Tag Archives: singapore

The Great Singapore Adventure: Day 5

Continued from The Great Singapore Adventure Day 4.

Our last day came on a rather somber tone, what with the events of last night hanging over our heads. Plans of heading to the Philippine embassy was scrapped due to the lateness of the day, so it was decided that Nez and Everlo would go to the Singapore Tourism Board while everyone can do some sightseeing.

I didn’t really have plans for the day, as I was quite hesitant to go about on my own. I still haven’t done some things on my list, namely: eat Hainanese chicken, go to Funan, find some Pinky St. toys and explore Kinokuniya. We headed off to Orchard Road.

Orchard

Orchard reminded me of Ayala and Buendia Avenue. Only instead of offices, the street is lined with malls and shopping centers. Our first stop was the Louie Vuitton shop near ION, where we bought a bag for someone back home.

It’s my first time to enter an LV store. I’m not a fan of such designer labels, and I’m quite intimidated by them. A friend related a story of how her mother went to one LV store and the attendants looked down on her like she couldn’t afford to even buy the cheapest item (she can, and more). I was worried that we’d have the same treatment, especially since the attendants looked like they were earning more than I am.

However, we were warmly greeted as we entered the store, and someone immediately came up to us to ask what we wanted. She immediately showed us the bag, answered our questions and even helped facilitate a certain request. In less than thirty minutes we were done.

It was nearly noon. We just walked along the street looking at shops, stopping at a $1 ice cream stall. I spotted a Kinokuniya sign and told everyone that I needed to go there for a few minutes. Since there was a line for the ice cream, they let me go.

My kind of store
The building happened to be Takashimaya, a branch of a well-known Japanese department store. I made a beeline for the bookstore on the 3rd floor, and immediately went to look for Dianne Jacob’s “Will Write For Food”. As luck would have it, there was one copy left. I grabbed it, browsed a little more a wished desperately I had more than $50 left to spend. Kinokuniya is massive. While it’s not as big as the Fully Booked flagship in Bonifacio High Street, the selection here is massive. I found several books that I’ve been wanting to get but could never find in any of the bookstores here. However, due to budget constraints, I had to make do with this one book.

I decided to do a bit of exploring, so I headed up another floor. Here there were toy stores that had a lot of Japanese character products (no figures though, it was mostly plushies and cartoon characters). The best place on this floor was the massive art supply store called Art Friend. 10,000 square meters of art supplies. I wanted to genuflect and weep. Deovir had nothing on this place. The section near the entrance alone had me gaping in awe for a few minutes. Fabric paints of various sizes and brands had me imagining the projects I could do. Sadly, as I was pressed for both time and funds, I had to leave empty handed. I did promise to myself that I’ll come back and splurge heavily here.

Note: I wasn’t able to take any pictures because I didn’t know if it was allowed.

Hainanese

Lunch was at the Food Republic at Wisma Atria. I like how it looks like it’s all hawkers but it isn’t. The prices don’t seem very far from the ones you see in hawker places, so we settled on having lunch there. I ordered some roasted Hainanese chicken, and discovered that drinks really seem to be sold separately here.

Verdict on the chicken hasn’t changed. I still prefer tinola.

Continue reading

The Great Singapore Adventure: Day 4

Continued from The Great Singapore Adventure Day 3.

Good morning!

I woke up to the sounds of crinkling plastic. I tried to tone it out but it got the better of me. I peered over my bed’s protective guardrail and saw Belinda fixing her things. I also saw a foot — roughly size ten or more — dangling over the bed below me. I took a peek and hello, there’s a man. A really good looking, scantily clad and rather built young man.

While we were told that our rooms would be shared, it didn’t occur to me that our roommate would be a guy. Well, it sort of did but not this guy. I think we spent a good chunk of the morning ogling him and his friend, who was sleeping under the other bunk bed. Guys, if by some weird chance you read this, hi. I’m not crazy and I don’t bite. I just appreciate God’s beautiful creations. :p

Oddly enough, no one thought of taking a picture. Personally, I think we all felt it would be intrusive, as opposed to just looking and committing them to memory. Sadly, when we got back, they’ve check out. Either they were really moving on or we’ve scared them.

IKEA
Our first stop was IKEA at Alexander Road. Belinda wanted to go there and since she was leaving later that day, we decided to go their first. When I was a kid, Mama had an IKEA catalog, and I loved browsing through it. There’s something about the clean lines of the designs that I really like.

We got off at Red Hill station and took the #33 bus. Can I just say again that I love Singapore’s transportation system? We purchased two day passes for the MRT and it works with the bus as well. All you had to do was tap the card on the receiver when you get on, and tap it again when you get off.

I have a rough idea why there’s no IKEA here. It would quickly put the furniture department of the local shops out of business. IKEA has an awful lot of things going for it: great design & quality, practical pieces, sturdiness and relatively affordable prices (I say relatively because if you take into consideration the other factors then convert the price, it’s pretty worth it).

The store is known also for serving great tasting Swedish meatballs. Goes to show just how ignorant I am. I didn’t know that IKEA had a cafeteria and that they sold food stuff. I only thought they had furniture and home appliance. We raided the small food section at the ground floor (I only got some chocolates), then headed back up to the cafeteria for merienda-slash-lunch.

Nez and I shared an order of Swedish meatballs and salmon with broccoli (I was looking for vegetables, because I feel that I’ve been eating nothing but meat for the past few days). I was surprised to see the meatballs were served with something that looked like strawberry jam, only it was less sweet. I later learned that it’s lingonberry sauce, and it complements the salty tang of the cream sauce that comes with the dish.

For dessert, Bel shared this delicious chocolate cake. With our stomachs happily full, we headed off to our next adventure. However, while crossing the street to go to the bus stop (I had once again forgotten that SG traffic goes the opposite way), more “SALE” signs at the building across caught my friends’ eyes. Needless to say we just had to go there.

Cotton On, Crocs, Charles & Keith and even Pierre Cardin were among the few stores that had products on sale. I browsed a little at Cotton On and got a pink shirt, but while my friends were enjoying themselves trying on shoes at C&K, I spent a few blissful minutes resting my feet.

Continue reading

The Great Singapore Adventure Day 3

Continued from The Great Singapore Adventure Day 2.

We got up early to wait for the sun to rise. Well, if you can call 6:30 early. By our standards, the sun should’ve been high in the sky by then.

We went for a final dip in pool and spent a few minutes relaxing in the jacuzzi before heading to eat. Breakfast was a hearty meal at the Mediterranean restaurant where we had our breakfast the day before. The Filipno crew greeted us and gave us the best service we could ask for. Our party was seated very near the edge, with a wonderful view of the sea and under the full glare of the sun. Like it or not, I got a tan.

There really wasn’t much to do from here on, so we fixed our things and prepared them for the crew to take off the ship. While we waited for our turn to check out (they had to stamp our passports and we had to pay the whopping tax), we did a final tour around the ship’s shops (again, mostly manned by Pinoys), lounged about at the deck and played bridge.

It felt weird to leave the ship that had been our home and playground for three days. We bid farewell to the friendly and helpful staff and made our way back to terra firma.

New Adventure
We took the MRT to our next destination: our hostel, where we’ll be staying for the remainder of our stay. Sky Orchids Axis is located a short walk from Aljuned Station. I didn’t do any research because I didn’t have an idea where we would be staying until we arrived in Singapore.

The hostel is pretty much like a boarding house. Rooms are mixed, so you’ll never know who your roommate is (something we discovered when we woke up the next morning). It’s great for backpackers or folks who aren’t expecting much from the place, but I wouldn’t recommend it to families or people who have certain requirements when it comes to accommodations. There’s free Internet (you can use the common PC or connect through Wifi), bathrooms are clean and a simple breakfast of bread, coffee and cereals are offered. Laundry services are also available for a fee. If you’re not picky and you just really need a place to crash for a few days and you’re on a budget, this is a good place for you.

Continue reading