Travel to Enjoy Merlion at Singapore "Before the New Year is Here" (1)
I want to write this as my travel memory of my first trip to Singapore for the Happy New Year 2016.
Last August, my friend asked "where do you want to go for the new year?". Then, we ended up planing to go to Singapore. Since I used to visit Singapore once, so now I became the tour guide with not much knowledge.
We are traveling on the 30th December 2015 with Jetstar airline on the flight 3K516 at 13.50 p.m.
It takes about 4-5 hours flying from Bangkok to Singapore. Singapore time is 1 hour faster than Thailand time. We depart Suvarnabhumi Airport at 13.50 p.m. and arrive Changi Airport at 17.40 p.m. While we are on board, we also get a sim card there.
There's a variety of telecommunication provider, but we choose the Happy Prepaid Sim of Starhum for the tourist package in the price of 15 SGD (370 THB++). With this package, we can call for 18 SGD (450 THB++) and have 100 GB of 4G for 5 days. But the thing is that we need to register sim card with UOB bank at the airport in which we have long gone now and didn't want to go back. So, we pay this money for free.
The exchange rate of Singapore Dollar and Thai Baht is about 1 SGD = 25 THB. So when we buy anything and not convert in to Thai Baht, it will go so quickly for me.
Once we arrive at the airport, we go from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in order to take the MRT into the city. Firstly, we need to buy the EZLink for the trip, it is 12 SGD (300 THB ++) in which includes the card fee of 5 SGD (125 THB ++) and the actual money we can spend is 7 SGD (175 THB ++) with a 5 years validity. This card is applicable to the MRT and buses.
The atmosphere inside the MRT at the Changi Airport
The atmosphere inside the MRT
Signs for each station in Singapore
This trip, we stay at Gaylang area at the Fragrance Ruby Hotel. It is located at Soi Gaylang 20. From the Changi Airport, (CG2), we will get off at Tanah Merah Station (EW4) in order to exchange and go to Alunied Station (EW9). From the MRT, we just walk a bit and we will reach the hotel. But since we were lost, we walked about 10 minutes before finding the hotel.
This is our hotel for this trip.
The atmosphere inside this cute and small room
We reach the hotel about 19.00 p.m. (Singapore time). After we unpack our staff, it's already 20.00 p.m. Actually, we felt hungry since on the flight, so then we quickly search around and fund this restaurant, MONGKOK DIM SUM. They said it's quite great. It is located at Soi Gaylang 8. At this moment, I also don't know whom this they refer to, but we definitely go for this one. Our first meal in Singapore.
The first meal in the Lod Chong City
Our first meal is about 71.58 SGD or 1,700 THB. I have to say that I'm not this strong in Thailand, haha. Before we finish this meal, it is already about 21.00 p.m. Then, with no internet, we really can't survive. The sim we bought is useless so then we decide to buy a new sim card for 15 SGD so that we won't get lost. Then, our first destination is Marina Bay in order to see the Merlion. After asking the locals, we decide to take the bus to the Marina Bay.
The 1st Night at the Marina Bay
I think this is the perfect place for the first night. We take the bus number 100 from Gaylang and get off at the front of The Fullerton Bay stop. After that, we just walk along the bay in order to go to the Merlion.
Then, after a few shots with the Merlion, the iconic symbol of Singapore, we stop at the Starbuck which is situated close to the bay for something refreshing. We want cold beverages and this is the nearest. It is 6.5 SGD or about 162 THB for the abroad coffee.
After chitchatting for a while, we are thinking to go to the Garden by the Bay which is not very far from where we are right now. Then, we walk along the bay, pass the Esplanade (the theater of Singapore), and continue to the Heilx Bridge in order to go to the Marina Bay Sands. We were thinking to have a nice walk via the sky walk of the Marina Bay Sands to the Garden by the Bay, but the walkway is closed. So we have to walk back and walk into the casino's security guards. Jackpot! They call me up to talk, #@$#$!#. From what I understand, they were looking for someone similar to me. Seriously! How come! Then we were there for sometimes before everything is clear and they let me go.... Well, let's think of this as something new for our first day trip here.
The Heilx Bridge
From there, we are relentlessly trying to go to the Garden by the Bay. However, we finally give it up for our laziness. Then, we go back to our hotel. From the Marina Bay Sands, we take the MRT at the Bayfront Station (DT16, CE1) to get off at Bugis Station (EW12, DT14) in order to exchange and go to the Aljuned Station (EW9). We are so exhausted and our first night is officially ended.
The 2nd Day: The Ending and the Beginning Day
Out second day at Singapore is our last day of the 2015 and the beginning of the 2016. We wake up at 8 a.m. After cleaning up, the first mission is to find something to eat. We just wander around the Gaylang 2 street and the hanging boiled chicken catch our attention. Then, we agree to have this Khao Man Kai (the chicken rice).
Oh well!!! We are already in Singapore, we definitely have to try it out. The different is that Khao Man Kai of Singapore come with the gravy sauce. From the eye observation, it looks like soy sauce or Duck Palo. It is served with the redish orange sauce which is quite sour and not that much different to ours. But I personally like Thailand style better, it probably because I'm so familiar with our taste.
After breakfast, we are thinking that we are going to have a chill and relax day. We will start our day with the pleasant walk at the Mustafa. But how can we travel there by the easiest and cheapest means of transportation? The more crucial question is how can we take the right bus there? Then, we search and find www.gothere.sg which help us to go anywhere with the most convenient transportation.
Our journey starts from taking the bus number 21 from the Gaylang Road, then it takes about 20 minutes to reach the Before Tai Hoe Hotel stop ( about 7 stops). Then, a few walk and we will reach the Mustafa Centre. It is a 24 hours store. Everything is available here. Most people come here for chocolate, snack, perfumes because it offers more choices and cheaper than everywhere else. But whether it's a real or fake products depends on individual's experiences and see who's stronger....
It also takes us a while before we get what we wanted. Our next destination is the Chinatown. From the Mustafa, we take the bus number 147 at the Jalan Besar Road and get off at Chinatown Point stop. It is 11 stops and takes about 30 minutes.
Upper Cross Street
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
The bus stops at the China Point stop which is a department store. We need to walk a bit in order to get to the Chinatown. The atmosphere is similar to Sampeng Market in Thailand in which small little souvenirs like key chains, T-Shirt with Merilion, dolls, etc. are available. After walking pass several shops and now we find the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. It is the cultural tourist attraction as well as a place to worship for Singaporean Buddhists. It gathers many Buddhist things. Nearby is a Hindu temple named Sri Mariamman Temple but since we have yet reached there so I have no photos here.
After wandering for a while in Chinatown, we start to feel hungry. Many food is available at China Food Street, including Thai food. But when we get there, most of shops are still closed so we just have some snack first. We go to NANYANG OLD COFFEE. It is a small coffee shop situated at the corner of the main road of the China Food Street.
Escape the Heat to the Gentle Rain
After the good rest, it's time to move on. It's the afternoon now, our next planned destination is the Mount Faber Park, one of the green place in Singapore that we can capture the relax atmosphere on the Henderson Wave Bridge, the strange looking and the longest and highest bridge in Singapore. But since we encounter some transportation inconvenience in couple with rain, we need to re-plan and go to Orchard Road instead. It is the shopping district of Singapore that the whole street is lined up with shopping malls.
If you wish to escape from the heat to the cold, Singapore is certainly not the place since it's located not so far from Thailand and near the equator. So, there's no hope for the cold. What you will find here is the summer and rainy season. However it's hot, but not to that degree in Thailand. Enjoying wandering around the Orchard RD, we almost forgot that Khao Man Kai have already been all digested. Since we are already at the shopping mall so let's find something to eat here. And we find the noodle soup which may seem quite ordinary but the extraordinary thing is the fish ball!!! It's really great!
Then, we walk around a bit more and we agree that we have to return hotel soon as this evening we have a very important even awaiting, which is to countdown to the new year at the Marina Bay. From this shopping malls, we take the bus number 190 from the stop in front of Robinson and get off at High Street Centre stop. From there, we walk to take the bus number 80 at the MRT Clarke Quay stop. Along the way, I capture some atmosphere of places and old buildings.
"Before the New Year is Here"
After taking the bus number 80 home, we almost have no time to rest!!! We put our shopping things back to room and very soon we are out to welcome the new year. We commute the same way as the other day which is taking the bus number 100 form Gaylang and get off at The Fullerton Bay stop and walk a bit further. What different is that today there are much more people as it is a special day that many people have been waiting for!!! It's the New Year Eve. The first thing we do once we arrive is to find something to eat and it must be better from what we have had all day.
And this is our food, it is almost the most delicious meal of the day. We are enjoying until almost 22.00 p.m., then it's time to occupy a place for the celebration of the last night of 2015 on the Esplanade Drive Bridge, near the Marina Bay. Here is filled with so many people across the globe. In between, the rain continues to rain. But it's not a problem at all for this very special occasion. We are just sitting there, enjoying the place until it's the important moment of "Happy New Year 2016". We wish this new year is a great year for everyone. The firework is so beautiful. What a great atmosphere!
Finally, only the photos and memories last. This is indeed another great year that I have experienced so many thing. I want to stop my review for this trip: Travel to Enjoy Merlion at 【Singapore】"Before the New Year is Here" (1) here. And then I will try to write Part 2 again in my own style and let's consider it as my memory during my journey.