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Menara KL tower top view Public Bank Petronas buildings

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

Date: 3rd October 2010

Today was going to be our  last full day in Kuala Lumpur, so we had to make the most of it. Some of us had shopping to do, and I wanted to see a bit more of KL.

But the first thing we did in the morning was get ready to go the Petronas Towers again. And when I say “we,” I mean Ramesh and I. Loi wanted to sleep in.

The reason why we were going back to the towers were to try and a get a ticket for the sky bridge/observation deck. Why “try”? Because that’s how the system is. You go there early enough, wait in line until the ticket counters open and whoever gets the tickets, gets to up at a pre-determined time. The earlier you are in the line, the sooner you get to go up. It’s free, but an inconvenient method. (EDIT: Turns out there is a much higher observation deck at the 86th floor for which you can pay RM40 and go. I didn’t know about it until much research after coming back from this trip)

When we did our research, we saw videos of the view from the 41st & 42nd floor and after having been to the top of Burj Khalifa, the view from the Petronas Towers wasn’t astounding or anything. Which is why I was more keen on going up Menara KL (KL Tower), something I was going to do later in the day anyway.

Still, since we didn’t have a whole lot planned for the morning, myself and Ramesh thought: “What the hell, last day in KL. Might as well try and get a ticket”.

So we set out, took the monorail and got down at Bukit Nanas  station.

Malaysia Tourism Centre Kuala Lumpur
The Malaysia Tourism Centre

Petronas Towers in the morning Kuala Lumpur

We walked towards the KLCC Suria and when we finally made it to the ticketing counter…

Petronas Tower skybridge tickets sold out timing
… it was 8:55am when I took this

Sold out. Oh well.

Not that we were sorely disappointed or anything, but if you are one who is very keen to visit the Sky Bridge, be in line by at least 7:30-8:00am.

Me and Ramesh then just decided to check out the mall.

KLCC Suria mall inside six floors MalaysiaSuria mall mostly caters to high end brands and luxury designer wear, most of which are on the lower floors. We checked out a few electronics stores, Ramesh checked out the Harley Davidson store, and then we decided to find out where the Aquaria was.

Ryan Seacrest Fly FM banner Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Oh Ryan Seacrest, there is no escaping you is there?

Way to KL convention centre from Suria mallWay to Aquaria KLCC basement parking

KLCC Aquaria entrance Malaysia
It wasn’t open yet

Ramesh was keen on checking out the Aquaria, the largest aquarium in Kuala Lumpur. I, on the other hand, wanted to see more of the city, so we parted ways. I inquired on how to get to Merdeka Square while Ramesh went in to Aquaria.

Here are a few photos from inside the Aquaria, all of which are from Ramesh’s camera.

KLCC Aquaria inside directory Malaysia
Entry is RM35 (Rs. 510/$11/€8) for adults

Inside KLCC Aquaria entrance MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria Piranha feeding show MalaysiaKLCC Aquaria piranhas Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria piranha closeup Malaysia
Wonder what they feed piranhas here
KLCC Aquaria electric eel Malaysia
Well, that’s a bit harsh on the eel isn’t it?
KLCC Aquaria Matamata Malaysia
This ‘turtle+croc+weird’ looking creature is called the Matamata
KLCC Aquaria coatimundi Malaysia
This one is called a Coatimundi
KLCC Aquaria fish tree glass cylinder Malaysia
Pretty cool

KLCC Aquaria diver fish feeding Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria diver playing around with tourist
KLCC Aquaria inside underwater tunnel
The Aquaria has the obligatory underwater tunnel

KLCC Aquaria sea turtle Malaysia

KLCC Aquaria Pincecone fish ikan Malaysia
Pinecone fish

KLCC Aquaria Jellyfish MalaysiaThe above are only a few of the photos Ramesh took. He took much more. There are sharks, lion fish, water rats and all sorts of other waterborne creatures. From his account, Ramesh said the experience was “okay” — so I don’t know how it compares to a similar offering I experienced in Dubai Mall.

When Ramesh stepped out, he saw a gathering of superbikes and stalls by Yamaha on the occasion of next week’s Malaysian MotoGP.

Yamaha superbikes booth KLCC Malaysia modelsYamaha superbikes Moto GP booth Petronas KLCCYamaha Petronas superbike display KLCCKLCC Petronas superbikes display parkedThat concludes what Ramesh saw.

Now back to me 🙂

When I left the Petronas Towers, I took the monorail to Hang Tuah station. From there I transferred to the RapidKL line, for which you need to buy another ticket/pass as the monorail card won’t work on this rail service. From Hang Tuah,  I headed towards Masjid Jamek station.

Stepping out of Masjid Jamek station Citin hotel
Once you come out of the station…
Jalan Melayu shopping Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
… you are on Jalan Melayu

Jalan Melayu restoran stores Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Jalan Melayu Endhiran poster ticket offer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Luring customers with tickets to new Rajinikant film. Works wherever Tamilians exist 🙂
Jalan Melayu street market Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Nothing special in here. The usual street market stocking the usual goods.

Jalan Melayu entrance Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaI came here to go to Merdeka Square, which is a significant landmark in Malaysia’s independence from Britain.

Mosque Merdaka Square near LRT lineKementerian Penerangan Komunikasi Dan Kebudayaan buildingWay to Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square lawn palm trees Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square literally means “Independence Square”
Merdeka Square film shoot Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
There was a film shoot happening
Merdeka Square film stars Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
No clue if this was a South Indian/Malay-Tamil/Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi production
Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
This flag pole is nearly 312 ft high, one of the tallest in the world
Restoran Warisan Merdeka Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square is surrounded by old colonial buildings

Merdeka Square fountain Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
It was here on August 31st, 1957, that the British flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted for the first time
Merdeka Sqaure old Dutch buildings lawn Kuala Lumpur
Not sure what these buildings were
Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building Malaysia
Plenty of tourist buses stop in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building

Merdeka clock Wisma Lee Rubber headquarters Menara KL Malaysia

Merdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building bank headquarters Malaysia
Sultan Abdul Samad building in front, several bank HQs in the background

Merdeka Square Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square Sultan Abdul Samad building clock towerDataran Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur panorama

Merdeka Square highest flag pole Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Merdeka Square is the venue for Malaysia’s annual National Day Parade

Merdeka Square flag poles Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMerdeka Square garden Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka square filming actress Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The one on the right seems like the lead actress in this shoot; they were shooting with RED cameras (Yes, I’m a nerd, I notice these things)

It was time for me to move on.

Merdeka Square Rapid KL metro Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Merdeka Square bricked road Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Not that I knew where I was headed next
Kuala Lumpur city river stream banks
I just like to roam about and explore

Kuala Lumpur city river stream graffitiKuala Lumpur building art graffiti MalaysiaKuala Lumpur city river streamsKuala Lumpur old colonial building graffitiKuala Lumpur Medan Pasar junction ladyColourful old buildings Medan Pasar road Kuala LumpurRestoran Oriental Bowl Kuala Lumpur panoramaAfter passing by an area full of businesses serving Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, I found myself in an alley which housed what looked like a Chinese temple.

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple entrance Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
So I went in

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurInside Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple caretaker Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple incense sticks Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple red letter Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple worship Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya temple incense Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Ya statue temple Chinese god Kuala LumpurChinese temple lamp Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple inside Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple roof Kuala LumpurSin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple door art Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaSin Sze Si Ya temple compound Kuala Lumpur

Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Chinese temple parking Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
As I left the temple, I found out the name of the place
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng lock yellow building graffiti
I walked a bit further out…
Jalan Petaling street main road entrance daytime traffic
… and I soon realized I was in China Town

There was a shopping complex right opposite the entrance to Petaling Street and so I decided to check it out. I unfortunately couldn’t take any photographs inside because the security guard asked me not to. But inside were stores selling essentially the same goods I saw yesterday night in Petaling Street, but at far lower prices.

So word of advice, just because you see bags on Petaling Street with it’s street market appearance, don’t assume the prices are low. There are plenty of other places, like this not-so-fancy shopping complex right outside Petaling Street selling the same stuff at lower prices.

In fact when I called up Loi to tell him about bag prices here, he told me he found similar prices in the shops on the higher floors of Times Square shopping mall.

I had lunch from a burger joint and continued my ‘walk around town’. I asked around for where “Little India” was and was directed to walk towards KL Tower.

Institut Sal Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Mydin Wholesale Reject shop Kuala Lumpur
I stepped in but quickly found nothing worthwhile

Restoran Makanan Islam alley Kuala LumpurColonial Government building Kuala Lumpur

Brickfields Indian restoran Kuala Lumpur
Yes, to the right is a ‘chapathi house’ named Restoran Santa

Menara KL tower afternoon trees Malaysia

Brickfields Little India Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I came across this street which looked more like “Little Chennai”

There’s a slew of silk shops, and plenty of pure-veg restaurants on this street.

Pigeons on wire KL Tower Kuala LumpurLittle India Tamil shops Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Masjid Jema' Bandaraya entrance Kuala Lumpur
I found myself back at Masjid Jemak
Masjid Jema' Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur
Masjid Jema’ (mosque)
Masjid Jemak dress code etika Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I didn’t qualify for any of the above, so didn’t bother going in

It was time for me to head back to the room and catch up with Ramesh and Loi.

Kuala Lumpur apartments Malaysian flags outsideKuala Lumpur apartment building Malaysian flags National DayKuala Lumpur monorail line near mosque

Beauty show Berjaya Times Square KL
Some beauty show at Berjaya Times Square

Once I got back to Irsia, the three of us decided to go to Midvalley Megamall, one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls.

KTV lounge Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaTo get to Midvalley Megamall from Berjaya Times Square, take the monorail from Imbi to KL Sentral. Then, you need to transfer to the Komuter train line, and Midvalley has a stop by itself.

Komuter station Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Midvalley Megamall Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The mall is pretty huge

Midvalley houses a Carrefour, JUSCO, Toys ‘R’ Us, Harvey Norman and plenty of other brands. It isn’t ‘high street’ fare like KLCC Suria mall in Petronas Towers.

Midvalley Megamall Toys r Us Jusco store

Jigsaw puzzle world Midvalley Megamall KL
This store had a whole bunch of cool imports from Japan

After Loi’s shopping from Toys R Us, Ramesh’s purchases from Carrefour, we headed up to the top most floor.

Midvalley Megamall centre court Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
They have an exclusive ManU store and an 18-screen multiplex up here
Midvalley Megamall Anime Tech store
Went in here as well

Midvalley has a few nerdy joints up here, including video arcades and a store dedicated to board games. But we couldn’t hang out any longer, it was nearing 7pm. There was one last thing I wanted to do for our last day in Kuala Lumpur — head to the observation deck at KL Tower to get a view of Kuala Lumpur city at night.

To save time, we took a taxi… and got a driver with some pretty good taste in music 🙂

After an enjoyable ride, we reached Menara KL, which is perched atop a small hill called Bukit Nanas. Thus making it ‘taller’ than the Petronas Towers. Myself and Loi bought our tickets and made our way up, Ramesh stayed below to check out an F1 Zone.

Menara KL Tower elevator observation deck
Tickets cost RM38 (Rs. 550/$12/€8) for adults

I was more keen on visiting the observation deck of KL Tower than the Skybridge at Petronas Towers, simply because the viewing height at Menara KL is much higher.

View from Menara KL tower night Kuala Lumpur
And I was right…
Menara KL tower view of Kuala Lumpur city at night
… the view was great!
Menara KL tower observation deck glass reflection
But there was one annoying problem
Menara KL tower observation deck souvenir shop
The bright lights from the shops up here!

The whole experience of the view at night from up here is marred by the lights reflecting off of the glass — which also made for tricky photography. And because I didn’t have a tripod, it was tough for me to get steady shots.

Menara KL tower observation deck jewelry shop
Why on earth would you want to sell jewelry up here? ‘High’ prices?

Menara KL tower top view Public Bank Petronas buildings

Menara KL tower observation deck view city lights
We went around the observation deck
Menara KL tower World's Tallest comparison
They have a display showing you the other tall telecommunications towers around the world
Menara KL tower observation deck Petronas Towers at night
Menara KL is the fourth largest telecom tower in the world
Menara KL tower World's tallest towers comparison
The tallest is still the CN Tower in Toronto
Menara KL tower observation deck Times Square view
You can see Berjaya Times Square from up here — also ‘cos it isn’t that far 🙂
Menara KL tower observation deck view at night
I took one final shot of the Petronas Towers before heading back down
Menara KL tower observation deck restaurants
There are two ‘sky high’ restaurants at KL Tower

Menara KL tower inside lift lobby chandelier

Menara KL tower elevator lift lobby
This is the elevator lobby
Menara KL tower ticket counter
Timings are 9:30am to 9:30pm
Menara KL tower Malaysia cultural village
Your ticket also includes entry to the Cultural Village, which was closed by 8pm
Menara KL Tower F1 Simulator zone dummy cars
So we used our ticket to avail the one free ride around the (virtual) Sepang circuit
Menara KL F1 simulator zone dummy BMW car
In the small cars though, you have to pay to sit in one these life-size replica cars
Menara KL F1 simulator zone Sepang game
Ramesh paid to sit & play in the Ferrari car
Menara KL Tower F1 simulator zone Ferrari store Kuala Lumpur
There’s an F1 store here as well

Menara KL Tower R&D F1 Simulator Zone Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaMenara KL Tower pink lights underneathMenara KL tower at night pink lighting

Menara KL tower pony ride Malaysia
You can opt to use your ticket for a complimentary ride as well
Menara KL Tower free shuttle service
We waited for the free ride down to the base of the hill

Once at the base, we walked towards Bukit Nanas monorail station.

Menara KL tower lit up night
One final look
Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur bikes parked
Walked past the Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur
Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur Harley Davidson Club
Which saw a gathering of Harley Davidson owners that night
Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers surrounding buildings panorama
One final look at the beautiful twin towers
Kuala Lumpur monorail network station map Malaysia
This is the monorail network map
Inside monorail train Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The monorail trains aren’t very big

Once back in the room, we decided to enjoy our final dinner of this trip, and sit somewhere nice. There are a few cosy eateries behind Berjaya Times Square, where we were and so, we sat down at Wings musicafe.

Wings musicafe Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
They have a live stage where artists perform every night
Wings musicafe Kilkenny beer Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Had Kilkenny Irish beer for the first time

It was a relaxing dinner to end our last day of sight-seeing in Kuala Lumpur. The musicians were mostly local artists, aspiring singers who performed mellow acoustic fare. Much needed for us tired souls.

Once back in the room, we packed up. And when I mean “we,” I mean myself and Ramesh…

Loiyumba bed Irsia
… this guy was too lazy to do any packing — and he had the most luggage!

Tomorrow morning, all we had to do was check out and head to the airport in the afternoon for our after Air Asia flight back to Bangalore.

So, it’s not over yet… there’s one more post left! 🙂

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

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

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 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: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tigers staring

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

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.

ABC Backpacker hostel reception Singapore
The reception
ABC Backpacker hostel reception free internet Singapore
The hostel provides free internet; we found it quite slow

ABC Backpacker hostel reception free internet Singapore

ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast kitchen Singapore
This is the kitchen
ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast kitchen restroom Singapore
…where you’d come to make your own breakfast or anything else
ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast table Singapore
Once made, you have to sit outside. Once done, wash the dishes yourself. (Photo taken by my friend Loi)

ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast table eating area SingaporeABC Backpacker hostel moped Singapore alley

ABC Backpacker hostel rooms Singapore
Our room was at the end to the right

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.

Raffles Hospital open field Victoria street junctionRochor Center Victoria street junction SingaporeTo get Singapore Zoo, we first needed to get to Ang Mo Kio MRT station, and then take a bus from there.

Ang Mo Kio bus station Singapore
Ang Mo Kio bus interchange

Ang Mo Kio bus interchange station opposite MRT SingaporeBut 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.

Singapore Zoo agents van ride ticket

Singapore Zoo entry ticket special
The entry ticket costs SGD18 even if you were to buy it at the zoo entrance

When the van quickly filled up with other tourists, we set off.

Ang Mo Kio branch office Singapore
This part of Singapore was noticeably different
Ang Mo Kio metro road traffic Singapore
It’s still well connected by the metro

Ang Mo Kio public library SingaporeAng Mo Kio MRT track Singapore

Driving to Singapore Zoo lush greenery
There was lush greenery around these parts

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.

Singapore Zoo entrance gate

Singapore zoo elephant statues
They have real ones too

Singapore zoo entrance leaves greenFirst up, monkeys…

Singapore zoo cotton top Tamarin monkeySingapore zoo cotton top tamarin monkey habitatSingapore Zoo cotton top tamarin information… then parrots.

Singapore Zoo cockatoo parrots entrance

Singapore Zoo parrots at the entranceSingapore Zoo cockatoo pink parrotFrom this point on, the zoo truly begins.

Singapore Zoo animal shows timings ridesSingapore Zoo wooden bridgeSingapore Zoo alligator in water

Singapore Zoo greater mousedeers
Greater mousedeers they are called

Singapore Zoo waterfall

Singapore Zoo asian small clawed otter
These otters were ‘busy’

Singapore Zoo Asian small clawed otter info

Singapore Zoo siamang hidden in tree
There was a siamang (a type of ape) hiding in the trees

Singapore Zoo wooden bridge ledge

Singapore Zoo Tiger Trek gate
Next up, my favourite animal

Singapore Zoo tiger trailSingapore Zoo tiger statue

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger den
There they are!
Singapore Zoo white Bengal tigers staring
Hello beautiful
Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger yawning roaring
Its roar was sooo… (oh who am I kidding), it was only yawning

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger sleepy scratchingSingapore Zoo tiger exhibit wooden platform

Singapore zoo babirusa wild boar
Babirusa, native to Indonesia

Singapore zoo babirusa wild boar hornsThe zoo has a few sections for smaller creatures, like reptiles which are on display in enclosed exhibits.

Singapore Zoo lizardSingapore zoo aquarium fishesSingapore zoo tortoiseSingapore zoo aquarium large fishSingapore zoo aquarium large fish full

Singapore zoo pygmy hippo water
The pygmy hippo… or at least half of it
Singapore Zoo desert warthog
Desert warthog a.k.a Pumba

Singapore zoo pond boat house

Singapore zoo Australian lizard
This was at the Australian Outback section
Singapore zoo carpet python
Carpet python

Singapore zoo path to kangaroos

Singapore zoo Australian kangaroo
If you don’t know by now, they’re called kangaroos
Singapore zoo Australia kangaroo meaning
This I didn’t know

Singapore zoo Australian kangaroo feedingSingapore zoo Australian jeepSingapore zoo Australian kangaroos

Singapore zoo Australia Steve Irwin tribute
Remembering the late Steve Irwin
Singapore zoo big bird small head
Funny looking thing, this bird
Singapore Zoo Hamadryas baboons entrance
Next up, baboons!

Singapore Zoo Hamadryas baboons sectionSingapore Zoo hamadryas baboons habitatSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons lazing sleeping

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons ibex
They have to share their space though

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons ibex rocks

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons acting human
It’s fun watching monkeys behave human

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons scratching back Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons close upSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons close up staring

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons waterfallSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons injured

Singapore zoo banded mongoose sand
Banded mongoose
Singapore zoo saddle billed stork bird
Saddle billed stork
Singapore zoo black backed jackal
Black backed jackal

Singapore zoo bamboo path Ramesh

Singapore zoo elephant fountain statue
Next up were Asian elephants
Singapore zoo elephant show panorama
This is where they have the shows

Singapore zoo Asian elephants

Singapore zoo Asian elephant SBI adopted
Good on SBI for doing so
Singapore zoo hog deer
Hog deer

Singapore zoo long billed bird

Singapore zoo manatee water
Singapore zoo African penguins
African penguins
Singapore zoo African penguins info
Didn’t know there were penguins in Africa
Singapore zoo crocodile eyes above water
Guess what this creature was
Singapore zoo crocodile under water
Yup. I didn’t bother knocking on the glass or anything. I was too chicken.
Singapore zoo lake boat ride
Boat rides on the lake are also available
Singapore zoo chimpanzee trees
This is where the chimpanzees play
Singapore zoo chimpanzee
Couldn’t get a clear shot of its face

Singapore zoo chimpanzee climbing

Singapore zoo pony rides
They have a few ponies at the kids area

Singapore zoo pony

Singapore zoo model house old chinese
This was some model of an old farm house
Singapore zoo KFC restaurant
Oh the irony of seeing a KFC at a zoo

Singapore zoo mountain goats

Singapore zoo llamas
Singapore zoo mandrill baboon
Mandrill baboon
Singapore zoo proboscis monkeys sign
More monkeys

Singapore zoo proboscis monkeysSingapore zoo rain water level comparison

Singapore zoo Malaysian horned frog
Malaysian horned frog. Waited for the guy to turn around. He didn’t.
Singapore zoo American bullfrog
American bullfrog

Singapore zoo red birds

Singapore zoo pigeon hair small head
This is one of the most intriguing-looking pigeon-type bird I’ve seen

Singapore zoo river duck one legAfter this, we entered a fairly large netted section which enclosed a few bats, birds and some more interesting animals of this world.

Singapore zoo netted section bat hanging

Singapore zoo huge bat flying wing span
Took this on the same settings as the last shot, which is why it came out this way. Still, kinda cool.

Singapore zoo huge bat upside downSingapore zoo huge bat eating

Singapore zoo long tail animal closeup
You can get pretty close to these animals but you are asked not to touch them or feed them

Singapore zoo long tailed animal

Singapore zoo lemur family

Singapore zoo green white bird

Singapore zoo sloth hanging eating
Sloth. How these animals eat upside down is amazing.

Singapore zoo butterfly

Singapore zoo fragile forest
Went in here next

Singapore zoo leopard walking on tree

Shooting the above leopard proved to be quite difficult, and in this video you’ll see why:

Singapore zoo leopards
They did stay still eventually
Singapore zoo puma
Puma, the real thing
Singapore zoo lion
Finally, his highness truly
Singapore zoo lion tongue
😛 to you too
Singapore zoo lion den ground panorama
The king gets a pretty big ground for himself

Singapore zoo giraffe

Singapore zoo feeding giraffes
You can pay to feed the giraffes and get your photo taken

Singapore zoo zebras

Singapore zoo ostrich
Hello ostrich
Singapore zoo wind blowing trees
It was very windy and looked like it was going to rain fairly soon
Singapore zoo cheetah
The fastest animal on the planet, the awesome cheetah

Singapore zoo cheetah cubsSingapore zoo heron

Singapore zoo birds cleaning rhinos back
The rhino and its cleaning birds
Singapore zoo orangutan island
‘Orangutan island’

Singapore zoo orangutan swingingSingapore zoo orangutanSingapore zoo orangutan eating

Singapore zoo old big orangutan
I know you can’t make out much of what this is

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.

Singapore zoo polar bear exhibit
Aww shucks, I really wanted to see the polar bear
Singapore zoo tram ride
Despite having paid for 4 rides, I never availed the tram rides

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.

Singapore Zoo Night Safari entrance
Something for next time

I waited at the bus station just outside and in under 5 minutes, got one that goes to Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

Driving to Singapore zoo Night Safari Orchid gardenAng Mo Kio rainy day dark clouds SingaporeSingapore Ang Mo Kio Spiritual Grace Memorial GardenSingapore Ang Mo Kio shopsSingapore Ang Mo Kio Balinese massage Japanese restaurant

Singapore Tagore Drive road
They have a street named Tagore Drive; not sure if it’s after our Rabindranath Tagore

Ang Mo Kio Yiu Chu Kang Secondary School SingaporeSingapore Ang Mo Kio HBD apartments bus stationIt was nice to drive through the residential side of Singapore. Compared to all the commercial glitz and glamour of the central business district, Ang Mo Kio seemed so quaint and… nice.

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.

Singapore Marina Bay construction workSingapore Marina Bay road junction

Getting to Marina Bay Sands Casino Singapore
That’s where I was headed

Singapore marina bay art monument

Singapore marina bay rainy day
It was tough holding a camera on one hand and an umbrella on the other
Singapore marina bay financial district offices rainy day
When I saw this, I smiled 🙂

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!”

Singapore Marina Bay City Gallery rainy day
Marina Bay City Gallery
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
The mall at Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel

Marina Bay Sands Shoppes way to mall Singapore

Marina Bay Sands mall shoppes Singapore
More stores are set to open

Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall Harley Davidson Furla Testoni store Singapore

Felt like going in just to see the car

Singapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall directionsSingapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes Gucci store

Singapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall canals sampan rides
They offer boat (sampan) rides on these canals
Singapore shoppes mall to Marina Bay Sands Casino hotel
To get to the hotel and Sky Park counter, you need to go down this
Singapore Marina Bay Sands Casino way to Helix Bridge
Go up, come out the left side of the lobby, which leads out to the Helix Bridge
Singapore Marina Bay Sands observation deck sky park ticket counter
Then take a left and go down this escalator. Down here is the ticket counter for the Sky Park.

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.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel inside lobby architecture designSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel inside lobby architecture designSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel tower 2 lobby giant lanternsSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel tower 3 lobby RueYou could tell by looking at the guests coming down to the lobby they were high rollers; in town to gamble a lot of money away.

Since I couldn’t check out the Sky Park, I thought I’d at least check out the casino.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Bvlgari way to casinoBuuuuut… 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.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Shoppes escalators
So I made my way back to the mall
Singapore Marina Bay Sands office buildings rainy day
Damn you rain god! Ruining everything!

Singapore Esplanade concert halls rainy day from Marina Bay Sands

Singapore Marina Bay Sands wishing well rain oculus panorama
Saw this “wishing well” of sorts outside the mall. I had to take a closer look.
Singapore Marina Bay Sands casino hotel rain oculus wishing well coins
If you are wondering what those are… they’re coins!

I went to the other side of the mall to where the buses to the Marina Bay MRT station are.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands convention center
Besides having a 2500-room hotel, casino and a shopping mall, they also have Singapore’s largest convention center

Singapore Marina Bay Sands casino hotel towers

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Sky Park rainy day
Sigh. So close, yet nowhere near.

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.

Waiting at Singapore Budget terminal airport
A minute before announcing it was time to board, most of them were sitting on the floor
Singapore Tiger Airways Penang flight delay
Departing 20:15; current time – 20:38. Oh Tiger… 🙂

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 would come back during F1 week but stay much longer.

Singapore Port container ships at night from plane
Thats just some of the many container ships at Singapore Port

We landed at Penang, got through immigration quick and soon took a pre-paid taxi to head to Georgetown, where our guesthouse was.

Penang tree lights airport Malaysia
Hello Malaysia
Penang taxi at night Malaysia
It was raining here as well

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.

Old Penang Guesthouse triple room interiors
We booked a triple/family room

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.

Penang dinner Kassim Mustafa Indian restaurant

Penang dinner Nasi Kandar rice mutton curry
What I had: Nasi Kandar

Basically rice with your choice of meat and a mix of curries. Yum it was.

There were many ‘Indian’ restaurants in the area.

Penang Ros Mutiara Indian restaurant catering

Penang restoran Kapitans 24hrs Indian restaurant
Kapitan’s is quite popular – and open 24hrs

Penang street lamps glow rainy nightPenang night Chinese temple rainingPenang night cobble stone cars parked road rainPenang night cobble stone road red light

Penang night cobble stone temple junction road rain Georgetown

Penang Georgetown junction cars raining night

Penang Old Trafford Man Utd burger stall
Yup. A burger stall honouring Machester United. Just one of many such tributes we came across in Malaysia in honour of England’s most famous football club.
Penang Reggae Bar The Meeting Point Georgetown Malaysia
There is a 7-Eleven and quite a few bars near our guesthouse

Penang Georgetown garage Ken = Cow graffiti

Once back in the room, and a warm shower later, we did our calculations and thought about what had to do tomorrow.

Penang Yeo's Glass Jelly drink can
In my ongoing quest to try out things I’ve never had before, I drank this. It was okay.

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:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

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

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

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

Date: 9th April 2010

(Part one can be found here)

Dubai Fairmont hotel Palm Jumeirah
The Fairmont Palm Hotel and Residences

Monorail underpass palm Jumeirah

As we came out of the tunnel, to our right was our next stop.

Dubai Marina construction buildings from sea

Dubai Media City officesHeading to Dubai MarinaDubai Marina construction buildings

Dubai Marina construction twisting building Infinty tower

Dubai Marina building constructionDubai Marina building construction cranesHeading to Jumeirah The WalkJumeirah The Walk Dubai

Jumeirah The Walk traffic jam

Once we took a left and got on to “The Walk,” I pretty much knew why people throng to this place. It’s essentially Dubai’s ‘Exhibition Road’ (a once very popular stretch in Bahrain where traffic moves slowly and people, well, come to show off — among other things).

The Walk is part of Jumeirah Group’s massive property by Jumeirah beach. Lined along the stretch are shops, restaurants, hotels and the Jumeirah residences.

Jumeirah The Walk Sofitel hotel
The Sofitel Hotel, Jumeirah

We finally managed to get a parking spot and while there were the usual luxury brands, given this is Dubai, one really needs something too rare to really stand out from the crowd.

Jumeirah The Walk parking lotAnd whoever was the owner of this Batmobile-esque Mercedes McLaren SLR, surely had it!

Jumeirah The Walk black Mercedes Mclaren SLRJumeirah The Walk black Mercedes Mclaren SLR matteFreakin’ sweet. A supercar indeed!

Jumeirah Beach Residences apartments
Jumeirah Beach Residences
Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina sunset
The (not so great) beach

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina polesAfter watching the sun set, we went back to the parking lot.

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina stretch Hummer limo
Before you ask… yes, petrol is cheap out here

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina stretch Hummer limo rental

Since it was time sunset prayer, Azhad and Jassim made their way to the prayer hall like good muslims, while I waited out looking at the slow moving traffic.

Jumeirah The Walk slow traffic carsJumeirah The Walk slow traffic cars jamJumeirah The Walk slow traffic cars jam getting outAfter prayers, we moved on.

Jumeirah Residences flats apartments towers
Passing through Jumeirah Residences

Jumeirah Residences flats apartmentsJumeirah Residences flats apartments lights

Jumeirah Residences big elevator lift Azhad
Big elevators for big people and their big cars (not Azhad)

Dubai Marina apartments road constructionDubai Marina apartments road construction nightJassim told me that we needed to crossed over to the other side as he wanted to show me something. I didn’t really know what or why but I figured it would be more buildings.

It was buildings alright…. but I never expected this!

Dubai Marina canal at night buildings

Dubai Marina at night panorama
Panorama consisting of 7 shots

Dubai Marina at night canal private boats yachtsBeautiful.

I really wasn’t expecting a sight like this in, of all the places, Dubai. I was looking forward to seeing all this when I go to Singapore in September and in Hong Kong next year, but in the middle of a freaking desert? Wow.

Now I get what Dubai Marina is all about. It’s like the guys at Emaar Properties (the same folks behind Burj Khalifa) visited Marina Bay in Singapore and Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay and went: “Hmmm, very bretty… very nice… we like… we want also.* ”

And then came back, spent a few billion, dug out a lot of sand and half a decade later — voila!

Dubai Marina pier canalDubai Marina at night railDubai Marina pier canal left rail

Dubai Marina stairs Jumeirah residences
The steps we came down from (Jumeirah residences in the background)
Dubai Marina at night Azhad
Azhad talking away

Dubai Marina at night bridge yacht rental

Dubai Marina building lit up yacht
Private yachts can be rented for cruise parties
Dubai Marina steps up
We went up to take a walk across the bridge

Dubai Marina canal waterDubai Marina bridge Dubai Abu Dhabi signDubai Marina canal from bridge

Dubai Marina crossing road
We crossed the bridge road over to the other side

Dubai Marina from bridge panoramaDubai Marina building lit upAfter being mighty impressed with the world’s largest man-made marina, we headed back to ‘show-off boulevard’.

Jumeirah The Walk at night cars bikes
Back at the The Walk

We set off into town and made our way to the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the venue for tonight’s David Guetta’s concert.

Dubai Sheikh Zayed road at night

Twin towers on Sheikh Zayed road traffic from metro
Kinda looks like New York’s Chrysler building — but of course Dubai had to out-do NY, so they made two!
Dubai Rotana towers hotel at night
The Rotana Tower Hotel

Upon reaching the venue, we figured we still had some time to enter so we decided to do dinner. Jassim parked his car near Emirates Towers and we made our way to Nando’s.

Dubai Metro station exterior
They have these ‘space stations’ (a.k.a Metro stations) all over the place

Dubai Metro station interiors

Inside Dubai Metro station traffic
Trying to take photos while on the travelator

Sheikh Zayed road traffic from Dubai metroDubai Sheikh Zayed road metro Financial Center station

Dubai Metro station train late night
The trains have no driver by the way — it’s all automatic
Dubai Nando's chicken dinner
What I ate at Nando’s

Me and Jassim had a good meal, Azhad didn’t 🙂 … and wanted to get home quick!

So after seeing our friend off at the metro, me and Jassim went back to the car to get ready for ‘the party’.

Emirates Towers office hotel at night
Emirates Towers in the distance
Dubai offices at night Burj Khalifa
And there she is in the distance

After finding a parking spot, we walked towards to the concert hall where there were a lot of guys with heavily waxed hair and girls with heavily waxed skins.

And boy were we glad we bought our tickets well in advance! The show was sold out and many were around seeking extra tickets. We got in around 11pm where an opening DJ was was warming up the crowd.

The man himself didn’t hit the stage until 1am. And just when he was about to… disappointment. My Nokia E72 with the 5 mega-pixel camera dies out on me. All I’m left with is my mom’s basic 2mpx Nokia and even that was low on battery.

Sorry, but these grainy photos are all I have. (Some are from my friend Jassim’s iPhone)

David Guetta Dubai 2010 concert lights
This is when he hit the stage

David Guetta Dubai 2010 concert name on-screenDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 concert close to stageDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 concert lasersDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 screen nameDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 blue lightDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 screen graphicsDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 You screenGrainy photos won’t do the concert justice, so just watch this if you want to know what the atmosphere was like:

To sum in up in one word: AWESOME! This was one of the best concerts I have been to. The crowd was insane! Over 10,000 people packed into one massive hall. And I would so pay to see David Guetta live again!

David Guetta left the stage exactly at 3am, the time when all of Dubai has to shut off it’s loud music and stop the sale of liqour.

David Guetta Dubai 2010 crowd leaving exhibition center
The tired crowd making their way out of the exhibition center
David Guetta Dubai 2010 crowd taxi queue
The (very) long queue for taxis

By the time we reached the car, our legs were tired as hell! This  was one packed-evening/night/dawn. I saw a lot, ate a lot and danced a lot.

And man was I enjoying it!

Next posts in this series:

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

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

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

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