Date: 27th September 2010
We only had from morning to evening in Singapore today, so we decided to skip Sentosa as the journey all the way to the theme park wouldn’t be worth it unless we could spend time at Universal Studios as well… for which we didn’t have “sufficient funds”. So, Singapore Zoo it was.
This being our last day in Singapore, I decided to take a few photographs of ABC Hostels, in case you were curious as to what its like from the inside.
I didn’t take a photo of the room we got because it was in a mess, but picture this: not a big room, big enough bed for 3 mid-sized adults, functional split A/C, well-lit, with a mirror and table. That’s it. If you want more than a room for just sleeping, its best you book yourself into a regular hotel.
After finding out how to get to Singapore Zoo, we set off for Bugis MRT station.
But as soon as we got down, there was a van waiting with a woman approaching tourists with a deal. Buy the entry ticket with 4 tram rides and a drop to the zoo in a van (one way) for SGD23 (SGD18 + 5 for the tram rides). We knew the entry fee is SGD18 (Rs. 620/$14/€10) for adults so it seemed like a good deal (but what do we know). Plus we didn’t have to take the bus.
When the van quickly filled up with other tourists, we set off.
After a 15 minute ride, we arrived at Singapore Zoo. The weren’t a whole lot of people in queue — but we just walked straight in as we already had our entry tickets.
Shooting the above leopard proved to be quite difficult, and in this video you’ll see why:
The one above was a very big ape (I believe an orangutan), quite old in age who was kept in this glass enclosure and it was quite dark… so you really couldn’t see it. It was moving around very slowly but unfortunately, due to the darkness inside its “cage” and the reflection on the glass, I couldn’t really get a good shot.
With that, we were finally done. Well, sort of. We could have stayed back longer and waited for some of the animal shows. But it was 2:30pm, we had to have our lunch and the skies were quite cloudy.
I still wanted to go to Marina Bay Sands and since Ramesh and Loi were against it, I wasted no time and decided to go on my own.
I waited at the bus station just outside and in under 5 minutes, got one that goes to Ang Mo Kio MRT station.
Anyway, I arrived at Ang Mo Kio bus terminal in around 15 minutes and got down to take the underpass to the MRT station. Ang Mo Kio is located on the red line, so the train goes straight to Marina Bay — the last stop. The ride took another 15 minutes.
Once I was out of the station/construction site (it looked like they were upgrading the station) it was still drizzling.
Why did I smile? Because seeing the above instantly reminded me of another ‘marina’ I was at in April. I could help but go: “Ahh, so that’s where Dubai got the idea from!”
And when I got there they asked me to wait because the sky park was wet.
Turns out they have a “wet policy” which essentially closes the observation deck to visitors if the observation deck is wet. I asked them if I could go up as I was leaving Singapore in a few hours but they said sorry, they couldn’t make an exception.
I told them I couldn’t wait as I had a flight to catch in a few hours time, so I didn’t.
I made way back up disappointed and decided to check out the hotel instead.
Since I couldn’t check out the Sky Park, I thought I’d at least check out the casino.
Buuuuut… the casino has a strict dress code… and a “No Photography” rule — both of which I didn’t qualify for. I didn’t even bother using the “but I’m leaving Singapore in a few hours” excuse as one sight of the huge security men at the casino entrance will make you think otherwise.
I went to the other side of the mall to where the buses to the Marina Bay MRT station are.
It sucks I couldn’t check out Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel the way I had planned. Oh well, another thing for next time.
It was past 4:30pm when I boarded the bus back to the MRT station. The drizzling hadn’t stopped, and I had to take the metro back to our hostel. I got to the hostel before my friends did and I used the time to get out of my wet clothes and re-pack. When the other two arrived, we took all our bags and walked towards Victoria MRT.
We took the MRT all the way to Terminal 2 at Changi. As soon as we got out, right in front of us was a board showing the layout of Changi Airport. Three big terminals… and then one tiny red square. That was our budget terminal
It was so funny, I regret not taking a photo of it. It was like the big guys just wanted to keep rubbing it in on how cheap people who avail budget carriers are, just so they would quit and use the regular airlines instead.
Anyway, we were at the budget terminal by around 6:30pm for our 8:15pm Tiger Airways flight. And then the flight got delayed by 30 minutes. While we could pass time by availing the free internet and having snacks at the airport, it was still annoying as it only meant our arrival at Penang would also be late.
Once the plane did finally take off, we all three agreed on one thing: we were definitely coming back to Singapore!
Even though it was only 3 days, we loved every bit of it. Except the rain bit, we all hated that. We also decided we come back during F1 week but stay much longer.
We landed at Penang, got through immigration quick and soon took a pre-paid taxi to head to Georgetown, where our guesthouse was.
It took more than half an hour to reach our hotel in Georgetown, that’s how far the airport was. We were going to be staying at Old Penang Guesthouse during our time on Penang island.
Since it was nearing 12am, we quickly went out in search of dinner.
We were told there were 24 hour restaurants, mostly serving Indian cuisine, not too far from our guesthouse. We walked under our umbrellas and got into one.
Basically rice with your choice of meat and a mix of curries. Yum it was.
There were many ‘Indian’ restaurants in the area.
Once back in the room, and a warm shower later, we did our calculations and thought about what had to do tomorrow.
Our first trip to Singapore was done, and Malaysia had begun. We only hoped it would be nice & sunny in Penang tomorrow.
Other posts in this series: