Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Experience Singapore within 9 hours

We were happy to achieve this Amazing Race type of experience. Ever since this vacation started in Malaysia, it has been fast paced already. We toured the major Singapore sites in only less than 9 hours. Majority of the time was spent on eating! LOL

It was supposedly a stop over but we turned it into a Singapore day tour. One of our companions in this trip hasn't been to Singapore and we took this chance to tour her around. Also, one of us was a Singaporean local and this made the creation of itinerary easier.

The night before the published schedule below, we arrived around 10pm and headed straight to our hotel before going to Clark Quay for our Chili Crab Dinner. Hands down best chili crab I've ever tasted!

Here's our schedule:
800am - Check out of The Club Boutique Hotel

8:20-9:00am - Breakfast at a nearby hawker food court (Don't forget to use tissue paper to reserve your table) It's called Maxwell House and just a few steps away from The Club. We ate congee, noodles, laksa, raddish cakes, taro cakes, rice cakes - we sort of bought quite a number of Singaporean food and by the time we finished trying each one of them, we were already full to have another serving. To top it off, I ordered Dragon fruit shake as my dessert, and yes, it’s $2 SGD well spent, IMO.

9:10am - Checked out the fountain of wealth at Suntec city. It was under construction. Bummer.
Image from Google

9:20am - Went to the Singapore Duck Tour counter inside Suntec Convention Center.
We were surprised to see that a lot of Singaporean families also joined the tour -- both parents and children were very excited for the tour. We were all asked to watch a short video clip about the safety precautions while we are on board this the duck truck.

10am to 11am - Duck Tours!  (Most historical and important sites will be seen and discussed while on tour)
We were then asked to board the semi-amphibian vehicle named "Darlene". We took the seats nearest the exit to enable us to have a huge legroom and a good view of Singapore. From Suntec, we traveled to the Marina Bay area where our driver literally splashed and drove into the river. We cruised up to the Esplanade area - the history of all the different buildings and tall structures were explained to us one by one.  After our river cuise, we headed to the city center to see various government and historical buildings. Duck and Hippo tour is recommended for those who wanted to have an overview of the whole city because in a span of one hour. Our tour guide was able to cover all the important facts and the more popular places we can find in that route of Singapore.

Our funny tour guide

11:10 to 11:30am - Quick snack at the donut factory
Upon returning to Suntec Convention Center, we headed for a quick snack at Donut Factory. Even though we had a heavy breakfast, the smell of donuts made us all hungry again. All the donuts and mini-donuts that we purchased were down our throats in a just a span of a few minutes

We roamed around the different shops inside Suntec while waiting for our complimentary bus ride to the Singapore Flyer.

11:50am - Singapore Flyer
This year would be the last year for the Singapore Flyer (2011) to hold the title of World’s largest wheel observatory as Shanghai China and Germany will be holding the world's first and second largest observatory wheel in the year 2012.

Our bags had to be scanned before entering the giant observation wheel, like passing through the screening in the airports. It was a good thing that we were there around lunch time as there were less people queuing and our cabin only had 9 people inside (which would normally fit more than 20 people). One round took us around 30 minutes and we were able to see Singapore from an elevated angle. We were able to take lots of photos and we never got bored as they provided each of us an electronic guide (walkman-like) about the feng shui of Singapore Flyer. (Feng Shui.. really???) 

12:40 - Leaving Singapore Flyer, going to Funan Mall. 
Well, I sort of saw this and included it in my to do list the next time I visit Singapore.


1pm to 1:40pm - Funan Mall
We allocated 30 minutes to go around the mall and go electronic gadget shopping. Most girls would say that the time allotted is fair enough but for guys, especially for a gadget enthusiast like me, a whole day is not enough as the mall contains everything that you need - be it computer or camera accessories or any other digital needs. I’m sure that you'd be able to find what you need in Funan. Oh, I got myself an iPad pen for $5 SGD.

Funan Digital Mall

215pm Lunch at Marutama Ramen
After Funan, we headed to Central @ Clarke Quay to try out my friend's favorite lunch place - Marutama Ramen. It was my first time to eat in this place and I heard from my companions that during peak hours, long queues are expected. It was a good thing that we arrived there past 2 in the afternoon (Yes, this was dinner time already based on our body clocks because we came from Au), they were still serving lunch and we were immediately seated. I asked my friend who loves Marutama to help me order and he got us the basic ramen with added cha-siu (roasted pork strips) and egg. We also ordered gyoza to add to our meals. After a few minutes, huge bowls of ramen were served from the smoking hot from the kitchen. We were so hungry that all of us were silent for the next few minutes as we finished our ramen bowls. The creamy chicken broth soup really made the ramen special and yummy, I was thinking of having another order of ramen before seeing the actual serving. For $12 SGD, it was all worth it. We were all so full and satisfied after a bowl that I didn't have the chance to order another serving. 

Another case of photo-won't-do-justice to how good the food tastes
3pm - Quick Shopping
We went to 313 Somerset and Takashimaya where we did some cramming on shopping. Quick shopping is good for the pocket. You can't spend much because you have a limited time. Guys, remember to be in control of the schedule if your wife is in control of the money. LOL.

On the way to Takashimaya
4:15pm - Snack at Ben and Jerrys Orchard Road
Of course, we never missed Ben and Jerry's - this was our last stop in Orchard before we returned to the hotel to pick our luggage.

Added some Pop-Rocks to our ice cream. Yummy!
 5pm - Back at The Club Boutique Hotel
As we were departing the hotel on our way to the airport, we slowly bid goodbye to Singapore. It was the last leg of our almost "amazing race" trip, a year's hard work and planning has paid off - but I'm quite sure that I'll be going back to Singapore soon.

Bye Singapore. See you soon!
Singapore has never been the same to me. Each time you go there, something new awaits you. It's a very fast developing country where nothing will be the same in each visit. The experience, the food, the memories with friends. Nothing will be the same.

Til our next trip, travel buddies! Let's go local this time! :)

Hope you enjoyed reading and looking at the photos as we also did in trying to document it the best way we could in a very fast paced way.

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Sadeesh said...

Really an super blog on singapore and useful information to explore singapore

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