Singapore – 28 Dec 2006 to 2 Jan 2007

Our Trip to Singapore from 28 December 2006 – 2 January 2007…the story goes…

Singapore Map

The planning for this trip was made just a week or two before Christmas.

The initial plan was to follow our dear friend John down in his car and stay with him at his apartment near Great World City at Zion Road and then take a bus back to KL. We opted for Aeroline Bus which leaves Harbour Front and stops at Corus Hotel on Jalan Ampang. The reason why we choose Aeroline is because all other bus companies were full up on the return trip up till the 3rd or 4th January. As we had to come back on the 2 January, Aeroline was our only easy choice. I really didn’t want to try to call the other companies like KTM (Malaysia Railway), Nice or First Coach. It was totally difficult to get through to them… either their lines were busy, off the hook or nobody answered the calls. Out of 20 times I tried calling, perhaps I only managed to get through once.

Anyway on 25 December, my car gets rammed from the back by this idiotic Lady Driver who was on the handphone while driving. Her Estima hit a Proton Isware which then hit a van which in turn managed to hit and crumple the trunk of my car and crack my lights! And guess what? We were all stuck in a Traffic Jam…. So how in the world she managed to do that and transfer all the force to my poor car… I have no idea! And yes you read correctly…. 25 is Christmas Day! Ho Ho ho…

And to have it my spate of “bad luck� did not end there, our dear Friend John who was supposed to bring us down with him told me a day or so later that he fell off a ladder while painting his house. Poor dude… luckily it was just a “minor sprain�. Anyway we decided it was best we found another way to get down to Singapore while he rested in KL. Luckily for us, we managed to get two seats on the evening NICE Bus from the old KL Train Station. All was great and we were all set to be on our way to FINE FINE Singapore.

The bus ride from KL to Singapore was uneventful. We managed to get into Singapore slightly short of 6 hours. The ride was pretty pleasant. We managed to get lots of water from the storage area. And yeah there wasn’t any Stewardess taking care of our bus. Perhaps they went on holiday already. We did have a quick stop over at a rest area and hastily resumed our journey after some inconsiderate passengers decided to turn up 5 to 10 minutes later than the planned time. A quick Taxi ride from our stop in Singapore to John’s apartment concluded our southward journey to Singapore.

What greeted us when we arrived at John’s apartment was pure delight. The apartment was apparently only 3 years old or so. Everything was almost spanking new and it was definitely much better than staying at any hotel. You get the comfort of your own home and yet the luxury was definitely there. Nice airconds to keep you nice and cool, nice water heaters, nice pressure from the water for showers, a nice little kitchen to cook noodles and light meals, comfy couch to watch Starhub Channels…. And the list does not end there. After having stayed there for a mere 6 days, I think I have grown attached to his apartment. It will be a pity as he mentioned he might be moving out soon by mid-year… so hopefully, we can make another trip down there to enjoy one last stay before the apartment becomes no more. Our sincere thanks goes out to John for offering his lovely apartment for us to stay while in Singapore. We just hope that the next time we are down in Singapore, that he’s down there with us.

As mentioned, we were actually in Singapore for 6 days… but I can tell you this… it definitely didn’t feel like 6 days! It felt like only 3! Could it be that we lost some time due to alien abduction? Or perhaps we just had so much fun and enjoyed our stay that we didn’t realize how fast time was flying. We did however manage to do quite a few things. Firstly we met up with Kok Liang and his two friends for a round of Texas Hold’em Poker. Playing in Singapore Dollars was definitely a new thrill for me. Luckily I managed to hold my own and even got some sponsoring for the trip’s expenses 🙂

We also managed to meet some other new and old friends in Singapore over lunch and breakfast! We were treated to a scrumptious lunch at Soup Restaurant at Paragon Plaza by Helen and KC. The steamed cold chicken dish is a must! Breakfast on the other hand was spend having nice Mc Donalds’ pancakes in Lucky Plaza treated by Wee Loong. Traveling down to Orchard Road Tangs was a synch. All we had to do was walk over to the Great World City shopping center opposite the apartment and take the free shuttle down to Tangs which was just 5 mins or so away. To make things easy, the shuttle was always on time, very frequent and while waiting we could always take a nice little stroll at the Great World City outlet shops. Oh yes, we did frequent the toilet, Cold Storage and 7-eleven for food snacks and meals, Body Shop for their daily offers. We actually walked around Great World City almost each time we had to go take a bus. How convenient is that ?!? Just wonderful! I wish Malaysia had something like that. What’s with the Public Transportation System here? With Visit Malaysia Year happening this year… I do hope the Government does something to make it easy and a pleasure for people to move around.

A good example of difference in Mind Set can be seen when comparing our experience of lining up at Genting’s Cable Car ride and Singapore’s Night Safari. Both involved lots of people but somehow the lining up at the night safari was so much more pleasant. For starters, things were more organized, secondly there were ample staff to tell people where to go and how things are going. We had to line up from the road entrance to the Night Safari all the way to the Tram rides but it was bearable because were constantly moving along the line. Each time we moved along, we covered a good distance and we didn’t have to stay stationary for more than 4-5 minutes each time. We were so impressed at how they handled the situation that we wished the same could have been true for the Genting Skyway Ride. Perhaps there’s just something to learn here…

The Night Safari was a great place to visit. Not that we don’t have such animals in Malaysia… We definitely have them and perhaps even more… but Singapore just managed again to out-do themselves in this aspect. Wouldn’t it be great if we had night safaris around here with the same concept? I have been to the one in Melaka A’Famosa. It was great but its nothing compared to the experience in Singapore. Perhaps the thrill factor of riding in a cage less tram or a cage less surrounding where Tigers and Lions roam just makes it a complete and fulfilling experience. Of course the English of the staff working there is also so much better… need I say more? While traveling to the Night Safari was a bit tedious… it wasn’t that bad. A quick ride from Jurong East to Choa Chu Kang MRT Station was needed before we boarded a bus that took us all the way to the Night Safari. The return trip was done by taking a bus from the Night Safari to Ang Mo Kio MRT Station and then back to Orchard MRT. How simple is that ?!

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We also went to the Singapore Science Center before the Night Safari which was within walking distance from the Jurong East Station. We had a lovely time at the Science Center trying all the silly exhibits and also managed to catch two Omnimax Movies; Roving Mars and Deep Sea. Oh I got out of the place feeling a little dizzy. Perhaps I wasn’t used to the way the screen wraps around the globe. But it was a pretty good experience as the last Omnimax Movie I watched was while I was in Vancouver during the 1986 Expo.

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Roving MarsDeep Sea

Once we were done with the shows, it was already evening and we had to walk back towards the Jurong East Station where we stopped along the way at a Food Center and introduced Mee Pok to May Lee. Mee Pok is a type of Noodle and May Lee is my girlfriend. Pls don’t get confused haha.

Other activities in Singapore was of course walking and shopping along Orchard Road. We managed to pick up some goodies there which I will be writing about in one of my next blogging articles. For now, we can tell you we had a great time doing after Christmas sales. I also managed to get some parts for my Model Helicopter from Singapore Hobby at Fook Hai Building near the China Town MRT stop. Too bad my trip to rotor.com.sg near the Lavender MRT stop was unfruitful as they were closed for the year end break and only opened on the 3rd Jan when I would be back in Malaysia already. Oh well.. I guess I’ll get more time to save up for my TREX Chopper which I wanted to get.

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New Year’s Eve was equally wonderful. May Lee made me a nice meal at John’s place. We had pasta and it tasted wonderful… especially when you don’t have to do the cooking after walking around on aching feet the entire day. We were supposed to meet up with her friends at Sentosa Beach Party until we found out it was a Foam Party. We decided to stay back but managed to make our way to City Hall overlooking the Esplanade (The Famous Durian shaped building) by the bay. There were many people on the streets that night and we all enjoyed a great fireworks show laid out by Singapore. Getting back was easy even with crowded streets, the MRT stations once again surprised us on how efficient large number of people moved around without incident.

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We tried going to Sentosa on New Year’s day just to try the LUGE ride that they had there but we never made it across to the Island from the Harbour Front Bus Stations. There simply were too many people lining up and no matter how efficient the transportation system was, we just had enough of lining up for the couple of days. We figured we can always do it another time when there are less people around. We also did not fancy lining up again when we reached Sentosa side. We decided to only take a quick walk in the Mall at Harbour Front before heading back to Orchard for even more shopping! May Lee managed to get something nice for herself as a result. What is it? We’ll keep that a surprise and save it for the next blog article.

The trip back from Singapore was equally uneventful. We boarded out Aeroline bus from Harbour Front. It was definitely much nicer than the NICE bus we took. Both were double deckers but the Aeroline was newer, had nice shows during the trip and even had a nice meal for us, plus coffee or tea and fruits! Is that first Class Service or what !?!?! We totally enjoyed the bus ride and I definitely will not hesitate to take the bus down to Singapore again the next time I decide to go down.

Click Here to see more photos of our Trip to Singapore

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