Sunday, November 6, 2011

Third Stop: Mustafa Centre

You can get to Mustafa Centre by taking North East Line (Purple) to Punggol and getting off at Farrer Park from Little India.

It's not an easy find unlike Chinatown because you have to walk a few miles to get there.  It's a big building, though so you can spot it as you walk.  If you don't, then maybe you're getting lost.

Some friends recommended that we go to Mustafa because my mom was looking for the perfume that my brother asked her to buy.  They said that this place is 24/7 so we could have gone there the night before after dinner but out of exhaustion, we decided to call it a day instead.

When we entered, it seemed like it had EVERYTHING. We were only looking for perfume so we stayed at the ground floor and started walking from one end to the other. There are a lot of shelves full of different brands of cosmetics and other products.

My mom saw the lipstick she just bought for the trip. It costs Php 900.  There we saw 2 for around $20 (Php 700).  So Mustafa is a cheaper option where you can buy things in bulk with discount.  It's like 168 but more organized.

We found the perfume section at the other end of the building.  We were looking for United Colors of Benetton Perfume, Hot & Cold, but we didn't know what it looked like.  Also, there was just so many perfumes!  I eventually found it.  We bought 1 cold, 1 hot then added 2 more... which one's for guys again?... for my other brother and my dad.  I also bought myself a perfume - Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea Exotic for $30 (*converting to peso* Woops. Ang mahal pala haha).  I haven't used it yet because I still have my Victoria Secret perfume.

After putting everything in a basket, this one saleslady approached us and began asking my mom where we were from.  She started her sales talk about this product called UV White (O2 Advanced).  It's a renewal gel that when applied, can remove dry skin.  My mom bought two because the saleslady was persistent.

We were in a hurry to leave Mustafa because we had to go to Marina Bay Sands and be back at the hotel by 11:30am.  It was past 9am.  We left without exploring the other floors of Mustafa Centre :< But then we saw this...

Very nice promotions for this shop with their big-ass "3 for $10 3 for $10 ..." posters.  Good thing the store  lured us into them; I was carrying all the perfumes and it was heavy! We bought a bag so I could carry the perfumes more easily.  I also bought these cute keychains from this store - 5 for $10 (I already gave one to my friend hihi):

Then we bid farewell to the Mustafa Centre, to Farrer Park and was on our way to... Marina Bay Sands!

Last Stop: Marina Bay Sands

From Mustafa we went straight to Marina Bay Sands.  From Farrer Park, go down at Dhoby Ghaut station then transfer to the North South line (red line).  Get off the last station, which is Marina Bay.

When we got out of the station, the place looked so empty but there were also areas with ongoing constructions.  We couldn't figure out how to get to Marina Bay Sands but we could already see it from afar.  We tried to just walk and eventually, we got there!

From Marina Bay Sands, you can see the cityscape! It was like Makati, here in the Philippines, with a cleaner bay :)

We entered The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.  It was huge! There were a lot of shops but there was still so big spaces.

We haven't had breakfast then so we were really hungry. We were looking for the food court.  After asking, they said just to go straight ahead but it seemed endless!  We got tired and so we rested on the benches, took some pictures.

The shops in this mall were for 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Second Stop: Chinatown

After we finally got our room at 3:00pm (check in time), my mom decided to get some sleep first (she was really sick :< boo).  I told her that I'll go to Chinatown on my own.  Thanks to SMRT and EZ-Link, I didn't mind going there alone.  I could have chosen to go to Little India but I didn't because 1) it's near so there's still hope that we can go there maybe the next day or that night and 2) I was scared to go there alone haha I'm sorry.

But before that, I had my lunch - Tom Yang cup noodles.  Sitting pretty on our bed while eating Tom Yang and watching Koreanovela = The Life :)) I could never do that at home because I'm worried that insects would come pestering me in my sleep.

So off to Chinatown!

Ni hao!

Couplets on Chinatown.
Every MRT station have some drawings or writings on their walls.  This one, I found interesting.

So there I was, in Chinatown, all alone.  I was anxious at first since... I'm all alone. But when I got out of the MRT station, I saw a lot of people - tourists, like me, and I felt better.

Because of these 3/5/30 for $10, I wanted to buy a lot of things.  But since I honestly didn't know who I'll give it to, I restrained myself from buying.  I was all for taking photos :>

The TinTin Shop.
For collectors of Tintin comics~ There were comics both in English and French (which I was tempted to buy), posters and even figurines representing a comic book.  If I were a Tintin fan, I would've spazzed out!

The buildings (or are they houses?) in Chinatown looked like ancient houses in the Philippines.

At first, I didn't know where exactly to go; I didn't want to get my map and start looking (and honestly, I'm not good with maps hihi although I did see the streets indicated in the map, I didn't know which side I was on it) I continued walking and walking, just looking around the many stalls of clothes, key chains and other trinkets until I final reached my desired destination - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum.

I was hesitant to enter because I didn't know if I was wearing the right clothes or if there were rules I had to know before entering.  I just looked around to see the other visitors.  They also provide skirts that one can wear if one is inappropriately dressed  I was actually expecting that there would be a big bell, like what I see on dramas but maybe it's a different kind of temple haha

While inside, I was still anxious with my actions.  I don't know if it's alright to take pictures, if I'm walking on the right path or something - it's a different culture with rules unknown to me so I was just being careful.  I saw a map in the entrance that said the temple had four (4) floors.  I only went through the first floor.

While I was at what-I-think-was a souvenir stall, a woman bumped me without even saying sorry. It annoyed me for a while but then I thought, maybe it's part of their ritual to walk straight ahead or something (her hands were in a praying position so I assumed she was there to... pray)

So that ended my tour around the temple.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone with the things I said (see, I still don't know if I'm doing this right haha), but seriously, I apologize for my lack of knowledge.

I continued my tour around Chinatown.  I actually passed by Chinatown Complex but didn't bother going in since I wasn't done going around the streets of Chinatown.  I should have at least went around the complex.  I just found out that The Hawker is there.  Oh well, next trip :>

I noticed that they sell shirts with "I <3 SG", which was what I was looking for.  I'm glad that it was 3 for $10.  I had a hard time choosing the color and size.  The first guy who helped me was a bit masungit and for a moment, I thought he talked to me in Filipino.  I wasn't sure so I continued talking to him in English.  He eventually left me because there were other customers and well, I was talking too much of his time.  Then, another guy approached me to help me with what I was looking for - he was cute hihi anyway, I bought 3 shirts, with myself, my brother and my dad, in mind.

Next store, I saw these longchamp-looking bags that had "Singapore" written all over it.  It was really cute! Again, 3 for $10.  I left for a while but I thought I should buy it, so I did.

I stopped by a camera store to just try asking the price of lenses for my camera - Lumix LX-5.  The guy in the store was really nice enough to take sample shots using the wide angle lens with macro lens (I forgot how he called it).  It's 2-in-1 for $399.  (Embarrassing) test shots hihi:

After asking me where I was from and how long I'll be staying in Singapore, he told me that he'll give it to me for half the price if I buy it before closing, 6pm (it was already 5:30pm that time).  I just told him I'll try to come back.  Sadly, I wasn't able to buy it.  I'm not that disappointed though.

Walking around some more, I stumbled upon the Sri Mariamman Temple.  I just looked from outside.  Again, I was scared to enter.  I better gather up more courage for my next trip so that I'll be able to go to places and tell more stories.

I was about to leave Chinatown because it was almost 6pm when I saw something...

I actually returned to Chinatown that night because my mom wanted to buy more of the bag I bought.  We got there around 9:30pm, I think so a lot of the stores were already closed.

First Stop: Sentosa

Upon leaving the hotel to go to Sentosa, we were able to talk to an employee named Peter who gave us directions on how to go there. He was so nice to give us directions :)

1.  Go to Little India MRT station, walking distance from the hotel (Parc Sovereign hotel).

I was surprised to see that Little India was so near our hotel, it was part of my itinerary.  I had hope that we will be able to go to all the places I planned to visit.  We got our MRT cards, which is so cool and it is a must-have for travelers in Singapore (MRT & LRT System map from SMRT website).

The MRT station is so clean and it feels really safe because of the CCTV inside the station.  There are long walks, sometimes in some MRT stations from one exit to another.  Very systematic and organized MRT stations.  Another thing that makes it safe are the doors that only open once the trains have stopped.  Also, compared to our MRT/LRT stations, it stops exactly where it should stop.  Riding the train was easy breezy, really breezy.  The train's fast.  It has a ticker that tells the stop you are currently in.  I really love SMRT!!

2.  Get off at Harbour Front, the last station in the North East line (Purple line).
We had breakfast at the Harbour Front station.  I forgot the name of the place but it was a food court.  We saw a lot of Filipinos eating there too, perhaps they were all going to Sentosa.

We should have entered the mall first before stopping to eat at the station because there are a lot more restaurants to choose from.  I had my eyes on Food Republic.  It had this street market feel (with wooden chairs and tables haha) but the food was actually more costly.

Spotted something while looking around Food Republic hihi

3.  Ride the Sentosa Express line, monorail.
It was at the top floor of Vivo City.  At first, I thought we had to pay $60-70 just to get in Sentosa.  Eventually we found out that we can just use our magic MRT card! Yay for EZ-Link card! I think it was for $3 only.

Into the Sentosa Express! Woot woot! There are four (4) stops as shown above and of course at that time, we were just in the Sentosa Station. (Sentosa Island map from Sentosa website)

Waterfront Station.
Where you can find: Universal Studios and Resorts World

We accompanied Tita Lyn and Issa to Universal Studios and started our photo-op :) (Sorry, I'm a bit camera shy especially if I'm the only one in the picture hihi) There were a lot of things we could take a picture with - posters, stores, ...statues..., etc!


Spot the Candy Trees :>

Hard Rock Cafe~

Ooh cable cars!

The Lake of Dreams~

Took a picture of this because I remembered my friends. When we were at Starbucks Tagaytay, we saw a school called ASHA.

Imbiah Station.
Where you can find: Merlion Plaza and Imbiah Lookout

We didn't go to Imbiah Lookout or explored the attractions other than the Merlion because it was really hot already.

Beach Station.
Where you can find: Tanjong Beach, Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach.

My mom and I decided to ride the beach trams that bring people to the beaches.  There are actually two - one for both Tanjong and Palawan beaches, and another for Siloso beach.  There are pavillions in Siloso beach, and resorts in Tanjong and Palawan beaches.

Southernmost Point of Continental Asia
I wanted to go there because it seemed interesting to be in the southernmost point of continental Asia :))

I can't say much because we only went around to take pictures and see for ourselves what's in Sentosa.

If you plan to go to Singapore, and you decide to visit Sentosa, be sure to allot a day or two for it.  There are lots of things you can do while you're in Sentosa - attractions to see (like Universal Studios) and places to visit (Beach area).

What to bring: sunblock, shades, beach stuff (swimsuit, towel, clothes), cap, camera and friends!