Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weekend Getaway - Singapore (1)

I am back from Singapore.  Except for the part with Tiger Airways, the trip was AWESOME  (you can read the whole story here). 

I still haven't heard from anyone from their Customer Service Team and I've tried to talk to their reservation desk in person at the respective airports.  Both times the rep working at the desk told me they are NOT Tiger Airlines' employee and they can't do anything about the refund... wow...  Customer service is virtually non-existent.  I emailed them again today... we will see how that goes...

Enough about Tiger, if you are planning to visit Singapore, here are some of my tips:

First and foremost, local calls are FREE from their pay phones (at least within the airport). 

Second, the infinite pool at Marina Bay Sands is worth EVERY penny.  If you are staying at MBS, there is free shuttle service from Terminal 2.  The bus runs every 30 minutes and the ride is another 30 minutes.  Remember to print your reservation and bring it with you because you won't be able to board the bus unless you can show proof that you are a hotel guest at the MBS.  (In Macau, anyone can board the free shuttle bus between the airport / ferry terminal to the casinos.) 

Finally, make sure your carry-on baggage is below the published weight limit and liquid free when you depart from Singapore.  The custom officers are indeed a pain...

the good news is the budget terminal is no longer in operation so this is probably not applicable to you 
Remember to bring a printed copy of your reservation.
Driver #1 was really rude.  Good thing driver #2 was a sweet guy.
We were actually the only passengers on the shuttle.
So, why so serious?
Here's the run-down on my 4-day trip (I broke it up into 2 posts... otherwise it will be too long):

Day 1:  My mom and I boarded a 10am flight to Singapore, landed around 2pm.  Arrived at MBS around 4pm and check-in to our room.  Our room faced the Garden by the Bay and the view is amazing both during the day and at night.

the only good thing about waiting an extra 30-minutes at the airport
we had time for a quick lunch :)
The cheesecake from McDonald's (Singapore) was creamy and delicious!
My mom loved it!
you will need a key card per guest to enter the infinite pool
view from our room
nice comfy bed
where's the jacuzzi!?
no fighting for sink in the morning

We immediately changed into our swimsuit and went for the infinite pool on the 57th floor.  The pool is everything it claims to be plus more!  I loved everything about it.  The view is spectacular and I could see myself sitting by the pool all day with a Kindle and unlimited supply of Mai Tai... The best part - they even got a few jacuzzi in the back overlooking the bay...

the amazing infinite pool at MBS that everyone should go if they get the chance

Ouch! S$50 for a pitcher for beer... you'd got to be kidding!
In the evening we met up with my cousins and we went to the Harry Potter exhibition at the Arts & Science Museum.  I read all the books and watched the movies so I enjoyed it.  However, it's probably not comparable to the HP theme park at the Universal Studio in Orlando.  (The exhibition is really just a collection of the costumes and props used in the movies.)  They also have the Andy Warhol exhibition going on but it didn't quite compared to the collection I saw at MoMA in NYC.

the design of the museum explained
Later that night, we had dinner at Jumbo Seafood in Clarke Quay.  It was a beautiful walk but don't do it when you are hungry!  We were quite starved when we got there but what a feast!  We had the chili crab, cereal prawns, candied squid, etc.  Everything was delicious!  Clarke Quay's Friday night scene is lively and best suit for friends who are looking for a good time.  It actually reminds me a lot of the Riverwalk at San Antonio.

MBS at night
the CBD at night
the Central Fire Station
the MICA building
it must be a skating night... saw lots of teens in their skates... 
beautiful river walk by Clarke Quay
the outdoor bars
one of the top 3 seafood places in Singapore
we got prime seating by the river
so refreshing~
put the bib on and let's dig right in!
Mango Beef Salad
Mee Goreng (Malaysian style fried noodles) - doesn't taste bad but nothing too special
stir-fried vegetables in sambal - spicy goodness! 
some kind of bean curd but oh my god, it was good!
grilled beef (w/ satay sauce?) - simple, juicy and tender!
Crispy Baby Squids - delicious with beer
it has a cute Chinese name (炸蘇東仔)
Jumbo Chili Crab - their #1 signature - a must try
it comes with the little buns - for soaking in the awesome sauce
Fried Cereal Prawns - another signature dish of Singapore - another must try
mango pomelo dessert - yum!
the mid-Autumn festival decoration is out!
I find it very interesting that even though the city is extremely westernized,
the Asian cultures were still respected and celebrated
Almost everyone is bilingual here.
I secretly hope that more Chinese cities would be inspired by Singapore. 
a crazy amusement ride
That's it for now, stay tuned for more!


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