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July 17, 2015

Postcard from Singapore


          A couple weeks ago I visited Singapore, somewhere I hadn't been since in an ages. Visiting as a grown up and solo backpacker, I didn't know what to expect and needless to say there are a lot to see, do and reminisce. Singapore is definitely one of my favourite Asian cities, I found it to be fun, clean, green, modern with relaxing vibe that makes it great to stopover or getaway.
         To start, make sure you know a little bit chinese and learn about the MRT map. The main languange is english as they called it Singlish (even my english accent is so thick and people get confused with it!), and some of them you will surrounded by people speaking chinese spesifically when I stayed in Chinatown area. Secondly, MRT or mono rail train is the easiest and cheapest way to mobile around Singapore. Lost in Singapore rarely happens, as it's a small country and the information is very detail. One of the reason I chose to stay in Chinatown because food truck, souvenirs and gifts are everywhere and near to MRT station. 

         What I love the most about Singapore are the sharp and constant contrast; A temples in the shadow of skyscrapers in business district, luxe residential backing onto jungle and stuff. On the other side, I can find a lot of diversities without ever leaving the island. One minute feels like I am in the chinatown - Hong Kong-ish, the next time I move a bit far I feel like in another situation of Arabic in Haji Lane/Bugis then a little Mumbai scenes of Little India. It never fails to make me happy with it!. On first day, I took focus by exploring good cafés (on separate post soon) with my new friends that I knew from Instagram and in between I strolled around Haji Lane, cute shops are everywhere!. 

Thanks to Jonas Kohh and Edward Lim for my self portrait pictures!

          Back to the hostel for awhile as I couldn't feel my legs anymore. I continued climb up the top of Singapore through Ion Skydeck level 55 which located in same building of Ion Orchard Mall. How crazy was it! The view was very breathtaking, like literally I could see all over Singapore from there. Right on the sunset, harsh light and foggy Singapore like usually. We ended our day by dinner at Food Hawker in Zion area around Orchard. Thank you Zippy, Brandon and Ridzuan for accompanied me this time!
Day 1: I'm wearing : T-Shirt and Jeans (Pull&Bear)  / Watch (Christian Paul) / Sneakers (Converse) / Sunglasses (Rayban) / Glasses (Moscot) / Tote Bag (from Girlfriend Magazine)

          On the second day, I finally met Farah after a long time we've been talking. I know her through Instagram too, crazy how instagram connect the world and it's a plus that meet new friend and guide you to the cities and act like a local. We went to The Garden by the bay in the morning. A labyrinth that blends nature, technology and ecological management where plants from every continent on the planet are carefully conserved. There are two massive domes that I visited, Cloud forest and Flower dome. I really love in Cloud Forest dome, It was such magical experience I had there!

          And we moved to Marina bay sand mall which across Garden by the bay by connecting bridge, sadly our plan that we could walk until Merlion park got ruined by rain, and we trapped in bridge along the way to Singapore stadium. So, we changed our plan, got back into mall then took a subway to Merlion park as the quickest way than walked down the road. We stopped by at the National Museum but unfortunately level two which popular spot for taking picture was under renovation, and I didnt make it into Singapore Art Museum, went there just for Photo Booth. and we strolled many kilometers to reach Merlion Park. It's a must to go, I admit like you aren't go to Singapore if you don't go to this statue. Am I right?. 

          Right in the sunset, we ran away into Condo area called Pinnacle@Duxton. Hoping that I could sundowns in Singapore, ended up another day another foggy day. I could barely see anything and was not that good in camera, so we spent our evening on the level 50th, talk random things until 7pm and dinner in Food Hawker across the condos.
Day 2: I'm wearing : T-Shirt (Pull&Bear)  / Jeans (Zara) / Watch (Balbertime) / Sneakers (Converse) / Sunglasses (Rayban) / Glasses (Moscot) / Tote Bag (from Girlfriend Magazine).

Ps: On the third day, I managed to move out for couple hours to Malaysia which within distance by crossing border by bus! Luckily, my friend accompanied me again this time so I wouldn't lost this time. As I only visited one café in Johor Baru after ages been stalking and curious much through instagram, I finally made it. I will post separately on "Foodie's Travel Guide in KL" soon.

Travel Notes:
Stays
There are a lot of good area with different scenes. Like I mentioned before, you can travel the world without leaving Singapore. I stayed in Chinatown, one of the reason is food trucks right in front of my hostel and another area that I would suggest is in Bugis or Lavender.

Places
Pictured: Chinatown, Bugis, Haji Lane, Ion Mall, Ion Skydeck, Garden by The Bay, Singapore Flyer, Orchard Library, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Esplanade, Marina Bay Sand, Merlion Park.

Suggestion (not pictured): Little India, Sentosa Island, Jurong Bird Park, Botanic Gardens, Art Science Museum, Henderson Waves, Gillman Barack.

Eats
There are a lot of food hawker to get local foods that I couldn't remember the names. For great cafes around Singapore that I visited, I will make another post later. Below is the list:

Toby's Estate, Clubstreet social, Habitat coffee, The Daily Scoop, Plain Vanilla, Artistry, Gaest, Hyde&Co, Pacamara.

Shops
Whether you high class kind of person or just a regular tourist, Ion orchard always be my favourite shopping centre. Chinatown for souvenirs, Haji Lane for indie/local designer labels, Vivo City, Marina Bay Sand Mall.

Dos
- On arrival, I suggest to buy Singapore tourist pass, as it's quite cheap and unlimited to use for bus, and train without checking balance and top up money like EZ link card.
- Pay ticket for 2 domes in Garden by The Bay, it's very worth it, because the free area is only the massive garden outside the domes.
- Use free shuttle bus for 3 museum, it's actually walking distance but well if tired that much and none of them known about this shuttle service. You will be a guest like a private car.
- Try Photobooth in Art Museum, it's not in same area with the main museum but you can ask around or see the direction. 
- Go to ION skybridge to see all over Singapore from above and it's free but if you want to try different feeling with open air area but still skyscrapers view, pay $5 to enter Pinnacle @Duxton level 50.
- Take a picture with the symbol of Singapore as known as Merlion statue like literally, it's a must or people would't believe you go to Singapore
- If you have spare time and kind of disney tourist, go to Sentosa Island.

Photographer by Fauzi Putra with a Nikon D5100 and iPhone 5s - VSCO film 07.
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