Singapore Sojourn: Day 4

We went to Malaysia the night before. So practically, we are travelling on the very first hours of day 4 to Malaysia. There has been some kinks in the earlier part of the travel due to questions from the Immigration of both Singapore and Malaysia, but the travel went rather smoothly.

The bus has a good couch, which stretches to a business-class type where you can sleep. Rightly so, because we paid 90$ (Singapore) for that, so we expect nothing more than a good night sleep in the double-decker bus.

We arrive in Cameron Highlands at around 7 in the morning of Saturday, May 02. It is like Baguio because it is 5,000 feet above sea level. The temperature is cold, and drops to 11 degrees celsius in the morning. The primary trade of the place is green tea, which supplies the entire Malaysia. It also supplies the country with vegetables, and strawberries.

Cameron Highlands was flocked with local and international tourists during the time we were there. Mainly because it is the weekend, and it is a long holiday break in Malaysia. Finding a good hotel is hard to come by, good thing though, the travel agency where we book our travel has a connection with a local travel agency in Cameron. They assist us during our stay.

The cold, breezy, and greenery of Cameron Highlands.

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When we got there, the first thing that comes our mind is where do we eat. We knew that Malaysian food is too spicy for our palate, and that eating chili and pepper foods for the next two days will be too much. Good thing there is a KFC nearby our hotel. That solves the problem.

During our first day in this breezy and chilly place, we went on an “Agro Tour” where we visited plantations of strawberries, cacti, vegetables, flowers, and cabbages. The end part of the trip is a sumptous dinner of vegetables. Pure vegetables. Very healthy.

Before we return to the hotel to sleep, we drop by the famous night market to savor the street foods of Malaysia. Really nice.

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Bloodthirst.

vampire

Last Friday night, my high school friends decided to dine out in The Fort. The meeting time should be 7pm, but this was stretch to 9pm because of traffic jam. Me being the one who don’t like to be late, I was there before 7pm.

And because my friends are not coming on time, I headed to Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street. While checking the latest books, I chanced upon a familiar cover. It was Let The Right One In by John Lindqvist. All I know before is that this is a vampire movie, from what I read from news online and the newspapers. The movie was a hit with audiences during the Tribeca Film Festival.

I am starting with page 1. Don’t disturb or else, blood will splatter.

Dr. House went to a psychiatric ward!

Wedding

House MD season 5 has finally come to a close. The major story is that the main protagonist, Dr Gregory House, finally volunteers himself to be put in a psychiatric hospital. But my personal favorite for the episode is the wedding of Chase and Cameron. I got teary-eyed when the background song As Tears Go By by The Rolling Stones started playing and Cameron walks down the garden for the start of her wedding. So romantic!

Singapore Sojourn: Day 3

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This is Meg’s birthday, Labor Day. Holiday in Singapore. We woke up close to noontime because we slept around 2am already. Blame this to the excitement to post pictures to our Facebook accounts! Talking about priorities at the wee hours in the morning.

We had late breakfast in a nearby McDonald’s. Their McDo food choices are limited to just burgers. No rice, no chicken, no spaghetti just like what they have in the Philippines. And their condiments include pepper, and lots of chili sauce.

Our itinerary for the day includes going to a travel agency to buy tickets for Malaysia (where we will spent the weekend), buffet lunch treat of Meg, go to church. In that order. We went to a place in Singapore where we have to buy tickets going to Malaysia. It’s a little ugly, the place, because it’s crowded with Thai drunkards and litters scattered on the dilapidated building. The stench wafting in the air consists mainly of curry, and dried spoiled food. The travel agencies are just lining up that particular building, so you have many options to choose from. You can compare prices and packages without going through different places.

After much comparison, we decided to prefer buying a one-way ticket without accommodation. We thought, we will just inquire about lodging upon arrival in Malaysia. By the way, we will be going to Cameron Highlands, a 9-hour land trip from Singapore. It is Malaysia’s version of our Baguio here. The one ticket is not cheap at all. It costs us Singapore $90 (P2,880) each person.

We bought the tickets because we are running out of time and I am complaining of hunger anymore. We take a cab from there to get to Takashimaya Ngee Ann City Mall for our late lunch. It was around 2pm. Meg treat us at a Korean restaurant that offers buffet. I cannot describe the myriad of food that we savor. We had chicken, beef, fish, veggies, fruits, and desserts. I spotted a Filipino waiter in the restaurant because he blurted out something in Tagalog. Just look at the pictures below for you to see (and salivate).

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I don’t remember how much hours (yes, hours) we spent in the restaurant. Damn, we have to maximize the bill because it’s costly, and in anticipation for our trip to Malaysia at nighttime. We will leave by 10pm on the same day so we have to eat a lot because we don’t know if the bus will make stopovers, and if when will these stopovers be.

Once the lunch is over, we went to Orchard Road which is just around the corner. We buy Malaysian ringgits in anticipation for our trip. Afterwhich, picture taking! So Pinoy of us!

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Once done with the photo souvenirs of Orchard Road and the shops that scatters the area, we went to church for thanksgiving of Meg for her birthday. What I found strange is that even their Church is under the state rule because before the mass is about to begin, an announcement was made regarding the flu virus, which the Singaporeans are wary about. There was changes in the mass such as, there will be no offertory, no communion directly to the mouth (only through hands), no holding hands during the Our Father, and close contacts should be avoided. They really take the precautionary measure from their Ministry of Health seriously.

We had light dinner afterwards, and off we went back to Meg’s apartment to prepare our clothes, and pack things for the weekend trip to Malaysia.

Our departure should be 10pm but it was delayed by one hour and a half. We loiter on their bus lounge, which looks like a small pantry of an office in Makati, equipped with flat TV, aircon and comfy sofa.

We left, finally, at 11.30pm. The funny slash wild slash breathtaking ride that we encounter, to be told in Day 4 of my Singapore/Malaysia Sojourn.

Stay tuned.

Singapore Sojourn: Day 2

My second day in Singapore is spent in Sentosa Island. We woke up late in the morning already due to the alcohol intoxication the previous night from Hooters. And not to mention upload of pictures to my Facebook account. Primary reason being my friends in the Philippines will drool with the sights. Talking about bad intention.

Anyway, before we went to Sentosa, we drop by Orchard Road to exchange our money to Singapore dollars. Orchard Road is a busy street in downtown Singapore with lots of malls and shops. Lots of Filipinos, too.

Commuting in Singapore is easy and hassle-free because their public transport is widely accessible. Their MRT is efficient and on-time. Just don’t mind the smell from Indians (blame it on their diet of curry, and spices) though.

Sentosa Island can be accessed via cable car from Keppel Building near Vivo City, a good mall. See some pics below:

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There are many things to see in Sentosa. From the touchdown of the cable car, lots of plants and greenery will greet you. The park is clean and super green.

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There is another Merlion statue here. This time, it don’t spew water (like that Merlion in Fullerton), but it’s big. One thing we enjoyed here is the Luge! It’s a mini-bike with no wheels and all you have to do is slide down the slope. Exhilarating! In fact, the mentor to the rides asks us if we are Filipinos, and once we said yes (maybe because my t-shirt boldly says Pinas!), starts discussing the orientation in Tagalog. He said “malambing.”

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After the Luge, we went to visit the entire island by foot. We were just amaze by the fact that it is so clean and tidy. They also have a small enclave of powdered sand and beach inside the island. I saw some Pinoy vacationers also in the area because they speak Tagalog.

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The visit to Sentosa was so tiring because we practically walk most of the time. We left the island around seven in the evening but in Singapore, seven pm is still not dark. We had dinner at Vivo City, the closest mall from Sentosa. We just have to try their chicken rice, the daily staple of Singaporeans.

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After the meal, we hang around Vivo City for some time. And talk non-sense. And laugh. And talk some more. Until we discover it’s close to 10pm and we have to go home for next day’s activity.

Tiring day? Not quite, when you have a grand time discovering a place for the first time.