No Jaywalking. Fine $100.
No sale of cigarettes under 18. Fine $1000.
No Importing of Chewing Gum. Fine $1000.
No Littering. Fine $1000.
No Spitting. Fine $1000.
No Urinating in Lifts. Fine $1000.
Oh, and here is something you might not need from your pocket.
No Vandalism. Jail and Cane.
One thing that amazed me is the fact that the citizens are very well-disciplined. And this made their country definitely unique than anywhere else in Asia (as far as I know). Besides, surveillance cameras are everywhere and being a visitor, you wouldn’t want to get caught with your misbehaviors, don’t you? In addition to that, and by happening to rarely see some policemen around, we were told that law enforcers dress themselves as civilians so as not to bother the locals and foreign visitors. Unless those policemen are in civilian clothes, their presence would mean lots of enforcement around, thus, lots of trouble.
Singapore has been successful in attracting a lot of tourists, coming especially from its neighboring Asian countries. When we were there, most of our fellow visitors were from India and the Philippines . Most of Singapore ’s tourist destinations are ideal for family fun and experience, thus, you could hardly see anyone on a vacation going alone. Their attractions are not only designed for adventure but most importantly, for education. And this has become a good attracting factor for them because their visitors were not only there to watch and take pictures. But, to learn.
Uniquely Singapore. Fun n' Easy lah!
Part of our free city tour package was a boat trip to the Singapore River where we caught glimpses of the Esplanade by the bay and the famous Merlion sculpture. We passed under big city bridges and interesting business towers along the river.
Don’t Miss to: Let the Singapore River tell you its story.
Know that: The Esplanade’s architecture was after the durian. Yes, the durian fruit we know too well in the Philippines .
River Boats The Merlion
The Esplanade Theatre
Taoist TempleAfter the river tour, our guide showed us to the Taoist Temple . One thing you need not worry, you could take pictures anywhere inside the temple. Our guide said it was one of the old temples people go to before. But now, it has become a popular tourist destination. It’s a camera-friendly place.
Inside the temple
Any visitor wouldn’t want to miss this lovely island. It’s everything a package in one. One could choose to head to the beach, or stroll around and visit lots of interesting sites.
We went to Sentosa via cable car and arrived at the Imbiah Lookout where the Images of Singapore and Sentosa 4D Magix were. The Carlsberg Sky Tower ride, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom , Cineblast, and Fort Siloso were also there but unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit those due to time constraint.
Images of SingaporeCommunity. Family. Peace. Harmony. Let the four historical figures of Singapore greet you at the Images of Singapore. We were amazed as these four men from different cultural backgrounds – Malay, Chinese, Indian, and British – the four founders of the nation, suddenly come to life!
Four Races, One Singapore
Images of Singapore
Sentosa 4D Magix
We were blessed to catch the newest attraction at Sentosa Island – the 4D Magix, Southeast Asia ’s first 4-Dimensional Movie Theatre. Our cool guide, Mr. Rey, offered the opportunity for us even if it wasn’t part of the tour package. We watched Pirates in 4D and it was fun, fun, fun!
Watch out for: Someone to pull a canon right in front of you.
Do NOT: Remove your viewing shades in the entire show duration.
Be sensitive about: Crabs crawling on your feet.
You’ll get: A splash when somebody hits the sea.
Outside Sentosa 4D Magix
The place was almost crowded when we got there. It was a bit difficult to take pictures especially if someone behind you is waiting to pass. Also, try not to use camera flash when taking pictures or else, your photo would lose the real underwater blue color.
Try to: Grab a ray fish at the Rays of Fun.
Get: A good underwater family picture at their photo stall. It might be the only best shot you could get if you don’t have an SLR camera.
Songs of the Sea
Songs of the Sea was the highlight of our Sentosa experience. There were only two shows per day (you will know why when you get there) - One at 7:40pm and the other at 8:40pm.
We arrived by bus just as the first show is about to end so then, we were able to get a good seat for the second show. If you happen to chance upon someone asking you for a quick survey regarding your Sentosa experience, don’t hesitate it. Be nice and respond honestly as you can. Besides, you don’t have to tick any mark on the paper at all. The one who asks will gladly do it for you. In the end, you will get a free Sentosa bag. My dad received just that after he willingly answered some honest, simple questions about our Sentosa experience earlier.
The Songs of the Sea was so amazing. It was the best show I have ever seen. It was magical. I couldn’t for any moment happen to imagine how they ever did the synchronization of the lights and the water and the fireworks all at the same time. Everything just happened pretty smoothly fast. The characters of the story were great. There were a lot of singing and ooohs and aaaahs.
One thing you have TO DO: Sing for Princess Ami.
And you’ll end up singing: He did it! Me did it! We did it! Did what?
But Oscar will say: You did it.
You might want to: Buy an Oscar plush toy. We hurried after the show to catch our group so we weren’t able to stop by among the people who were selling these cute toys near the exits. There were around 10,000 people on that day on the island itself and so, we just kept on rushing back to our bus.
The Lady of the Sea
The Chinese Garden can be reached at the EW25 MRT Station, East-West Line. Once you get off, you’ll see the path that leads to the garden right away. One thing which makes it interesting is that it’s for free and if there’s one place I could go, to get myself away from the hustles and bustles, it would ideally be the perfect place on the list.
There were lots of statues of Chinese heroes, bonsai trees, ponds, streams, and a Chinese pagoda. It’s a good place to be with nature for a while.
Quite opposite the path to the Chinese garden is another way that leads to the Japanese garden. We were quite conscious of the time for our next destination so we weren’t able to head the other way round.
Jurong Bird Park
A Singapore experience wouldn’t be complete without a day at the Jurong Bird Park. There, we saw all kinds of birds one couldn’t ever imagine. We first took a monorail ride around the park before we explored the area on our own. At least, that already gave us an idea on how big the place was. Birds of prey were inside cages while the ones that thrive in wetlands are kept in the open. Try to catch the birds show at the Pools Amphitheatre and the pelicans’ feeding time.
Don’t miss: To feed the lories at the lory loft. They are my favorites! You don’t have to go after them. They’ll come to you when they see the cup in your hand.
Be amazed by the: Penguins. You’ll remember Happy Feet when you see them.
With the lories
At the lory loft
At the Pools Amphitheatre
It’s the closest place to a jungle. With free-ranging orang utans overhead, you’re out to set foot on an adventure on your own. The place was quite a maze, which, if you don’t have a map at hand, you’ll end up at the White tiger’s den or at the Hamadryas Baboons! I did just that when I was lost from my companions at the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. I was busy taking pictures at the baboons and walked all the way through when suddenly I realized I was already alone (except for a small group of primates playing on trees nearby). Thank God the primates happened to mind their business on their own, so I continued to make my way out and encountered a lonely fox at the end of the trail.
One thing I liked about this place is that the people like to put a twist when giving their safety tips to the visitors.
To name a few:
When we were there, I encountered a monitor lizard crossing our path and a peacock taking a nice stroll with us. How cool is that?
Also, don’t miss to visit: Inuka.
Be cautious about: Kangaroos crossing.
Have a fun ride on: The elephants.
Ponder on this: Were you able to see any butterflies?
Singapore Science Centre
There are lots of interaction, videos, and learning in this place. Singapore was lucky to have an active circle of science teachers who are behind the development of this beautiful project. Many little kids were with us on that day, playing and exploring the optical illusions, and looking over the amazing exhibits. Don’t be fooled by the small architecture of the center. You’ll realize there are plenty of exhibits to go to, once you’re inside. So much more, it may take approximately four hours for you to wander around.
You might catch: Einstein rappelling at the atrium.
Spot some: Newly hatched chicks at the incubated eggs section.
Take a photo of: Your head on a table.
Peeking through What's inside a nose?
What's inside a nose?
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Being at Singapore gave us an opportunity to visit its nearest Asian neighbor – Johor Bahru, Malaysia . The entire trip took for only half a day and for me, that was quite all worth it. Two countries within a day? Not bad.
The weather wasn’t a bit fine on that day. The skies were cloudy and later, it began to rain. But that didn’t stop us from being greeted as we enter the neighboring country’s border: Selamat Datang Ke Malaysia (which means Welcome to Malaysia ).
Our guide first took us to a Batik shop where she herself demonstrated how the textile was made. We also watched a musical performance there. There were bamboo instruments and gongs.
Then we visited an old Malayan house, much similar to the ones we have here in the Philippines . There was a cultural dance presentation too.
Our last stop was at a souvenir shop where we bought beautifully printed shirts. The designs were very Malaysian.
Welcome to Malaysia
Typical cuisines are Chinese and Indian. If you’re a neighboring Asian visitor, you wouldn't have any problem with choices since rice is never missing anywhere. You could opt for a viand and rice in a bowl, or go with the noodles.
Try a Kopitiam: A kopitiam (that’s how they would call their coffee shops) is hardly just a coffee shop. This is something what we Filipinos would like to call a Food Court here in the country. So then, when you head to a kopitiam, you don’t just go for coffee. Rather, you go for a meal.
For starters, try ordering a chicken rice meal.
Chicken rice meal
Try to allot some time for shopping alone. Head to Bugis Street for a good bargain of souvenir items, or to the Lucky Plaza along Orchard Road (lots of Filipinos there too). For second-hand gadgets, go to Mustafa Centre.
**A few more**