A New Beginning….
Yes, this is my first post for months, in fact it has been almost a year since my last post in this blog. To start things anew, I would like to tell you about my trip to Singapore a few weeks earlier. I am planning to make this blog a place to share some interesting things which I happen to experience, can it be about travel, food, movies, et cetera.
I went to Singapore for 3 days and 2 nights with my colleagues at office. We were divided into two groups and departed on Friday morning from Jakarta’s International Airport, Soekarno-Hatta, with separate flights. Once I arrived at Changi Airport, my memories of going abroad popped up instantly (somehow the smell did remind me of being at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport three years ago). We arrived at Terminal 1 Changi which was having a major renovation. Then we went to the meeting point at Terminal 2 by Sky Train (which I believe Soekarno-Hatta needs to have) where we met the rest of the group.
After the two groups gathered then we went to Mercure Hotel at Marina Parade to have lunch and 2-hour training session. The training was about predicting Indonesia’s economic and market condition in 2011. Talking about the lunch, I did enjoy very much the sashimi (I took two plates of sashimi). At 4 pm we went to Bugis Junction to have dinner (only two hours after we had lunch!) at a Korean barbecue restaurant. During our way there I noticed that the street trees in this city are somehow unique. I don’t know what they’re called, but all I can say is that they have unique branches and twigs which hold the canopy atop. I did also notice one thing though, that afternoon the sky was rather smoky and orange in color (later I found out that it was caused by forest fire from Riau province in Indonesia).
At about 6 pm we arrived at the hotel, which is located on Scotts road, perpendicular to Singapore’s main shopping district – The Orchard road. The hotel, named Royal Plaza on Scotts, was very nice (when I returned to Jakarta I searched on the internet about the hotel and learned that it is a five-star hotel). I didn’t spend much time at the hotel that afternoon. Once I put my bag in my room I went out with a friend of mine right away.
I have never been to Singapore before, but one thing I know that such developed city has an integrated and well-scheduled transportation system. When I was in Europe I always took the metro/subway anywhere possible. Therefore I decided to wander through the city with MRT (Singapore’s metro). That evening I went to Marina Bay to take some photographs. Marina Bay itself is one integrated city center which has financial district, world-class hotels, superb theater building (i.e. The Esplanade), casino (Marina Bay Sands), Singapore Flyer and many more. In that place also sits the most famous landmark of the city, the Merlion. I spent about two hours walking around Marina Bay and adoring the city’s night landscape. There were some artistic installations around the bay. One of them is this glowing bench (picture below). I wrapped the day at 10 pm and got back to the hotel to have some rests to prepare for the next day.
On the second day, all of us went to Sentosa Island to go inside the Universal Studios Singapore. This amusement park is one of Singapore’s newest tourist attraction sites. We can hop into one of its various rides and watch some spectacular performances. One ride that I enjoyed the most was Revenge of The Mummy indoor roller-coaster. It was so thrilling and got some surprising features. One of them is when the ride went backward in high speed. I highly recommend this ride for everyone.
At 2 pm some of us went back to the hotel and did some shopping at Orchard road and Chinatown. I myself am not a shopping enthusiast, hence I went to different place. I decided to go to Imbiah lookout, still on Sentosa, to see the Giant Merlion. This place is easily accessible by Sentosa Express, a sky train which connects some interesting places on the island. From there we went to Vivo City at 4 pm, still by the same means of transportation. At the mall, I went to The National Geographic store and bought some stuff.
Before the day went dark, I asked my friend who always accompanied me to go to Little India and took the MRT to get there. After getting out of the station, we strolled around and found this shopping center called Mustafa Centre. The things sold in that place are comparable with those in Jakarta’s ITCs. I bought some souvenirs and decided to go back to the hotel afterwards (we were extremely exhausted at that time).
Only 1 hour at the hotel, we’ve already planned for another place to visit. At first we wanted to go to The Songs of The Sea at Sentosa Island, but since we didn’t have enough time to catch the last show then we decided to go to Marina Bay Sands instead. That was the first time I went to a casino. It was huge and quite spectacular actually, but a friend of mine who has visited Macau’s Sands casino said that it is much more lavishly decorated. After looking around inside the casino we went to Newton Circus at 11 pm to have something to eat. A friend of mine who is well-acquainted to the city led us there and ordered two plates of grilled ray fish and two kinds of shellfish. At midnight we decided to go back to the hotel and took two cabs. A few blocks away before the cab that I took reach the hotel, my friend who was on the same cab asked us whether we wanted to go clubbing or not. All four of us in the cab agreed unanimously, hence the cab went full speed straight towards the clubbing site instead of turning left on the last traffic light to our hotel.
We went to Saint James power station for the clubbing just across Vivo City. It is (or was?) a power station, but some people managed to make that place into one cool clubbing site which has 11 different zones (depends on the music). That was my first experience to go clubbing actually, and I am glad I did it there because the place has a strong regulation which prohibits people from smoking everywhere (smoking can only be done in specific designated lounges). After strolling from one zone to another we finally went back to the hotel at 2 am (phew!).
The next morning was the time to leave the city since we had to head back to Jakarta. Before I went to the airport I went to Orchard MRT station and collected a refund for my 2-day MRT card. At the airport I had lunch at Burger King and ordered a menu which is not available in Indonesia, i.e. burger with turkey bacon. And after taking some last photographs I took the plane which brought me back to the city where I currently live in. The city that needs to learn a lot from Singapore.
That’s all for now. I’m planning to write my trip to Europe for my next post in this blog, or it could be about another exciting travel that I will have.
Bye for now.