Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gardens by the Bay

View from the Singapore Flyer
Panoramic view of the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands
One of the domes can be seen behind us from the observation wheel!

Inside the cloud forest

Huge tree-like structures greeted the horizon after our ride at the Singapore Flyer. It was mid-afternoon and I could not help but wonder how it would look like at night. I'm sure it would be magical.

Fast forward to a few days after, I finally annoyed my travel buddies that it's time to visit the Gardens by the Bay. I practically rushed them and shooed them out of the inn we were staying at (we have a schedule to follow ladies! :)) and we made it by late afternoon. *click*click*click*. After dozens, if not hundreds, of photos, we were finally inside the Flower Garden. By the way, there were two domes there - the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.

The Flower Dome was filled with precious and beautiful flowers, as well as age-old olive trees (gnarly but still a sight to behold). The Cloud Forest on the other hand was far more interesting for me. It was freezing cold inside and there were lots of crystals around (the only crystals I could identify were amethysts). We also got to go around in a walkway that was very high. It gave me the creeps but I was able to overcome my fear. Documentaries and interactive games about energy conservation and environment protection were also available at the end of the "tunnels".

The best time to visit would probably be about 3pm in the afternoon. Don't worry if the weather is a bit hot since it is airconditioned inside the domes. Plus, you can utilize the natural light which would be great for taking photos. And when dusk settles in, the man-made trees would light up dramatically with accompanying music.

And by the way, these trees were not made just to make something different. Yes, it is unique but it also has an environment-serving purpose. Would you believe that these trees can actually harvest and recycle energy? If only more structures and parks were made to help the environment, I'm sure the world would be a better place not only for us but for our future kids and grandchildren as well.
Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.
 ~Stewart Udall

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Night in Clarke Quay

I was on a very touristy mode for this trip and I visited all landmarks and tourist spots I've never been to before. I visited Universal Studios, Legoland (in Malaysia), Gardens by the Bay, Clarke Quay (pronounced as "Clark Key") and the Singapore Flyer. I saw both the Crane Dance and the Wonder Full Show as well. 

Here in Clarke Quay, we took the river cruise at about 7 in the evening. It was just perfect since we were able to see the splendor of the city with all the lights glittering and shimmering (I bet it was also beautiful during daytime, I just prefer the drama of the night). The barge had an ongoing film showing where the guide on the TV pinpointed the landmarks, and the stories and facts behind each spot. 

Initially, I thought the cruise would take us to the two quays but we never reached the other end. When we asked the driver about this, it seemed like it was really only one quay and he looked puzzled so we just let it go.

Afterwards, we hunted for a place where we could satisfy our rumbling bellies. There were tons of places to choose from either side of the river. We ended up at the Forum Seafood for some shrimps, beef and noodles. Seafood was a bit pricey here and it's still best to have seafood fare in the Philippines.

And before I forget, the extreme rides (Extreme Bungee and Extreme Swing) can be found here. These were the screams we could hear all the way from Sentosa while waiting for the Crane Dance. Even if I wanted to conquer my fear of heights, I could not subject myself to that kind of horror. Check out this video I took of the Extreme Swing:


Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
Benjamin Disraeli

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

You're My Hero

Yes, I fell in love with Thor all over again. *charot* And hey, admit it, you were also waiting for a glimpse of Thor's ripped upper body. Too bad it was only a couple of seconds. I wonder why guys are not that into baring their abs (not just Chris Hemsworth but apparently Matthew McCaughnhey and Taylor Lautner as well according to Yahoo!) when it will definitely help their movies sell and their popularity skyrocket. What's a little bit of waxing? After all, they worked hard for their oh so (insert your adjective here) abs. Ok, enough with the drooling.

So yes, of all the superhero movies, Thor is my hero. I don't know why. There's just something about him that appeals to me. Is it his piercing eyes? His deep voice? His big hands? His heroic actions? His abs? All of it?
Whatever. Enough about Thor. Regarding the movie, I totally loved it. The thrill factor was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat and the animation and effects were spectacular (as usual). I hope that one day Filipino movies can be produced with the same quality as that of American films.

There were also some scenes where I was moved. The part where Thor's mother died was really sad. I liked the ceremony/ritual they had where the "soul" breaks free from the body and goes somewhere heavenly perhaps. I just wonder why some of the "orbs" came from the Asgardians' hands. And oh, it was nice that Thor would go to certain extents to save Jane. It made me realize how truly and utterly alone I am (sorry for the self-pity mode). I just hope that I'll find love like that again.

On a lighter note, I'm supposed to leave you of Thor and his abs but I couldn't find a photo from the movie so here's the trailer of Thor: The Dark World.

I would rather be a good man than a great king.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Colorful Bricks and a Happy Heart


One of the playgrounds for kids
Oh yes, we tried the kiddie rides as well
Still cool inside the shark's mouth
After about an hour in the park, we just had to buy caps. The heat was just craaazzzyyyy!
Goofing around as we go round and round
Afternoon nap
Hello Lego people!

I braved this one - a bit bitin pa nga!

One of the interactive attractions where you have to pull the rope to go up!

Earthquake!! Can your building survive the earthquake?
Hello Petronas towers, we meet again!
More Lego characters!

So right after our visit to Universal Studios Singapore, we went to Legoland Malaysia. We were crazy about amusement parks then and we expected to have a blast in Legoland. But boy, it was very different from Universal Studios. Legoland is the land of kids. Several, if not all rides are kid-friendly.

The attractions or rides had more interactive features like pulling stuff, racing, pedalling and other stuff. There were also attractions which were exclusively for kids and there are some where an adult-kid tandem were needed. I think that these are great because not only do kids have fun, but they learn to cooperate and learn things while they play.

I particularly loved the Lego characters spread around the park. It just amazed me that small bricks can make something colorful and beautiful. Plus, these lego characters talk. I almost jumped with surprise when an old lego lady talked beside me. Looks like they had speakers inside the lego stuff.

And of course, I could not and would not resist the beck and call of the roller coasters. I rode all three coasters and believe me that even if all three were kid-friendly, I still screamed a little bit. And towards the end, we felt that the thrill was cut short. Was it because the cars were not fast enough? the ride was not steep enough? Or was it because there weren't any loops?

The only ride that we missed were the water rides since it started to drizzle. We were also not able to go around the whole of Miniland as we were so exhausted already because of the sweltering heat (the place had no roofing or covering at all!).

And oh, they had photographers all over the park. They gave us a card with a barcode and they just scanned this everytime they took our pictures. Guests have the option to have their photos printed in one of the shops.

Overall, it was a nice park but it was really meant for kids. Even if the park was open til 10, we opted to head back to Singapore at 4:30 instead of our original plan, which was 5:30.

How to get to Legoland Malaysia from Singapore:

We went to the Singapore Flyer and there's a terminal there going to Legoland Malaysia an Hello Kitty World that leaves every hour. Return trip should be scheduled in the morning. We just got lucky that there were vacant seats the bus leaving earlier than our scheduled time that's why we got to leave early.