Singapore February 2012 1st day

note: I’m trying to improve my photography so constructive criticisms are always welcome!

It’s been years since I’ve gone to Singapore. Around 4 years to be not-so-exact. My friends and I this year went during Valentines day, February 14! Upon arriving at the terminal, I was dismayed as I realized we didn’t land at Singapore’s main terminal, something I looked forward to. The famous world’s number one Changgi Airport. Rather we arrived at the budget terminal. We went off to our hotel, V HOTEL which was very convenient as it is just right beside the Lavender SMRT station and a very convenient 24/7 Kopitiam. I am flexible with my accommodation, I enjoy good hotels but I also appreciate the cost-friendly cheaper hotels/ hostels where you can save more money and also meet other travelers like yourself. It does make me think what is there with hostels for back packers that suddenly make its guests more friendlier versus more commercial hotels.

We started off exploring China town. Singapore’s China town is much cleaner than my country’s China town and more spacious. The thing with China town’s everywhere is most probably its business and diversity. I had checked several sources for things that we can do in China town but when we arrived we weren’t sure how to start. I’ve been to Singapore around 4 times prior to this but I have never been to China town. Lucky now I was able to go. There were affordable souvenirs, as well as interesting architecture. When I travel, the feel of the place through architecture is very important. The buildings give off an identity no matter how “influenced” the architecture is. When I travel I notice how much I take photos of the architecture of the country and the people’s activity on that place. China town is a great place for getting your money changed by the way. But we didn’t change everything of course. As much as Singapore is a safe country, it’s just traveling smarts to not have your money changed where many people can see them. So we didn’t really have any plan and just began to walk around the streets until we had reached the destinations that I had marked off as must-see! Along the way, we had seen really interesting stuff such as a TinTin shop. My family is a big fan of the comics. We have all the TinTin comics with the exception of the collector’s book that I had bought (contains the first two comics of TinTin!).

TinTin shop in Singapore
Photo of me with a coin from YAP island. No it’s not my island!

We then walked upon Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu house of worship and walked around a bit. One thing I wish I could have done when we went here was talk to people. Unfortunately not all people could be talked to at our visit. If this certainly is Singapore’s oldest Hindu house of worship then it would have been great to get some facts and history from the people who were inside although Wikipedia could be very convenient. There wasn’t enough time and it was just hard to grab somebody and say “HEY tell me about…” There was a nice girl who was okay with being photographed as well as a girl from South India who brought her mother to the temple. The smell in the temple made me nostalgic of my trip to India a few years ago, when we went to a random temple and brought many people with us during the feast day of Krishna* (not very sure, it was around September, 2010). We went to explore around a bit more and went to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Museum. Just bought those little gold plated coins that were said to bring luck, checked the museum, relic and garden a bit then went off to Maxwell Hawker’s center for dinner. One thing I looked forward to Singapore was the Hainanese Chicken rice. I’m addicted to it. It’s weird how I can’t seem to find it though. Kopitiam near the hotel didn’t have the meal so I settled for my next two favorites the chicken Satay and Laksa. It was really great to see a Hainanese chicken rice in the hawker center though! 😀

During the night, we went off to meet my friends at Clark Quay to watch a stand up comedy. It’s my first time watching a stand-up comedy as I try to avoid comedy bars in the Philippines due to stories I hear from my family about them targeting people, making them come up the stage, laughing at them by criticizing them and so on. Not a very great motivation for me! So I had high hopes for comedy masala when I checked out their website. The 10 SGD was worth it! there was a long line(good thing we had reservation), and my fear of singles being laughed at wasn’t made true. They had to tease the couples who were in a comedy bar during valentines more. check the episode out at youtube!

Comedy Masala (Photo taken from the Internet)

Pictures for day 1

Temple Entrance

Buddha Tooth Relic temple. Spin for goodluck
Fortune teller in the streets
Shops in China town across the TinTin store (the alignment isn’t very good)
China town buildings displaying Colonial-Pernakan architectural influence
China Town Street at night
Temple roof
People chilling outside the temple

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