Ten Things to Squeeze in a Two Day Trip in Singapore

It was my official first visit in Singapore (not counting the layovers where I was stuck in the airport for four hours early this year). As much as I wanted to taste all the culinary extravaganza and do the historical walk in this island state, I have to squeeze in what a tourist would do:

1. A river cruise to see the famous sites while listening to a prerecorded commentary. It is the best way to see imposing structures of the country in an hour. Esplanade? Check. Circular Quay? Check. The Merlion? Check. The Raffles Hotel? Check.

Fastest way to see the sites.

Fastest way to see the sites.

2. A leisure walk at the Gardens by the Bay. To all flower lovers, it must be in the itinerary to stop and smell the flowers at the flower dome. The Rainforest dome, on the other hand, is a different experience for those who haven’t been to a real forest. The 5 Degrees show at the end of the tour is a must see to have a better appreciation of climate change and what we can do to adapt.

War of the Roses at the Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome.

War of the Roses at the Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome.

The waterfalls inside tha Rainforest Dome.

The waterfalls inside the Rainforest Dome.

Lovely roses I wish I can grow

Lovely flowers I wish I can grow.

3. Since we are still at the Gardens, get on your back in one of the green patches to watch the light show of the Super Trees. Why on your back? The lights are astonishing and looking up for a couple of minutes will definitely hurt your neck.

Supertrees supershow

Supertrees supershow

4. Try out the rides at the Universal Studio Singapore. I am such a scaredy cat that I didn’t even join the crowd for the Jurassic ride or the Mummy. I can boast, though, that I have watched almost all the shows (except the one in the Diner)! My favorites are Soundstage and the Monster Rock,

Sesame Street babies we are not.

Sesame Street babies we are not.

5.Joyride at Sentosa –from the Waterfront to Imbiah to Beach Station. It was hot and humid that day but might as well enjoy what Sentosa has to offer…including….

Stitch scaring the Merlion at Imbiah.

Stitch scaring the Merlion at Imbiah.

The boardwalk at Siloso Beach.

The boardwalk at Siloso Beach.

6. A picnic by the beach. It was the best picnic ever with sounds from the nearby restaurant and tastiest meals from my cousins. Now, this is what a picnic at the beach in Siloso beach is for them. We had to forego boiled bananas and sweet potatoes, bagoong, liempo and grilled fish. It was a first world picnic in the imported sand.

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7. Photoshoot in the city. The lights beckon one to have night shots in almost every corner.

From the outside

From the outside

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to the inside

8. Drowning yourself with kopi c partnered with kaya toast and soft boiled eggs. I love coffee. Period.

Having the traditional breakfast before a day in USS.

Having the traditional breakfast before a day in USS.

9. Savoring the Indian platters in this place called Little India. It wasn’t my intention that I chose our hotel near that place that is dotted with restaurants that offer dahl, naan and tandoori chicken.

Manong and my dosai. A naan with curried potatoes stuffed in it.

Manong and my dosai. A naan with curried potatoes stuffed in it.

10. Enjoy the company of friends and family. I am so thankful that Tin and Carlo were there to keep us company and feed us along the way. For the tiny state, there is still a lot to see. In my next visit, I will try on the chili crabs and walk along the shophouses.

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An All Girls Weekend

A trip that took two weeks to prepare. It was a blessing that my cousin joined us to the so-called 2nd leg of the SEA trip after doing the 1st leg in 2012.

It was a frantic preparation, including last minute buys for travel essentials that’ll be needed for a hot and humid weather in Malaysia and Singapore. One thing that we were ready for — our flight! We were way too early for our 2PM takeoff.

Upon arriving in KL’s low cost carrier teminal (LCCT), we headed out for an early dinner of nasi lemak. That fueled us til we reached Malacca, a three-hour bus trip from LCCT. We were booked for a 9PM trip thru Transnasional thus a dinner along the way was not an option.

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Reaching Malacca at almost 12mn was like being in the zone. A very quiet zone with red lanterns flickering on the shophouses of all the jalans. What was needed is some oriental music in the background. I can not contain my excitement when I got the first glimpse of the heritage town. I imagined how colorful the place is during the day.

Malacca is a place like no other. I will not describe how friendly Peranakans are but how they looked out for your safety. We were twice reminded by residents to keep safe of our belongings while we were walking in Jonker Street. It was like a concerted effort among residents to protect their reputation as a safe historical site.

Backstreet guest house, Mamee restaurant, sunny day and a colorful temple

Backstreet guest house, Mamee restaurant, sunny day and a colorful temple

Malacca is a place for old world buff like me. Cobbled streets. Check. Interesting facts about its history. Check. Old (shop)houses and turn of the century ruins. Check. A river that runs through it. Check.

A day was not enough but we had to move to our next destination – Hello, Singapore!

The city state is all modern dotted with remnants of history. Cosmopolitan. Worldly. Hot. Truth be told, this is my first time in the land of Lah! I was excited to try out the chicken rice, tons of indian set meals and laksa. Fortunately, my cousin who resides there brought us to all the places and had us experience a fast break look of the city (aka river cruise).

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away...

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away…

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I can never be happy enough to have a 5-day all girls trip. A very long weekend indeed.