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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 10 : Singapore - KL

Today, we would make our way back - I would be travelling to KL while S was going to JB. Her bus was 9.30 a.m., and mine was later at 1.00 a.m. Meanwhile, it was our last breakfast with a view ....

Rose on rose cupcake from Twelve Cupcakes .... 
I loved the tasty cupcakes! The cake was light, soft and fluffy, moist too. The frosting had very subtle flavouring, yet was rich and buttery. It complemented the cake perfectly. Like. Very much. Yummy.

At about 8.00 a.m., I walked S to the Raffles Place MRT station ..... and then I ventured along the Singapore River on my own ......

Bird by Fernando Botero
This giant sculpture is recognisable, Fullteron Hotel at a distant  

 Cavanagh Bridge

Some interesting artistic depictions of old Singapore 
The River Merchants

Wheeee!!! 
First Generation

Merlion Park 

View of  Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands from Merlion Park

Then I went to the Civic District .... 

Victoria Concert Hall 

 National Art Gallery
This is a newly-opened gallery, and housed the biggest collection of Southeast Asian art .... I badly wanted to come here, but it wasn't opened till 10.00 a.m. 

Raffles Landing Place

Asian Civilization Museum 

I crossed the Cavanagh Bridge to get back 

Then I went across the road from UOB Plaza to go to One Raffles .... the shops weren't opened yet .... so I walked along Market Street ... and found 2 Food Centres! One was Market Street Food Centre while the one at the end of the street was called May Hua Food Court! There are so many eateries here!  I wish I had found this place earlier!

Okie. I wasn't hungry yet. But I just had to eat something ..... lol. Eating for the sake of eating. I surveyed Market Street Food Centre and decided to eat ...

Teochew Mee, SGD3.00 
I did not like the noodles much - a bit sticky, a bit bland ... but the soup was good! Loved the minced inside the soup, and also the fishballs and fishcake slices used. 

I bought some OCK curry puffs to bring back to KL ..... and went back to the hostel to check out.

The bed where we slept for 4 nights .... 

Then I went looking for the Nice Executive Lounge at The Plaza, Beach Road. That was where I would be boarding my bus. I exited Nicoll Highway MRT and walked along Beach Road .... past Parkroyal on Beach Road and then I saw The Plaza, just next to it. But there wasn't a bus terminal seen anywhere.

I walked further on, and just outside of Diners Club International, there was a man whom I asked for directions from. Initially, he asked me to go to Golden Mile Tower which was the other side of the road, about 10 minutes walk away. But it couldn't be! I showed him my printout which stated clearly "The Plaza".

He then pointed to the building next to Diner's Club. "That's the Plaza," he told me. Yeah, I know. But where? I didn't see any bus terminals?

Well, in fact The Plaza was behind Parkroyal Hotel .... at that time, I did not know that. I went straight to Parkroyal and asked the concierge, and the kindly man was nice enough to show me the way to the basement where the waiting area was. 

Nice Executive Lounge
There's coffee, tea and water here ... and papers to read .... just sit down, relax  and watch some tv while waiting for the bus. Soon, many other passengers started coming in .... 

The bus was supposed to depart at 1.00 p.m., but in fact, it only departed at 1.30 p.m. We went out from Tuas Second Link ... and by the time we cleared the Malaysian custom, it was 4.30 p.m. 

Nice provided refreshment in the bus! 

The bus made 2 stops - once at an R & R somewhere in Johor (I can't remember where) and another time at A Famosa to drop off passengers. When I reached TBS, it was 9.00 p.m. Yawn.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 9 : Gardens By The Bay, Sands Skypark, LV Series 3 Exhibition & Botanic Gardens

This morning, upon the recommendation from my cousin T, we went to Amoy Street Food Centre for breakfast. It's easily accessible .... we took the MRT to Tanjong Pagar, got out from Exit G, turned left and walked straight to the Food Centre. The problem was that it was too early and all the recommended food here were still not ready .... too bad!

Economy Bee Hoon, SGD2.90
I bought this from Tian Tian Cooked Food. There was a long queue in front of the stall, so I joined the queue. If there was a queue, the food wouldn't be so bad, right? Lol. Anyway, today's noodles were better than yesterday's - it had a bit more flavour, .... and I liked the springy fishcake very much. The cabbage was so soft for my liking. 

S bought this economy noodles from another stall .... 

After breakfast, we went to Gardens by the Bay. The other night when we were there, it was too crowded with people visiting the Luminarie displays, particularly concentrated around the Supertree Grove grounds. There was hardly room to walk, and we had to shuffle slowly out of the packed areas. The other parts of the Gardens weren't very well-lighted and so it wasn't easy for us to navigate in unfamiliar territory. 

So we came again this morning, we wanted to explore the garden and enjoy the landscapes here. The weather, again, was so beautiful - cloudy, not hot and sunny, no scorching heat. 

Marina Bay Sands
Viewed from Gardens By The Bay .... I love this photogenic building! 

 Supertree Grove, Dragonfly Lake in front

View of the domes - Flower Dome & Cloud Forest, and the supertrees at Silver Garden 

Dragonfly bridge, leading to the Supertree Grove 

 Floral Clock

 View of Marina Bay Sands from Silver Garden

We manage to circumnavigate the Gardens, walking from the Malay Garden to the Chinese Garden to the Indian Garden to the Silver Garden to the Golden Garden to the World of Palms, etc .. 

After we have had our fill, we went to Marina Bay Sands Hotel, paid SGD23.00 to access the Skypark Observation Deck, located at Level 56 of the hotel. The smooth ride up the lift took only a few seconds. And here, we could enjoy the panorama of this beautiful city ... 

 Sigh ... what a beauty ... 

 The financial area .. 


The Infinity Pool
We couldn't access the pool .... it would be quite an experience swimming here I think ...... 

There wasn't any place to sit and enjoy the view, though. We spent some 50 minutes at the observation deck before making our descent. We were actually killig a bit of time because our next point of attraction would only commence at 11.00 a.m.

Louis Vuitton, to me, epitomises the classics. I only own 1 piece so far, and am now itching to own another. Well, I was at Louis Vuitton at Ngee Ann City yesterday and was feeling very tempted to buy something and was trying very hard to suppress that wanton desire of mine ......... phew! Then I was distracted by a staff who told me about the LV Series 3 Exhibition which was being held at the Crystal South Pavillion at Marina Bay Sands. Well, since I was in the vicinity today, I had to visit this exhibition.

Entrance


This exhibition brought visitors to the designer, Nicolas Ghesquiere's Autumn-Winter 2015/2016 collection for Louis Vuittion - it showcases his creative process, influences and inspiration. There were several sections ....

Accessories Gallery
This room was all white so that every piece of the exhibit stood out! 

Ooooh .... a vintage! This trunk was once used to transport cutlery! 

At Artists' Hands, a room with LCD displays on the tables, and these presented how La Petite Malle and the Dora bags are produced in real-time. But my favourite section was A Tale Of Craftsmanship. Here, I was able to see for myself how these LV mini trunks were assembled ....

LV Petite Malle or the Mini Trunk
So beautiful! I'd love to own one of these ....  

LV's skilled craftsmen (or craftswomen!!) at work
These very experienced ladies have worked at LV for many years, we were told. They are artisans in their own right, bringing LV icons to life! Here, they were assembling the Petite Malle .... and I got to help!! So exciting! Under their watchful eyes, I drove a couple of screws into the interior of one of the cases. They said I did a good job, and I asked whether there was a vacancy for me. Lol! 

We left the exhibition with 2 sets of stickers each! Happy. :))

S and I split up after this. She wanted to go buy her bus ticket to JB, while I went to meet up with my cousin T for lunch. T would be waiting for me at Tanjong Pagar MRT, the station nearest to her office. Once I exited from the station, T was already there waiting for me.

She brought me to Yayoi-ken, a Japanese Teishoku Restaurant. Teishoku roughly means "meal sets" and here at Yayoi, authentic Japanese rice is refillable. Eat as many bowls as you want! T ate 2 bowls and I ate 1 1/2 bowls. Lol. 

Mixed Toji set, SGD13.90
It consists of beef niku, ebi tempura and a tonkatsu topped with an egg in a hot plate; the food tasted very yummy! 

I met up with S again after that, and we shopped at Bugis Junction .... we both bought a top at a shop called TEMT, only SGD14.90 for a top. Cheap.

And even though I wasn't hungy, I snacked on these ... 

Churros with cinnamon, very yummy when eaten hot

Chilli con carne kebab from Stuff'd

From Dong Dae Mun, Seoul Street Food

From Twelve Cup Cakes

It was already 5.00 p.m. at this time .... and I decided to head to the Botanic Gardens, recently conferred as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How could I give it a miss? We took the Circle Line MRT to the Botanic Gardens station. It took so long!! At that time, the Downtown Line was still closed ..... otherwise, going from Bugis to Botanic Gardens would only be a jiffy.

The sky was grey, and I feared it would rain, but we walked anyway, along the Cluny Park Way ... I wanted to go to Symphony Lake ...

Symphony Lake
So serene and so beautiful!! 

The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage


Some pretty flowers I saw here ... 

And then we crossed the large field and reached the National Orchid Garden ....

Outside the National Orchid Garden

A tiny but nice-looking waterfall ....

It was starting to drizzle by now ... yikes .... and we could not turn back so we exited via Tyersall Avenue and walked along Holland Drive towards a bus stop at Napier Road .... and here we jumped into a bus towards Orchard Road ...

We alighted at Wheelock Place ..... and walked along Orchard Road for some more food ....

Paris Baguette
Strawberry Shortcake, & Kiwi & Orange Juice

Ben & Jerry's

We then headed back to our hostel for the night.

Both the Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanic Gardens are beautifully landscaped .... and I would have loved to have more time to explore the different parts ....... sigh .... next time, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 8 : River Safari & Alive Museum

Early morning breakfast was the same as the day before. We ate some .... and then walked to Chinatown. We could have taken the train. But we preferred to walk and do a bit of exploring. After all, Chinatown wasn't far away ..... it only took us 15 minutes on a leisurely stroll. The weather today was again so beautiful! It wasn't hot at all!

Saw these on Nankin Street :



I found the Buddha Tooth Relic temple ..... but I did not go inside. Instead, I went to the Chinatown Market Food Centre, as I wanted to eat a typical Singaporean breakfast - economy fried beehoon. There were several stalls selling .... and I chose to eat at this vegetarian stall ...

Vegetarian Fried Beehoon, SGD2.50
Tofu skin, cabbage and vegetarian char siew; tasted a bit bland, the nicest item on the plate was the char siew 

From Chinatown, we took the train to Ang Mo Kio. At the bus interchange, we took bus no. 138, which brought us right to River Safari. In fact, it's side by side with Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. This area is beautifully landscaped, and it would be nice to just hang out here. There are also food, drinks and snacks sold ....



Boat sculpture at Safari Square

Our tickets were also pre-booked, so with it, we went right in to the River Safari, Asia's first and only river-themed wildlife park. The park has 2 zones - Rivers of the World and Wild Amazonia. Rivers of the World included species from Mekong River, Mary Rive, Mississippi River, Yangtze River, Ganges River.

Indian Gharial
We saw one swimming .... it was quite fascinating! 

The Giant Panda Forest was an air-conditioned area, and we could feel the cold as soon as we approached it .... brrr .... and here, there were a pair of red pandas .... and of course Singapore's resident pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

Kai Kai
We watched Kai Kai play round a bit .... and then he climbed up this tree stump to sleep .... zzz .... 

Some children were making loud noises, so Jia Jia, whose really shy, retreated inside ... so we did not see her at all. 

A panda sculpture outside the Gant Panda Forest

I enjoyed the river boat ride a lot - the Amazon River Quest! 

The ride commenced .... 

Along the ride, we could see animal such as ... 

Collared Peccary

Caribbean Flamingo 

Scarlet Ibis

Capybara

Other animals included the brown-tufted capuchin, brown-headed spider monkey, giant anteater, Brazillian tapir, black howler monkey, and even the jaguar! Of course I wished I had a better look of the jaguar. It was nowhere in sight when our boat passed by ....


Loved the splashes as the boat glided downriver ... 

Park Map
Source : http://www.riversafari.com.sg/visitor-info/park-map.html

There's also a Squirrel Monkey Forest, where small squirrel monkeys were free to roam about and finally, an Amazon Flooded Forest right before the exit. The Amazon Flooded Forest is the world's largest freshwater aquarium - and here there were many huge manatees which captured our attention ...

We hung around here for a while before exiting River Safari. We took a bus back to AMK Bus Interchange .... and had lunch there. 

Old Chang Kee
I couldn't resist OCK every time I see it; I just had to buy something! And yeah, I can very much with certainty now that the Curry O here was much tastier compared to the ones in KL! We had a Curry O, Sardine O, and 2 skewers of deep-fried meat roll and cuttlefish.

Wagyu Menchi-katsu Rice Burger Demi-glace
Hmn .... sad to say, I did not like this burger at all; the combination did not do it for me .... 

After we filled our tummies, we went to ....

That's me posing in The Little Mermaid installation
Alive Museum @ Suntec City

Alive Musem is a trick art museum, and I find it quite cute! But you need to be able to pose well and also you need a good photographer! I couldn't pose quite right, and my expressions were all wrong ... but then it was fun, anyway. 

After spending some time here, we then went shopping at Suntec City, before going to Orchard Road. We snacked at Orchard Road .... and then found ourselves too full for dinner. Lol. 

4Fingers Crispy Chicken @ ION
The soy garlic wings/drummets were better; the hot wings/drummers were overly salty; but I liked the seaweed fries; SGD9.90 for 6 pieces, fries and free flow of drinks; we had to wait quite long, however, because there were so many people! 

ION was winner of the best dressed building this Christmas with its Christmas Bedazzle theme. What captured my attention was this outdoor Christmas tree by Swarovski. The tree was adorned with 28,000 glittering crystals ..... it was so pretty that it took our breaths away! 

The giant Swarovski tree outside Ion 

Walk into the tree and find a rotating chandelier inside .... 

So pretty!!

Orchard Road was as busy as ever! 



At Wisma Atria, we had ....

Llao Llao Natural Frozen Yogurt, SGD4.90 (small) with 1 topping
Very rich and creamy and tasty, no wonder people queued up for it

Taiyaki with red bean filling
Freshly made, the taiyaki was very tasty when hot! The filling was quite generous, and the pastry chewy.

We shopped at Takashimaya before returning to our hostel for the night. :)) 

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