A Travellerspoint blog

Flight Experience & Chinatown

overcast 32 °C

Hey everyone!

We all had a great day on Sentosa Island, and started today at the Flight Experience Singapore. It was the coolest thing I have ever done, and I think Kim and Dalyce would agree. It was just like flying a real plane! But without being worried about crashing. It is the only flight experience in Asia currently, and it was amazing to try it.

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Flight Experience Singapore
Doesn't it just look like so much fun? We flew a Boeing 737-800NG! (Well, a simulator of one). And it was only about $140 CAD for a half hour.

We chose to take a nice trip over Rome. You could pick anywhere! You could even choose to go to an airport. But we thought it would be awesome to see some of the European landmarks we've always wanted to see. From a plane. That we were flying. Well, "flying", but close enough. It was awesome.

So after all of that excitement, we decided to go to Chinatown, one of the ethnic areas in the city. We were still looking for traditional souvenirs, and heard this was the best place to find some. Plus, the Chinatown Hawker Centre was said to be amazing (which I'll write more about later - little preview, so delicious).

It wasn't very close to the Flight Experience, so we took a taxi. I have a couple little tips about taxis for anyone who might be going to Singapore. First, they generally are not a great way to get around the city. Buses have their own lane, so generally taking the bus is easier and quicker than taking a taxi. But since it was pretty far, we would have had to switch buses, and a taxi just seemed easier. The second tip is that tipping is not expected, or even encouraged, in Singapore. The locals don't tip, and then they become upset when they see tourists tipping their taxi drivers.

Singapore has a really cool statue, the Merlion, and we found small souvenir statues at the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Seeing the statue was so cool. It's like, the Eiffel Tower of Singapore. There really isn't much to do at Merlion Park except look at the statue, but I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. I already have my little statue all wrapped up so it doesn't break before I get home.

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Dalyce and Kim bought a few handmade Singapore shawls for themselves, which can be worn 22 different ways. The woman who sold the shawls to them was showing them some of the ways to wear the shawls. Basically any way you can wrap it around your body.

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After spending way too much money in the shops around Chinatown, we stopped at the Chinatown Hawker Centre. It was extremely busy and mostly consisted of locals. I understand why, it was really inexpensive and had so many different types of food.

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I tried the Hainanese Chicken Rice (I'm not very adventurous with food, chicken and rice was enough for me). But I will admit that the Popiah Rolls that Dalyce tried looked delicious. They are really common in Singapore, and are basically stir fry in a crepe. But she said they had a hot chili sauce on them, and I don't do well with spicy food so I couldn't get the courage to try them.

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Now that we have spent too much money and ate too much food, we are off to find a hotel for the night. We're all exhausted from the last couple days, we need to catch up on some sleep so we are good to go again tomorrow.

Goodnight!

Raelene

Posted by kdrtvt 07:27 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Santosa Island

sunny 27 °C

So an other day has gone by and we got to experience something new and exciting!

To start off the day, we decided we would take the Singapore Cable Car out to Sentosa Island. It cost us 26 dollars each for a round trip, but I we all agreed that it was money well spent! The scenery from such great heights was unbelievable and I don't think we would have gotten a chance to see that side of Singapore had we taken an other mode of transportation. Once we arrived on the island, we decided to go over to the MegaZip Adventure Park! This had an incredibly scary, but fun high ropes course that was a challenge for all of us.

They actually had this zip line with 3 wire side-by-side so all of us could do the megazip together. I think I was frightened more by the screams coming from Dalyce and Raelene, instead of the fact that we were 75 meters high, and traveling down a wire at 50 MPH for 450 meters! At the end, you land on the white sand beach which was a nice way to wind down off an adrenaline high.
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Megazip

We ended up getting what was called the tiger package which included that megazip, the climbmax and the parajump. This cost us $60.00 dollars each. The climbmax is a high ropes course, with 3 different levels which was 40 feet high and kept our hearts racing. I personally enjoyed this the most since I had to just trust in the wire that was holding me safe, and also push myself to go forward and know I had the strength to get through it.
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Climbax

The final component was the Parajump AKA a leap of faith. This gives you a replicated feeling of a freefall parachute jump without the plane ride! It is a 50 foot drop, and well I think that was the hardest part of all 3 activities was just convincing yourself to walk off the plank to a free-fall. I can't even describe to you the feeling I had and how my body and brain were resiting what I was just about to do!
Lets just say it was a good thing we did all of that before lunch and gave ourselves the rest of the day to walk it off and get adjusted because it was quite the exhilarating, and frightening experience.
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Parajump

We decided to take a walk around the beach grabbed some food and walked down to the Southern most Point of Continental Asia.
They have these two hut type buildings there that are connected by a suspension bridge, and it was really nice to just soak in the scenery and relax for while.
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Southern Most Point of Continental Asia

Dalyce has always been interested in history and since she agreed to do my crazy high ropes adventure, I agreed to go to Fort Siloso.
This was more interesting than I had anticipated because we were not only shown a real deal of stuff that they have left over from WWII, but it was so well done the place even had some of the same aromas to help you better imagine and picture what it was like during that time. They say that Fort Siloso has the nations largest memorabilia from WWII which is pretty impressive. Dalyce was glued to the guides who were through out the tram ride. She can't get enough of the history and this sort of thing. We learned about how the Fort played an important role in preserving the Malayan region. I am glad Dalyce is along otherwise I don't think I would have chosen to go see this fort.
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Fort Siloso

After an eventful morning, we decided to enjoy the rest of the day at the Siloso beach. This seemed to be the busiest beach where there were several other young adults our age. I was able to join in on some beach volleyball and then ended up bar hopping with the girls were we ended up meeting some other backpackers as well. There was even this neat man made wave machine where I got to do a little bit of surfing and then we all ended up in the whirlpool right on the beach! It was awesome! Apparently they have these giant beach parties but sadly we won't be here for the next one. I am not too sure if we will be returning to the island tomorrow, but I can tell you one thing, we hardly got to start of all attractions that were available to do. There is easily a 3 more or more of activities to do for all ages. This was an excellent place to go, and if I have the chance to come back, I certainly would.
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Siloso Beach

Kimberly

Posted by kdrtvt 07:26 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Raffles hotel and shoppingggg!

semi-overcast 26 °C

Hello lovely family and friends who are reading our blog!

Kim and I really need to hand it to Dalyce, she did an awesome job picking a hotel for us. We all loved the Strand Hotel, and decided to stay there for another night. We checked out this morning, because we're going to Santosa Island tomorrow so we're going to find something near the island.

Today was AMAZING. We started out by going to the Raffles Hotel. Unfortunately, it's about $550.00 CAD per night to stay there, so we did not stay there. But it was amazing just to visit it. Even just to look at!
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Gorgeous, right? It opened in 1887. And it's managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotel International, so as Travel and Tourism students we obviously felt like we needed to see it.

Dalyce was especially interested in it, because during World War II, it was used as a transit camp for prisoners of war. Then in 1987 it was named a National Monument. We didn't know that until we got there, so it was really interesting to learn about! We got extremely lucky and had an employee take us on a tour around the hotel. The rooms were so amazing and luxurious.
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We ended our trip to the hotel at the Long Bar, which was featured in a travel series as one of the top 10 bars in the world. This was the part we were most excited about - trying the Singapore Sling. The drink was invented at the Long Bar in 1915.
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If you want to try, here's the recipe for a simple Singapore Sling:
1/2 oz grenadine syrup
1 oz gin
sweet and sour mix
club soda
1/2 oz cherry brandy
Pour grenadine into the bottom of a collins glass, and fill with ice. Add gin, and almost-fill with equal parts of sweet and sour and chilled soda. Top with cherry brandy, and serve unstirred, garnished with a cherry.

After we finished at the Raffles hotel, we walked over to the Suntec City Mall. I was so excited to go shopping, but it wasn't as authentic as I expected! It was quite close to the hotel though, and we heard it's a great mall so we decided to try.
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They had stores like La Senza, Nike, Guess, and Toys R Us. We're going to try find another shopping area later in the week because we couldn't find a lot of souvenirs here. The employee at the Raffles hotel told us a great place for souvenirs was the handicraft shops in Chinatown, especially for jade carvings and bronze statues.

While looking for a good restaurant for us to go to online, I found an article called "40 Singapore foods we can't live without" and now we are hungrier than ever. Travel books and online articles we read before we got here all said to go to a Hawker Centre for food, so we're off to find one! Then we're going to find a hotel for the night and we're off to Santosa Island in the morning.

Raelene

Posted by kdrtvt 07:22 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

overcast 27 °C

Helloooo!!

Today was a busy, yet eventful day. For me it has been the best day of the whole trip (so far).
This morning I was wide awake with eagerness for the Singapore Zoo!!! I woke Kim and Raelene up (they weren't too happy about that), we needed to pack our bags and head to the Strand Hotel, our new home for a couple of days!!

It is a nice hotel, not to expensive, about $100 CAD per night. It is located close to a MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) so its easy to get out and about. There is also a Health Clinic right next door!! Thats always handy!
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Enough about the hotel. I want to give everyone all the details on Singapore's awesome Zoo!!
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In order for us to get to the Zoo we had to take the MRT and then a bus the rest of the way. The Zoo opens at 8:30am and we got there for 9am. I wanted a full day to see all the animals!! It costs about $33.00CAD each, I made us get the Park Hopper Pass so we are able to visit the Zoo during the day, AND the Night Safari!!

We went all over the Zoo! We visited the Rainforest and saw Asian small-clawed otters, apes and other rainforest critters. We were able to feed elephants and watch them have a bath! That was such a good time, everyone watching got soaking wet, apparently we needed a bath too!! We then went and had a "Jungle breakfast - with Wildlife", there were Orangutans eating their breakfast right by our table! After breakfast we watched California Sealions put on a show full of flips, dives and jumps.
We took a 20 min boat ride along the Upper Seletar Reservoir and spotted Monitor lizards, stork-billed kingfishers, and Singapore's largest bird, the white-bellied sea eagle.

Kim's favourite part was when we visited the Australian Outback. Seeing the kangaroos reminded her of when she went to Australia. We were able to feed the grey kangaroos and the wallabys their lunch!
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Raelene's favourite part was the Wild Africa exhibit. She loves giraffes and got to learn more about them. She even got to feed them carrots!!
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My most favourite part was the White Tigers. They were so elegant and rare. It was an amazing sight seeing these beautiful creatures.
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At 6pm we headed from our hotel back to the Zoo to see the Night safari which opens at 730pm and runs until 12pm.
When we got to the entrance of the Night Safari there were groups performing tribal dances, which got us excited!!

To start off our journey we caught the tram for a 45min ride since we were still tired from walking around the zoo earlier today. We were able to see elephants, giraffes, leopards, and other animals.

We didnt last right to 12pm but we did make it until 930pm. We are all really happy with the zoo, it was a wonderful experience, like no other zoo any of us have been too!!

Well it's late, Kim and Raelene are asleep and im getting exhausted. We have another big day tomorrow!!

Selamat Malam! (Goodnight!)
-Dalyce

Posted by kdrtvt 19:47 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Arrival and First Day in Singapore

sunny 26 °C

Hey-O!

We all safely arrived here in Singapore!
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(We thought we would add a map of where Singapore is in the world, so you all know!)

We departed Calgary on Monday at 12:45PM, connected in Tokyo Japan and arrived in Singapore at 11:40 PM last night. It was strange having to travel for such a long period of time, and arriving almost a day later. We only needed a Canadian passport to enter the country, and received a tourist visa when we got to the Singapore airport. It's good for 30 days, so we could stay a bit longer if we all fall in love with Singapore and just can't leave. We arrived at night in Singapore which made it hard for us to go to sleep since it was 8:40 AM Calgary time. After we all showered, and got settled in to our hostel we were able to sleep soundly which helped us feel adjusted for today.

Just so you all can see the journey our plane took, here's a map!

Singapore has four languages (luckily one is English!). The others are Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It's actually not as hard to adapt as we thought. We all expected to be so confused as soon as our plane landed, but it's really nice being able to actually speak and understand the local people.

Before departing on this trip, Dalyce did some research on hostels where we could stay. She came across the one we are currently staying which turned out to be just as gorgeous as the pictures.
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Bugis Backpackers Hostel

The cost of a nights stay was about $10.00 (the currency here is the Singapore Dollar, and is really close to the Canadian Dollar, which is nice. 1 Singapore Dollar is equal to about 80 cents Canadian) and we decided that we are going to stay here again tonight, then tomorrow we will find somewhere else to stay. It's interesting staying in a hostel, but we might try a hotel next. We would like to be closer to the Singapore Zoological Gardens and Night Safari, where we will be going tomorrow. You all know how much Dalyce loves going to the zoo.

Some of the other travellers at our hostel told us to go to the New Asia Bar during happy hour and try Tiger Beer, Singapore's locally brewed beer. It actually was pretty good! The bar was on the 71st floor of the Swissotel hotel and the view was amazing. Since it was happy hour, it was only $8.00 Singapore Dollars, which works out to about $6.00 Canadian Dollars.

Before we got here, we read that the easiest way to get around is by bus, and it definitely is. They have double decker buses! It only took about 10 minutes to get to the New Asia Bar, but it was so cool seeing around Singapore from the top of the bus.

We're still pretty jet legged from the huge time difference, so we're going to hang out at the hostel until we fall asleep. I doubt it will take very long. We need to be ready to go and fully rested for the zoo tomorrow!

Byeeeeeeee!

Kimberly, Dalyce, and Raelene

Posted by kdrtvt 16:38 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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