Backpacking Malaysia and Singapore
July 29, 2012
Day 3 of our Backpacking Malaysia and Singapore.
Our flight left Malaysia LCCT Terminal at 9:30PM and arrived at Singapore Changi Airport at 10:30PM. I was really excited to see Changi since it is one of the best international airports – one of the reasons why it is one of the main hubs in Asia.
After collecting our bags, we followed the crowd going to the immigration counter. Upon entering the airport, it already boasted its extravagance with the walkalator and carpeted floors. We were able so see a lot of shops. It was well lighted and the ambiance was relaxing.
When we reached the immigration counter, the officer asked for my immigration card. And I was like, what’s that? @_@ lagot na! Then the officer instructed me to return to the hallway and fill out the immigration cards there. Ayun naman pala eh. I saw the FA of Airasia handling a card to some passengers, I thought those were only for Singaporeans or with special requests. I did not experience that in Malaysia so I was completely unaware when we entered SG. Lesson learned. Good thing there were free fox candies at the counter. Pampalubag loob. Chos!
Since it was already late and our guesthouse’s last check in is only until 11:30, we hurriedly went out and looked for a cab. I know SG’s cabs are a little expensive but since we have no choice, we rode one.
I had major ‘wow’ moments inside the cab. First, I almost forgot that the driver’s seat was on the right side. I was about to open the door when the driver told me that I should be on the left. Then upon riding the cab, there was a gps – colored, brand new, amazing! I think the driver did not know where we were going so he took his Iphone (yes, you heard me right, HIS IPHONE) to ask siri or someone about the directions. Another wow factor of the cab was that it has a tissue box and business cards. Sosyal! Anyway, the trip was fast and fun and I was able to see a bit of Singapore by night. (I think we paid 25-30SGD from Changi to Clarke Quay)
Upon checking in at River City Inn, we paid our hotel fees and went to the dorm room. We fell asleep immediately since we were very tired from our travel.
I was really very excited for our Universal Studios Singapore Day. I woke up very early to take a bath. Unfortunately, my friends were still asleep and well just like in Malaysia, the sun shines late in Singapore. We ate the free breakfast at the hotel which were bread (with nutella, peanut butter and jelly spread), coffee, tea, chocolate drink and banana.
Then onwards we went to the Central Mall which is located a few blocks from where we stayed. From there, we took the train going to Harbour Front (Purple Line). We had to use the ticket vending machines to buy our single journey tickets since they were not selling SG Tourist Pass there. Note: after using the single journey ticket, you may refund the deposit at the vending machines.
Upon arriving at the Harbour Front Terminal, we looked for the nearest kiosk selling the Singapore Tourist Pass. We presented our passport to validate that we were tourists. We brought the two-day unlimited pass for 26SGD (10SGD refundable upon return of card). This pass is similar to the EZ-Link card. You can use it for buses, MRT and LRT.
Then we went inside the mall and followed the crowd going to the Sentosa Boardwalk. It was actually quite long walk from the mall to Sentosa’s main entrance. Good thing the view was nice and there were walkalators. We took photos along the way and saw a replica of the Merlion.
Before we were allowed to enter Sentosa, we paid 1SGD for the entrance. We also collected some maps from the information center. Inside the information center, you can also purchase RW Sentosa’s souvenir items.
Many tourists were already getting inside USS when we arrived. Luckily, we were able to purchase our tickets in advance (thru Mastercard promo with free entrance to the Maritime Museum) for 60SGD. You may visit Resorts World Sentosa’s site for the latest ticket prices and promos.
Universal Studios Singapore is one of the many attractions at Sentosa. It is divided into 7 main Streets/Parks: Hollywood, New York, SciFi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar. Of course, before entering the park, we did the customary photo op at the USS globe. Upon entering the Holywood Street, I felt like I was taken inside the TV or into the movies. It was colorful, magical and thrilling. I was able to see popular characters from the movies and tv shows as well as replica of famous places in the USA.
Our second stop was the New York Street. We first saw Mel’s Drive Inn, a popular dining spot in USS. On the right side, there was Big Bird’s emporium which is a huge store of Sesame Street Items. The first attraction that we tried was the Lights, Camera, Action!. It is an interactive show hosted by Steven Spielberg demonstrating how the are creating effects for movies. It was exciting and awesome.
Then we went to the SciFi City where we saw a huge Optimus Prime replica. We had our photos taken with it for free. Though you can also purchase the customized photos. It was a good thing that the staff assigned there was a Filipino. He took our photos happily for free. We also went inside the Transformers The Ride: Ultimate 3D Battle which is basically a rollercoaster and 3D attraction in one. It is the best attraction in USS for me. You get to feel that you are controlling Optimus while fighting the autobots.
I also saw the most thrilling ride at USS, the Battlestar Gallactica which is composed of 2 rollercoasters: Human and Cyclon. We were just halfway of the tour so I decided to pass. I did not want to have an upset stomach the rest of the day. Haha!
Then off we went to Ancient Egypt where we had the chance to take photos with replica of sphynx, mummies and cleopatra. We also rode the Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster. A lot of people were falling in line when we were there but that experience is something else in itself. The decorations felt true to life. I shouted as long and loud as I can to release my fear. There were also several souvenir shops and dining places in the area.
We then went to the Lost World where our first destination was the Waterworld. Inside the Waterworld, we were able to watch a show with water, fire and sounds. It was the funniest experience I had at USS. They even require audience participation where those who volunteered can get wet or soaked with water. Well we did sit on the farthest bench since we did not want to get wet but either way it was a whole lot of fun.
It was already lunchtime so we decided to have lunch first at a dining place at the Far Far Away. I was surprised that the cashier was a Filipina so she guided us in taking our orders. The food was a bit pricey. It can cost you from 10-20SGD depending on your choice of meals. We ended up getting a beef wrap and fish and chips. My birthday was in the following week so I decided to pay for a portion of their meals. Lucky friends.🙂
After eating our lunch, taking a bathroom break and enjoying the view USS, we went inside Shrek’s Castle. Inside the castle, we were treated with a 4D adventure with Shrek. We got to feel the air, water, sound and movements present in the show.
I also bought a couple of souvenirs from the castle like a small teddy bear for 16SGD and some USS pens.
Then we passed by the Madagascar where Rhan and Ruby rode the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure which is a river boat ride. We also went to the biggest souvenir shop inside USS which is located at the Holywood street. You can find different merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, small Oscar awards, school supplies and a lot more. I was able to buy one lanyard for Melvin for 10SGD.
It was already late (even though the sun was still up) and we still need to visit the Singapore Flyer and meet a friend at Makansutra Glutton’s Bay so we decided to leave USS. We took the boardwalk again then rode the train to Promenade. From the Promenade station, we walked outside towards the flyer. It was a short walk and SG traffic was not bad at all. It was also quite easy to navigate the area because we can see the flyer for directions.
Ruby already purchased our tickets online for 26.55SGD each. We were also able to get a discount for purchasing early. We just presented the printed confirmation and they issued us a ticket. We had to wait for a few minutes to alight the flyer because there were many tourists that time. I think it is nicer to ride the flyer at night to see Singapore’s skyline.
Finally, it was our turn. We shared the flyer with other tourists. There was a bench in the middle so you can sit down if you’re tired and done with taking photos. Singapore was very bright at night. We got a good view of the nearby places as well as the popular Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum.
On our way back, we also passed by a replica of Singapore where the popular tourist spots were highlighted. Singapore is really a small country but nevertheless still abundant with must-see places.
We had a hard time contacting our friend in SG and locating the Glutton’s Bay so we just decided to call it a day. We were very tired especially from all the walking but we had a fun day. On our first day, I already admired Singapore’s cleanliness and orderliness and its transportation system.