Singapore in 2013

It was our first day in Singapore, together with my mother and my sister. This was the first time I traveled to Singapore where it was not because of work and training.

V Bencoleen Hotel

It was raining in Singapore when we arrived. From the airport, we went to our accommodation which was the V Bencoleen Hotel. I chose to stay in Bencoleen because of the nice hotels and accessible to MRT station and affordable hotels in the area.
However, the street of Bencoleen was closed at that time because they were building an underground MRT station below our hotel. And we could hear the constructions in the area.
We checked in into our hotel and went to Sentosa.

Singapore Cable Car

We road the subway train going to HarbourFront Station. From the station, we walked to the Keppel HarbourFront Tower 2 to ride the Singapore Cable Car.


The Singapore Cable Car was the first aerial ropeway system to span a harbor. It is a gondola lift with a magnificent view of Singapore skyline connecting a link between Mount Faber on the main island to the resort island of Sentosa. The next time I’d try the Mount Faber Line.

Sentosa

We arrived at the Singapore Cable Car in Sentosa Station. We went to Merlion Park and Merlion Walk. We then went to Siloso and Palawan beaches. We also rode the bus going around the island.


Sentosa is a resort island that can be reached by a cable car, a monorail and by traversing the Sentosa Gateway Tunnel. Major landmarks are seen on the island like Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Capella Hotel and Fort Siloso.

Vivo City Shopping Mall

We went back using the monorail and alighted at Vivo City and we decided to eat at Fish & Co in the mall.


Vivo City is a huge shopping mall overlooking the Sentosa and Resorts World Singapore. The best place to enjoy the view is the rooftop garden or the Vivo City Waterfront Promenade.

Spectra: A Marina Bay Sand Light and Water Show

Another special event with dancing lasers, waterjets and art projection is a free show every night. We witnessed the one with the Marina Bay Sands as a backdrop where we watched it from Esplanade. It is an hour show that runs from Monday to Sunday at 8pm and 9 pm, and an additional run for Friday and Saturday at 10pm.

Sands SkyPark

Another place to enjoy the skyline of Singapore is to go to Sands and SkyPark Observation Deck. The Marina Bay Sands observation deck is on the 57th floor in which you will enjoy the panoramic cityscape of Singapore.

There are 2 restaurants in the SkyPark, Ce La Vi Restaurant and SkyBar and Lavo Italian Restaurant and Rooftop Bar in Tower 3 Spago Dining Room and Spago Bar and Lounge in Tower 2. The infinity pool is for the guests to enjoy.

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore is a theme park located within Resorts World Sentosa. It is the second Universal Studios theme park in Asia, as Universal Studios Japan being the first. The soft opening was in March 2010 and the Grand Opening happened on the 28th of May, 2011.

It was my very first Universal Studios right before I experienced Universal Studios Japan after three years. My mother, sister and I went to Singapore in 2013.

We went to Vivo City Shopping Mall to ride a train from Sentosa Station to Resorts World Sentosa. We alighted at Waterfront Station in Sentosa and took a picture in the Lake of Dreams.

We bought the tickets and entered the Universal Studios Singapore. Here is the different themed zone in which we explore Universal Studios.

Hollywood

New York

Sci-Fi City

We enjoyed the Transformers.

Ancient Egypt

The Lost World

Far Far Away

Madagascar

I also loved the animals of Madagascar roaming the park.

Singapore in 2011

It was the third time I was exploring Singapore. We went for training again from my company and stayed at the Strand Hotel Singapore in Bencoleen.

Singapore Flyer

We started to walk from the Singapore Flyer. It is Asia’s largest Giant Observation Wheel and standing 165 cm from the ground. To get to the Flyers, alight at Downtown Line DT15 or Circle Line, CC4.

Youth Olympic Park

It is located along Raffles Avenue near the Singapore Flyers. It is an art park where you can read the poem “Lion Heart” by Amanda Chong and the iconic maze by Aniket Chavan.

The Helix Bridge

It is a footbridge designed with a DNA structure. The bridge connects the Youth Olympic Park to Marina Bay Sands. From the bridge, we went to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and explored the mall.

Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade

From the Shoppes at Marina Bay, the Waterfront Promenade is in front of the Shoppes.  It is a 3.5-kilometer along-the-bay walkway with the view of Merlion Park and Esplanade. It is an iconic façade of Marina Bay to enjoy attractions like Coller Quay, Marina Centre and Bayfront.

Makansutra Glutttons Bay

Makansutra Gluttons Bay is a hawker food stall along Raffles Avenue near Esplanade. It serves a wide variety of local Singaporean cuisines while also enjoying Asian dishes. The tag line of Makansutra is celebrating the best Asian food culture and lifestyle. During dinner, you can also enjoy while eating the display of lights and sounds in Marina Bay.

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a historical landmark in a riverside quay in Singapore. It is famous for waterside restaurants overlooking the Singapore River.

The cruise and boat tours also start here. There are bars and night clubs and a wide park to enjoy. There’s also a display of fountain. Hotels and malls surround Clarke Quay.

Singapore in 2009

My second trip to Singapore was also because of training. This time I had my colleagues with me and a friend I visited and toured me in some attractions in Singapore.

Strand Hotel Singapore

Strand Hotel Singapore is located in Bencoleen which within the walking distance with numerous shops, restaurants and museums. There are convenience stores and food courts nearby. We love the Food Republic in 51 Bras Basah Road which serves Asian, International, and Singaporean cuisines. It is like a modern hawker food court with affordable prices for the menu.
The nearest MRT station is Bras Basah station on the Circle Line and just recently, Bencoleen station was also constructed using the Downtown Line.

National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore is the nearest place to see from Bencoleen. We went to the Museum of Singapore which is only walking distance from the Hotel. It is the oldest museum that exhibits the history of Singapore. The museum is along Stamford Road.
Other museums in the area are Singapore Art Museum, National Design Centre, The Private Museum, to name a few. There are nearby churches in the area, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and Church of Saints Peter and Paul.

Chjmes

Chjmes is a historical building complex along Victoria Street in the Downtown Core. The complex has Caldwell House, Convent Orphanage house, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Chapel. The Caldwell House and the gothic style chapel – Chjmes Hall used as function hall and venue for weddings became national monuments.
The complex has dining, shopping and entertainment centers. We had our dinner in one of the restaurants here called Carnivore Brazilian Churrascaria as we had a memorable Festive Dinner Buffet.

Merlion Park

After the training, we went to the Merlion Park. Merlion is an iconic symbol of Singapore, a half fish and half lion which resides at the Merlion Park waterfront. The Merlion is in front of the Fullerton Hotel and overlooking Marina Bay.
You can also enjoy the river cruise that goes to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay along the Singapore River.

 

Esplanade

Esplanade Bridge is a bridge from Merlion Park going to Esplanade. Esplanade, also known as Theaters by the Bay is a venue for Singapore’s national performing arts. We enjoyed the view of the towering buildings around the park and the Merlion.

Suntec City

On my 3rd day, I met my friend who was my colleague in a former company. She was also the first person I was with when I went to my first notable trip which was in Bantayan Island.
I met her in the building where she worked. It was along Orchard Road. We rode the MRT and went to Suntec City to eat first. My friend wanted the Shabu-shabu dish and we went to the famous Shabu Sai along Temasek Road. It offers authentic Japanese and Asian fusion cuisine.
After eating we check out the World’s Largest Fountain in the World which is found in Suntec City. The Fountain of Wealth is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Sentosa

We went to Sentosa. It was already night time but we explored Sentosa. We arrived at Vivo City Mall and entered Sentosa Station going to Sentosa.

We briefly explored the famous attraction in Singapore during night time enjoying the beach and the oceanarium.

Singapore in 2003

My first Singapore trip was in 2003. I had a training for one of the scientific products I was handling. It was a week before Christmas day, and the plane ticket was very expensive and the flights were fully booked. This was my first time going abroad alone. It was also my first time sitting in a business class.

I arrived at Changi Airport and took a cab going to the Orchard Hotel Singapore. The Orchard Hotel Singapore is a 4-star hotel located at Orchard Road. It is near the city centers, where there are restaurants and malls. The nearest public transport is the subway at Orchard MRT Station.

The trip was a 3-days training to Agilent. The Agilent office is located at Yishun Avenue in the northern center if the North Region of Singapore. I tried the MRT going to Yishun.

On my second day after the training, I went outside and walked into the Orchard Road. There are so many malls along Orchard like  Since it was only a few days before Christmas, there were so many Christmas decorations along the road outside and inside the mall.

Since I had a limited time, I went to my cousin’s house in Singapore on the third day after my training in Agilent.

On my 4th day, I once again walked to Orchard road which was actually my favorite spot and the following day I went to the airport.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Fifteen years later, I was blessed to be back in Hong Kong. It would be my first Disneyland adventure. When I went to Hong Kong in 2000, the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort was not open yet.


Disneyland Hong Kong is located in the reclaimed area of Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. The theme park opened in September of 2005. It became the largest theme park in Hong Kong after Ocean Park.


Our buses were first to arrive in the Disneyland car park. We waited in line once we got our tickets.

There are themed areas in Disneyland Hong Kong.

Main Street, USA

Fantasyland

Jungled theme park

Big Grizzly Gulch Mountain Runaway Mine Cars

Mystic Manor

Toy Story Land

The castle of Sleeping was under renovation at that time.

What I loved the most was the parade. We patiently waited near the gate where the parade would begin.

And there was the parade of lights in the evening. Right after the parade was the fireworks shown in the castle.

Hong Kong Island, Hongkong

Here are beautiful places to see in Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong.

Victoria’s Peak

Fifteen years after my first visit to Hong Kong, I went back to Victoria’s Peak and it was different from what I remembered. Since we were on a group tour, we were on a bus going to Victoria’s peak. We used the Cross Harbor Tunnel to get to Victoria’s Peak. The bus ride going up the peak was spectacular because of the amazing view on the road.

The Peak Tower

The Peak Tower is one of the famous destinations for stylish architectural icons in Hong Kong. The Peak Tower has different shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The highlight of The Peak Tower is the Sky Terrace 428 which has the highest 360 deg viewing platform to enjoy the skyline and lush green landscape of Hong Kong.

Peak Galleria

Adjacent to the Peak Tower is the Peak Galleria. It has a wide variety of restaurants and shops to enjoy inside the mall.

Madame Tussauds

Victoria’s Peak is famous for the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It is located at Peak Tower in The Peak, Hong Kong Island. It is the first Madame Tussauds in Asia that opened in 2000.


The Famous wax figures in Madame Tussauds are Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Barrack Obama and many others.

Kowloon, Hong Kong

Here are some places to see in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Nan Lian Garden

The Nan Lian Garden is one of the famous Tang-Dynasty style garden in the busy streets of Hong Kong. Located at Fung Tak Road in Diamond Hill in Kowloon and it has an area of 3.5 hectares. It is one of the Chinese Classical Garden opened in 2006 in collaboration with the Chi Lin Nunnery and Hong Kong Government.
One of the famous landmark inside is the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection and Zi Wu Bridge.
You can also see pagodas, temples and bridges, most especially the Blue Pond. There’s an exhibition for potted plants in the rockery and in the Rockery and Chinese Timber Architecture Gallery.

Chi Lin Nunnery

Chi Lin Nunnery is adjacent to Nan Lian Garden and one of the famous Buddhist attraction in Hong Kong. It is a place for stunning bonsai and different flower plants like bougainvillea and the large Blue Pond. It is also one of the Tang-Dynasty style attraction built in 1930’s as a retreat house for Buddhist nuns.

How to get to Nan Lian Garden and Chi Line Nunnery, alight at MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit 2. Follow the signs and walk for around 5 minutes.

The Avenue of Stars

The Avenue of Stars is Hong Kong’s Hollywood Walk of Fame. The avenue is located along the Victoria Harbor waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui. Opened in 2004 it is to highlight the Hong Kong artists.

Aqua luna

Aqua Luna known as Cheung Po Tsai in Cantonese is a Chinese Junk or Chinese Sailing ship. It is operating in Victoria Harbor and also docks at Tsim Sha Tsui in Pier 1. It is a cruise ship with two decks and has a restaurant inside.

A Symphony of Lights

To enjoy the view of Hong Kong at night, a spectacular show of sounds and lights staged every night at 8 PM. The Symphony of Lights is also called Victoria Harbor Light Show. The best place to enjoy the show is in the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, the promenade and the avenue of stars.

Shenzhen, China 2000

On our third day in Hong Kong, we went to Shenzhen City, Guangdong, China.
It was a busy December 28th in Hong Kong. Getting to Shenzhen, China should only take an hour. From our hotel, we rode a bus going to the immigration border. I don’t remember much about the place. We spent our time in immigration to get a visa to enter China. We obtained a 5-day Visa, but it took the whole morning for the visa processing. There was so many tourists group like us in the border and everyone was waiting for their visa.
When we crossed the border it was already past lunchtime and the whole group from our tour were very hungry. We went to a Chinese restaurant which I don’t remember where except that it served Peking duck. It was my first time eating a Peking duck. Shenzhen has the best Peking duck restaurants.
It was already late and the only tour we got was the Windows of the World or Shi Jie Zhi Chuang. It is a theme park in the western part of Shenzhen City. It has vivid replicas of the famous attractions of the world. There are different miniature landmarks around the world from different continents.
Windows of the World is located at Overseas Chinese Town overlooking the beautiful Shenzhen Bay and covers 480,000 square meters. There are 130 landmarks and it was divided into 8 areas: World Square, the Area of Asia, Oceanic, Europe, Africa and America, the World Sculpture Park and the International Street.

Hong Kong 2000

My first ever out of the country trip was in Hong Kong. It was also the first time my family went abroad without my brother in 2000.


We boarded the plane, a day after Christmas for the 3 nights and 4 days trip to Hong Kong. It was a guided tour. Upon reaching the Hong Kong International Airport we were welcomed by our tour guide. From the airport, we went to the Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan, Kowloon.
We had a one-room in the hotel. We arrived in the afternoon and on our first day, it was our free time. From our hotel, we walked in the street nearby to look for a place to eat. After which we went back to the hotel and we availed of the free shuttle service of our hotel going to our destination. We were required to go back to the meeting place at 5 in the afternoon.

Tsim Sha Tsui

My family went to East Tsim Sha Tsui. My sister and I went to the Hong Kong Cultural Center. The Hong Kong Cultural Center has the following: Concert Hall, Grand Theatre and Studio Theatre. Different cultural performances are held. Our favorite was the exhibition gallery. We also tour the harbor along the center.
We also enjoyed the promenade along the waterfront around the New World Centre and the Tower Clock.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

On our first day, the tour was going to Ocean Park. Ocean Park is a marine mammal oceanarium and was the largest theme park in Hong Kong in 2000. We enjoyed the cable car. We toured the marine world indoor aquariums and watched the show. It was our first encounter with dolphins and seagull during the show. We also saw the panda.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

After the amazing adventure in Ocean Park, our group had our lunch at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Ferry Pier. The Jumbo Floating Restaurant is one of the famous restaurants and tourist attractions in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Harbor. They serve Cantonese cuisine and mostly seafood dishes.
After lunch, we went to a jewelry store. Most of the tour had this kind of itinerary. I forgot where we went but I remember buying a white gold necklace for myself at that time. I still have the necklace with me after 20 years.

Victoria’s Peak and Peak Tram

We went to Victoria Harbor after going to the jewelry store. We went to the Garden Road Admiralty to Victoria Peak riding the Peak Tram at the Lower Terminus. The Tram is a Victorian-era train running in the railway in Hong Kong to go to the highlands of Hong Kong Island. The Tram is also one of the world’s oldest and most famous funicular railways. The peak rise to 1300 feet above sea level. Upon reaching Victoria’s Peak, the highest peak in Hong Kong, the view of the skyline will be seen.