Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Holidays in Singapore

I wasn't planning to return here anytime soon, but then they got Wicked the Musical on tour. I thought that's enough reason to go back.

That and exploring the museums, visiting an old friend, checking out the Christmas lights in Orchard Road, spending a day in Sentosa Island, and checking out the Peranakan culture in the East Coast.

Despite all of this, there's still that lingering feeling that I felt before: Singapore is boring - especially if you don't have much money to do stuff. I don't know, maybe it's too clean and organized for me that I'm finding it stale and sterile. There's a beach, and there are nature parks everywhere, but these are so artificially manicured that they have lost their magic on me.

Still, it's a very attractive country, and quite photogenic too. Thankfully I just got my Christmas money to burn.

The ArtScience Museum glows in glamorous red for the Cartier exhibit opening.

One of the spectacular highlights of my holiday is staying in this very cozy and chic hostel. It's quite cheap in Singapore standards. The hosts and guests are friendly and well-behaved, and everything is kept squeaky clean. But the best part I think is the unlimited Nutella that's on the free breakfast counter.

View by the hostel window. Another day in Singapore.

A very huge Christmas tree at ResortsWorld Sentosa.

The groovy escalator to the Singapore Flyer.

Beach bumming at Sentosa island for $1.00 (entrance fee). There are lockers where you can leave your stuff for about $2.00, but I didn't really want to stay long. The cargo ships in the horizon are ruining it for me. 

Marina Bay Sands on a blue sunset. What a very pretty and weird-looking architectural structure.

Real pine trees in the tropics. I hope they don't die in the sweltering heat.

Light rain while walking around the Chinatown district.

The rain oculus inside the ArtScience Museum

The Fountain of Wealth. Purportedly the largest fountain in the world.

The very posh-looking Louis Vuitton maison floating over Marina Bay. I went inside just to check it out and was almost mesmerized into buying expensive stuff by some of the friendly Filipino salespeople.

View from the Singapore flyer.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Officialy one of my favorite places in the world now.

A devotee meditates around the mezzanine of the Buddha Tooth Relic temple. Monks are synchronously chanting prayers below.

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in black and white.

Devotees in prayer at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

 Olympic circles at Marina Bay.

Enjoying my $6.00 scoop of ice cream on the beach.

The Gardens by the Bay. Still under construction.

An old man looks proudly at the skyscrapers.

 A flamenco show at the Esplanade outdoor theatres.

 Giant Salvatore Ferragamo pump inside the ArtScience Museum.

Singapore maybe boring (sometimes) but here, even the back-alleys are quite safe.

Beautiful capitol  building. Manila has got several of these Neo-classical buildings but now all of them are run-down and garishly colored.

Mall display. It's so Christmasy. 

A very busy Orchard Road. I just worn my new favorite jacket after watching Wicked the Musical at MBS. Thanks to Jeof for this photo.

Breakfast time at the hostel.  

Nutella and jam and cereal and Milo. Breakfast heaven.

Hainanese chicken rice. Recommended by Bourdain.

A very expensive Black Pepper crab. All for the sake of experience.

A Dali sculpture at the UOB Plaza.

The Titanic Artifact Exhibition was better than I expected. It wasn't merely a display of old junk. The music, the lighting, and even the temperature changes as you go through the exhibit and it contributes a lot to the mood. It was so absorbing that I actually took time to read all of the descriptions in each exhibit.

The ticket to the Titanic exhibit is a replica of the boarding pass. There is a name of a passenger at the back. Before exiting the exhibit, you get to find out whether that passenger has survived in the list of casualties and survivors that were on display.

At the Grand Staircase in the RMS Titanic.

Taking a break by the rain oculus. I love the very posh-looking paper bag which looks a lot more expensive than the souvenir magnet that I bought. 

Basbasan Nawa!


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