Traveling is fun & 2008 has been a lot of fun for us!! After Srinagar, Goa, Pune, Delhi, Bangkok – Singapore was Unique. Well! I’m not saying the other places were bad, trust me, I had a blast at each & every place. The difference was that this was spur-of-the-moment plan. No research, No itinerary & also No Shopping (will tell you about this one later). But I’d heard somewhere that ‘Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness’, Now I can tell you…its true!
The weekend & a Monday that we spent in Singapore were packed with things one would not expect on a small island country. It’s just 700 sq km, nevertheless the entertainment never ends.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Atrium, courtesy my brother, on Outram road. It’s a hassle free hotel with comfortable rooms. Amongst other things, the room has a hairdryer, Iron, Coffee-Tea Maker and a Room safe, which were a boon. The only disadvantage is that it’s a long walk from the MRT & one has to take a cab mostly. They do have a hotel shuttle to Orchard Road, but the timing didn’t suit us. www.agoda.com gives the best rates for the rooms.
Sentosa Island Resort was first on the list. To get to Sentosa we took the MRT going to Harbourfront, the last MRT stop. The station connected to VIVOCITY, a harbor front mall that is supposed to be one of the largest mall in Singapore. On the top floor of Vivocity is where we took the Sentosa Express (SD$3 /per head) to … well Sentosa!
Sentosa is still a WIP resort & we were told that it will be completed by 2010. Current touristy highlights include a huge aquarium, the chance to feed the tame peacocks that walk around the streets (one of them did a dance routine for us :), and a waxworks museum where you can find out about Singapore’s history. There are some clean beaches (nothing much if your last holiday was in GOA), a cable car ride and a handful of other things.
Since time was at a premium for us, we didn’t want to look around the entire park. We went to the Underwater World & Dolphin Lagoon (SD$23 per head). Totally worth it. The dolphins put up a great show. We were told that the dolphins are born grey & turn pink as they grow older. One suggestion, if you are planning to go there, check out www.sentosa.com.sg for events, promotions/discounts and schedules, before you visit & make your schedule accordingly.
We were back at Vivocity for lunch; they had 3-4 food courts apart from the small stalls scattered about everywhere. We had Hainanese Chicken rice. Chicken rice is Singapore’s unofficial national dish, and is a simple combination of roasted or steamed chicken atop a mound of rice cooked in rich chicken stock. The accompaniments chilli sauce, ground ginger and dark soy make all the difference.
In the evening of day one, we decided to go to Orchard Road. We got off at the Orchard MRT Station & walked up to the Dhobi Ghaut MRT. The hustle-bustle of people, the Christmas decorations, the street performances & colorful window displays were scintillating. There are a dozen shopping mall in this area, but after the Bangkok trip or even comparing it with India it seemed overpriced.
We ended our evening with some gud’ol Burger King & Ben’n’Jerry sinful chocolate ice-cream.