Sunday, August 31, 2008

Singapore National Day Celebration

Today is Malaysian National day. In Malaysia, the parade started at around 7am and ended around 11am. The fireworks usually started at the stroke of midnight on the eve of the national day.

It is different with Singapore as I discovered in my last trip. In Singapore the parade started around 6pm around Marina Bay.

My last visit to Singapore also coincide with their National day. So, let's share what i managed to record there

Singapore Air Force elite team, known as the Black Knight making the air show with what I presumed to be F-16

Fire works started at 8pm and lasted about 15 minutes. I was at boat quay to capture this moments.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Souvenirs from Singapore

We managed to get a few souvenirs for our friends and family while in Singapore.

Like I highlighted before, the best buy is from this shop at Chinatown, at Pagoda Street. They accept credit card for purchase above SGD20 (I think that is the standard margin for all shops around Singapore)

This magnetic plate cost SGD10 for 7 pieces. This thing is actually quite fragile. So, don't drop it!

There are 2 types of key chains which I can't differentiate. These key chains cost SGD10 for 8 units

While this type of key chain cost SGD1 per piece.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Around Singapore Chinatown

Singapore Chinatown is indeed an interesting place. Best place to start is to explore Mosque Street, Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Trengganu Street and Smith Street. Chinatown can be reached by MRT at Chinatown Station.

Beautifully refurbished shop houses can be found along those streets.

Hey, this is where Eunice, from used to stay! (The red building, 2nd floor, towards the end of right hand side). I reckon this is Temple Street

Chinatown Heritage Centre at Pagoda Street was opened in 2002 to give Chinatown a sense of history. Occupying 3 restored shophouses, the museum showcases the lifestyles, traditions and rituals of the Chinese people who migrate to Singapore. The dark and cramped living quarters of the 1950s Chinatown are realistically recreated. The tourist information booth is also situated here.

The ticket to the Chinatown Heritage Centre cost SGD 9.80 (The ticket is also included should one take Tour No. 1 from the Sentosa Island Package)

No photos are allowed in the museum except at the ground floor

It's Ghost Month and I saw a stall selling stuffs for the dead.

There are a lot of stalls/shops selling souvenir, clothes and etc along the streets. Souvenirs are generally cheap here but prizes might varied slightly from shop to shop. Take your time to shop around. Most of the prices can be bargained.

For the cheapest stall/shop selling souvenir items, try to locate this shop at Pagoda Street.

There are also a lot of spas and massage parlor around Chinatown. I reckon some offer true massage and some would have some hanky panky

Along the South Bridge Road, at the end of the Pagoda street is the Sri Mariamman Temple. One must take off their shoes to enter the temple. Dedicated to goddess Mariamman who is known for curing serious illnesses. It's the oldest and most important Hindu shrine in Singapore.

In the evening, Pagoda, Trengganu and Sago streets are closed off to traffic and transformed into a lively Night Market.

Smith Street is famous for its hawker stalls at night and a must visit place to taste some of the local delicacies

Along Smith Street is the Chinatown Complex. This is where the "wet" market is, selling live fish and poultry, fresh fruit, flowers and vegetables. The higher floor of this complex have stalls offering a tempting array of local food.

Around the Chinatown Complex is a large square, where trishaw is available and one can tour the area with it.

Also elderly can be found playing Chinese Chess around the area.

There is also a flat nearby the complex and this is how the Singaporean hung their wet clothes

At the corner of Trengganu Street and smith Street is the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. The restored building was formerly a Cantonese opera house.

I saw this big belly figure along Smith Street and took a photo with it. Hope it will bring me wealth soon.

MRT station is also nearby the area with access/exit points to Chinatown MRT Station at Pagoda Street, People's Park Complex, People's Park Centre and Chinatown Point

The overhead bridge, across the New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street is beautifully decorated and caught my attention

The overhead bridge is worth exploring with the stunning view of the surrounding areas as well as some unique structure there like the shed and reflexology path

Chinatown Point from the overhead bridge (this is where my branch office is situated)

There is also an interesting condom cum sex shop at New Bridge Road worth exploring for the perverts :)

This is a apartment flat next to People's Park Complex at Eu Tong Sen Street. I been told it rent out room for SGD65 for budget traveler. However, one must expect to share toilet with others here.

There are a lot of Chinese restaurant and barbecue meat shops along New Bridge Road. Mostly manned by people from the Republic of China. I am even surprised to see Sarawak kuching Kolo Mee stall here. By the way, I been told it is not worth to try.

The Majestic at Eu Tong Seng Street once known as Tin Yin Dance Stage, a venue for Cantonese opera. This former art deco style cinema hall had been restored and converted into another sterile shopping mall.

Next to The Majestic is the Yue Hwa Emporium, a good one stop shop for all Chinese things. The emporium occupies the building of the former Great Southern Hotel, once considered the grand old lady of Chinatown. From the information I read from Chinatown Heritage Centre, Great Southern Hotel used to be a popular spot for those who tried to commit suicide. I reckon it is pretty haunted there

Across the street is People's Park Centre with a motley assortment of shops. Note: There is a travel agent on the 3rd floor that sell Singapore Flyer ticket at the price of SGD24 compared to SGD 29.50 if one were to purchased the ticket at Singapore Flyer

Connecting the People's Park Centre is the 5 stars hotel, Furama Hotel City Centre. I initially plan to stay at this hotel but with the hotel rate sky rocket earlier this year, I have to settle down for a cheaper hotel. Those day, my company have a corporate rate and used to cost around SGD 110-120 per night. That figure is more than double now.