Monday, December 8

SG: Day 1

After several trips this year, I finally decided to create a series of turista vibes blog posts. I've been to other places inside and outside of the country, but most of them are for conferences - except the trip to Singapore. Hence, for the next few day (or weeks), I'll be sharing the details of my SG trip.

I flew to Singapore last November 26 for a quick holiday, taking the first plane out of Manila. There's always less stress when taking the earliest flight - the airport is not that busy, less people, etc. Other than that, I like to maximize the day when traveling. Fortunately, PH and SG are in the same timezone. Depending on air traffic, travel time should range from three and a half hours to four hours. Fortunately, my flight arrived early in SG.

St. Andrew's

Took the MRT down to City Hall, and dropped by St. Andrew's. Yes, my first stop in Singapore is a Catholic Church. I figured that I am really grateful to Him for allowing me to push through with the trip - for bringing me to Singapore. On a side note, it was interesting to see a Roman Catholic Church outside the Philippines and seeing how culture has shaped the churches worldwide.

Kampong Glam

I walked around, and found myself in a camera shop. Ended up buying things more than a tripod, so yes, I almost blew my budget. Uncle sales talked me, lah. Less than a day in SG, and half of my budget gone. That's probably one of my first lessons for that trip: budget is important, but it is self-control that would help you survive. To fight my shopping urges, I decided to check-in at the hostel, which was near the Bugis MRT. I guess I made the right decision, because I got free lunch! One of the best perks of that place was its location. For three days, I was living at Arab St. - at the heart of Kampong Glam. Part of Singapore's Heritage District, it's a mixture of Malay and Arab cultures. Tourist spots such as the Sultan Mosque and Bugis St. are situated there.

Sultan Mosque

Too bad, the mosque was under renovation during my stay. They did not allow visitors at that time, so I took this photo as a reminder that I need to return here soon. 

Chocolate shop in Bugis St.

Bugis St. is famous for one thing: having the cheapest things in the city. From SG souvenir items to grocery items to clothing to gadgets...and even items related to sex. Simply put, it is Divisoria away from Divisoria. Since it felt like it will be raining soon, I decided to buy chocolates on my last day. I headed to Orchard Rd. in the quest of finding Lucky Plaza. When I did, the Sociology major in me went crazy. I'll be writing a separate post for that.

At that time, there was a typhoon back home. It poured hard in SG as well, I got stuck in Raffles Center for more than an hour. I was so excited to walk around and use my tripod, but to no avail - the rain won. When I got back to Bugis, it wasn't raining anymore. To test the chikka that SG is just small, I challenged myself to walk from Bugis+ to the Merlion. 

Back when were in Japan, we used to walk more than 3km from the ISA World Congress Venue back to the hotel. I figured out, if I did the same thing in Japan, why can I not do it in SG? Walked along Beach Rd., and made it to the Merlion in less than an hour. Met some people who were photographing the CBD skyline along the bridge, they were intrigued by my camera and even gave me some tips on shooting.

Beyond the tourist shot with the Merlion

I was in awe, not because of the Merlion, but with SG's skyline. Just beautiful. Finally had the opportunity to try the things I bought earlier that day, hence the selfie photos that night. I appreciate how the conversion lens provided me with a wider perspective. Below is a photo of the skyline opposite the main CBD, featuring the SG Flyer.

View from the Merlion

Despite the rain, I enjoyed my first day in SG. It was quite tiring considering that I kept on walking and transferring lines - considering the lack of sleep I had because of my flight schedule. I remember walking home that night, feeling like I'm just somewhere in the PH -though things are more expensive. I also realized that while I enjoy the company of myself, it gets hard when it comes to exerting control upon yourself and when you don't have anyone to talk with. Luckily, I was able to meet people that night at the hostel's common room. Sharing stories with other travelers was a good way to end the day. It was refreshing to meet new people as well.