Thursday, June 15, 2017

Singapore 2017

Oh hello, forever late post.

February is a pretty busy month for the family - both immediate and extended. There are lots of birthdays and get-togethers so scoring a weekend for yourself is a big feat. There was a seat sale last year for Singapore and so I decided to just book some tickets and fly out for my birthday. This would be the first time I'll be doing it because as I said, it's like a mortal sin not attending a relative's party. The most difficult part here is that my mom and I celebrate our birthdays just one day apart and I booked my departure flight on her birthday. This meant that after her birthday salubong, I have to go the airport already for my early morning flight.

It was 3AM. There was no traffic and we got there early. I was with my friend and we were thinking how we're going to spend 2 hours waiting for our boarding time. We walked and walked and rode the lift and saw the lounges. I remembered I have Citibank Premiere Miles as my credit card so I checked with the receptionist if they accept it and lo and behold, "Do you have a companion, ma'am? Just please present your boarding pass, sign here, and we're good."

Free food! Free access to a little more comfy chairs! Free coffee! Free alcohol! Free food! And they have cookies! It's my first time to get into the lounge probably because I'm also usually just about in time for boarding. Haha.

(Citibank's memo online says that their contract with the Mabuhay Lounge is only until Jan 2017, that's why I checked with the receptionist first who accepted my card anyway.)

I love you, Mabuhay Lounge.
I waited for take-off and then I was off to La La Land. I don't usually sleep on travel - land and sea - but for some reason, I always now fall asleep on plane rides. There was even a time I didn't even get to see the plane take-off. Once I am at peace in my seat, I buckle my seatbelt, and my mind flies away faster than a SpaceX rocket. In case you missed it, I went to Singapore.

How to get away from Changi Airport
If you have a lot of things with you, best bet is to hail a cab or Uber/Grab your way to your place. If not, you can still ride Bus 36 into the city. Take the lift or escalator down 1 floor and you can find the bus stops there. Look for the number and check your stop. Note that you have to stand at the open area if you have a luggage with you. Please be considerate and don't sit at the prioritized seating.

Kopi Teh? Teh Tarik? <3

We stayed at Strand Hotel along Bencoolen Street. The place is nice and convenient. They are currently building an underground station for downtown spots and there is a station smack in front of our hotel. This will probably bring up the accommodation price soon but for now, we're good with this. It's around ~ PHP 3,000 a night for 2 people and the room is huge. There's a lot of space for your guests and a lot of unofficial chairs to sit upon. You can have a party and you won't elbow each other's faces off. There is a 7-11 and a Food Republic (like a fancy foodcourt which houses a variety of food) just across the hotel. The only downside is that it has probably seen better days. The bath tub and the furniture are not new and there are lots of scratches on the television. Not the best but I won't trade it for bunk beds.

Say hello to the trees. 
Met with my cousin and another friend who live in Singapore and by default, they felt like they needed to help us go around the place. Well, I showed them my itinerary and they said it was too detailed. I'm risk-averse and I hate wasting time getting lost (or confused). I might still work on how I can wing things, but definitely not on a foreign land with borrowed time. So we went to the usual touristy spots because why not? Gardens by the Bay, Merlion, MBS, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade, and dinner at Makansutra. That was a wonderful day.

Holy shimutznaosfeasf! Always go crazy with chili crab!

Aforementioned sights can be found in one area - so you can take the very efficient metro and you'll also notice that their escalators are also on the rush compared to laid-back Manila.
It also gets better at night.

Hello, birthday! It was a Monday and Chinese New Year just concluded so we were not expecting lots of people who will squeeze with us. We were able to ride all the attractions we wanted, even those we didn't want to ride just because we have the place to ourselves. No long lines, no long lines, and there were no long lines! <3 I also bought our tickets online from the USS site and there was a promo then aside from our discount, we also have free photos as souvenirs. Haha. Ready for a family photo?? Since we were notorious in clocking extra steps in our Fitbit, we also went around Sentosa Island. Needless to say, that place is very interesting!
Who's your Mummy???
Thanks. I knew celebrating my birthday at Universal Studios was not a mistake.

Food in Singapore is one thing they're really proud of. You can grab snacks left and right and you'll only go hungry if you don't have money. 
Food is life in SG.
Definitely one for my birthday book. :)
I'm still hungry and foolish.