Singapore never fails to amaze us. Just when we thought we had covered the entire island and its attractions during past visits, we find new ones popping up to warrant another visit.
We – the other half and I – were in the republic for the New Year. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision to go there. Not for me, at least. I had planned it to coincide with my grandniece’s wedding in Johor Bahru. Since I will be there, I would just have to cross over the Causeway into the republic.
As for the other half, he decided to join me after I had left for Johor Bahru. He was lucky that he could get a room at the hotel I was booked in and that the Jetstar flight did not cost him an arm and a leg.
I crossed over two days before the New Year with a friend, who was going there on a day trip. Using GPS, he drove to Jalan Sultan, behind the Sultan Mosque. I was booked at the Sultan Hotel, a double-storey shoplot that has been converted into a boutique hotel.
The other half flew in from Kuala Lumpur in the morning. The three of us had a late lunch at the Glam Café, behind the hotel, and later went our separate ways. We checked into the hotel while our friend went on to do his own thing.
There were two things that I wanted to do while in Singapore; first, to go to the Gardens by the Bay and second, to experience the New Year celebrations outside Kuala Lumpur.
But during our stay, we also found gourmet food retailer Dean & DeLuca at Orchard Central, the same building which houses the Asian Food Channel Studio. When we saw the signage, we looked at each other, smiled and without saying a word, took the escalator to Level Four where the store is located. I’ve been to their New York Times Café in the Big Apple and loved it!
While there, we also checked out the latest exhibition at The Museum at Marina Bay Sands called The Art of Brick (Legoland should have brought in the exhibition instead!) and we also went to the Resorts World Sentosa for the S.E.A Aquarium.
|The SuperTrees and one of the conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay|
|The Cloud Forest conservatory at Gardens by the Bay|
|Trees at the Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay|
|The Baobabs at the Flower Dome|
|One of the exhibits at the S.E.A Aquarium|
|Exhibits on display before entering the S.E.A Aquarium|
|Large jelly fishes in one of the many tanks|
|S.E.A Aquarium is believed to have the largest collection of sharks|
|The Lego exhibition at The Museum, Mandarin Sands|
|Jimi Hendrix in Lego Bricks|
|Another Lego scuplture|
Finding our way round in Singapore was a breeze.We took the public transportation especially the MRT. We only took the cab to get to the airport. Hadn’t it been for our luggage, we could have easily gotten ourselves there by taking the MRT too.
The best thing about staying at The Sultan (which I found by googling for Singapore hotels) was that there were three MRT Stations, all within walking distance of the hotel.
It served our purpose. The Bugis and Lavender MRT stations linked us to Orchard Road, via the City Hall MRT Station (we have to change the train here for Orchard Road), which the Nicol Highway Station took us directly to the Marina Bay Station, with only two stops in between.
Also, the Kampung Glam area is where you can find halal food. Nearby is the Zam Zam Restaurant, famous for its murtabak. The only other place we ate at, which has halal food, was Straits Kitchen of Grand Hyatt Singapore (Malay songs include Anuar Zain’s were piped music for the coffeehouse).
I’m planning yet another Singapore visit, this time with my nephew and niece.
There is the River Safari which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of this year. Touted to be the Asia's first and only river-themed wildlife park, it is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore's portfolio of award-winning parks.