Singapore 2016 || Artscience Museum, Gardens by the Bay, Merlion Park & Makansutra

I write this down, with hives all over my body and the urge to scratch every inch of my skin. If you follow me on Instagram (@teeshue, because shameless plugging) and has watched my stories, you would know how I am now on Day 6 of my breakout. It was strange, really. I have no known food allergies (safe to say the imaginary allergies I’ve invented to get out of eating things I don’t like will never be used again), and I was shocked to find red dots peppering my face one morning. I had seafood ramen the night before (I’m looking at you Yushoken), and didn’t experience any adverse effects until I woke up the next morning. What started off as small red spots, turned into lumpy hives and an immediate trip to the emergency room. I spent a few hours with a heplock on my left hand where they proceeded to flush in the medication. One of the medications stung even if it was diluted, the other had me so dizzy I felt nauseous just having my eyes open, and the other one was to prevent a stomach ache that was threatening to happen. I got wheeled around for tests, and all of them came back with positive, albeit, useless news. They could see no infections, nothing wrong with my blood work, and even my lungs are fine (they took a chest x-ray). I was prescribed meds, told to go on a hypoallergenic diet (summary: nothing tastes good), and was discharged. Every day, the hives keep looking more prominent, the spots have spread, merged, and you can’t even distinguish one from the other. It feels like I have a world map of hives all over my body, and maybe if I look hard enough, I’d find Russia by my shoulders. Ugh. I try to avoid expletives, but everything is so fucking itchy. So. Fucking. Itchy.

I can’t help but wish I was back on vacation where most of our daily problems revolve around where to eat in. Since we woke up quite late on our third day in Singapore, we headed to the nearest mall’s food court to have brunch. we decided on chicken rice. When in Singapore, do as Singaporeans do. And I bet it’s safe to assume that it’s chicken rice. 😉 (Now I’m sad because I can’t eat poultry!!!)

Our itinerary for the day was actually Singapore Flyer, Artscience Museum, Gardens by the Bay, and Merlion Park. However, my brother who was celebrating his birthday vetoed the Singapore Flyer idea. I couldn’t really argue with that because it’s not his cup of tea, so we headed to Artscience Museum as well. We initially were headed to the Gardens by the Bay, until I remembered that we were supposed to go there late in the afternoon so it wouldn’t be too hot to roam around.

The train station is connected to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and oh boy, the place just reeks of opulence. How opulent, you ask? Well they have mini gondolas and an indoor version of a canal. Visitors could pay for a ride but I have long made a promise that I will not subject myself to gondola rides unless it’s on Venetian waters.

There was a fair amount of walking that needed to be done from the station to the museum. We basically just walked the entire length of the mall, and although it was a little intimidating to be surrounded by things I probably would never buy in this lifetime, it was fun to see how the other side lives. Haha! But in all honesty, there was a point in time in my youth where I probably would not even step inside the place, or rush if I really needed to go through. Now that I’m making my own money, I found a tiny bit of confidence to go to fancy places. 🙂

The museum is pretty hard to miss once you are in the vicinity of it. It’s this huge weird shaped structure that is supposed to resemble an open lotus flower, hence, it was surrounded by actual lotus flowers. I personally do not see the resemblance as it looks more like a futuristic spaceship to me. And since we’re already on the topic of spaceships, one of the ongoing exhibits when we visited was on NASA – A Human Adventure.

Inside the exhibit was a plethora of novelty items and space-themed memorabilia. When they first launched satellites and sent astronauts to space, a lot of children’s items was released for the public too.

There were also non-working prototypes of machinery, satellite parts, and even the ship they boarded to go to the moon. Museum visitors can also pay for a ride where they mimic the sensations of being aboard a ship that takes off from Earth. We paid to get into it, and it was quite an educational experience. Outside, you see the contraption rotate at a high speed. But while onboard, there was a perception of one moment where gravity had a grip on you, and suddenly you are released. It is quite difficult to put into writing.

Another exhibition on the same floor (which was the basement), is Future World. It’s an interactive exhibit which is great if you are visiting with children. Hell, I’m not even a kid and we spent a good chunk of our time here. You have options to draw a variety of things and species which you are able to virtually add on to a town or the sea, and these boards even respond to external forces (I didn’t know how to phrase it appropriately haha). One can disturb drawn on marine animals and they will scatter! How adorable is that? There was also an installation of how land and sea has changed over the years, and it was so easy to get lost in it especially because there were bean bags in the middle.

The last exhibit we went to is Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder. It’s at the highest level of the museum, and among the three exhibits, it had the most ‘museum’ vibe to it. Walls are lined with the work of M.C. Escher. Like me, you may not be that familiar with his name. But if you see those illusions of seemingly endless puzzles – well, it is his life’s work. His interest in it was both born from nature and math, and how the two is intertwined. Fascinating stuff. There was also a gift shop full of puzzles somewhere inside the exhibit.

Heading back to the station, we passed by TWG, and I wanted to try it out. It’s a Singaporean brand which has already expanded in Manila, and I was torn whether to try their Singapore branch as well. The sibs left the decision up to me, and I ended up suggesting having cakes in Bakerzin instead. So we walked all the way back to the station and had to go the other way from where we came through to get to Gardens by the Bay. It was high noon at the time, and the sun unforgiving, that we paid for all-day shuttle rides to get to the domes (and essentially, Bakerzin). Instead of cakes, though, we ended up ordering snacks that were.. frankly, just disappointing. Head to Bakerzin for their cakes and nothing else – is a tip I would give to anyone willing to listen.

My sister ordered the carbonara (bland!), and, the birthday boy and I, both had unappetizing fish and chips.

I bought tickets to both conservatories via KLOOK, which is a ticketing app for tourist attractions in Asia. There was a minimal discount if you buy from the app, and I double-checked with the actual prices to make sure that I was buying them for less than they cost. What? I may not look like it, but I’m also frugal in so many ways.

Entering the Flower Dome was magical. Aside from the temperature drop (vacationing in a tropical country when you come from one isn’t the most fun thing to do), the entire dome was oozing with Christmas spirit. I admittedly had been the Grinch this past holiday, but even I could feel myself becoming festive inside the dome. There were nutcrackers and ballerinas spinning inside enormous snow globes, winter-themed Christmas trees, and fake snow. I would really like real snow now, please.

The temperature is centrally maintained for the upkeep of the plants that are used to this climate. I’m not sure if most of the flora and fauna in the place can survive the high heat outside, but most of them were imported from places of cooler climate.

I wasn’t able to guess by looking at it outside (maybe because I was too near), but this place is huge! Given that, you’d find there were a lot of couples who decided that it was the perfect place to get their prenuptial photos taken. The couple below weren’t the only couple having their photos taken that day.

The other conservatory, Cloud Forest might even be the bigger of the two, with its own manmade waterfall! How crazy is that! Seeing all this, it’s pretty hard to imagine how small of a country Singapore really is. The balance between nature and the high rise buildings over at Singapore does not tip excessively either way.

Visitors can take the lift to get to the walkway up top. I did not expect it to be that high, but it was.

Below the waterfall is the secret garden, filled with tropical rainforest shrubbery.

If we’re going to be honest, we hanged out around the Supertree Grove to wait for it to light up before taking photos. But we got bored and being bitten by mosquitoes while waiting turned us off the idea.

Our last stop for the day is The Merlion Park. On our way there, we passed by The Fullerton Hotel. It looks so majestic from the outside.

It was a hot and humid evening that we grabbed the opportunity to buy smoothies from the nearby stall. Bleh! I had the mango flavored one and it was the embodiment of artificial in a cup.

A nice moment though was while we were trying to take selfies with the big Merlion in the background, a fellow tourist offered a hand. She even took them in different angles! (I’m not sharing it here though because it was too dark and I would need to edit it first which I’m real lazy to do)

Since it was my brother’s birthday, dad was meeting up with us at Esplanade so we could all walk over to Makansutra. Unfortunately, it rained when we got there and it made it harder to find a table we could occupy. The diners of the tables outside of the covered area (they had tents erected) immediately rushed to find another table and we were left to wait for other people to finish their dinner. We did get to eat so much food later that the wait was worth it!

We’ve been to Singapore countless times, but this was the first time I tried chili crab. I enjoyed dipping the bread in the sauce. (Now I’m craving again!!!)

Singapore 2013 || Singapore Zoo + River Safari

Last June, I was looking at cheap airfares without really planning to go anywhere. I happened on dirt cheap tickets to Taiwan (right on my birthday week) but due to the ongoing conflict between the two countries, I thought it was safer to not go. But by then I have already convinced myself that I will be going out of town on my birthday, so I scoured the net for cheap airfare and decided to go to Singapore! Who else would I go with other than my favorite travel buddy? This is actually our first foreign trip (and couple trip) together! I even bought him a Panda sleeping mask since we had a late night flight.

Dad picked us up at the airport since we were staying with him. Yay for free accommodation! We woke up real late but no worries since we’re relaxed when on vacation. It’s C’s first time in Singapore so I decided to bring him to all the places I loved going to whenever we went to visit my dad.

I absolutely love commuting in Singapore. It is so easy! C and I took the train and the bus to get to the zoo.

We bought the 3-in-1 tickets which (if I remember correctly) costs SG$ 65. We got there around lunchtime so we had lunch before entering the zoo. We both had Nasi Lemak and huge glasses of Iced Tea.

Not really C’s cup of tea, what with all the walking and the scorching heat. It took a lot of persuasions to get this guy to smile for a photo!

We were early for the elephant show, and got good seats! Pro tip: head to the amphitheater at least 30 minutes before the show to get good seats. 🙂

Amphitheater – no nice photos of the performance here but it was awesome!

Chicken Boy and Cupcake Girl with Weird Strangers

POLAR BEAR, WHERE NA U? Unfortunately, the polar bear was out of sight the whole time we were at its’ viewing area while waiting for the rain to subside. Sigh.

After the zoo, we headed to the River Safari that was located beside the Singapore Zoo. C was already tired from walking but traveling with me meant that he would have to do so – a lot. Haha! Unlike the vast Singapore zoo where it would be hard to find one path to view everything, the River Safari is easier to tour.

Scary piranhas.

They had a lot of floor to ceiling viewing areas which were calming for me but made C very queasy.

Look at this cute panda straw bottle! C was dissuading me from buying this but it was too cute!

Panda exhibit! They had both a red panda and the usual black and white pandas. And a cute panda couple!

Amazon Flooded Forest

On our way out of River Safari, we encountered a huge panda!

After the River Safari, we had an ice cream sandwich at Orchard Road before heading to Esplanade and the Merlion Park at One Fullerton. We got a little lost after getting off the train that C has started to become grumpy. But that’s okay, he still got to see the famous Marina Bay Sands.

We met up with my dad to have dinner after a series of platform transfers. We ate at the nearby mall. Hello, Indian food!

Singapore Zoo

80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826

Opening Hours: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM daily

River Safari

80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826

Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM daily