishaps really happen. Pandas can be found in River Safari, not in Singapore Zoo! Mali kami ng nabiling tickets. That was so frustrating. Tapos umulan pa. Huhuhu I almost cry. (A week after we went to the Zoo, Inuka, the polar bear in the zoo, died. Buti na lang nakita pa namin sya.) Anyway, it was our first time to see giraffe, lion, and kangaroo naman. I think that experience counts na. Plus---- cute at malulusog lahat ng hayop doon. Hehe. There are still a lot to be thankful for kahit umulan at di nakakita ng panda.

We ate pancit bihon and grilled chicken wings at--I can't remember where-- after leaving the zoo. But I remembered the ice cream we ate at the end of the Helix Bridge. Basta masarap yun! I tried the mint flavor! Haha. We then went to Marina Bay Sands and accompanied Maureen in shopping-- this girl usually does not shop for herself. She just bought one lip balm for herself and a lot of chocolates, cosmetics, and skin care products for her friends in the Philippines. We also watched the light show at Gardens by the Bay and had some chitchats at the Merlion Park. We were able to see the beautiful SG at night that time.

DAY 3: Cable Car (Mount Faber Peak, Sentosa, Siloso, Merlion), Universal Studios, Bugis, Eunos

An SG trip is not complete without riding a cable car. Don't get me wrong-- I'm not really afraid of heights but indeed afraid of the waters. While having a panoramic view of SG inside the cable car,I almost cried. Lol.

The cable car has two lines, each has three station:

View from the cable car.

Mount Faber Peak Stn.:
WISHING BELLS. In all the places I go, I leave a mark of my happiness. This time, I hung a wishing bell at Mt. Faber Peak, a cable car station in Singapore. I thank the Lord for this experience--- for the people I was with, for the things I saw and did for the first time, for the food, for the financial provision, for everything! I pray to explore more countries, one at a time. I claim that this will happen in God's best and perfect timing. #always

Sentosa Stn.:

Siloso Point Stn.:

Merlion Stn.:

The highlight of our SG vacay, Universal Studios!!!

It was 11AM when we finished visiting the cable car stations. It was also then that we went to USS. We first shop for chocolates at Candylicious, grabbed a bite, took photos with the US globe, and started exploring inside the USS. We took a map and events calendar at the entrance gate to be aware of the time and place of various shows and parades. Our admission tickets in SG Zoo, Cable Car, and USS, were bought online (via klook), weeks before our trip. These gave us mostly 30% off from the regular fees. If you have credit/ debit card, you might want to try availing these.

It rained during our visit, and there was a lighting alert. Unfortunately, the Battlestar Galactica was temporarily closed. Buuuut, we were able to try other rides. The child in me just came out, I really had a lot of fun! It was a good decision to visit USS on a Monday to avoid the crowd. We spent less time in the que and the place was less crowded. Everything that we visited here is so picturesque and every single cent is worth the experience! Thank you SG! Our stay is sooooo sulit!

On our last day in SG, just right after we visited USS, we were fetched by Medrin and Kuya Ronel (new friend!) at the USS globe. We then went to Bugis for pasalubong shopping then to Eunos to meet Emielle and have our dinner. I also tried biking. Pero di ko na i-eelaborate kasi natumba lang ako. What an experience to end the day. Lol.
That;s Kuya Ronel in gray top.
Emielle's treat! Our last night in SG huhu

We stayed at Pillowtalk Hostel near Bendemeer Stn. (Blue Line). It's an affordable backpackers' hostel ideal for solo travelers. Since dalawa lang naman kami, okay yun samin. Anyway, we just needed a place to sleep at night and to leave our stuff at day. It offers free breakfast (sandwiches + coffee) and complementary sim card. The staff are kind and accommodating. But if you're planning for a family visit, I suggest consider booking for a hotel.

Let me share to you our itinerary for this DIY trip:


Changi Airport
 Arrival at SG.
 Day 1
Merlion Park 
·       Alight at Raffles Place Stn, Green or Red line.
·      Take Exit H, and walk about 10 minutes heading to The Fullerton Hotel., Battery Rd.
·      Take the underground walkway in the Fullerton Hotel leading to Merlion Park
Gardens By The Bay
·      Take Blue or Orange line to Bayfront Stn. (Actually, pwede naman lakarin to. Kami, nilakad lang namin para makadaan kami sa DNA/ Heliz bridge at makapaglunch muna sa Marina Bay Sands.)
·      Once reached the Bayfront, take Exit B and follow the underground linkway. Exit and cross the Dragonfly/ Meadow Bridge into GBB (or follow the sign boards)
Little India

·      Take the MRT and alight at Little India Stn., Violet or Blue line.
·      Take Exit C. Walk along Bukhit Tima rd. and turn left to Kerbau Rd.
-      Tan Teng Niah/ Colorful House (37 Kerbau Rd.)
-      Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (397 Serangoon Rd., Cor. Belilios)
·      Take Violet line to Chinatown Stn., take Exit A (Pagoda St.) or lakad na lang
-      Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (288 South Bridge Rd.)
-      Shopping
·      Take Blue line to Bendemeer Stn. Take Exit B.
Day 2 (SUN)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
·      Take Blue line to Botanic Gardens Stn. It has only one exit that leads directly to the main gate of the Botanic Gardens.
SG Zoo
·      Take Blue line to Newton Stn. then transfer to Red line to Khatib Stn.
·      There is a SG Zoo service bus that arrives every 20 mins.
Gardens by the Bay
·      Take the Red line to Newton Stn.
·      Transfer to Blue line. Alight at Bayfont Stn. Follow the sign boards to Gardens by the Bay.
·      Light show starts at 7:45PM!
Merlion Park
·      Kumain ng ice cream

·      Blue line to Bendemeer Stn. Take Exit B.
Day 3
Cable Car
·      Take Blue line to Chinatown Stn., then transfer to Violet line to HarbourFront Stn.
·      Take Exit B towards Harbourfront Center
·      Cross the Link Bridge (beside KFC level 2) to get to Singapore Cable Car at Harbourfront Tower 2, GF
·      At Merlion Cable Car Stn., ride the monorail to USS
Alternatively upon reaching Harbourfront,
·      Walk into the VivoCity Mall and climb to Level 3
·      Proceed to Lobby L near Food Republic.
·      Fall in line and purchase a ticket. S$3(includes Sentosa Island Admission charge. Keep it!)
·      Board the monorail train. Alight at Waterfront Stn..
·      Follow the signs and you’ll find yourself staring at the Universal Studios rotating globe.
·      Go back to Harbourfront Stn., Violet line.
Bugis St.
·      Blue line to Bugis Stn. Last-minute shopping
·      Green line to Eunos Stn. Dinner.
·      Blue line to Bendemeer Stn. to rest and get our things.
·      Blue line to Expo Stn. then Green line to Changi Aiport.
 Day 4
3:15 AM
NAIA Terminal 3
 Return to Manila

Don't forget to always bring your passport, wear light and comfortable, bring extra shirt and sun screen (it's blazing hot outside), download the SG MRT and bus apps., and pray :)

Cheers for my first out-of-the-country travel this 2018!

There is a fulfillment in being able to step in a foreign land. Y'know why? It's when you travel that you see more of God's works. Singapore is beautiful. So does its people. Thanks to everyone who had been with us during this trip.

Thank you Lord!