Wandering Solo in the Lion City – Day 3

My last day in Singapore was spent reading Who Moved My Cheese at Book Kinokuniya, wandering around Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza Mall, Chinatown, a quick visit at Little India, and relaxing at the sights in Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.

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Who Moved My Cheese?

Happy to be seeing books about Filipinos/Philippines in a Singapore bookstore.

Happy to be seeing books about Filipinos/Philippines in a Singapore bookstore

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Some few walks inside Ngee Ann City  and I found this happy place! Nice wooden toys at Plan Toys!

Happy Place! Nice wooden toys at Plan Toys!

I also had a taste of this peppermint ice cream wafer being sold along Orchard Road for just SGD1!

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And then off I went to Chinatown…

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I even had my first authentic Korean Ramen experience here for SGD3.80!

Kimchi Ramen Udon

Kimchi Ramen Udon

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Hawkers station along People’s Park in Chinatown

I also went inside this Buddhist Temple and Indian Temple just to have a view of what’s inside.

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And then there’s that posh-y cute restaurant across the street–Antoinette.

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After Chinatown, I decided to experience Little India so off I went there.

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A rainy afternoon at Little India

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I only spent a few minutes at Little India since it was raining hard and I couldn’t cross the street to go to Serangoon so I decided to just go Esplanade and wait for Char there. She, however, messaged me and asking if I could just meet her at Bayfront station so we could go to Gardens by the Bay together.

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I wasn’t able to take photos inside Marina Bay Sands, though, because my phone’s already dead by the time we got inside MBS.

Char’s also scheduled to go to the Philippines for a vacation so I took the same flight with her. Our flight’s scheduled at 1:30am, Wednesday, so after eating dinner at Texas Chicken, we headed back to Char’s pad to prepare for our flight back home.

My sojourn with Singapore was sweet and experience-full. I appreciate my friends living there who were really hospitable enough to make me feel at home and treated me to good food. I’m super thankful to Char for being such a wonderful and loving host 🙂

It was an experience worth remembering over and over again. I never thought I could go around the streets of a foreign land all by myself but God’s very generous to let me experience it 😀

Although I didn’t like the place prior to this trip, I came to appreciate Singapore’s government, the safety for solo travelers like me, the discipline of the people there, the not-so-polluted air and even their transit system. I would love to see the Philippines having that kind of discipline and clean government in the future.

Undoubtedly, Singapore is a really nice place but still, it’s no match with the Philippines when it comes to the warmth of the people, the happiness you can see in the faces of the people you meet along the way. The people in Singapore seemed to be so busy with their careers that they’re unmindful of the people around them. Even if Singapore is a greener pasture as compared to my country, I would still choose to live in the Philippines a million times more than there. I love the simplicity of life in my country and the way a family is being valued very much in the Philippines is incomparable.

Traversing the streets of Singapore would make you appreciate the modernity of life but traveling in the Philippines and experiencing its beaches and having a view of its natural resources could make you feel that indeed, God loves our country so much to bless us with these things. And for that I would say that it’s still a lot more fun in the Philippines!

Wandering Solo in the Lion City – Day 2

Now here’s when my solo adventure actually begins.

Since Singapore doesn’t actually has enough tourist spots and shopping malls are just too plenty there, I decided to just commit this day to shopping for pasalubongs for my family back home 😀 Char has work that day so it’s just me who will go around the city this time.

Char and I woke up around 9am. She’d been raving about the yummy chocolate chip cookies which can be bought in Fair Price at a really good bargain price since last night so we decided to go to Fair Price and check out that cookie and buy food for our lunch that day.

And that was a really happy decision! I was able to buy almost 60% of my pasalubong from Fair Price and paying only SGD37 for all the goods I’ve bought! They had a Buy 1 Take 1 promo of 365 chocolate chip and oat cookies so I was able to buy a good amount to bring back home.

For our lunch, Char cooked Chicken Adobo so I was able to save my dollar allotted for lunch that day 😀

After lunch, I headed to the nearest MRT station in the area which is the Tampines Station. But before I leave the house, I made sure I already have a map of the MRT station saved in my phone so I won’t get lost and I’ll know where to get off and go to.

In Tampines alone, there are already 3 malls you can find that’s why most of the people living in Tampines area don’t normally go to the city to shop there.

I’ve been reading a lot of good posts about Bugis Junction so I decided to have my first stop there. I almost got lost because I entered the wrong door and which I’m supposed to be going out to go to the street side. Good thing I have my virtual tourist guide friend Pao to guide me where to go.

After few walks, I found Bugis Junction….

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Bugis Junction is like the Greenhills or 168 of Singapore. You can find really cheapo stuff here. There were shirt dresses being sold for only SGD10 and some sale items for SGD5 only. I was able to buy a bag for my sister for only SGD15. It’s actually SGD 30 but they have a 50% off sale so I was able to get it for half the price. I also bought 3 canvass bags for only SGD10 total. And since Pao’s been raving about the Wheat Grass Juice which can be bought in Bugis, I also tried it for only SGD1. It tasted weird at first but it’s actually yummy 😀

After Bugis Junction, I went to Mustafa Center. When I told my friends that i went to Mustafa Center, they were all laughing because I actually put that in my itinerary. They told me that they’ve only visited that place once in their entire stay in Singapore and they don’t have any intention of going back there. Perhaps because of the extra warm weather in the area plus the not-so-really-nice smell you can inhale from the place.

But still, I was happy I experienced Mustafa Center 😀 I was able to buy lots of chocolates for good bargain prices. There were some packs of 6 chocolates being sold for only SGD5.90. Of course, don’t expect to get branded chocolates at that price, although Hershey’s and Cadbury chocolates there are being sold less than a dollar or some cents compared to other chocolate stores in the city.

I left Mustafa Center with a bag full of goodies (different chocolates, rice crackers, coffee) for only SGD 32.30.

My next shopping mall after Mustafa is the famous Ion Orchard Mall. You can find lots of high-end branded stuff here. I even spotted one of my favorites Joey De Leon shopping inside this mall with his wife.

I was scheduled to meet my former colleague from Suysing and still a good friend Michelle that night but my fone’s battery was already close to dying to I asked the concierge where can I have my phone charged and he directed me to Topshop. I love it that Topshop has that charging service free of charge and it’s safe because each phone has a locker for charging 😀 You just have to leave your phone there and sign their logbook and you can just come back anytime 😀

After charging my phone, I then contacted Michelle and met with her. We also met with some of her Pinoy friends from Singapore who were very friendly and treated us to a yummy dinner at the food station inside Wisma Atria.

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It’s been more than 9 years since I last saw Michelle so it was a really happy feeling to see her again after such a long time.

After that sumptuous dinner with Michelle and her friends, I head back to Tampines to meet with my highschool friends who are also living in Singapore–Pio and Randell. Char also joined us since her shift at the hospital’s already finished.

I love that friends from Singapore were very generous to visitors like me 😀 I got another treat that night from Pio who paid for our Starbucks drinks that night. It was a night full of laughters and reminiscing with high school friends again. It’s like we’re never really growing old whenever we talk about our fun highschool days.

By the way, Starbucks coffee prices in Singapore ranges from SGD5.60 for tall Frappe to around SGD7 something for the Venti size.

Directions:

From Tampines Station to Bugis Junction:

Ride the MRT green line going to Joo Koon and alight at Bugis Station. From there, you exit the station and turn right to the stairs heading to the street. Walk towards Topshop and you can find Bugis Junction across the street.

From Bugis to Mustafa Center:

Ride the MRT Green Line going to Joo Koon again and alight at City Hall station. From the City Hall station, ride the Red Line and alight at Dhoby Ghaut station. Ride the Purple Line going to Punggol and alight at Farrer Park. From there, you just have to walk a little and you can already find Mustafa Center.

From Mustafa to Ion Orchard:

Ride the Purple Line going to Harbour Front. Alight at Dhoby Ghaut station and ride the Red Line going to Jurong East. Alight at Orchard Station and you can just find your way to Ion Orchard from there.

 

 

Wandering Solo in the Lion City – DAY 1

One of the things I would love to do now that I finally hit the 3-0 era of my life is to travel alone. I actually had some plans to go to Baguio all by myself for my 30th birthday but guess some things are just not meant to be. I was very sick during my birthday and I couldn’t even afford to walk comfortably so traveling alone was a no-no that time.

I could actually sulk at the thought of not being able to pursue that plan but I chose to believe that better things are coming if you’ll only wait.

And so I waited. But not long enough ’cause before the end of my birth month, Father God already blessed me with a privilege to travel all by myself to Singapore 😀

It was not really an “all alone by myself” kind of travel since I stayed with my bestfriend Char who’s living and working in Singapore and met some highschool friends and former colleague there. Char even toured me around Sentosa during my first day in Singapore.

I, however, consider this my first wandering solo adventure since this was the first time I rode an airplane without any family or friend with me and the very first time that I walked along unfamiliar streets alone.

My Singapore Adventures:

DAY 1

The last time I checked, Singapore was not actually on top of my “must-visit” countries since I always prefer countries with cool weather plus I’m being told time and again by people going there that the cost of living in Singapore is very high. I’m a huge fan of “payak na pamumuhay” while traveling so I used to think that I could not survive Singapore.

Good thing I welcomed the idea of experiencing the place first before I give off all judgments  against it. All thanks to Char who was thoughtful enough to invite me to Singapore to have my post-birthday celebration there and was even kind enough to offer me her place and treat me to some real tasty foods there 😀

friend for keeps :D

friend for keeps 😀

My first day in Singapore was spent well with my dear bestfriend whom I haven’t seen for more than a year. She toured me along Sentosa, Esplanade, and even let me experience eating at Makasuntra.  I’m not a big fan of themed parks so I didn’t bother experiencing Universal Studios. Having a picture taken by its entrance is already enough for me 😀

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Candy crush!

Candy crush!

So happy to finally have a picture taken with Mr. Reese's!

So happy to finally have a picture taken with Mr. Reese’s!

I also met with my sister’s friend Ladj who was sweet enough to give us our favorite Cadbury Peppermint and Bubbly chocolates 😀

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A few walks along Sentosa and I finally had a view of their man-made Sentosa beach.

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When we’re finally tired with walking along Sentosa, we decided to head back to the city. I find going around Singapore easy-breezy since you only have to ride the MRT to go to places you wanna go. You only need an EZ-LINK Card which only costs SGD12 with already SGD7 stored value in it. You only have to reload it (or they call it Top-Up) for only SGD10 once the stored value’s consumed.

How to go to Sentosa: 

Take the North-East line MRT rail system (Purple Line) or Circle Line MRT rail system (Orange Line), alight at HarbourFront Station. From there, you may take any of the following transportation:

Sentosa Express: Go to the 3rd level (Lobby L) of VivoCity shopping mall to transfer to Sentosa Express to enter the resort. Drop off at Waterfront Station.

(taken from RW Sentosa website)

Our next stop was the Esplanade. It is that durian-shaped building located alongside Marina Bay near the Singapore River. This is where concerts and other cultural activities are being held.

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After walking along Esplanade, Char invited me to eat at Makasuntra Gluttons Bay. It’s located just a few walks outside Esplanade. It is a hawker station, which means there are a lot of food stalls you can find in the area which offers affordable meals. Price can go as low as SGD3 for a dish. The homemade iced tea is only priced at SGD1.60.

Char treated me to this sumptuous dinner 😀

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Since we were feeling so full after that dinner, we decided to walk along the bay and had my picture taken near the famous Merlion statue. They say you’re never officially in Singapore if you don’t have a picture with this statue. So there, I’m officially in SG!

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And with the Marina Bay Sands as my background,

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Getting to Esplanade from Sentosa:

Ride the MRT train from Sentosa to Vivo City. Alight at Vivo City and then look for the MRT station. Take the Purple Line going to Punggol but you have to alight at Dhoby Ghaut station and take the Circle line (Yellow Line) and alight at Esplanade station. It’s easy to find the Esplanade – Theaters by the Bay from the Esplanade station since there are a lot of directions and signs you can find along the way.

It’s been a long, full of “first time” day which I enjoyed very much, all thanks to the provision and favors from Father God and the generosity of my dear friend Char 😀