Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sixth and Seventh Days in Singapore - The Changi Experience

After a long day, we make our way to the airport. Our flight is not until the following afternoon.

Hubby and I felt that the US$150 that we will shell out for an extra night at The Gallery Hotel is not worth the money. Despite Filipino speaking staff, we felt our money will be better spent on something else (my shoes, for instance, he! he! he!). The service at the hotel is not very good and the location is even worse. We canceled our extra night a few days before and as we leave the hotel, we brace ourselves for a long night ahead.

We have read that Changi is not a bad place to spend the night. Hubby and I were up for an adventure, I guess.

We didn't have our boarding passes yet since our flight is on following afternoon. Changi has a public area where people can wait and chill. It's got a small shopping area, 24 hour Starbucks, McDonald's, Burger King and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf so you won't get hungry. There are plenty of seats too although they're not padded and certainly not made for lounging or sleeping.

After grabbing dinner at McDonald's, we spent the wee hours of the morning curled up in the padded armchairs of Starbucks. There's quite a number of people spending the night at the airport, some were even brave enough to sleep (as in lying down) on the coffee shops' couches. It's not the same as spending the night at the hotel but at least there's plenty of food, drinking fountains and there are very clean toilets for you to use.

The only thing that kept me sane in those hours is my Harry Potter Book 7. It kept me entertained for a few hours. Hubby kept himself busy with a sudoku puzzle book. He must have filled up half of that book! By 7am hubby and I both crashed and fell asleep in armchairs (in another coffee shop). Hubby's hot chocolate lay untouched on our table. None of our belongings were stolen since Changi is very safe and we kept our valuables close/tied to some part of our body. Hubby's laptop was half slung on his arm and I wrapped my purse in a small towel and used it as a pillow. I woke up with towel marks on my face, yikes! I don't think anyone was eager to steal our heavy and beat up suitcases when there are other better looking suitcases around :-)

Now, I wouldn't recommend this to everybody but it is bearable as long as you keep yourself entertained and you find yourself a cozy nook to curl up to.

When our flight was called for check-in, we were relieved. The passenger area of Changi is much more comfy. The seats are padded, more choices for food, more shopping (if you haven't shopped enough) and you can see the planes already. One step closer to home.

Thankfully, our flight left on time. Unfortunately, our plane ride home was very turbulent. So turbulent that both hubby and I got airsick. Hubby never gets airsick! Ugh! What a nightmare.

Fortunately, we landed safely. Home at last!

After being sleep deprived for so long, Hubby and I slept 10 hours straight in our own comfy and big bed. Sheer bliss :-)

Sixth Day in Singapore-Snow City, Ikea, Sentosa

Last day. Full free day for hubby. No work, just play.

We check out from our hotel and leave our suitcases at the concierge while we see the sights.

First stop, Snow City. For people living in Asia, like us, snow is but a distant dream. We knoew that Singapore has a facility that has "real" snow. Since we have no such facility in Manila, we wanted to go and see for ourselves. We hop on the MRT and alight at the Jurong East Station. After that we took the 335 bus to Snow City. It was closed for lunch, darn. We had to wait 1 hour to get inside the snow slopes.

We rest for a while and have a quick lunch at the adjoining Science Center. We had Biryani set with beef, a chicken dish (which I forgot the name) with a side dish of spinach fritata and some chicken satay. All nice but not spectacular, bit too spicy.

After our meal, we make our way back to Snow City. Entrance fee is SGD12 including boots and jackets. Water proof pants and gloves cost extra. Ambient temperature inside the facility is minus 7 degrees. I never felt so cold in my life! It was a weekend and there were a lot of families wanting to go tubing down the slopes. We had to fall in line and wait our turn. While waiting, I thought my nose and legs would freeze off! Jeans are not very suitable for cold weather :-)

Going down the slope is so much fun! Hubby and I wanted to go again but we have a lot planned for the day. You're not allowed to bring a camera inside. Staff members will take your pictures and you purchase them for SGD10 each.

Next stop, Ikea again. Hubby wanted to see for himself what the store's offering. Hubby and I were both very disappointed that we couldn't bring home the shelves and cabinets that we liked. They were just too heavy and Ikea doesn't ship outside Singapore.

After spending way too much shopping and browsing at Ikea, we go directly to Vivo City mall (parcels and all). Vivo city is such a nice mall. They have wading pools on the top floor for the kids to play in, and it's open air, sort of like a park. Cool! Wish we had more time to explore. We score our Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix book here at Page One Bookstore, since I couldn't wait to read it despite that fact that we have one reserved to us back in Manila. My hands were itching to open the pages.

After purchasing our book, we proceeded to buying tickets for Sentosa. We opted to take the train instead of the cable car because it's faster and cheaper. Train ride with entrance fee is SGD4, cable car is SGD15 per person. The train ride was fun and interesting. It goes over the water so it's not boring and it's just a short ride anyway.

Upon reachiong Sentosa, we immediately bought tickets for the Songs of the Sea show. It's a musical fountain right there in the ocean. It had rave reviews from hubby's friends and co-workers so he was pretty insistent that we see that.

Since we didn't have a lot of time nor energy to explore the island, we hopped on a tram and contented ourselves by "exploring" it through the 20-minute tram ride around the island.

Sentosa is pretty nice. It's a beach getaway that's very close to the city. It's got two hotels, an aquarium called Underwater World, Dolphin Lagoon (which we both sadly didn't have the time to see), Luge and Skyride, 4D theater, a bevy of resorts and golf courses. I wish we could have gone here on our first day so that we had more time. Oh well, maybe next time.

After our little sightseeing, we got into the Songs of the Sea "coliseum". It's an open coliseum facing the ocean. The Song of the Sea is a show that brings live cast and dramatic effects using pyrotechnics, water jets, lasers, flame bursts, music and computer imaging projected on the mists created by the water jets. Such a spectacular show with great sound and visual effects.

If you are in Sentosa, never ever miss this show and come early so that you get the best seats. Tickets cost SGD6 per person. Showtimes are at 7:40PM and 8:40PM daily.

Long day for hubby and me. Yet, we still had to walk back to our hotel, get our suitcases and go to the airport.

Fifth Day In Singapore- Ikea, Smith Street and Ice Cream Treats

I've read in the paper that Ikea was having a clearance sale and this day was it's first day. I left the hotel early and made my way via cab to the Alexandria branch. Cab ride took about 20 minutes.

Upon entering the store, I felt like I was in a homemaker's paradise. Oh my golly, I wanted to buy everything. But of course, I only settled with a few items since I can't possibly fit everything in our suitcase. I could stay there the whole day. Shelves, beds, tables, sofas they were all on sale some were even at 70% off. Hey, Ikea guys, please open a branch in Manila!

Much as I would love to stay there the whole day and drool. I had to go back to the hotel, unload my parcels and have a quick lunch.

I found myself having lunch at the Central Mall foodcourt again since it's near our hotel and it's the most convenient. I just ordered the Sweet & Sour Pork for SGD4. Not bad. Sweet and tangy.

For dinner, hubby and I went to Smith Street in Chinatown. Hubby hasn't been there yet and I wanted to show him. He wasn't too keen about going there since the locals told him that Chinatown in Manila is much more authentic. But I managed to convince him to check it out nonetheless.

Hubby was pleasantly surprised that the MRT exit is right in the middle of Pagoda Street. Colorful lanterns and buildings provide eye candy as soon as you emerge from the escalator.

But the main thing that caught hubby's attention was this ice cream cart manned by a charming old man. The ice cream is sliced from a big block and placed inside a bread bun, like a sandwich and it's just SGD1!

After browsing through the stalls for a while, hubby made our way to Smith street and got our hands on some traditional street food. Hubby was just bursting with excitement. He loves street food too. Sio Mai is always a favorite, regardless of what what country we're in. Hubby just couldn't resist buying some. And they were just absolutely delicious. And for just SGD2, they don't scrimp on the pork and the shrimps inside the flavorful dumpling. A must try when you're in Smith Street.

Another stall that sells traditional Toechew, Ngoh Hiang and Prawn Fritters caught hubby's eye. We grabbed a few items from a smorgasboard of squid balls, tofu, prawn fitters, lumpia and kikiam looking stuff. Each item costs between SGD1 to SGD3. They were good too. And if you want noodles with that, it's just an extra SGD2. Yummy!

Tired and full from out Chinatown adventure, we made our way back to the hotel via MRT. As usual we pass by Clarke Quay again. We wanted to have something sweet before going to bed. We saw a Turkish Ice Cream stand and our curiosity got the better of us. The Ice cream is "scooped" using a large, heavy flat and long spoon. Hubby ordered the big cup, I had a small cone.

The ice cream is very creamy and "stretchy" (like mozzarella) and it had some spice in it that we couldn't figure out. We asked the scooper guy but he said he didn't speak English but we felt that he just wasn't happy to tell us what it was. Another mus try when you're in Clark Quay. Cone costs SGD4, Cup SGD6. Great deal for something cool, delicious, creamy and unusual.

After the ice cream, hubby and I stopped by a nearby supermarket and bought some blueberries. I hate to say it but this is the first time for me to eat fresh blueberries. They turned my tongue blue!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fourth Day in Singapore - Plaza Singapura, Chili Crabs and Central

Another cloudy day in Singapore. Which is perfect walking weather in my book.

My first order of the day, Plaza Singapura. One of the biggest malls along Orchard Road and it's got an MRT station right under it. I took a cab going there to save time.

The mall is very nice and upscale. It's got your standard signature shops, bookstore, supermarket and a movie theater. Since I wasn't planning on shopping anyway, I decided to watch the Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix movie. It's my very first time to watch a movie outside Manila. I wondered what it would be like.

They have a slightly different movie set-up. First, several theaters are clustered in one area, one entrance. Second, the movie houses are smaller than what we have in Manila. Third, the seats are fewer and much more comfortable. Fourth, there are no restrooms inside the theater, which is not very comforting if you've downed several sodas throughout the movie.

After watching the movie, I feel a bit cheated because a lot of the important scenes from the book were omitted. I felt Ron and Hermione played very minor roles in this screen adaptation. The fight scene at the Ministry of Magic was disappointing since it was way too short and a lot of the details were not included (like that brain thingy that got Ron in the book). Overall, I liked the movie anyway since Daniel Radcliffe is in almost all the frames :-) He's so cute with those big blue eyes of his :-)

After watching the movie, I make my way to China Town again via MRT this time. I've been wanting to try out Singapore's chili crab. I chose a restaurant where a lot of locals and foreigners converge and eat. There's no graceful way to eat crabs. Just dig in with your hands. People may look at you funny but what the heck! That's what wet towels are for anyway.

I was a bit disappointed with my crab. It's not as sweet and succulent as Philippine crabs. And it costs SGD26 (P780)! I could get 4 large fresh crabs in Manila for that amount! Ayayay.

After my crab experience, I went back to the hotel.

Despite the long walk from the MRT station to our hotel, I find myself enjoying the walk particularly because the scenery is just beautiful. I wish we had riverbank like this in Manila where everything is clean, orderly and quiet.

Dinnertime with hubby was at the foodcourt in the nearby Central Mall. We had some grilled duck and pork and asado. The food was good, yet cheap. Much better bang for your buck, so to speak.

The food court ain't bad looking too. Some tables even overlook the river.

For dessert, hubby was drawn to the multi-colored sago-type looking things. We later learned that they were called Mango Sago, Fruit Combo Sago and a drink called Teh Si. The sago desserts were a bit weird tasting, the mango that they use is ripe Indian Mango and it tastes different than our local mangoes. Ours is way better. The Teh Si is like Teh Tarik but made with Jasmine tea. Not a very nice combination in my opinion.

On our walk home, we decided to have a picture taken at this psychedelic bridge just a stone's throw away from our hotel.

During daytime, the bridge resembles multi-colored toy balloons!

Third Day in Singapore - Orchard Road, Funan Square, Clarke Quay

I was left to my own devices again. Hubby's off to work and I'm off to Orchard Road, the shopping mecca of Singapore. I wasn't really planning on shopping but I wanted to see the famous road nonetheless. I opted to take a cab this time since my muscles are still sore from the previous day's long walk.

Oh boy, cabs in Singapore are much more expensive than Manila. Way more. But I was glad that I didn't have to walk going to the MRT station.

I was very pleased with the shops along Orchard road. Everything was on sale! I started from Centerpoint Mall up to Tang Plaza. Our vacation/business trip was in time for the Great Singapore Sale. It's such a shame that I'm on a tight budget :-(

One thing that I've noticed in Singapore is that the shoe selection (heels and pumps) is fabulous! I know a lot of my friends would love to buy several pairs of shoes. I resisted buying a pair since I'm at home most of the time and I already have some heeled shoes that lie unused in my cabinet. Although some shoes were screaming my name :-)

As I happily walk along Orchard Road, I came upon a row restaurants street hawkers' style. Wow! I was very excited. I've been wanting to try Laksa, a local noodle dish.

As I set foot inside the collection of stalls, it rained really really hard. It was as if the clouds were waiting for me to seek shelter before unleashing it's heavy burden! I had no complaints since I had a bowl shrimp Laksa waiting for me at the counter. As expected, the broth was spicy but flavorful. It had some vegetables, noodles and tofu in it. Interesting albeit a bit spicy for my taste. The laksa was just SGD4!

Mynah birds are like the brown sparrows back home, they're everywhere. This mynah even decided to have some Laksa too.

After the rain let up, I went on with my leisurely walk. Singapore I think is like the New York of Asia in a way. Everywhere you look, people of different race, color, and nationalities walk its tree lined streets. Very nice and comforting. It is a small world after all and every citizen of the world seems to converge in this little country.

After a few hours of walking, I make my way to the nearest MRT station and proceeded to go back to the hotel to rest, freshen up and meet hubby for dinner.

And a long walk it was. This time though, I really enjoyed my walk. After alighting at the Central station, (the nearest MRT in our hotel), I decide to buy some Indian pastry (which I forgot the name) with a chicken curry filling to be eaten at the hotel while waiting for hubby.

As I walk and admire the views from the river bank leading to our hotel, I decided to check out Clarke Quay since it was on the way. It's a very colorful "mall" or group of high end restaurants clustered along the river bank. A pastry shop caught my eye, Nectarie. The Tiramisu looked absolutely delicious and since I have not baked for the past few days, I was craving for sweets. The Tiramisu was very light and absolutely divine. That's the best SGD8 (P180) that I've spent today. Yummy!

Clarke Quay is a very interesting place. Here's a picture of me by the fountain. The holes that you see on the posts are allow fresh air to circulate within it's streets. Huge umbrella-like canopies protect the people from getting wet when it rains yet allow natural sunlight and/or moonlight to shrine through. Very ingenious. Maybe they should do that in Greenbelt Mall. Just an idea :-)

When hubby finally came to the hotel, he informed me that he wanted to go to Funan Square and check out the electronics. It's a bit far from the hotel but still within walking distance (if you're planning to join a walkathon, he he he). Took us over half an hour to look for it while getting lost a few times. All part of the adventure, I guess. When we got there, I saw a bookstore that has the Harry Potter 7 book in chains. I wanted to rip out the chains and read it already. Grrr... a few more days before the box is unleashed :-)

Most of the shops in Funan Square closed early and we were not able to buy electronics. Hubby was a bit disappointed. Yeah, major let down for an IT (information Technology) guy :-) Poor baby, he wasn't able to buy some toys.

Dinner was at Clark Quay since it was on our way to the hotel. We wanted to eat somewhere nice and unusual and we chose Marrakesh. The place was nice and comfy.

Here's hubby and moi in our little table.

The food isn't particularly good though. We were sorely disappointed. We had a seafood platter of fish kebab, prawn kebab, hummus, moutabel, olive chermouleh and Arabic salad grill and Dolma, vine leaves rolled with herbed rice, pine nuts and Arabic spices. Yuck! If you're in Clarke Quay, don't waste your money eating there.

After our disastrous dinner, I told hubby about the dessert place, Nectarie. He was game and wanted to eat the Tiramisu too. Unfortunately, the Tiramisu was sold out when we got there. We decided to try the Chicago cheesecake and the Jack Daniel's ice cream instead.

The Chicago cheesecake probably got it's name because the cake itself is like the Chicago deep-dish pizza in terms of thickness. It was very thick and very very delicious. Not too sweet yet it melts slowly in your mouth. Yum with a capital "Y"!

The Jack Daniel's ice cream is the shop's specialty and it was absolutely delicious. There is just the perfect amount of Jack Daniel's in the home-made vanilla ice cream.

The desserts from Nectarie and our moonlit walk by the river certainly made our night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Second Night in Singapore-Merlion Park and The Esplanade

A holiday to Singapore is never complete without a visit to Singapore's famed Merlion fountain.

Designed by Mr Fraser Brunner, a curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, the lion head represents the lion spotted by Prince Sang Nila Utama when he re-discovered Singapura in 11 AD, as recorded in the "Malay Annals". The fish tail of the Merlion symbolizes the ancient city of Temasek (meaning “sea” in Javanese) by which Singapore was known before the Prince named it “Singapura” (meaning “lion” (singa) “city” (pura) in Sanskrit), and represents Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village.

From www.visitsingapore.com

Another must-see landmark is The Esplanade.
The Esplanade is a waterside building located on six hectares of waterfront land alongside Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River, purpose-built to be the centre for performing arts for the island nation of Singapore. Taking its name from the nearby Esplanade, It contains a 1,600 seat concert hall and a 2,000 seat theatre for the performing arts. The library@esplanade is located on the third floor of the building. There are outdoor performing centres, and retail and food space at the Esplanade Mall. There is an outdoor open space on the fourth floor of the building.

(from Wikepedia)

Hubby fondly calls it The Armadillo because of it's spiny shape. But it's actually designed after the fruit, Durian.

It was quite late when we arrived to both landmarks way past dinnertime. A particular restaurant caught our eye, it's called "No Signboard Seafood". The name itself caught our attention. The place was jam-packed with locals and expats alike. A winning combination.

The place is quite pricey and we were on an extremely tight budget. It's only the second day of our trip, after all. We settled for simple and cheap dishes of sauteed asparagus, homemade tofu and a Salad You-Tiao. Appetizers of peanuts and chili come for "free" (SGD2 is added to your bill)

The asparagus were typical stir-fry, crisp and yummy. The tofu was a bit different, it has some sort of wet crust on it that tasted bland. The You-Tiao or squid "logs" with sesame crust was good and can easily be re-created by using good quality squid balls dipped in sesame seeds and then quickly fried. The dipping sauce that went with it was just plain mayonnaise.

I guess the specialty of the restaurant were crabs and lobsters, sold per 100 grams and we have plenty of that in Manila. And as I mentioned earlier, we're on a tight budget. Our meal for the night was SGD46 (P1380 or US$29). That would have bought us 7-10 varieties of viand from Chinatown!

Oh well, maybe tomorrow night we can find a better restaurant.

Hubby snapped this photo as I was walking in a deserted basement hall on our way to the MRT station.

Second Day in Singapore - Little India and China Town

After browsing through the net prior to our visit, I was really interested in seeing both Little India and China Town.

After hubby left for work (he's on business and moi on holiday, he he he!), I eagerly got ready. To play it safe, my game plan was to take a cab to the "nearest" MRT station which is Clarke Quay (pronounced as kee). The cab driver refused to take me since according to him, it is very near our hotel. "Very" being the operative term here. Ok, I'll give it another try. The driver told me to just cross the river and I'll find it. The very near turned out to be a 20-minute hike along the river bank. I got lost a few times but I managed to find the damn station. It's still quite a walk from the hotel but the view is spectacular, river boats quietly pass though, several parks and high end condominiums and hotels and a sprinkling of lovely malls. My walk wasn't too bad and the weather was a bit cloudy this morning, perfect walking weather.

Little India

My first stop is Little India. I wasn't sure how the MRT works so I ask a customer representative for directions. It was very easy. The ticketing system is computerized and easy enough to follow. Using a touch-screen, simply pick your destination, put your money on the slot and get your ticket and change (if any). Easy as pie. Fare is SGD2 from Clarke Quay to Little India. The ticket is like a proximity card that you place on top the scanning machine and the turnstile will open. Upon reaching your destination, return the ticket by inserting it on the ticketing slot and SGD1 will be refunded to you. It's sort of a deposit on the proximity card.

As I make my way towards the exit, this Indian guy approached me and hit on me and wanted to "get to know me". Sorry pal, already married. May asim pa ang lola n'yo :-)

As soon as you alight from the MRT, you will immediately be assailed by the smells of curry and spices. You have arrived in Little India.

Little India is a collection of quaint little shops hawking brass ware, gold, handmade jewelry, sari fabrics, perfumed oils, fruits, garlands, and Indian food food and desserts.

The place certainly is colorful and interesting. You'll find a lot of lovely sari fabrics here. I was very tempted to buy some but I still have 4 yards of unused sari in my closet (a purchase from my Indonesian trip). I did manage to buy 200 grams of fresh plump cherries for just SGD2.40. Much cheaper here than in Manila. I might go back again another day to purchase more. Too bad we can't bring some home.

My trip to Little India wouldn't be complete without eating some Indian food. It was quite early when I arrived and I wasn't hungry so I just opted for some puri bread with egg. It's a cross between a tortilla and an omelet. It's always served with home made curry sauce. I love Indian food and this one is really good. It's light and not too spicy and for just SGD1, it's a great deal. Of course I had to wash down the puri bread with the quintessential Indian beverage, Teh Tarik, or Indian tea with goat's milk and some condensed milk as a sweetener. It also costs SGD1. The tea "barrista" cools down your tea by "stretching" the hot liquid onto another cup. The Teh Tarik is traditionally served hot. Now, you can have it cold and since it was a hot day, I opted for the latter. This is the first time that I've had this beverage and I love it. I hope I can come back another day to try out other dishes and have some more Teh Tarik.

Puri Bread with Curry Sauce

Teh Tarik Barrista

Iced Teh Tarik

Just a word of caution, make sure that what you are eating or drinking is served piping hot to assure cleanliness. My Tek Tarik was piping hot and was poured over a cup of ice. Indians do handle their food with their hands, so be choosy.

From Little India, I take the MRT again to China Town. Fare is the same SGD2.

China Town

Between the two ethnic communities, I was very eager to see this quaint little town. I've certainly seen a lot of pictures and have read quite a bit about it. Some of the most memorable Singaporean images were from China Town. It's historic shop houses are carefully preserved and is very pretty, painted with bright colors. They are called shop houses because the building is a place of business at the ground floor and a family home on the second floor.

It's quite easy to find. Take the MRT and alight at Chinatown, Pagoda Street exit. As soon as you exit the MRT station, you will be assailed by the scents of incense burning, colorful Chinese lanterns and tiangge-style stalls waiting for you to browse it's hallways. Pagoda street is closed to vehicular traffic. It certainly is very lovely but a bit "Disneyfied" due to the bright colors of the shop houses. Locals who have been to Manila say that our Chinatown is more authentic. But I kinda like Singapore's version too. You can safely walk the streets while happily bumping into expats and tourists all over the world. It's interesting and fun.

The goods are quite similar to what we have at home. I did manage to buy my a souvenir from this trip, a Chinese box, with a compass inside. I know it's not a real antique but who cares. I like it. I bought it for SGD25. This is my one indulgence for the house (Yeah, right).

I did find an apothecary store there complete with weighing scales and traditional Chinese herbs and medicines.

What Chinatown is famous for is the food. Oh my golly, I too bad wasn't hungry when I got there so I just went to this hole in the wall vegetarian stall. I ordered sauteed spinach, rice with curry sauce and a tofu ball. The food wasn't particularly good. I won't show a picture because it looked awful too. I want my SGD2 back! After eating a few bites of my tasteless meal, I roam the streets and found more interesting food stalls where most menus were in Chinese, sayang. I'll go back another time and try out other dishes from other stalls.

I'll go where the expats and the locals dine, fore sure the food will be good. There's a food stall there that sells nothing but dim sum! Hubby would love it.

I figured since I'll be walking back to the hotel from Clarke Quay, I'd better buy some food to eat in my room. I saw some expats and locals dining in this particular kiosk called Flavours Food and ordered Fried Oyster Omelet (SGD4), take away (as opposed to the Western "to go", or Manila's "take out"). There was a lot of choices but I happen to like oyster omelet so I ordered that. After my disastrous vegetarian venture earlier, I was more inclined to eat dishes that I've tasted and liked.

Singapore is also famous for orchid pins. These are real orchids preserved in a mantle of 24K gold. Very pretty. I remember my grandmother had one as a gift from my aunt many years ago.

After leaving Chinatown, I headed back to Clarke Quay and walked back to the hotel. Learning from my directional mistakes this morning, I took the most scenic route, I followed the river under the fierce heat of the sun. Thankfully, I brought a small foldable umbrella with me and provided a bit of comfort from the heat. The route that I picked, turned out to be scenic as well as the easiest route. Why didn't anyone tell me this earlier? Sheesh! I took some pictures along the way, you like?

After burning off probably 500 calories from the walking under the sweltering heat, I finally reach our hotel. Haaay, air-coned bliss.

After resting and freshening up a bit, I eat my Oyster Omelet in the comfort of my hotel room. The omelet was absolutely divine. Perfectly cooked, the oyster was still juicy, the egg was light, some vegetables were fried with the omelet and a generous sprinkling of cilantro is perfect foil for the egg. I didn't take any pictures because it wasn't pretty when I opened the box. What it lacked in looks, it made up for in taste a hundred fold. It was the best SGD4 that I've ever spent!

Fully sated, I go down to the hotel lobby and write this blog :-)