Meet Up in Singapore

It’s my second time in Singapore and the reason why I’m visiting the Merlion nation was to meet up a friend. She has been my host everytime I visit the country. She has been my closest friend back when we first got our real job in the unforgiving world of employment. I arrived in Singapore around 1400H, went to Immigration Counter and it was no hassle. Then, I walked to the Arrival Gate and there I found my close friend waiting for my arrival.

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She already planned my itinerary while in Singapore. She made sure that we won’t get hungry while in a country of rich culture of Indians, Malay, Chinese and more. Our first stop was Food Opera in Ion Orchard.

We rode the SkyTrain to get to the MRT station that will bring us to our destination. We got to ION Orchard and went directly to Food Opera. It was jam-packed. A lot of people dined there since there were more food stalls to choose from different cuisines of other Asian countries and etc. My friend ordered Tom Yum Soup which is known as a Thai cuisine. We got some really good pork meat food preparation. They were too good that I didn’t have the time to take pictures of them.

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Food Opera
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Tom Yum Soup in Food Opera

After the sumptuous dinner, we headed down to the street of Orchard Road. Different high brands lined the road from MK to Victoria’s Secret. I felt like the whole Singapore was on shopping spree with everyone out doing their Christmas gift buying.

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Tiffany and Co, Cartier, and many more stores
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Victoria’s Secret
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It was a short visit just to meet up a friend who lives in Singapore. For me, friendship is one of the most treasure gifts in life. I’ve been always out of my comfort zone and I’ve been far away from my family, thus, friends are the only people I can look up to whenever I’m in trouble or I want to have fun. They made my life more bearable in the battle called Life.

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AirAsia ASEAN Pass Review

This is my review entry of my recent ASEAN trip using the AirAsia ASEAN Pass. It has been launched way back 2014. Before I left for the United States, I was eyeing to do an ASEAN tour and has been very interested to use the pass. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews and most of them were negatives so, I am making my own review based on the experiences I had.

AirAsia ASEAN Pass has two different kind of passes, the 10- and 20-credit passes. I bought the AirASEAN Pass for 10 credits costing USD160. Once I purchased the pass, it is valid for 1 year from the date I bought it or 30 days from the day I made my first redemption and 60 days for the 20-credit pass. Since I’ve been to Thailand, VietNam and Cambodia, the choices of countries to visit are cut in half. Thus, making it easier for me to decide since I also have a list of nation that I would love to see. I chose to visit Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore for these reasons;

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Closer image of Petronas Twin Towers

Malaysia – due to the fact that it is the centerpoint of every flight and also the main hub for AirAsia. So, I can get really good flights spending only 1 credit.

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Indonesia – for the main reason that my cousin wants to visit the famous tourist attraction, Bali, and;

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Merlion Park

Singapore – because I’ve been wanting to visit this place when I was still working back in the Philippines as a customer service representative.

This is how I allotted my credits to travel those countries.klI flew from Manila to Kuala Lumpur via different airlines since I got a really good deal with Cebu Pacific Air. Once I got to Kuala Lumpur, I spent my 3 credits to get to Bali then 3 credits to Singapore and the last 3 credits back to Cebu, making a total of 9 credits. I just made sure to check my flights early so I can have more choices to choose from. Seats are really limited so the earlier the booking, the better. After I chose my flights, I just pinned my bought credits to the chosen time and date of my flight and it’s automatically booked. The sad thing about it is the credits only pays the airfare so, other fees like travel tax, airline tax and airport fees are not included and it’ll be out of pocket expenses. But those fees are not that expensive.

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I still have 1 credit for AirAsia ASEAN Pass.

As as summary, the pass is really great if you plan your trip ahead of time like 2-3 months. If you’re flexible with changing itineraries, your budget, your accommodation or places to stay then, you can save and have fun traveling the ASEAN countries. It is all about planning. So for my AirAsia ASEAN pass review, it was worth it and I got to save some money while having the trip of my life. Instead of spending those hard earned cash to airline fares and transportation, I got to spend it to tours, souvenirs, foods and etc. and of course, I got to take a photo of these picturesque places.

For full details, check AirAsia website at https://www.airasia.com/en/home.page?cid=1

Migrated to my new site at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2017/11/16/my-airasia-asean-pass-review/

My Days in Your Singapore

This blog article has been migrated to my new site at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2017/11/09/my-days-in-your-singapore/

The last leg of my ASEAN trip was in Singapore. Singapore is one of the well developed countries in Southeast Asia. I only have limited time staying in the Merlion country but my trip was great. It sure was a memorable time during my days in Your Singapore. The nation is also on the sixth spot on my list of counties that I would love to visit.

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Updated List of Countries That I Would Love to Visit

My tour in Singapore started after leaving the plane and took the SkyTrain from Singapore Changi Airport to city centre. Since I had a little spare time before check-in hour in the hotel, I went to Raffles City Mall for lunch. It was an embarrasing moment for me that day for being a clumsy person. I dropped my food tray before even trying to eat it. The good food attendant and server just looked at me and fixed another plate of the same food I ordered and he didn’t charge me for that. The cleaners went to help clean the mess I’ve made and they were pleasant and courteous. After I had my lunch, I went directly to my hotel which was just a few blocks away from Raffles City Mall. I checked in at Peninsula Excelsoir Hotel and was amazed with the view. It sure got the nicest sight in the city.

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Deluxe Twin Room in Peninsula Excelsoir Hotel with amazing view of Singapore Skyline

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Singapore Skyline

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Your Singapore skyline

I went to lie on the bed, took a nap for an hour or two and then, started to do sightseeing the streets of Singapore. Since the hotel is situated in the center of the city. Buses and other modes of transportation are everywhere. I walked just the opposite of the street and I was already at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

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St. Andrew’s Cathedral

St. Andrew’s Cathedral is one of the hop-on, hop-off bus stops. I rode the bus red line. The red line has stops at Sri Mariamman Temple, Chinatown, and Speaker’s Corner but main agenda was Singapore Marina so, I skipped most of the stops. I stepped out of the bus in Marina Boulevard. Then started walking on Marina. It was picture perfect location where I can see most of the popular sights in Singapore. I was able to see Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience Museum, the Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay, Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore skyline.

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Singapore Flyer, the ArtScience Museum, and Marina Bay Sands

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The ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, and the Singapore Marina

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Singapore Bay and skyline

The Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay is also known as the Esplanade Theater which is a performing arts center located in the bay near the Singapore River. It has a concert hall that can accommodate 1,600 viewers and 2,000 audiences in the performing arts.

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The Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay

Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. The resort includes a lot of hotel rooms, a huge convention-exhibition center, The Shoppes mall, a museum, two large theaters, ‘celebrity chef’ restaurants, a skating rink, floating Crystal Pavilions, and the largest casino atrium.

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Marina Bay Sands

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ArtScience Museum is within the integrated resort of the Marina Bay Sands in the downtown core of the Central Area in Singapore. It has permanent exhibition, ArtScience Gallery, the ArtScience Museum mainly hosts touring exhibitions by other museums.

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ArtScience Museum

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Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel which is also an observation wheel. It used to be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel before the High Roller in Las Vegas Strip on 2014.

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Singapore Flyer

It was surreal for me since I have dreamt of going to Singapore like 5 years ago and now, I’m here. I headed to the Merlion Park since Singapore is famous for the Merlion statue. It was short walk and when I got there, the park was jam-packed with tourists taking decent pictures.

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Merlion statue

Merlion Park is a landmark and a major tourist attraction located at One Fullerton near the Central Business District. The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish that is widely used as a national personification of Singapore. It also spouts water out of its mouth. It was a majestic view.

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Merlion Park packed with tourists

After touring around the Marina Bay area, I tried to snap some more random shots of the Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer and the ArtScience Museum. Then I hopped back on to the bus to go back to the hotel. Little did I know that the bus tours have parking spot and that is in the Suntec City Mall. Good thing I was able to take pictures of the Fountain of Wealth. It took about an hour to get back to the hotel. The bus passed through Little India, Malay Heritage Center and back to City Hall.

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Fountain of Wealth

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Duck and Hippo Sightseeing Bus Parking Area in Suntec City

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Little India

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Little India Welcome Sign

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Little India Arcade

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Little India street

It was a humid and warm day in Singapore that I have to take like 3 showers. I was soaked with sweat that I have to change my clothes and freshen up more often. Late that noon, my close friend from High School who is working in Singapore for years has invited me to meet her. She told me to meet her in the Gardens by the Bay. Since the park is widely popular with night and light shows. I just rode a taxi from the hotel and it took about half an hour to get there.

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Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land. It is right next to Marina reservoir and consists of three waterfront gardens. The aim of the country is to raise quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. Gardens by the Bay was intended to be Singapore’s premier urban outdoor recreation space, and also a national icon.sin48sin49sin46sin51sin47

It was magical when the sun set. The lights of the supertrees were lit. The music and lights show begun. The show ran about an hour. Songs mostly from famous soundtrack of movies were used while the lights flickered and lit in unison. It was memorable. There was a view deck accentuated to have a good view of the area.sin45

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Singapore Marina at night

The following day, we went to Burgis which is a famous place for souvenirs as well as inexpensive products. The items they’re selling are good and durable. The location was used to be a nightly gathering are for trans women in 1950s which made it one of Singapore’s top tourist destinations during that period.

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Burgis Street Market cr. alamy.com

After I got my souvenirs, I headed back to the hotel for it was almost time to check-out. It was just a quick trip and when I got to the hotel, I packed my bag, walked to Raffles City Mall for the nearest train station to the airport.

My days in Your Singapore was remarkable. The country is small that I got to see some of the major sights but not everything. It is indeed a must-visit place and it is not that expensive. Singapore was the last country of my ASEAN tour. It was short but it was worth the time.

Check my YouTube vlog at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag5wGfBerXA&t=110s

IATA Code: SIN – Singapore Changi Airport

This blog article has been migrated to my new site at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2017/11/03/iata-code-sin-singapore-changi-airport/

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Singapore Changi Airport or simply called Changi Airport is the primary civilian airport for Singapore. It is one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia and is currently ranked as the World’s Best Airport by Skytrax for five consecutive years. SIN is one of the world’s busiest airports by international passengers and is the home base of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and JetStar.

My expectation before I got to Changi Airport was really high because of all the positive feedback I’ve heard from other travelers who utilized the airport, the reviews from airport organizations, and also the advertisements I’ve seen in the worldwide web. So, upon deplaning, I saw how tidy the airport was. We arrived at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport.

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SIN – Singapore Changi Airport Arrival Area

Signs and directions are everywhere. The immigration counters are well organised and modern.

Welcome to Singapore

Terminal 1 Arrival Immigration Counters

Like other airports, after passing thru immigration counters is the baggage claim. Baggage claim signage directs every passenger to the right location.

Baggage Claim Signage

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Baggage Claim Carousel

After getting the passenger’s luggages, customs counters will be next. There are two counters. One is for goods to declare and the other for nothing to declare.

Customs Counters

Once cleared with customs, I went to find a way to get to downtown Singapore. It is quite convenient if you are in Singapore Changi Airport. You have access to your banks whatever country you have them. ATMs can be found near the information desk and accept cards that have VISA, Mastercard and other bank logos. I’m just grateful that they have them because I was running out of cash. Of course, they also have money changers. The airport is also accessible to different modes of transportation from taxi to trains to private car services to buses.

Information Desk

Money Changer and ATMs

Directions to Buses, SkyTrain and etc.

I took the SkyTrain to Terminal 3 since the train station to the city is over there. The SkyTrain was neat, fast, and comfortable. We passed thru the view of the air control tower and the construction of a new terminal.

Way to the SkyTrain

SkyTrain to T3

Construction of a new terminal.

Air Control Tower

It took few minutes to get to Terminal 3. But the terminal was simply beautiful. I was in awe. I want to spend more time in the terminal but I got to go to the city and explore the Merlion country.

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Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Departure area of the Singapore Changi Airport is so huge. They have lots of airline counters to accommodate all of their customers. That is also the reason that the airport is constructing a new terminal for the growing travelers. My airline carrier was situated in Terminal 2. Since I flew thru AirAsia, they have self check-in counter to get the boarding passes. When I got my boarding pass, I was shocked to see that Changi Airport is already doing the fast check-in for immigration. You don’t have to see the immigration officer. The passengers just need to scan their passports and do the bioscan thru fingerprint and clear to go. No more hassle of waiting for the immigration officer to see you and stamp your passport. It is also somehow a bummer since I travel coz I want to collect stamps of other countries I’ve visited but if that is the future of flying and crossing countries, then I’ll just embrace it.

Fast Check-In Immigration Counter

Immigration Counter ran by machines

After passing thru immigration, you just have to go to your boarding gate while waiting for your flight or you could spend your time playing, swimming and many more. There are a lot of activities you can do while in Changi Airport. To know more, just visit their site here.

You could also dine in with their wide array of restaurants

Changi Airport’s Social Tree

At the end of my stay in Singapore Changi Airport, I could definitely attest that it is the best airport I have gone to. It has lot of services offered to all the guests and it even beats other hotels or amusement parks. It is one extraordinary airport. Kudos and I hope to land to Singapore again one of these days.