Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Little Bit of Singapore

I have visited Singapore a few times already but I always keep coming back. You'll never run out of food to try in the city as it's a melting pot of different cultures in Asia. When I learned about Cebu Pacific's direct flight from Davao to Singapore, I got really excited. Unfortunately, I was not able to avail of their promo last year so I thought I won't be able to see the place again anytime soon. One day, I browsed Cebu Pacific's website and found a really cheap fare at only Php2,700 for a one-way ticket. I immediately booked a one-way seat and waited for a few days to book for the return ticket hoping that the fare would go down. It didn't and it even started to go up, so I booked my Singapore - Davao ticket for almost double the price which still isn't bad. After about three weeks I found myself eating my favorite chicken rice in Singapore.


Departure

It's my first time to depart from Davao International Airport for an international flight so I was quite naive of the process. It was in 2011 when I last departed for an international flight and it was in Manila. I was also skeptical of the Immigration process since I have a new passport and I lost my old passport with the stamps of the countries I visited years ago.

After checking in, I had to pay the travel tax of Php1,720 and went back to the check in counter to get my boarding pass. I learned that you can also pay your travel tax by showing your ticket before checking in so you won't have to go back and forth.

I then paid the Php750 terminal fee. So in short, before a Filipino can leave the country, one has to pay over Php2,000.

Singapore Circa 2011

At the immigration counter,  I was a little nervous. I don't want to get offloaded since I already booked my onward flights and hotel accommodation. It would be a disaster if I won't be able to fly. The immigration officer asked me a number of questions and I told her I am a travel blogger and that I write travel stories. She asked about my itinerary and my blog url. I gave her my card and she allowed me to leave. That was a relief! Hahaha

Arriving in Singapore

The plane departed on time so in a little over 3 hours, I finally arrived in Singapore after almost five years. We arrived in Terminal 2 and after clearing the immigration, I immediately looked for an ATM to withdraw some Singapore Dollar (SGD). I used my UnionBank EON card and took some cash without any hassle. I checked my account later on and the bank charge was only Php142.00. The conversion rate wasn't bad either. We took the Airport train from Terminal 2 to our hotel for less than SGD3.

Hotel Booking
We already booked a hotel ahead of time through Expedia. We stayed at The Noble Hotel which is in Little India. We did not research on how to get there so we got lost. We were already starving so when we see a food stall we immediately sat and order some Indian food. We continued walking hoping that we'll find our hotel and then we gave up and ended up taking a cab. Good thing, the driver knew where the hotel is. We checked in, freshen a bit and went out to eat again. This time we tried Singapore's famous chicken rice at a nearby hawker near our hotel. After satisfying our cravings, we went back to the hotel, work a bit and hit the sack.



Exploring A Little Bit of the City
We decided to work in the morning so we only went out for an hour to have some brunch at a nearby hawker. This time we ate pork ribs and pork rice. We continued working and decided to go out at 3PM to explore a little bit of the city.

We decided to have a little walking tour around Little India and saw a number of Hindu Temples. They're very interesting and they're just a walking distance from the hotel.


We took the MRT and was supposed to go to the National University of Singapore but unfortunately it started raining so we had to cancel. Instead we head to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) to visit the Gardens By The Bay. To our dismay, it was also closed because of heavy rains. What a bummer!

NUS Circa 2009

We've decided to  go back to MBS Shopping Center to explore a little bit and eat. After all, this recent trip is more about eating rather than exploring. Hahaha




The rain has finally subside, so, we went to the MBS viewing area to witness the light show at the Gardens By The Bay, it was good but since I did not bring a DSLR with me, I was not able to capture great photos. Good thing though, I was able to enjoy the show.


After MBS, we head to Singapore's Chinatown. It's still vibrant and it used to be my favorite hangout place when I stayed in the city for a month. I loved it, I still do. Cheap bargains and sumptuous food will never fail you.




We know that there are a lot more to see and experience in Singapore but our main purpose really was to eat and explore a little bit. Goal, achieved!

My short trip to the Lion city has resulted in me wanting to live in one of the Singapore condos. But I'm not sure that it's the right time for me to move, maybe in the future.

Here's a short video of our short visit to Singapore. Next stop, Melaka, Malaysia!


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