Monday, March 8, 2010

TOURING SINGAPORE IN ONE DAY

A Singapore tour was organized by the Staff Room Club today. So a busload of teachers, staff and family members made our way across the Causeway for a one-day excursion. I would never say NO to this kind of activity, because there could be new places that I have not visited. The visit was accompanied by a tourist guide so it was much more informative as were briefed about the places we saw and some background of the Republic itself. The itinerary had to be changed as there was a cycling competition going on which had made many roads were closed to traffic.

STOP 1: CHINA TOWN pagoda like building
Am I in Japan?
love the spectrum of colours of the lanterns



There must be a lot of Chinese people around here, hence the name China Town was derived from. Not much can be seen except for unique architecture work of a few buildings, roads which were beautifully decorated with lanterns and flowers (in conjunction with the recent CNY celebration) and stalls selling souvenirs from Singapore (but made in China, I think).


STOP 2: SENTOSA ISLAND

We were given only about 45 minutes here, so many things to do and yet so little time. I had to settle for Sky Tower, which cost S$12 per ride. It was a twirling platform that went up a tower which enabled you to observe the beautiful surrounding of the island. And before even you knew it, the whole thing had ended - it lasted for about 10 minutes. But at least I could say later, "been there, done that!"

STOP 3: ARAB STREET

Masjid Sultan
beriani rice with honey chicken

My first time here, we stopped at Arab Street for Zuhur prayer and lunch. The beriyani was delicious, huge portion and almost a quarter chicken, plus drinks, cost us S$7 which was quite reasonable (without converting to RM).

look at the decoration in black right below the dome
There is one very interesting story of Masjid (mosque) Sultan that I want to share with you. Long time ago, when they were trying to build this building, the did not have enough funding so they started to ask donation from people. Those with money donated money and those without, gave empty bottles of soy sauce to the mosque. Perhaps at that time, these bottles could be sold, and we think recycling only started only recently. However, the architect did not sell the bottles in the first place but what he did what was he used the black bottles as a part of the decoration. So if you look closely, you can see the bottom of the bottles adorning the lower part of the form. It was really the thought that counted.

We came across Malay Heritage Centre nearby. This was actually Kampong Gelam Palace which housed the Singapore royalties of the past.


STOP 4: ORCHARD ROAD
We had a short stop at Orchard Road, Singapore most famous shopping hub. Just to have a glimpse of the exclusive shopping complexes and stop for the Asar prayer at a mosque located in one of the building which did not look like a mosque at all from the outside, but does look really matter?

STOP 5: ESPLANADE AND MERLION

with Mr. Zain, with the Esplanade in a distancewith Pn. Noraliza Mazni and the Merlion busy spurting water

with some of the members of the tour group



Before going back home, we stopped at Singapore most famous landmark: the Merlion (half mermaid, half lion). There were many people taking pictures there which must be a must for visitors to Singapore.

That was all for the day. I am now getting to know the island more and I am sure there are still places in this island that are yet to be explored, soon.