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Lunch at Funan Mall Singapore food court

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Date: 25th September 2010

Since our flight was at 11:35pm (24/09/2010), we decided to leave directly from office and being a Friday evening, we had plans to leave earlier than usual. We checked the timings for the Vaayu Vajra airport shuttle buses & planned on taking bus number 8 or 8A in front of our offices on Sarjapur Road.

After just missing BIAL 8, we got BIAL 8A at around 5:35pm and made our way to Devanahalli. The ticket cost Rs. 180 (per person) and the journey took 2 hours. Once we reached Bangalore International Airport, it began to drizzle. We made our way in and then sat waiting for the Tiger Airways terminal to open.

Once the terminal did open, we were kind of surprised to see our boarding passes to be ones from Air India! Puzzled whether we were on the right flight or not, we did joke about how cheap an airline Tiger Airways was that they used leftover Air India boarding passes. 🙂

Since we were early, we had plenty of time to kill at the airport. We checked out the duty free, had a snack from the expensive options at BIAL and then tried going online using the free wi-fi… which didn’t work. Thankfully, I had my TATA Indicom Photon thumb drive and so I went online to do some more research on places we planned on seeing in Singapore, where to eat and what not.

It was also raining heavily outside but our flight wasn’t delayed by much nor was it cancelled, which was good news. By 11:35pm, we were in our seats. Now, we knew Tiger Airways was a budget carrier and wasn’t expecting much.

And it wasn’t much.

Seats were quite old and looked untidy, some push-back buttons wouldn’t work but hey… we reminded ourselves that we only paid around Rs. 4,500 ($100/€74) for this one way direct flight to Singapore. So we smiled to ourselves and sat back.

We were also quite hungry by this time and waited for the (paid) meals to be served. Though they had a menu with a few notable hot meal options, by the time the air hostesses arrived at our row we were only left with 2 options. In vegetarian – chana (chick peas) curry and rice and in non-veg – beef stew and bun. Since we were quite famished, we asked for both.

Tiger Airways chana rice in-flight hot meal
Ramesh, the vegetarian in our group, said it wasn’t very good; costs SGD6 (Rs. 200)
Tiger Airways beef stew bun in-flight meal
The beef stew was quite good. But it came with only 1 bun which was a little too less for so much stew; costs SGD8 or SGD10 (Rs. 350) with a drink
Tiger Airways Heaven and Earth Jasmine tea
In my quest to try things I’ve never tasted before, I chose this drink. It was okay.

We avoided eating a complete meal at the Kingfisher Lounge at the airport because of how expensive it is but after having shelled out Rs. 500+ for the above food, it made better sense to eat from the airport itself before boarding the flight.

Anyway, our flight would land in 2 hours time and we thought about grabbing a bite at Changi Airport.

Yeah, about that.

When we landed, we did land at ‘Changi,’ but just like being told you would arrive at the pearly gates of heaven — and then take a swift left turn into hell, we actually disembarked at the budget terminal of Changi Airport. Okay it wasn’t hell or anything but it wasn’t much to write about either.

Basically a big warehouse turned airport terminal, the budget terminal at Changi had just about enough counters to cater to us “cheap” travellers.  I was disappointed I couldn’t see one of the best airports in Asia but once again: Rs. 4,500… direct… we reached Singapore, safe and on-time.

We made our way out of the budget terminal and headed for the free shuttle bus to the main terminal to avail the MRT into the city.

Singapore budget airport coming out
Just past 7am, it was still dark at 6am

We boarded the bus and got down at Terminal 2…

Changi Airport terminal 2 budget escalator… which obviously didn’t look like a warehouse.

Changi Airport terminal to MRT station

We bought our MRT cards which cost SGD12 (Rs. 400/US$9) — SGD5 for the card and the remaining is credit — which is SGD7 (if you are that bad at math).

Singapore MRT metro train from airport insideSingapore MRT metro train from airport friends

Singapore MRT Expo station
The Singapore Expo convention and exhibition center

We knew we had to switch trains at Tanah Merah station which is an interchange (we studied the MRT map during our research).

Singapore MRT metro train Tanah Merah station

Singapore MRT station warning prohibited
If you were wondering why Singapore is so clean (SGD1000 = Rs. 35000)
Singapore MRT view Geylang
(Taken on the Nokia E72)

We got down at Victoria station and walked straight towards the Bugis station (our hostel was in between the two). After asking a few passersby for directions, we walked past a blue mosque (which was a given landmark) and arrived at Jalan Kubor (‘jalan’ means ‘road’).

Victoria Street Jalan Kubor Singapore
The main road is Victoria Street

We were staying at ABC Backpackers Hostel, a conveniently located and affordable hostel serving the essentials as far as we were concerned – great location, breakfast, internet, clean beds and clean bathrooms.

ABC Backpackers Hostel Jalan Kubor building
The hostel is on the extreme left

How much did it cost us? We booked in May, and for the F1 weekend it cost us Rs. 5200 ($116/€84). That’s for 3 people in a private room for 3 days and 2 nights in the heart of the city (pretty much) — around Rs. 1700 ($38/€27) per person for 2 nights at ABC Hostel.

We couldn’t check in to our room as it wasn’t available yet. So we kept our bags on the shelf rack, freshened up, had breakfast and then stepped out so as not to waste any time.

Arab Street Jalan Kubor SingaporeArab Street public bus stop SingaporeWe first thought of heading to Sim Lim Square and then Little India, so after getting some directions, made our way down Victoria Street.

Singapore mosque alley jalan off Victoria streetSingapore Raffles hospital footpath

Singapore Raffles Hospital fish pond
This was a fish pond at the Raffles Hospital

Singapore Raffles Hospital golden fishSingapore Victoria Street construction traffic crossingWe took a right and stepped in to a convenience store to try and take a local SIM.

La Salle College of Arts Singapore
The black building is La Salle College of Arts Singapore

After getting our prepaid SIMs, we tried finding Sim Lim Square — Singapore’s famous electronics mall.

We did find it but given it was still 10am, most shops were yet to open. So we made our way to Little India instead.

Little India Happy Diwali entrance decorations Singapore

Singapore Little India Happy Diwali decoration
Prepping up for Diwali celebrations

Singapore Little India Campbell laneSingapore Little India road Deepawali decorationsSingapore Little India old buildingsSingapore Little India small laneSingapore Little India old brown building

Singapore Little India Sree Veeramakaliamman temple
Sri Veeramakaliamman temple in Little India

Singapore Little India pigeons alleySingapore Little India pigeonsSingapore Little India ABC store blue building

Singapore Little India ABC cheap store Rowell Road
We didn’t have the time to take up their challenge

Singapore Little India Serangoon Road Diwali lampsSingapore Little India Serangoon RoadSingapore Little India covered hallSingapore Little India construction workWe stopped by the famous Mustafa Centre shopping complex (which is open 24 hours) to see what they had on offer. Mustafa sells just about everything, from electronics to clothing and also houses a supermarket and a pharmacy. But we did find quite a lot of fake goods — mostly shoes — being sold at exorbitantly high prices. The Nikes were all wrapped in plastic and sorted based on size, and one look at them gave away their faux pas. Appalling how this “famous” store was getting away with fooling their customers.

After half-an-hour or so, and after checking from basement to the top floors, we left without buying anything.

Singapore Little India Roberts LaneAnd with that, Little India was done.

I wasn’t very happy with the photos I took. Granted the skies were grey but I never really had a chance to wait and click, it was all hurried. A lot of times I had to play catch-up as my friends would be ahead of me.

But we had to move on. Ramesh had to go pick up his F1 pass and we still had things to buy.

So we headed to the Farrer Park MRT station which is one of the two MRT stations that connect Little India.

Singapore MRT underground station
My friend Loi feeling the need to cool his eyes in an underground station

We got down at City Hall MRT, and walked to Raffles City Complex.

Raffles City complex mall SingaporeThe ticket collection point was the Swissotel The Stamford hotel which is attached to the mall.

Swissotel The Stamford Singapore stairs

Ramesh Singapore Formula1 ticket
My friend Ramesh with his ‘ticket’

Ramesh bought the Premier Walkabout ticket which cost him around Rs. 10,000. The ‘ticket’ is actually three badges (one for each day) and comes in a nice framed box, just so you can remind yourself how expensive it is to witness a Formula 1 event live.

Raffles City Swissotel The Stamford Hotel Cafe Swiss
Cafe Swiss at the Swissotel The Stamford

After collecting the ticket, we stepped out.

Raffles City Grand Prix shop Singapore official merchandise F1
It began to rain at this point

We checked out the official merchandise store, which had apparel from all the major racing teams — all of which was very, very expensive. Like Rs. 3000-plus for a Ferrari t-shirt and such.

We also noticed Funan IT Mall, the other major electronics shopping destination, right ahead of us. So we went there next.

St. Andrews cathedral Singapore rainy day
We passed by St. Andrews cathedral

Unlike Sim Lim Square, Funan is newer and lot more posh. That is not to say everything is a lot more expensive here, look around and you’re sure to find a lot good deals.

Funan IT mall inside singaporeWe had noted down a few good stores in Funan IT Mall, so we first went to TK Photo. I was in the market for a good tripod, an intervelometer and Ramesh wanted to pick up a Kata camera bag. Ramesh found what he wanted but I was spoilt by choice and realized I needed to do a bit more research before I could decide which model to go in for.

After TK Photo, we checked out a few more stores before heading up to the food court for lunch.

Funan IT mall food court counters Singapore

Lunch at Funan Mall Singapore food court
Lunch, for me and Loi at least. ‘The vegetarian’ didn’t find anything up here.
Funan IT mall food court Singapore
The food court had mostly Chinese and local favourites

Funan IT mall food junction SingaporeWhen we were done with our lunch, ‘the vegetarian’ had to go down to Subway to have his. This gave me some time to check out some more shops on the higher floors.

The first thing that caught my eye was a window full of Totoro plush toys!

Totoro plush toy SingaporeThe store had many more inside.

Japanese import toy store Funan mall Singapore
The grey-haired guy on the extreme right is the owner

I spoke to the owner who told me he has his sources in Japan for the goods and makes the pilgrimage to nerd-heaven quite often.

Final Fantasy cans potions figurines Singapore
From Final Fantasy potions and collectibles to Metal Gear Solid figurines, this store had it all

If you love anime and video games, you’ll find a lot of stores catering to your geekdom on the top most floors of Funan IT mall.

Gamescore Funan IT mall Singapore
This store was drawing a lot of people
Gamescore Street Fighter Funan IT mall Singapore
Then again, Street Fighter matches never fail to pull in a crowd

I then went down to John 3:16 Photo Supplies, a photography store I heard was one of the best in Singapore. It was quite busy and the guy running the place seemed like a really cool guy to talk to. He had a lot of the things I was planning on buying. But, my friends call and said they were done.

So I left, disappointed I couldn’t spend more time there. Actually, I was disappointed I could spend  lot more time in Funan which seemed a lot better than Sim Lim Square.

Funan Digital Life mall stores

Yes, Funan DigitalLife mall is a newer compared to Sim Lim Square but don’t assume it’s more expensive. It’s also managed by Capital Land, the Singapore-based real estate major that owns pretty much all the biggest malls in Singapore and other venues like Clarke Quay. So you’re not going to find a whole lot of grey market dealers like you would in Sim Lim Square.

After I caught up with my friends, we made our way back. We had yet to check in to our rooms.

Singapore rainy F1 day gate 4
It was still raining

Once we got back to ABC Hostel, we checked in to our private room which was cosy and clean enough for us to crash and trash with our luggage.

While we rested, Ramesh got ready to begin his F1 experience. Me & Loi didn’t have a lot of day left so we made our way out again.

This time, I suggested we just walk and check out our surroundings.

Singapore Kampong Glam Arab area
We were staying in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood
Singapore Kampong Glam Minang restaurant
You’ll find a lot of Arab, Indian and Persian eateries here
Malay Heritage centre Istana Kampong Glam Singapore
We walked through the Malay Heritage Centre

Malay Heritage Centre Kampong Glam Singapore

Singapore Kampong Glam Maserati
Made our way towards the main road

Singapore beach road pavement motorbike

Singapore Beach Road cyclistSingapore beach road chinese shopSingapore Shenton way Beach Road overbridgeSingapore Shenton way Beach roadSingapore Beach road bus

Singapore Parkroyal hotel
The Parkroyal Hotel on Beach Road

Singapore gotham architecture building

We took a left off the main road after we asked a traffic policeman how to get to the marina, and walked across the bridge just to see where it would take us.

Singapore overbridge walkwaySingapore Suntec City plaza parkSingapore glass office buildingSingapore Westpac buildingSingapore park flyerSingapore Suntec city park trees

Ultimately we hit a dead end… and the whole section was blocked off for F1 events. So we walked back.

Singapore office towerSingapore office building sharp angle

After walking by some impressive office buildings (which we were later asked not to photograph by the security personnel) we headed towards Suntec City.

Singapore Ajinomoto bus ad

Suntec City International Convention and Exhibition Centre
You could see the races happening in the distance from up here

Suntec City plaza parking buildingWe basically got into Suntec City to get to the City Hall MRT station but since we were there, we had to check it out.

Though not new, Suntec City is a major real estate venture comprising of one of Singapore’s biggest malls (even today), several high-rise office towers and a huge convention and exhibition centre.

Suntec City golden fish pond

Suntec city R/C car racing challenge
The only ‘race’ us mortals had a proper glimpse of
Suntec city Fountain of Wealth
Suntec City also houses the ‘Fountain of Wealth’

Suntec City Fountain of Wealth sitting area

Suntec City Fountain of Wealth Singapore
Which comes on and lights up once completely dark

We walked out of Suntec City by this point still in search of the MRT station.

Singapore empty streetSingapore CBD buildingsMarina Square road F1 track Singapore

Marina Mandarin Hotel Singapore passing through F1 track
The F1 track passes through this stretch… so if you want to be this close to the track, stay at Marina Mandarin Hotel
Marina Square Formula 1 track Singapore
The path was blocked for pedestrians

Realizing we were nowhere near the MRT, we headed back into Suntec City Mall.

We sat down for evening tea at this awesome-looking food court.

Coffee shop Suntec city mall food republic
Felt very Hogwarts-ish (Oh, those are not real books by the way)
Guan Chee restaurant Suntec City Food Republic
Tempted… but had to wait until dinner time

Once we did find City Hall MRT, we got down at Clarke Quay station to head to Singapore river where we planned to take the river cruise by boat.

North Canal Road Singapore Clarke Quay

Singapore political rally park
Some rally being held at a park

OCBC bank building art sculpture SingaporeAfter a bit of walking and asking around, we reached Singapore river.

Clarke Quay Singapore river F1 night panorama
Panorama comprised of 8 shots

The race was happening in the distance and one could hear the deafening sound of the engines. They were so loud (and so good) that I had to call up my friend back in India to give him the experience! (video coming soon)

Clarke Quay bird statue art singaporeWe walked towards the bridge where lots of people were trying to catch a glimpse of the cars zipping past.

Singapore river The Fullerton Hotel F1 nightSingapore Financial district buildings HSBCSingapore river cruise F1 nightWe got to the other side to get to the ticket counter for the River Cruise.

Singapore Marina financial district Maybank building

Singapore Marina financial district at night
Panorama comprised of 6 shots
Singapore River cruise ticket counter Clarke Quay
Tickets for the boat ride cost SGD15 (Rs. 500/US$11/€8)
Singapore river cruise boat reflections
Our ride
Singapore marina skyscrapers at night
The ride would take us down the river and up into the marina

Singapore river Clarke Quay eateries

Singapore Riverside Point Clarke Quay at night
We’d pass a lot of of eateries, bars and clubs

Singapore river cruise boat bridgeSingapore river cruise boat restaurantsSingapore river cruise boat Clarke QuaySingapore river cruise Clarke Quay mainSingapore river The Central Helipad bar clubIt’s only after getting on this boat did I realize how much there was to Clarke Quay. I know the photos may not show much (video coming later) but the number of restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs are just too many to mention. It’s no wonder Clarke Quay area is the night hotspot in Singapore.

The boat then took a turn and made its way back towards the marina.

Singapore river cruise Marina Bay Sands sky lights
The stunning Marina Bay Sands Casino and Hotel in the background
Singapore Marina Merlion statue park night
Singapore’s famous Merlion statue
Singapore marina at night from boat
We were finally out in the marina
Singapore marina The Esplanade halls F1 night
The Esplanade concert halls
Singapore marina The Esplanade golden F1 night
Pretty sure the guys behind Yas Hotel saw this and went: “We want that, but better!”
Singapore Flyer marina F1 night
Singapore Flyer — the tallest one in the world
Singapore Marina Bay Sands Casino & hotel at night
And finally, the $5 billion Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel

I had the look of sheer disappointment at this point. Not that the building was ugly or anything. Just 2 nights ago, my favourite trance outfit Above & Beyond performed here, more specifically at the Avalon club — on top of those three towers — and I missed it because I only heard about it that prior weekend. I seriously considered preponing my flight to arrive in Singapore earlier just to see them at such an awesome venue! But the pains of cancelling and re-scheduling a flight at such short notice, that too with Tiger Airways’ non-existent customer support in India made me drop it. It wasn’t just Above & Beyond. Flo Rida, Steve Aoki, The Chemical Brothers, with many more and the ticket for one night was just Rs. 3k.

Sigh 🙁

Anyway, back to the photos…

Singapore marina financial district office buildings F1 night wide
It was time to head back

Singapore marina bridge F1 trackSingapore marina financial district boat ride backSingapore river boat ride water at nightSingapore marina financial bridge people F1 night

Singapore skyscrapers night sky
Clouds above Singapore were lit thanks to all the skyscrapers
Singapore river Raffles hotel
The boat dropped us back to same pick-up point

There are three pick-up points (& ticket counters) for the river cruise along Singapore river and you can take mine and Loi’s word for it — taking the cruise at night is a must-do when in Singapore!

Back on land, it was time to head to Chinatown for dinner.

Singapore river at night grass treesSingapore river night Marina Bay Sands skySingapore night alleySingapore night banana tree leafChinatown wasn’t far from Clarke Quay.

Singapore night road to Chinatown

Singapore night Chinatown entrance
The entrance to Chinatown
Singapore Chinatown road decoration
Singapore Lantern Festival 2010 was on at this time

Singapore Chinatown overbridgeSingapore Chinatown decorations trafficSingapore Chinatown road decorationsSingapore Chinatown overviewSingapore Chinatown shopsWe straightaway headed to the ‘food street’ as we were hungry and thirsty!

Singapore Chinatown food streetSingapore Chinatown food street restaurantsScores of hawkers & restaurants on either side, we finally sat down and first, ordered some chilled beers.

Singapore Chinatown food street chairsWe placed our orders from multiple vendors.

Singapore Chinatown dinner
Pork noodle soup & barbecued tiger prawns; finished off with some beef fried rice

Singapore Chinatown food street womenSingapore Chinatown tree lightsSingapore Chinatown alleyIt was around 11pm by the time we were done.  We could have explored more of Chinatown but we were tired as hell, so we decided to head back ‘home’.

Singapore Chinatown lanterns display
This was on display near one of the pedestrian over bridges
Singapore Chinatown lantern festival photographers
And I wasn’t the only amateur photographer there

Singapore Chinatown lantern festival bridge parkSingapore Chinatown lantern festival pedestrian bridgeWe took the MRT from Chinatown and got back to Kampong Glam.

Singapore Kampong Glam Arab street nightlife
The nightlife was still buzzing in our area
Singapore kampong glam Sultan Mosque
Sultan Mosque, the largest mosque in Singapore

Singapore Kampong Glam Arab Street carpetOnce back in the room and a quick hot shower later, I hit the sack. Recalling how much we covered on just our first day, it was a good, albeit a very tiring start to our trip.

I wasn’t thoroughly pleased with all the photos I took today. A lot of them came out blurry which made me want to pick up a good tripod all the more a bigger priority.

Regardless, this was day 1. 155 images (used out of 360 taken), slightly  over 3000 words and more than a week to finish. Trying to complete this was as tiring as the day itself.

Now only 9 more days and 3600 more photos to go through.

I’ll upload the videos later.

I’m too tired…

P.S: If anyone is interested in what Ramesh saw at the F1 track on day 1, check out this post.

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 4 — One day in Penang (Around Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Penang Hill)

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

Date: 12th April 2010

After the madness of Dubai, it was back to calm ‘ol Abu Dhabi and more time with family. My mom wanted to show me the sands of Al Ain. So on a Sunday evening, we hired our usual taxi guy and headed outside Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway

Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway distance sign
We were on the highway to Al Ain
Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain from car
To my right
Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain panorama
Stopped to take this panorama (comprised of 10 shots)

Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain oasisAfter driving for nearly 45 minutes, we got off the main highway and I got out of the car.

Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain road tyre tracksAbu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain road truckAbu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain sand dunesThe sands, once I got into them, were extremely fine and smooth.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert sand linesThey were so smooth that you could slowly slip in to the ground by just standing still for a few seconds.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander
The only life out there besides us

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander tracksAbu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander tracks hidingEven though I’ve had enough sand in my face growing up in the Middle East, being here really was quite a splendid feeling. There were plans to go dune bashing in 4x4s but due to my friends being available only on Fridays made it a little tough to cram it in my already packed itinerary. I didn’t want to opt for a tourist package either ‘cos it was too corny for me.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert father collecting sand
My father in the back, collecting UAE sand. He's being doing that for every country he's been to.

After listening to hearsay tales from our taxi driver about desert snakes and other ‘dangerous’ reptiles, my father insisted that I don’t tread any further into the sand dune and asked me to get back in the car. Plus it was nearing sunset.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert roundabout
We weren't far from Al Ain
Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway trees
All the trees you're going to see out here
Abu Dhabi desert electricity power line panorama
Panorama comprised of 8 shots

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway streetlight
Heading back to Abu Dhabi

The next day…

Since I wasn’t going to sit idle at home, after lunch I took a taxi and headed to Abu Dhabi corniche.

Abu Dhabi buildings near corniche
The skies were all grey that day

After taking two Nepalis-driven taxis back-to-back, I got down near Corniche Road.

Abu Dhabi office building construction near corniche
Abu Dhabi's construction scene is... still happening

Abu Dhabi buildings landmark near cornicheAbu Dhabi landmark sculpture near cornicheAbu Dhabi landmark sculptures near cornicheAbu Dhabi mosque near cornicheAbu Dhabi Markaziyah road signal

Abu Dhabi corniche underpass
You'd take this underpass if you wanted to get to the corniche

But I decided to take a stroll through the park on the other side of Corniche Road. Abu Dhabi corniche park signpostAbu Dhabi buildings corniche park lakeAbu Dhabi corniche park lake fountain

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche park rules
This park is only meant for boring purposes

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche park bridgeI crossed the road to get to the corniche.

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche bus standAbu Dhabi corniche watersAbu Dhabi corniche park treesAbu Dhabi corniche tilesAbu Dhabi corniche cycling

Abu Dhabi corniche cycle rentals
Don't have a cycle? You can rent one at the corniche

Abu Dhabi corniche underpass toiletsAbu Dhabi corniche pedestrian underpass

Abu Dhabi corniche excercise fitness
Really appreciated the emphasis on fitness at this corniche

Abu Dhabi corniche water fountainAbu Dhabi corniche beach domesAbu Dhabi corniche boxingAbu Dhabi corniche palm trees

Abu Dhabi corniche board signs
Abu Dhabi corniche plays host to many cultural festivals

Abu Dhabi corniche road Emirates officeAbu Dhabi corniche beach sand volleyballAbu Dhabi corniche food court Cold Stone CreameryAfter a coffee break from Cinnabon, I decided to head to Marina Mall for some shopping.

Abu Dhabi corniche walking at nightAbu Dhabi corniche road night

Abu Dhabi Marina Mall tower restaurant
That's a restaurant on top

After seeing Dubai’s mall offerings, there nothing special to point out about Marina Mall. It has all the usual stores — that’s it. And a Carrefour.

Abu Dhabi Marina Mall Vertu store
First time I've seen a dedicated Vertu store

After spending an hour shopping at Centerpoint, I took a taxi back home.

Abu Dhabi Adnoc tower

Found this post boring?

Don’t worry, the next and final sightseeing post from UAE will make up for it, trust me!

Next post in this series:

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

Photos from the 2010 Lal Bagh Botanical Garden Flower Show, Bangalore

Date: August 08, 2010

In the 7 1/2 years I have been in Bangalore, I’ve never seen the annual flower show held at Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens leading up to August 15th (India’s Independence Day). So this time, I told myself I wasn’t going to miss it.

Also, I haven’t clicked in a while.

So on a bright Sunday morning, I actually forced myself to get up at 7:30am and made my way to Lal Bagh with my Canon 7D and Tamron 28-75 f2.8 lens in tow.

Lal Bagh entrance tunnel joggersLal Bagh had it’s usual early morning joggers but I wanted to make it here early before it got too crowded.

Lal Bagh Botanical gardens entrance
Lal Bagh on a rather calm Sunday morning

I paid the entrance fee of Rs. 40 (it’s Rs. 30 on weekdays and I didn’t qualify for the Rs. 10 ticket for children either). As I made my way in, first up was a vegetables.

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show vegetablesBoring. Then I realized the main flower show was inside the glasshouse.

Lal Bagh glasshouse from steps
The Lal Bagh glasshouse

Every year, the organizers put up one big show piece all done up using flowers. Last year’s big attraction was a dinosaur but this year, the organizers paid tribute to our soldiers.

Lal Bagh flower show India Gate vertical
India Gate

And with that, I began clicking…

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show purple chrysanthemumLal Bagh flower show bee pollen closeupLal Bagh flower show red white macroLal Bagh flower show red flower dew dropsLal Bagh flower show light orange BangaloreLal Bagh flower show flower potsBangalore Lal Bagh flower show white chrysanthemumBangalore Lal Bagh flower show petals antBangalore Lal Bagh flower show rasberry budBangalore Lal Bagh flower show purple yellowBangalore Lal Bagh flower show red strandsBangalore Lal Bagh flower show marigoldBangalore Lal Bagh flower show paper petalsBangalore Lal Bagh flower show paper buds

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show HAL first prize
There were a lot of 1st prize signs, so I'm not sure who the clear winner was

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show GerberaLal Bagh flower show India Gate rosesBangalore Lal Bagh flower show Petunia pots

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show Petunias
From a distance, these looked like sushi rolls to me
Lal Bagh flower show India Gate water sprinkling
India Gate was sprinkled with water internally from time to time

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show carnationBangalore Lal Bagh flower show annual chrysanthemumBangalore Lal Bagh flower show rud beckiaBangalore Lal Bagh flower show ferns

Lal Bagh flower show India Gate panorama
This is a panorama comprised of 7 shots

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show flower pots

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show salvia
With the dripping paint, more like 'Saliva'

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show salvia red violet

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show plastic
I don't think this was real

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show perwinkleBangalore Lal Bagh flower show ant leaves

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower china astor
If only sharpening pencils produced such beauty

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show corner plantsBangalore Lal Bagh flower show purple leavesBangalore Lal Bagh flower small petalsBangalore Lal Bagh glasshouse center row

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show BDA linaria
Not to be confused with Bangalore Muncipality's 'malaria'

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show gladiolusBangalore Lal Bagh flower show tube roseBangalore Lal Bagh flower show sniffing dogBangalore Lal Bagh glasshouse corner

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show cockscomb red
This was the most interesting looking flower they had at the show -- called the Cockscomb
Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show cockscomb pink
Everybody wanted to touch it

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show cockscomb

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show cockscomb flower
From a distance, this looked like cauliflower flower(?)*

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show celosia wool flowerBangalore Lal Bagh flower show celosia wool flower brightBangalore Lal Bagh flower show zinniaBangalore Lal Bagh flower show cockscomb yellowBangalore Lal Bagh flower show back focusBangalore Lal Bagh flower show depth of fieldBangalore Lal Bagh flower show red rose blur

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show pink rose dew
The good old fashioned rose

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show rose beetleBangalore Lal Bagh flower show pink roseLal Bagh flower show honeybee nectarLal bagh flower show honeybee flying

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower honeybee flying away
Spent a long time shooting this bee

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show pink petuniaBangalore Lal Bagh flower show pink petunia violet

Lal Bagh flower show India Gate side
There were a LOT of photographers...
Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show macro photographer
... and I wasn't the only one enjoying macro photography 🙂
Lal Bagh glasshouse panorama
If I had my Canon 10-22, I could have got this photo in just one frame -- but this is comprised of 8 shots

All in all, I was very happy with the photos I took. I don’t usually shoot macro, simply because before I bought the Tamron 28-75mm, I couldn’t have been bothered. But now, I’m hooked!

Bangalore Lal Bagh flower show sleeping dog
Man's best friend couldn't be bothered. Sunday after all...

*if you are wondering whether I often have food on my mind, the answer is ‘yes’

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