Went to Singapore again for a short sight-seeing trip… short.? probably not. 4 days walking and commuting around the city. I didn’t plan too much for the trip but just go along with the flow and see how it goes, however, I’d still need some sort of guide as to get some general idea on what, where and how, so not to waste time and being silly, listed some places in my notes as reference. It became like a target or mission objective of the sort. Most my travel literary, was done via tripadvisor.com and yoursingapore.com
Also, I found a great app for android phone. “trip advisor city guide”. Installed and liked it. The best part is, it does not need a web connection, just, make sure the app is updated. Owh.. and it’s free.!! easy to use and simple, but the map could be a little bit confusing. Cross-reference the location on the map just for confirmation with real landmarks and ask for directions.
The journey started at Kuala Lumpur where I grouped with a friend so we will be travelling together on this trip. We selected to go south by bus. Southbound destinations are available at Bandar Tasik Selatan Terminal, it was kind of new building and grand so I was quite amazed myself with the facility and surroundings. Plenty of eatery, air-conditioned, well ventilated and the atmosphere pleasing.
The ticket was around RM 30, didn’t expect much at first but when come time for boarding the bus, I was surprised that I got the double-deck bus.
Comfy couch and lots of leg room to spare.
Access to the platform, (lower floor), is only available to ticket holders only and well guarded by the police there, thus, plenty of space and seat for passengers while waiting for the bus. The journey would take 5 hours and the bus stop for a half-hour break at Pagoh after 21/2 hour journey, I almost regretted not going to the toilet before departure. 🙂 The bus disembark at Larkin terminal in Johot Bahru and from the terminal… we took the public bus to JB sentral which is about 20 minutes ride, Overnight at JB before entering Singapore the next day.
HELLO SINGAPORE.. again.!
The next day we crossed the border to Singapore.. checked the route info available at the MRT station and soon later, decided to go visit the Botanical Gardens.
Finding our direction to the Botanical gardens and orchid gardens, found out that there are two entrance to the gardens and we were advised to get in via the front gate of the gardens named the “Nassim gate” which we found out later, was about 2 KM walk from the bus stop. 😯
The botanical gardens is quite a large place, the staff counter at the visitor center inside told us that it would take few hours to explore the gardens alone and another 2 hours inside the orchid gardens. Admission fee to the orchids gardens is SGD 5 per person.
From the outside, there not much buildings visible, only greens, trees and shrubs, but arriving at the visitor center, there is place to eat, souvenir shop, lots of parking space and open space for gathering.
The garden are divided into parts namely the national orchid garden, rain forest, evolution, ginger garden and such…, the guide recommended us the rain forest and orchid garden approximating 2-3 hours it would take to walk about.
The rain forest walk was as real as it can get. A bit skeptical at first but after walking through the route provided, there’s not much that differentiates this garden from the real thing apart from the nicely laid out wooden walk way.
The rain forest was not much of an interest to us so it didn’t take much time walking through. We exited at the other end of the trail and saw the orchid gardens entrance, beside the Ginger garden..
("..they got gardens for ginger..?? ")
So we bought the SGD 5, admission tickets and went for a walk inside.. Although not an orchid enthusiast, I was still amazed by the orchids collection available.
The orchids are well taken care of and maintained, looking very healthy and vibrant. I didn’t notice any wilting or damaged petals anywhere. There is also the cool house, which is very cool indeed .. inside there are various species of high altitude plants and moss, grown to simulate the high mountains environments labeled and tagged. Maybe it’s because that I like mountaineering so I think this part of the garden is my favorite, plus that cool air after that long walk earlier, I didn’t want to leave.
Right at the exit, there’s a souvenir shop selling mostly flowery thingy and such, very beautiful but too expensive for me. One gold-plated ornament sell for about SGD 300 and some of the other smaller items are priced around SGD 30 ++
Took a different route to get out, via the ginger gardens, swan lake ( can see few swans) and seriously, there is a lot of ground not yet covered! We stumbled upon some photo shoot session going on while on the way out. Two group that day alone. So I guess that’s a statement by itself of how nice this location is.
After few hours we walked out of the park via the other entrance (rear entrance), which was by the way, closer to the street and bus stand. I was wondering why they called this the back entrance as the white gate was so grand and huge with all the sign and road leading in to the park.
In conclusion, after seeing this place myself experiencing the whole thing, It was just satisfying and fortunate that I didn’t cut it off the itinerary. I’d definitely recommend this location for visit.
From orchid to orchard
Next, off to Orchard road since it’s the nearest to us and one of the major attraction around. Took a bus and 10 minutes later, arrived at orchard road somewhere, among the many people, it was rush hour at that time. People crossing streets and cars passing by, quite a lot of traffic but amazingly they are not congested and seems to be moving freely. The real sensation of a big bustling city coming alive again after the long hour of silent and fresh air earlier on. A different atmosphere all together.
The scene was good for some street photography but, I was getting hungry and looking for a place to eat. So I had to leave it behind for a while and prioritize my stomach.
While walking along the orchard road, still looking for a nice place to eat, I stumbled upon the visitor information center. Funny thing is, I almost missed it passing by as all that mosaic camouflaged it with the surroundings. They should paint the building with some bright screaming colors, so we can see it from 5 miles away. 😀
There, they got all the info that you need and the tourist map is free. Not to scale map, but will do for planning and direction finding. Nearby the center, just around the corner, there are lots of eatery, besides the Cuppage plaza, a whole spread of restaurants, food outlets and sights.
I got to a restaurant named lerk Thai or something like that, had a fried koay teow, and lemon grass drink.. 🙂
It was nice.. good food and like the lemon grass drink although the noodle is a bit too mushy and soft to my taste but still when you are so hungry, it didn’t matter much at that time.
Gardens by the bay..
Next stop, to the marina bay sands MRT station. Heading for the gardens where the super trees are… 😀 . Opened to the public October 2011, it was quite new. Entry to the garden itself is free but of course, like many other attraction, there is one or two place of it namely the cloud forest dome and flower dome with an entry fee of SGD 30. I got there but too bad the weather was not that good. Heavy downpours and thunder-storm came later on and I managed to catch just a few pictures of the place. But I didn’t let the rain get me down, In fact I used it as an advantage to me to get a shot of the marina bay sands in storm.
When the rain subsided about an hour later, It’ was a bit late and all that I can do is make good use of the time I had.
Head back before it got too late and this was the end for today. The next few days, maybe will get more good pictures, and hoping the weather would be better.