Sunday, April 6, 2008

The day we spent more than 12 hours touring the Lion city (JB-SG)

Venue: Orchard Road & Victoria Street, Singapore
[useless info: Lady Q is a fan of Victoria Posh :)]
It was somewhat a walk down memory lane for him when we travel to Singapore that day as he used to cross the border back and forth for 6 and half years. In my case, well let's just put it this way, i pretty much missed those days strolling down Orchard Road and spending the weeks/months of savings on discounted items especially during the Great Singapore Sale! (Mum reads my blog from time to time so i have to be real careful with the info i impart. Hehe).

However, this trip was not a shopping spree. We wanted to experience Singapore differently. Dad said there will be a massive traffic jam upon returning to JB due to the search of the fugitive, Mas Selamat that fled the Singapore prison few weeks back. But that did not deter us from carrying on with the already planned trip.
As always, i googled for nice, interesting places to visit. I've not been to Clarke Quay before and he said that it is a nice place and we should go. And so i googled the place up to plan on things we can do apart from dining (planning your time is crucial when travelling, right?). One thing grabbed our attention at the bottom of the website - G-Max Reverse Bungy & that immediately topped everything else to be done during the trip!
We took the SBS Express around 10.30am (nak jalan2 tak thrill la naik kereta, kan.. this is also one way to prevent myself from buying unnecessarily and a pretty good strategy because i like to travel light! Hehe). The tickets cost us RM2.50 each. Upon entering the customs, i was stumped to see the 'NO PEPPER SPRAY ALLOWED' sign because i'm sure i have it in my bag and had to declare it at the custom's counter. The guy behind the counter asked why i had it and my reply was that i always have them in my bag for protection (duhh) and that i didn't know it was prohibited. Sadly i had to hand over my 4-year-old pepper spray to the malay officer in the navy blue uniform. He said with a warm smile, "lain kali jgn bawak.." :(
Anyhow posters of the much wanted Mas Selamat was everywhere - with hair, without hair, with beard, no beard etc. (But only saw one poorly photostated copy on a pillar at the Malaysian immigration when we got back).
We reached Rochor at about 30 minutes after. We first stopped by at Sim Lim Square because he wanted to check out how much they are selling the communication walkie. Fyi this is a heaven for those who are into electronic stuff. I'm not so much of a gadget person, but was still very much enticed over the great deals of cameras, laptops, phones etc. We did not get anything though, but the walkie set he checked was way much cheaper as compared to in KL even that of Jalan Pasar.

Next, we walked to Arab Street for lunch. We had Murtabak and the spicy Chicken Beriyani at Restoran Zam Zam and walked out fully satiated to the next destination - Bugis Junction Shopping Mall where we browsed through stuff between the many people as it was lunch time. Went to Charles & Keith too to compare prices with my purchase in Sabah and found out it was slightly cheaper there in Singapore by about RM20 or so on most of the stuff (but i manage to refrain myself from buying anything, so proud!). Everything else was expensive.
I thought of going to Clarke Quay late afternoon after the stop over at Orchard Road (he wanted to look for a backpack) because we wanted to do the bungee before it gets dark and i thought it was better to stroll down the peddlers walk right after and get dinner since Clarke Quay is more alive at night. But apparently 'someone' couldn't wait the adrenaline rush! (But there's no point in arguing when you are on a trip because it will only put stress and kill the moment). And so, we took the MRT from Bugis to Clarke Quay. We started looking out for the Bungee and as we walked towards Coleman Bridge, there it was! He had this smirk on his face like a 2-year-old who had just spotted the carousel at a fun fair (but i was ecstatic too to be honest!) :)
Unfortunately for us, by the time we reached Clarke Quay the sky was all but happy. Clouds had gathered, showing us signs that it was going to rain. After we bought the tickets, we had to wait as the guy was strapping on guests on the GX5 (the extreme swing). Rain started falling minutes after. No way i'm gonna go on the ride in the rain, i said. So we told the guy we would come back when the rain stops.

Waiting for the rain to stop

We walked around the many (still closed) fancy looking restaurants and in the back of my mind i thought, we would not have had to face this if we were at Orchard Rd that time :p but i didn't wannna make a fuss so i just kept quiet. About 30 minutes or so later, the rain started to wane. Refused to just sit and do nothing at one unopened restaurant while waiting for the rain to finally stop, i suggested we take a river ride in the drizzle, and so river cruise it was for us (time is of essence even for a homemaker like this one). I guess it was a blessing in disguise. It costs SGD18 per adult but it was worthwhile. It took us from Clarke Quay to Boat Quay, Marina Bay, Robertson Quay and back to Clarke Quay. I finally get to see the Merlion, trademark of the Lion city. While cruising the river he turned to me and said, "I think i want to steer (is this the right word?) a boat like this uncle when i retire. Boleh tak?" Haha.
Anyways, here are some snapshots on the cruise:

I was instructed to pose before the cruise. It was still drizzling ..

Him and his idol in the background. lol
Boat Quay

The gorgeous Fullerton Hotel during the day

The Esplanade aka The Singapore 'Durian' Convention Centre
on the right: The Singapore Flyer

A Leo seen here with the Merlion
The rain had completely stopped by the time we got back to Clarke Quay, giving us way for the much anticipated G-Max bungee now. It was HORRIFYING with a capital H!!! I've never experienced such a thrill, my two legs were shaking when we got down!!! I was screaming like a mad woman who had lost her mind somewhere up there but my other half was expressionless and unresponsive *scratching head*. Going up was not so bad but the most terrifying part was when the capsule dove straight down leading us to the ground at full speed, it felt like my soul was left up in the blue sky! It is by far the utmost terrifying ride ever for me! The deadly ride lasted approximately 2 minutes. U can go for another round at SGD20 if u stay in your seat. If not, another ride will cost another SGD40. If you are an adrenaline junkie, be sure to drop by Clarke Quay to experience this stimulating ride. (For details click here).

[Useful tip: you can purchase the dvd of your ride at SGD10 but do skip the SGD5 for the photo because the photo will be taken only after the bungee, in which you can get them to snap using your own camera - We thought the still pix would be captured from the capsule camera during the bungee].

Fingers crossed
Ready for take off
It was about 5pm when we left Clarke Quay for Orchard Rd and guess how we got there? We went on a trishaw! It was unplanned and was my first time to be in one. A very good experience but i was kind of nervous sitting next to huge buses and other engine-running vehicles even though the uncle said "..don't worry, it's very safe!". Uhuh.. He was kind enough to show us around and telling us tales about the buildings and all but to tell you the truth, we couldn't really hear him. Hehehe. Though we were taken through a very nice path upon reaching Orchard Rd.

The uncle was telling us something.....

An old building of the Fire station

Smiling quite nervously :)

There, the trishaw. In case you don't believe me :)
It is a known fact that Singapore is a green and clean country. It is also well known for its rapid development and unconventional transportation system too (trishaws not included). They have the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) which is complemented by the regional Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems (circled in pink below by yours truly ;)) that link MRT stations with housing estates. It operates from about 5:30am and ends before 1 a.m. daily with frequencies of approximately three to eight minutes, very efficient indeed!
But most of all i really adore the nicely and well preserved old buildings standing amidst brand new tall ones. In which some, new modern units are built in addition to the old ones for more room. I think our government should impose the same on our old existing shophouses and other old buildings too rather than demolishing them and rebuild everything from scratch. Each surely has its own charm. Look how stunning they are!

Bugis Village
Somewhere around the Robertson Quay Precinct
At Clarke Quay
Raffles' Landing Site

another elegant one we saw on the way to Orchard Rd
It is an opportunity not to be missed to go on the Singapore Flyer that was completed only in March this year if you visit the city on your next trip. We got to know about it when spotted during the river cruise earlier at Clark Quay. From Orchard Rd, you need to take the MRT to City Hall (where Raffles City is) and walk a distance to reach the location (i think it took us about 20 minutes). The area is still under development and they are building the 'Promenade' MRT station which are expected to be ready in 2010. My feet were already starting to feel the pinching of my spanking new white sneakers by then. The 30-minute ride was brilliant to simply put it but be ready to pay a hefty SGD29.50 per adult! It was a spectacle sight with the city lights showering the buildings beneath us and since it wasn't a peak time we had the capsule fit for 28 people all to ourselves!

To end the day trip, we travelled back to Boat Quay on (aching) foot that took us about an hour to have lobster for dinner but alas later informed by the waiter that only large (meaning pricey) lobsters were available. Famished, we opted the king prawns instead. The service was slow but the food was good
. We took a cab to Woodlands and i was awfully relieved to find that there was no horrific jam at the causeway and that we managed to get on the last bus (thank God!!). Had we not been on the last bus, i honestly think that my feet are no longer in its place today! Haha. Reached home at 1.30am. Thus our trip to the Lion city this time certainly proved to be a whole new experience afterall.

The gorgeous Fullerton Hotel by night
- smiling in pain
Pan fried red snapper & Grilled king prawns
Venue: Boat Quay
Here's to a memorable one!
Me & my mocktail
- don't be deceived by the name, it was delicious! Cheers!


myself n kids said...

i penah mkn kat rest zam-zam tu!! hehe.. murtabak dia.. yummy!!

wah! dis entry bebetul mcm entry tourist guide! i really love ur writings.. tak sia2 jadi suri rumah ek? :)

AZRA said...

hi myself n kids,

i'm pleased that you feel my writings are worth reading. It was actually my first time makan kat situ. Tapi x taulah if my parents bawak masa kecik2 dulu..

i pun rasa macam tourist habis that day, padahal pegi singapore je! :)

ms ngantuk said...

keje apek boat tu sure relaxing habih kan? may yer hubby gets his wish in 20y time hehe! btw itu ilie apa cerita now? ok kah dia?

AZRA said...

u jgn tak tau.. dia nye relaxing sampai ttido2.. buat org nervous jek.. hehe..

alamak.. kalau dia gets his wish, i nak kena fulfill my promise to wait by the pier in kain batik and bring him lunch in mangkuk tingkat!! hahaha..

ilie bz ngn keje baru.. coming over later in the evening.. with harris!! yay!

Jasni AJ said...

I've been to Singapore a number of times but never saw Singapore like you do.

Glad I read your entry on your one day trip to Singapore. Now I need to revisit Singapore to see what I've missed from my previous visits there.

As I said the last time, I think you're born to be a writer.

Jasni AJ

AZRA said...

Hi Jasni,

It was my first time experiencing S'pore in such a way too. And i must say it was very refreshing!

& thank you for the kind words. Cheers!

ms ngantuk said...

takpe now kain batik dah glamorized dah..can be sarong party gal! and tupperware pun dah ada mangkuk tingkat yg cantik lagi durable!!