Singapore: A men-made Heaven
For Instagram & Snapchat generation, I had created few reels to give them the feel about our incredible journey to singapore in less than a minutes... follow me on insta and watch lots of travel reels around India!
Day I : Gardens By the Bay
We boarded the flight from Mumbai at midnight. After 5 hours, when we were hovering over Singapore, I saw a cloudy sky and a bit wet runway! I got disappointed because I didn’t want the rain to play spoilsport. Changi Airport is considered the best airport in the world, As soon as we landed and stepped onto the airport, I could feel it. That was the first of many times I got amazed by Singapore. More of it would come on the last day. After completing immigration, we collected our luggage and headed towards the metro station. We decided to use public transport throughout this trip and hence we bought 38 SGD ( SGD - Singaporean Dollars ) Metro cards which gave us complete and unlimited access to all modes of transportation in Singapore, Be it a Bus or a Metro. A tip for the ones who would be visiting Singapore, Don’t buy a 38 SGD card, instead buy a normal metro card and do top up. It would be cost-effective and you will get leftovers from the metro station at the airport when you submit your card. We also bought a SIM card worth 30 SGD, Again there was a 15 SGD SIM card provided by SINGTEL company but at the airport, It wasn’t available and as I wanted internet access until I reached my Hotel, I was left with no option but to buy it.
Anyways, I opened the moovit app and put the location of my Hotel and got the detailed route with ticket costs towards our hotel. It was a mid-tier hotel and somewhere around 400 M from Lavender metro stations and it was around 9K per night. Another tip: go for a cheaper hotel as you wouldn’t spend much time there. We took a metro and reached the hotel without much struggle. This gave us immense confidence in Singapore’s public transportation.
We rested for a while and then got ready for our first sightseeing trip, Gardens by the Bay. A perfect destination to spend half a day which was what we had on our hands. We got down at Bayfront MRT Station and walked towards Gardens by the bay. I heard Singapore was a very clean city. Indeed, I was experiencing it. Not even a single chocolate wrapper or piece of paper was found throughout that 800 M walk. Unbelievable, Wasn’t it? When I reached the other side of the road, I could able to see the front view of Marina Bay Sands and At that moment I realized, “How beautiful Out of the Box thinking or creativity look like”. Yeah, Who would dare to put a Ship on top of 57 stories building? Wouldn’t it look odd or ugly? But that architect did and it looked BEAUTIFUL!
The moment we entered Gardens by Bay, we observed a sudden drop in temperature. Concrete Forest was replaced with a real forest. It had 2 famous Domes, 1) Cloud Forest and 2) Flower Dome.
Cloud Forest Dome : A place which had the world’s second tallest indoor waterfall known as Cloud Forest waterfall. The moment we entered the Dome, we experienced a significant drop in temperature. The more we walked towards the dome the clearer the view of the cloud forest waterfall became. While admiring the view, we met a lovely Maharashtrian couple who took very nice pictures of us. They shared their travel experience of Singapore as well, which was interesting. We admired the waterfall for a while and then we moved inside the cloud forest building. We took a LIFT and reach the top of the Dome. From there we explored the entire dome on foot. Apart from Artificial flowers I also saw Cloud and Fog around the Dome. The way they had artificially created it was mind-blowing. They were spreading water from a specific height in a particular manner which would create the cloud. Interesting, Wasn’t it? This was what a creative mind could do! I’ll leave you with these pics, please judge them by yourself... The entire experience was incredible.
Flower Dome :Another Dome, structurally similar to the previous one, but It had a variety of flowers from all parts of the world. Sunflowers, orchids, lotus, roses and whatnot. We also saw wooden statues of various animals. probably made of the roots of the trees. It was a beautiful place.
When we came out of the dome and checked the clock, it was 7:15 PM, We didn’t realize we spent so much time in these Domes. We moved towards Super Tree Grooves. the place where the amazing “The Light and Sound Show” happened twice, Daily. First Show was from 7:45 PM to 8:00 PM and the next one starts from 8:45 PM to 9:00 PM. SuperTree Grooves were manmade gigantic trees with lots of lights on and around them. One could see a bunch of such structures while walking towards these domes from the entrance. They looked very pretty during the daytime but at night they became magical. In Singapore, we spent a lot of money on entry fees but this one was FREE which again proved most of the best things found on the Earth are free. We got the seats at the stairs. one could sit wherever one wished. The show began, and we looked up and experienced the unusual but incredible "जुगलबंदी" of Light and Sound. This show had to be on every itinerary in Singapore. When the show got over, we got hungry and went to one of the cafes inside the Garden by Bay where I had delicious Burgers.
I wasn’t satisfied with just one show. Hence, we again went to supertree groove for the next show which would be starting in another 15 mins. This time we decided to get a seat at the centre of all those Trees. I used my bag as a pillow and lay down on the floor. Throughout the show, I felt as if it was a dream. Even dreams couldn’t be that awesome. This was one of the experiences I would cherish forever.
That was the end of the first day, Wow, What a start to the trip!
Day II: Exploring contrasting sides of Singapore from Streets of Singapore to Marina Bay Sands
The Day started with our visit to Little India. As the name suggested, it was a little but beautiful India. It gave us more of the south India vibes than the whole of India. The majority of Indians in this part of the world were Tamilians. While roaming around the streets we saw many grocery shops flea markets and Jewellery shops. I had to bring my A game to convince my wife not to buy Jewelleries or Gold 😝 In a few of the vlogs we found out one of the restaurants to visit in little India should be “Kailash Parvat”. So we went for lunch. Even though we liked the food, we felt it was costly. And, trust me I haven’t converted how much it would have cost in terms of Indian Rupees 😝 I felt the Cook went to Kailash Parvat to cook our food and hence he charged us this much 😝
The next stop was Buddha Relic Temple which was a Chinese temple. Which was situated in a colourful Chinatown. A street with Chinese vibes or you could say the Chinese flavour of Singapore. It was a huge temple, painted with red colour and decorated with colourful Tibetian flags. At the entrance, we saw a huge Copper Bowl. Where monks and visitors worshipped by lighting an Incense stick and placing it inside. Inside the temple at its centre, we saw 3 huge golden Idols of Chinese gods. To me, it looked like Buddhas and his Gurus. Apart from these idols, we also observed hundreds of smaller buddha statues on all sides of the temple wall. At first, all looked similar but when I looked carefully, All of them were different. I felt peace throughout my visit to that temple.
From the temple, we went shopping in China Town. We collected some memories in the form of fridge magnets which I collect from all my trips and cool t-shirts. After a lot of walking, we were sitting on a bench at the local shopping centre. While we were there, an old lady smiled at us and complimented us with a hand gesture, “Hello, you two look very pretty together”! It made us super happy. These kinds of things you would never forget.
After exploring the street culture of Singapore, It was time for us to move towards the more urban part of Singapore, “The Merlion National Park” There was an observatory Deck from where you could see Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyers and many gigantic commercial Buildings of Singapore. The kind of sites one could see in a developed country. Add the Merlion statue in front of this breathtaking view, Wasn’t it amazing? I am a fan of good Skylines so I loved the place. My Tripod was broken so we were struggling to take a couple of pictures. Of course, you wished to capture a nice click at such places. After observing our struggle, a generous man asked us if we wish him to take our pictures. Thanks to him, We got a great picture with the magical view of the Merlion statue and Singapore Skyline. We spent our evening with this amazing view and Starbucks Coffee.
It was time for the last attraction of the day, A chance to see the Singapore skyline from the highest place in Singapore on the 57th Floor of the Marina Bay Sands building. We decided to skip MRT or Bus and started walking towards it. It was just on the other side of the lake where we were sitting. Yesterday when we visited Gardens By the Bay, we couldn’t go on the Sky Helix bridge because it was closed for maintenance. Today, we had time on our hands plus it was just in front of the Marina Bay Sands building so we went for the Sky Helix Bridge. Due to some confusion, we mistakenly took the supertree grooves tree ticket which took us to the terrace of the tallest tree of all. At first, We got disappointed because it was a costly mistake in terms of money and time. But the moment we reached the terrace and saw the view from it, our disappointment disappeared. Just look at the pictures and the 360° panoramic view.
We knew we would not able to make it to the terrace of Marina Bay Sands hence we enjoyed the sunset and then left for the Marina Bay Sands observatory. We waited in a queue for an hour before reaching the top of Marina Bay Sands. So we came out of the Lift and entered the terrace. What the hell… What was this place? I was amazed by the lights of the Singapore skyline. Such a beautiful view! Rightly said, we saved the best for the last. While we were there, we explored every inch and corner of the terrace. Eventually, we found the perfect spot with the best view. Having my wife beside me at such an incredible place was romantic. We considered it as a DATE 😉 I took many time-lapse videos by making my shoe as a tripod 😝 It was another thing besides photography I loved to do while I travel. Let me know if you loved these videos.
As it was 9 PM, We decided to have lunch near our hotel, As we saw a few fancy restaurants with a great view. This was where we made 80 SGD mistakes. The food was a bit okayish. the only thing I loved was the view and my Corona Beer. Well, This Corona wasn't as harmful as the one we knew since 2019 😉
That was the end of day TWO which started with experiencing different streets of Singapore and ended at the top of Singapore with its magical Skyline.
Day III: Modern Universal Studio & Traditional Arabic vibes at Haji Lanes
Singapore had one of the only four Universal Studios. For those who didn’t know what Universal Studios had, It's a theme park with many themed adventure rides such as Roller Coaster, The Mummy Ride, The Transformers, Jurassic Park and so on. For an adventure Junkee like me 😀 It was at the top of the list of things to do in Singapore.
We bought the tickets and unlimited express Pass in advance. This was the most exciting morning of this trip. we boarded the metro first and then Bus no. 123 towards Santosa Island where Universal studio existed. According to the route, in 8 Stops we should reach our destination but we just saw our 20th stop go by and we weren’t anywhere near Santosa Island. I started working a bit and searched in google Maps which showed a route with approx 15 mins so I thought in 15 mins we should reach. Another 10 stops passed by and now we became further away from our Destination. The cons of moovit app were, if you board the wrong bus, it won’t correct you 😝 Yeah, we took the Bus coming from Santosa island instead of going towards it 😝 “Just the other day Aayushi was telling me that the city is really beautiful and we should think about exploring it by Bus” who would have thought her wish would be granted that soon 😜 I wished should have asked for a Million $ instead of that 😜
We got down at the next stop, crossed the road and took another 123 Bus which by the way went in the direction we wanted to go 😀. The good part of Singapore's public transportation was, you would get the next Bus or MRT every 5 minutes from any place. Anyways, this unwanted adventure resulted in an hour delay and instead of reaching at 10 AM we reached at 11:15 AM. Our unlimited express access to all the activities pass came in handy as almost all the rides had at least an hour of a waiting period. But for express pass holders it was under 15 mins.
My fundas were simple, do the things you were scared of the most and hence without any second thoughts, we directly went to the Roller Coaster ride. There, you have to keep all your belongings such as wallet, begs and mobiles in a locker before any rides. It was free of cost for the first 45 mins and then you would be charged based on your usage. Luckily all our rides got over within that period and hence we didn’t need to pay a single penny. Where were we? Yeah, we were in a queue, Next was our turn. My heartbeat was beating faster than ever. I turned to my wife and even She looked a bit worried. But somehow we gathered courage, sat into the ride and then the madness began. The Roller coaster started to move slowly towards the peak. Suddenly we felt a jerk and then it got accelerated until we reached the peak where it stopped for a moment and then came the first of seven falls. I felt adrenaline rush throughout my body. I could barely able to keep my eye open for the first fall 😜 Everyone was shouting and so did we. But In a few seconds, my fear went away, I started to enjoy those crazy curves and falls. Indeed! “Daar Ke Aage Jeet Hoti hai”. Those were the most thrilling 45 seconds we had spent in Singapore.
Next to Roller Coaster Ride we saw huge ancient gates guarded by Egyptian soldiers. And yeah! There we were in Cairo, Egypt. There we were at another famous ride by Universal Studios, “The Mummy”. In the beginning, As it was moving slowly and on both sides of the track we saw a few mummies, a few burning sites and the Pyramids in the background, but nothing thrilling or exciting. I felt like, "ये कहा बच्चे की सवारी में आ गया, इतनी अधिक प्रचारित सवारी!Just when I was thinking, the ride stopped for a moment and the lights went off. Suddenly, we felt a little jerk and it started moving backwards at full speed on a track, full of tight curves, and steep slopes. On top of that, nothing was visible. We didn’t know what was going to come next, whether a steep slope or a tight curve. The adrenaline rush became 10 times the roller coaster experience because here nothing was visible and we didn’t know what’s gonna happen next. Throughout the ride, I felt like I was Tom Cruise fighting against Mummies. Just like the movie The mummy! For sure, It was the wildest and most thrilling ride I’d been to. I live for the day like this. We went two more times in the evening after completing all the other rides.
Unfortunately, Jurassic Park was under maintenance when we visited. Hence, the Transformers was the only ride left on my checklist. I’d been to a few 4D-5D shows but nothing like this where I felt like I was one of the Transformers of the starting scene/stunts of the movie Transformers II. Without the 3D glasses, you might not get the feel of it but with the glasses it was one hell of a ride, As Optimus prime said in the end, He was proud to I helped him save the planet earth 😜 It was an emotional ride for me because Optimus prime is not just a friction movie character, it was one of my identities. Optimus was my gaming name and I used to be a gamer in my college days. Needless to say, I did this ride the most number of times 😀
Second picture was a pure emotions, Baught a few Transformers Magnets ~~
It was around 2 PM and we were starving. So I asked my wife "If she would love to go on a lunch date with me in Egypt" She said "Yes" and we went to the food court that looked like a market in Cairo city of Egypt. As soon as we saw Biriyanis in the menu and that too just 16 SGD, I was on cloud 9. We ordered one veg and one delicious mutton biriyani! When you were bored of eating burgers all day and unexpectedly you found Indian food that too, Mutton biriyani… These feelings couldn’t be described in words. After “A Date in Cairo”, We Rest of the Universal Studios and did all the rides even the lame ones. While roaming, I met with Optimus prime and took pictures with Him 😍
It was closing time. Almost all the rides were closed, We came out and sat near the Universal Studios Globe before boarding the bus towards the city. Our last stop of the day was the Haji lane, The streets of Arabic and Turkish cultures. It was very colourful streets with loud music and old architectural houses. Both sides of the streets had palm trees and a huge Haji Mosque at the end. To me, It felt like, I was somewhere in the Middle East. We saw many Turkish bakeries there, famous for their deserts. So I tried one. It looked like roasted noodles, with some dry fruits on top. It was served with sugar syrup and vanilla cream! I pour them into the desert and took a bite. OMG! I had never tasted dessert like this. Despite, being today who travelled many places and tried many cuisines.
And the tradition continued, Another day whose level of awesomeness was higher than the previous day...
Day IV: Explore Santosa Island & Experience a 360° view of Singapore Skyline
Santosa Island was reachable via Metro, Buses and Cable Car. So far we have taken all possible modes of commute except Cable Car. So, our last day was all about travelling in Cable Cars. We bought an unlimited cable car pass which gave us full access to all the Cable Cars. There were 2 lines, 1) took us from the mainland to Santosa Island and 2) took us from one part to another on Santosa Island.
We took MRT to Harbour Front metro station which was the last stop on North East line. We were hungry so we had Pizza from Pizza Hut. Pizzas here tasted completely different than the ones we got in India. it tasted much better. We were being fooled by these franchises. Instead of taking a cable car from the same station, we went for a little hike to the top of Mount Faber. The trail was easy with steps to the top. One could also reach there by vehicle.
The view from the Cable car journey was incredible. In 15-20 mins we reached the Santosa Island station. We explored a bit and then headed towards the historic site of Singapore, Fort Siloso. We took another cable car and reached there in 10-15 mins. The view got better than the previous route. There were multiple ways to reach Siloso, by walking, electric bike, etc. One could do a lot more adventurous activities on Santosa Islands such as Helix Ride, Bungee Jumping at Siloso Beach, kayaking and so on.
We got down and went to Siloso Beach. Aayushi was super excited as It was the first time she was visiting a white sand beach. We crossed the floating bridge and reached the other side of the Beach. We sat there but after some time, Due to an extreme hit we were exhausted. So we came back and moved towards fort Siloso, A Historical Marvel of Singapore.
Fort Siloso was just 5 mins walk from the Beach. You could either visit it top to bottom or bottom-up. In general, climbing down would consume lesser energy so we took a top-down approach. We took a lift and reached the Fort Siloso Sky Bridge. The view from there was magnificent. Just look at this pic, wasn’t it beautiful?
I thought it might be one of those types of historical places with just broken walls on the edges without major history. But the explorer in me was yelling at me and insisting on at least checking what was there on the other side of the bridge. so we took a walk. A scenic walk of 200M or so. When we reached the other side of the Bridge, we saw a Fort. We thought just a small fort let’s wrap it up quickly and move on. When we reached there, we saw a few more buildings, towards the bottom. We quickly reached there and came to know it was the museum. In ancient times, Singapore was the business hub of the southeast and This fort was built to protect business ships from enemy attacks. With time, the Britishers upgraded it with the latest weapons. During WW-II, British Soldiers took shelter here and fought against the Japanese Army. A few more museums were there but skipped them. Wow! Who would have thought Singapore had a great historical site, too?
We saw narrow tunnels and small bunkers near the Museum. It was used by the British army used to stay during WWII. When we entered, suddenly a loud siren started blowing. We took a few more steps and it became louder. We were scared and quickly came out of it, thinking we might have entered the abandoned area. But I wanted to see what was in it, then I saw a few more tourists going inside so I asked Aayushi to follow them. After a while, we realized they have created a WAR-like environment to give visitors the feeling of WWII’s time. Surprised Right? They took care of every tiny detail of all the Tourist attractions. I had been to many similar historical places but nowhere had I experienced such things.
We never thought we would spend 90-odd mins there but we did. We took a cable car and reached the other end of Santosa Island where we visited the S.E.A Aquarium. When we visited the Universal studio the other day, due to the extreme crowd we never got a good photo with the Globe. As it was 3 PM, and not many people were at the Globe, Aayushi got what she wanted, “A great picture with the Universal Studios Globe”.
Everyone would think why visit the S.E.A aquarium, as we weren’t kids anymore? Even Aayushi felt the same. But think about it this way, how many places in the world would have S.E.A Aquarium? Very few, right? With that thought, we bought the entry tickets Even if we could only spend 90 mins in it as the closing time of the aquarium was 5:30 PM. We entered the S.E.A Aquarium tunnels. We saw giant stingrays and sharks swimming above the transparent tunnel. Inside the main Aquarium, we saw a deserted broken ship with a lot of broken plates and other goods, a few corals and countless giant Fishes.
It had more than 2000 types of SEA spices in various colours, sizes, and shapes. A few of the species which I remembered were Sea Horses, Stingrays, Sharks, different types of Jellyfishes and Sea Snakes.
We reached a point where there was a huge Aquarium different from the one we saw at the entrance with staircases used as sitting spaces. There were a few restaurants as well, from where people could order food and enjoy it with amazing marine life. Lunch with such a view would be fun, wouldn’t it?
around 5:30 PM, we came out and went towards the Santosa Cable Car station. At the entrance, we found a Helix Ride. It was basically, a round table where one could sit and enjoy a drink for 15 mins at 79 M from the ground level and of course with the 360° panoramic view of Singapore. Throughout the ride, the table would rotate so that you could see a 360° view from every seat. This was something I always wanted to experience but never got a chance to until now. A date with wifie in the Air was the only thing missing on this trip. But After this ride, that thing would also be checked.
While we were up there, I dared Aayushi to look down and if she could I would buy her whatever she wanted. As she has fear of heights 😂 Any guesses If she looked down or not?
. Ans is, No 😂
It was getting darker, So we went for our last Sightseeing in Singapore, The Singapore Flyer ( It’s like the London Eye ). After waiting in Queue for around 15 mins, we got our Cabin with a few other small groups. Another place from which one could enjoy Singapore Skyline. The best time to visit it would be during the Sunset so that you could enjoy seeing the sun setting over the Singapore skyline as well as the Singapore skyline under lights. Well, visiting it at night wasn’t bad either. Check out this time-lapse and decide by yourself... We were there for around 35 mins in which we saw the Singapore skyline from all possible Angels. And, from every angle, it looked beautiful. The advantage of visiting it on the last day was, We could identify all the places we had been to in Singapore like Merlion Park, Observatory Deck, Gardens By the Bay, Santosa Island and many more.
We were exhausted and the only thing I could see was my bed. So we skipped Clark’s Quay and went straight to Hotel. We knew Clark’s Quay would be amazing but as Deepika said to Ranveer or I would say Naina to Bunny, "जिंदगी में कुछ ना कुछ तो छोटा ही है। तो क्यों न जहां है उसी का मजा लिया जाए!!!"
With this note, It was time to say Goodbye to Singapore...
Day V: Heading to our next destination, Bali
Wow, I never thought I would have such an amazing vacation in Singapore. Time to say goodbye to the manmade heaven but not before witnessing the tallest indoor waterfall at the best airport in the World, Jewel at Changi. After reaching Airport, we returned our metro card to the metro station. Surprisingly, we got the leftover balance which was 2.2 SGD back! Insane right? From there we went to Terminal T1, checked in our luggage and went to Jewel waterfall. We had our packed lunch with this incredible view.
That was it, we completed our security and boarded a one-hour delayed flight to our next destination, Bali... Which would be my next Blog...