Food, photography and Kids day out in the Lion City

arambam

Travel to explore
This trip was in mind from longtime but we have to wait till Diwali vacation due to official commitments. The trip was dedicated to my kiddo who was travelling for the first time out of the country.

The trip was planned long back but kept as a secret from all the stack holders to keep a surprise element. I always wanted to take my daughter to her dream destination before her childhood fancy of dreamland ends. She has turned 6 this year and I thought this is the perfect time to roll out the plan. She loved Disney princess, fairy tales, mermaids, Pirate Fairy etc. It make me start the planning by googling.

I had the options of Disney, Universal Studio and some more places, but after giving a lots of thoughts, Singapore is the place we have narrowed down. Some of the reason why we narrow down to Singapore is

1. As this is my kiddo's first trip abroad, I wanted a place where the crime rate is very very low and safe.
2. The place should be neat and clean
3. The public transport should be very good and I feel Singapore has one such public transport. She had never traveled in public transport in Mumbai so I wanted her to experience the joy of traveling in Bus, Metro (MRT) etc.
4. The place has lots of activities for Kids and kids will not get bored. So off to Singapore.

In my travelogue, I will not mentioned in detail about the place as I have already read detailed logs in this forum by many fellow travelers. I will just mention what activities we did in the trip.

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arambam

Travel to explore
Planning

The trip was planned in April, I was checking the travel portals of different companies as I often do in my spare times, I got a message pop up from booking.com about some cheap hotel options in Singapore. There was some discount in Holiday Inn Atrium in Singapore. After checking the deal I booked the hotel from 18th Oct 2017 to 25th Oct 2017. It was my birthday that day and I gave myself a gift :).

I had two options for the flight - Singapore Airlines or Jet airways but I booked in Jet Airways because of my frequent flyer program with jet, all this said and done, I started praying about no official commitments and inform my office team members and boss about my plan. All set and done I wait for the D day eagerly. Apply for the visa exactly one month from the travel date and get the visa approved with 3 days. The Singapore visa was relatively easy compare to any country I have visited so far.

Following are the documents require for the Visa

1. Original Passport valid at least six months at the time of travel

2. One Visa application form duly filled & signed by passengers (attached)

3. 2 photos (35 x 45mm, white background, mat finish with 70% face)

4. Original Personal Covering letter requesting for visa, (highlighting pax passport details and duration of sty etc.) from the applicant address to Consulate General of Singapore, Mumbai

5. Return confirmed ticket clearly showing departure and arrival dates

Visa fees was Rs. 1500 per pax.

After submission of the above the visa was delivered via email in 2 days.


Finally the day has arrived - Day1=D>

My kiddo was very excited that we will be travelling in the evening for Singapore. The mood was of festive / vacation from past 2 weeks with wify and daughter engaged in lots of shopping etc. We packed our bags a day before and on the D day we just cross checked.

My daughter was so excited that she just could not wait, It was 7.30 in the evening, the Meru drive (Taxi) call me about my address and I directed him to our place. We were getting ready by then. We are all set for the trip by the time the taxi arrived at my apartment. Loaded our luggage and left home for the airport.

As expected the drive from my home in Thane to Mumbai International Airport took us around one and half hour. We reached airport around 9:30 pm and straight way went in to the Jet check in counter and dropped our bags. The check in went smoothly without any problem and we proceed towards the security.

Both my wife's mobile and my mobile are already in international roaming so we do not need to take any sim card. We went straight to the security and the immigration. Luckily the immigration counter was not very crowded and we just pass through smoothly.

We went to the food court at the airport and had our dinner

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All ready for the departure
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The flight was after mid night @1:15 am. My kiddo was sleepy and tired
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Everything went smoothly, the flight took off from Mumbai on time. My daughter was enjoying the in flight entertainment while I prefer to sleep. I slept on flight, looking forward to a great week ahead
 
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arambam

Travel to explore
Landed at Singapore - Day 2

I woke up when public announcement system started with the pilot giving us the details about the weather and our position. He informed us that they will start the descend to Singapore in 10 minute. It was around 8 AM (Singapore time). We are reaching before schedule time.

We landed in Singapore at around 8:50 am, well ahead of schedule touch down time of 9:20 am. The immigration went smoothly without waiting for a minute, the immigration counters are empty. We separated our passports and went to separate
counters for the immigration. The immigration was completed without much problem, we were at the arrival hall, waiting for our luggage.

First selfie at Changi Airport

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Almost Empty Airport

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We spend sometime in the Airport as we have to kill time as the hotel will not be ready for check in even though I have requested for an early check in. We shop around for some eatable at the airport as we have a child with us.

The taxi area was empty so we went to the designated place and a woman helped us in getting a Comfort taxi. The Taxi driver was very friendly and talkative. We chatted the whole 20-25 minute of drive to the hotel. He told us about Singapore, its people and Singlish.....We enjoyed talking to him.

When we reached hotel the lady in the counter welcome us and complete the check in formalities but she said check in is possible only after 2 pm which is their standard check in time. But as requested, she assured me that as soon as the rooms are ready she will check us in. It was just 10:30 am that time. We deposited our luggage and spend sometime in the hotel lobby to just relax after a long flight. Then we decided to explore around, so we walk around. There was hawker food center very near to the hotel call Tiong Bahru, we decided to have some food over there as Brunch.


Singapore is very clean almost flawless, I am just surprise the way it is maintain. One of the cleanliest country I have visited so far.
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We prefer to walk most of the time, this country has nice footpath system for the pedestrians
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At the Tiong Bahru food center - This place is a wet market and heritage center. On the second floor there is the food center or hawker street, we went there at the lunch time so it was very crowded.
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The food was unbelievably good

The food at hawker food center are quite reasonable, most of the food items are available in the range of S$4(Small) / S$5(Medium) /S$6(Large) for a plate. The food was tasty and surprisingly very hygienic. For a foodie like me this place is the perfect place for exploring local food.

After a nice lunch, we went back to the hotel as we were tired after a long night flight. When we reached the hotel we were informed that the rooms are ready and our luggage is already in the room. I took the room key from the reception and thank the lady for considering our request and arranging our rooms in priority. It was really impressive.


The time was only 12:00 pm, so we decided to take a shower and take a nap. We woke up around 3:30 pm and decided to go as per the plan. As per my initial plan we will just go and buy the EZLink Ticket from a nearby MRT and go to Singapore flyer. Outram Road MRT (880 meter) is the nearest from the hotel so we decided to walk till the MRT.

The weather was very hot and humid, I was sweating heavily during our walk to the MRT but I was enjoying it as my daughter who always is lazy to walk was walking and enjoying it. We reach the MRT and purchase 3 EZLink card for S$12 each with S$5 as non refundable but valid for 5 years. There was child card too but the validity will end when my child turn 7 (That is what they say) and it was not available at that moment, so I took the adult card for my daughter too.

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The EZLink card looks something like this

After getting the card we board the MRT (Took North-East Line) towards Punggol and got down at China town (1 Stop). From China Town we change the line and boarded the downtown line MRT and got down at Promenade MRT station. From there we walk to the flyer, by the time we reached the flyer it was almost evening. We purchase the ticket of the flyer and board the flyer for the 30 minute rotation.
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The flyer - Waiting in the queue
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View Selfie time
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View from the flyer - Garden by the bay

After the flyer, we were hungry as we had our lunch around 10 am, the walk and heat is exhausting so you get hungry soon. We decide to have some light food at the food court in ground floor of the flyer. The food was good at a very reasonable price.............

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After the food we decided to hangout near the helix bridge at the bank of Singapore river. The atmosphere was very warm and i was sweating but could not stop enjoying the view of MBS at the night lights, we really spend some good time here. After that we decided to walk towards the MRT and headed back to hotel.
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It was almost 10:30 pm when we reach Outram MRT station, my wify and daughter said we should walk towards the hotel so we decided to walk. I was bit concern about the whole idea as we are in a Alien land but once we started walking, we feel a sense of security, I don't know why, there was no one on road and the traffic is also very rare but still do not feel any threat. In that way Singapore is very safe for tourist.
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On the way to Hotel ,.................inside MRT
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View from my hotel

Reached hotel and hit the bed and slept off as we have a long day tomorrow at Sentosa Island.
 
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arambam

Travel to explore
Day 3

Before I go ahead writing our experience, I would like to mentioned about an App that help us in our navigation.

www.gothere.sg

A very accurate app for buses and MRT routes during the trip.

Sentosa Island

We were excited, we woke up at around 6:30 am and finish our morning routines and dress up for the big day. I ordered breakfast at room as there is no breakfast package in our hotel booking. I intentionally do not include breakfast as I want to explore as much food as possible. After breakfast we left for the bus stop opposite to our hotel where we have to board bus number 123 for Sentosa Island.

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Waiting for Bus route number 123
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En route Sentosa Island....................

The bus was on time as mentioned in the app. we boarded the bus with our cards and headed straight towards the island. The time was around 8:30 am and the traffic was less so we reached in around 50 minutes. De-board the bus at the underground bus stop (Sentosa world) and walk towards the Universal studio, There was still time but the line was long, we stood in line and they have started the entry around 9:45 am. I have already done the pre booking through the website www.rwsentosa.com when I was in India. Show the print out to the lady in turnstile and here we go...............
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Finally we are there

Most of the rides and attractions are yet to open, so we spend time doing a photo session. There was one burger joint which was just opened and as we have a kid, she is hungry so had some fries and burger. When we finished, the burger, it is time for the rides and most of the places are opened.

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The first activity we do in Universal Studio

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The photo session
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We decided to head for "The Lost World", we deposit our camera and bags at the locker as there are chances of getting wet during the ride. The queue was long but luckily the operators were looking for three people to fit in the ride and there was no one so we raised our hands and get the ride much earlier than expected. (Tip: Please go for express tickets as the lines is long, I went on a weekday though but the line was really long)
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The ride was really superb with all through Dinosaurs making noises and moves to scar us, really enjoyed the ride like a kid would do.

After coming out from lost world we went for freshening ourselves, then headed for the Shrek 4D, this was a welcome break from the warm weather of Singapore. The theater was an air condition. The castle was also very good from outside so my daughter was shouting immediately, lets go to castle papa.....we went to check and the show is starting in next 10 min so went inside. The 4D experience is superb.

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After the shrek 4D, we enjoyed the show of Puss at the boot show sitting at the open chairs enjoying some cold drinks and ice creams.
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This is place where you also become a child, we did enjoyed all the rides expect for few where my daughter refuse to go, otherwise it was a day filled with lots of fun rides.

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She is really delighted to click pic with some of her fav. animation stars

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We decided to leave universal around 3:30 pm and head for S.E.A Aquarium...........but we are hungry when we left the Universal studio. So decided to take a break at the food court

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After filling our tanks, we headed for Aquarium, I have already booked the entry ticket when I was in India. The aquarium was a new experience for my daughter, she just enjoyed had all the fun......................
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After a very eventful day we decided to call it for the day, we board the bus just outside universal studio and catch the bus for hotel. The return journey was very slow due to traffic, my daughter was so tired that she slept inside the bus. We reached the hotel and just hit the bed just after having dinner as tomorrow is going to be another eventful day @ the Zoo.
 
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arambam

Travel to explore
Day 4

We woke up early and get ready to go for zoo. My daughter is really excited as she is an animal lover and nature lover. It is advisable to start early before the peak time starts. This time we catch a bus opposite our hotel till Outram MRT station and alight at Outram and recharge out Ez-Link cards. The we boarded the Purple line towards Punggol and alighted at Dhoby Ghaut station and change the MRT line to Red towards Jurong East. We alight at the Ang Mo Kio Interchange and had our breakfast at the interchange. After the breakfast we board the bus route no. 138 for Zoo. Zoo is the the final stop for this bus. We reached the Zoo on time, here also I have already booked the ticket online from India so we went straight through the turnstile.


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Nasi Lemak at the Zoo for lunch
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The snake show was a good time pass and break from walking after a heavy Lunch...............
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I have booked the package which has the train ticket also, so we boarded an battery train and alight at another station and start exploring the reptile zone.............

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After the zoo, we had some time to visit the river safari, I booked the ticket immediately and we enter the river safari zone.
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It was almost dark when we finish the zoo and went to KFC to have some light snacks. We decided to skip the night safari as we were very tired, so we boarded the bus to Ang Mo Kio interchange and took the same route back to hotel.
 
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adsatinder

explorer
Dhobi Ghat !
LOL !

Found some Indian Connection :
The we boarded the Purple line towards Punggol and alighted at
Dhoby Ghaut station
and change the MRT line to Red towards Jurong East.
1.
Singapore Editorials

How Dhoby Ghaut Got Its Name !

Indian dhobies (laundrymen) in early Singapore washed their laundry in the stream which used to be known as Sungei Bras Basah - a rivulet - that flowed from Orchard Road to the sea. Today it is Stamford Canal. The Chinese called the road beside it 'Lau Chooi Koei' (Flowing Water Road).

The dhobies dried their laundry in the open space between Bras Basah Road and Stamford Road. Bras Basah Road (West Rice road) was once called Church Street and College Street because of the several Churches and the Schools in that locality.


How Dhoby Ghaut Got Its Name!

2.
Dhoby Ghaut
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Dhoby Ghaut
Name transcription(s)
Subzone of Museum Planning Area
Chinese多美歌
PinyinDuōměigē
MalayDhoby Ghaut
Tamilதோபி காட்
CountrySingapore
Dhoby Ghaut /ðoʊbi ɡɔːt/ is a place in Singapore that often refers to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, a major interchange station on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit network. As a place, Dhoby Ghaut lies along the eastern end of Orchard Road and is twinned with its namesake in India, a town famous for the sale of traditional dhobys. There is a shopping mall above the MRT station called Plaza Singapura.

The [email protected] is a retail and office development, comprising two office blocks and retail space on the ground floor, located just above the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.

Plaza Singapura.
Contents
Etymology
Dhoby Ghaut or Dhobi Ghat (Hindi: धोबी घाट, IAST: Dhobī Ghāṭ) literally means washerman's place in Hindi, from dhobi, "washerman" or one that does laundry, and ghat, referring to a series of steps leading down to a body of water,[1] as in the case of the Varanasi ghats by the Ganges. The Hindi term ghat passed into English usage during the British occupation of India, and was later anglicised to ghaut.[2]
Early history
Until the early 1900s, the dhobis used water from a clear stream that flowed into Sungai Bras Basah, now Stamford Canal. This stream now exists as a large drain beside Handy Road. The ghats, or steps leading down to the stream, were demolished when Sungai Bras Basah was canalised. The dhobis would then dry the laundry at Dhoby Green, the open park bounded by Stamford Road, Handy Road, Bras Basah Road and Prinsep Street.
See also
Dhoby Ghaut - Wikipedia
 
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