Monday, May 14, 2007

Swinging By Singapore

I've been to Singapore several times because of my Kuya and I've never really gone there for a vacation. In the occasions I've had time to go explore the city on my own (my brother made a wrong booking and left me on my own), I just basically rode the MRT and walked and walked and walked.

A friend of mine who's going to spend a night in Singapore asked for suggestions on what to do. He's a bit techie and interested to buy a gadget and loves photography.

This is what I suggest he does (he arrives by morning):

1. Visit the Singapore Zoo. There's a bus you can take to get there. Just get a brochure at the airport and you'll find your way. Oh and it's better to visit during the day. Better lighting for your pictures.

2. I hope he checks in at the Excelsior so that it'd be easy for him to walk to Funan IT Mall after his day at the zoo, the newer one compared to SimLim (SimLim looks a whole lot like going to the Greenhills IT area).

3. Dinner and drinks at the Boat Quay area. Lots of good food there, especially that quaint little Italian restaurant I had lunch in last February with Google colleagues. Just take the MRT to get there.

Or you can head over to Chimes which is around the corner of Raffles Plaza Hotel (I loved staying there!) and in front of Carlton Hotel. Across the Chimes is a Roman Catholic church (forgot the name), it's where I usually hear mass in Singapore. If you go to Chimes, you can also head over to Bugis Junction after dinner. It's a short walk where you'll also see the National Library and Manila Street. There are a lot of inexpensive souvenir t-shirts at Bugis and you can also try out mee-goreng (noodles) at the small hawkers center.

4. For souvenirs he can probably head off to Chinatown or Orchard Road the next day. I heard you already have a Merlion, so go get something made of jade or gold (you can also get me a cheongsam while you're shopping haha). If you're going to Orchard Road don't forget to visit Lucky Plaza where all the Pinoys are and my favorite bookstore, Kinokuniya.

5. And then visit Little India. There are a lot of interesting structures you can take photos of. And if you still have time, shimmy over to the Merlion.

It's very easy to go around Singapore and VERY SAFE. It's also better to change your currency at the airport, less hassle to look for one while going around.

Don't forget my pasalubong!

Click on the photo to see more of the Lakwatsera in Singapore.
Read more about my latest Singapore adventure here.


Travel Tips:

Where I've Stayed

Raffles Plaza Hotel (the best!)
Carlton Hotel (good)
Golden Landmark Hotel (not going back there, the place is haunted!)
hotels in Little India (uhh, I really don't suggest you stay there)

On taking a Cab - tip, call the driver "uncle". It's the equivalent of "manong" or "kuya". I've never had problems taking the cab coz the drivers usually mistake me to be Singaporean and a student.

Shopping Places - Chinatown - lots of jade and beads! and inexpensive stuff which they re-sell locally at exorbitant prices, lots of interesting stuff in Little India, when in Orchard don't forget Kinokuniya (books), Lucky Plaza (for souvenirs), Tang's (clothing), there's a Ben & Jerry's shop at the Raffles Plaza Mall

Transportation - MRT!

And, dress up a bit, that's how they are there.

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