More vacation stories! Hahaha.
This time, I’m gonna write about my vacation last year to Singapore. This entry is actually 9-month-delayed (gila lama), but I still wanna write it here. So, last December, Abg Bob’s family and mine went to Singapore for a family vacation. We drove from Muar, met Abg Bob’s family at RnR Machap and continued our journey to Johor Bahru. Before that, we stopped by at Kulaijaya to have a quick shopping at Johor Premier Outlet (JPO). It was just opened at that time, so that explained the free parking and crazy sales. It was my first time there, and I was stunned by how similar it was to Harbour Town in Gold Cost, Australia! The design, the building, the landscape, everything was so Harbour Town alike.
I didn’t shop much here because I was saving money for Universal Studio Singapore (USS), but still, I managed to buy two Nike T-shirts for my husband and I. After walking around and cuci mata, we continued our journey to Johor Bahru.
To be honest, I think that was my first time setting my foot in Johor Bahru. Yeah, I had never been there before. I guess, our family didn’t have anybody in JB and there was no solid reason for us to go there, if it wasn’t for Singapore. So, I was a bit jakun. Haha. We checked-in to Naza Talia Hotel that evening. It was actually situated in front of Grand Blue Wave Hotel. We only had to add extra $60 per person if we were going to choose Grand Blue Wave, but since we thought that we were only gonna use the hotel for showers and sleeping, so there was no need of grand hotel. We were gonna wake up so early and came back so late at night, so why waste money? Plus, Naza Talia Hotel was as good.
Day 1 in Singapore : Marina Bay Sand, Merlion Park, Arab St., Mustafa Centre
The next morning, after having breakfast, our tourist guide, Encik Zaidi was already waiting for us outside the hotel. He was the one who would drive us to interesting places around Singapore. So, the first stop was Merlion Park. It is a well-known Singapore trademark. If you have been all around Singapore except for Merlion Park, it still means you haven’t been to the country. Haha. Just like Sydney Opera and Australia. The view was so awesome! Across the river, you could see the most unique building in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands. It looked so luxurious, even from across the river. Three tall buildings are combined with a gigantic boat on top of them, brilliant! Owh, did I mention the boat is actually a swimming pool?! How I wish I could be up there!
Even though there was nothing really there besides the awesome view, but it was a good place for photo-stop.
Next, we went on a cruise, Hippo River Cruise. Again, it reminds me of Australia, or specifically, Brisbane City. The cruise was very much alike with CityCat, and all the tall buildings by the river reminds me a lot of the place. I could not remember how much we paid for the cruise because it was all included in the trip fee. Being on the boat, I imagined myself cruising the Brisbane River with all my besties, be it from the class or going to the city for supplies. Those were the time… Zaman muda2.
After being on that boat ride, we went to Arab St for lunch. There were many halal restaurants along the way, and most of them served Malay food, like Nasi Briyani, Nasi Goreng Ayam etc. We met many Malaysians there so I know this was a good place for our lunch. We were also rambang mata to pick which restaurant was the best. Finally, we stopped at Victoria Restaurant and it was a full-house. We barely had a table there though it was a double-storey building. We had Nasi Arab, and I chose to eat Singaporean murtabak. It was a bit similar with the one that I usually had in Muar, in fact, the one in Muar was better. I don’t know. That was my tekak lah. Haha
After lunch, we wanted to go back to Marina Bay Sand to have a look at the place, but since we were running out of time for shopping trip, we canceled MBS and went straight to Orchard Road. Orchard Road was full of people (obviously). We didn’t really shop there, just driving by. The tourist guide brought us to Mustafa Centre instead, because he said that place offered better goods and prices compared to Orchard Road.
We were in that mall for more than two hours and I bought a lot of souvenirs for friends and family at home. I had great time shopping with husband and believe me, he was a worse shopper than me. Semua pun nk beli and until I had to stop him. Haha. I also love how they had various number of chocolates there. I have never seen some of the flavours before though it was just a Cadbury. We bought a lot of them too. My brother bought a digital camera at Perfect Pix. At first, he just went there surveying the price because a lot of people said that gadgets in Singapore were so much cheaper than the ones in Malaysia. Somehow, he ended up buying a red Nikon camera for… I can’t remember the price (mind you this entry was written almost 8 months after the trip haha). Tapi sebenarnye lebih kurang je laa.. Kalau murah pun setakat few dollars je..
By the time we walked out of the shop, it was already dark and we wanted to head back to Johor Bahru for dinner. Again, we drove by along Orchard Road and God, it was sooooooo beautiful! It was nearly Christmas and there were colourful lights, Christmas-themed decorations, it looked like there was a festive there. So meriah! I took a lot of pictures but they were not really good because I was in the car and it was quite shaky. These three pictures below were the best among the worst. Haha
So, after going through the custom checking, we went to Sayam Restaurant for dinner. It was quite a popular place for dinner and the food there was good too. The price? Hm… Not sure. This one was on Abg Bob. Heeee
We also went to The Zone to have a quick shop for some bread and jam, for our USS journey tomorrow. Then, we went back to the hotel and rested the whole night. Seriously, lenguh kaki!
Day 2 : Universal Studio Singapore (USS)
Sooooo excited to go to USS. We woke up early, had breakfast and waited for the tourist guide to pick us up. This time, we had different tourist guide, Mr.Alex. Mr.Alex was such a friendly guy. He has been doing this job for years now, that was why he was so expert about shortcuts to Woodland Custom checking.
So, finally, we arrived at USS! It was still so early so we camwhored in front of the globe like no one was watching. Since we already had the tickets, we didn’t bother to queue though we could see clearly it was getting longer and longer. Haha. Turned out yg beratur punya panjang tu pun semua dah ada ticket. Poyo gila nk tgkap gambar depan globe, sampai x queue padahal sampai awal, and now we had to queue, KEPANASAN! Sweating all over. Huh.
The first thing I saw when I passed the counter was Kungfu Panda! I screamed excitedly! He was so big yet sooo cute! The thing when I see a mascot like this, I always think about the person inside it. He/She must be sooo tired of waving all the time, and probably sick of being chased by people like me. The good thing is, they don’t have to fake their smiles kannn.. Kalau dia jegil mata kat kau pon xper sbb kau x nampak.
There were seven sections all together in USS as you can see in the map below.
Sci Fi City
The Lost World
Far Far Away
We didn’t really spend much time in Hollywood section because to me, it was quite boring. So was New York. Only when we were at the corner of the road, we saw a BB-dance performance by some BBoys, and that was it. It seemed nteresting, but unfortunately it was almost the end of it. We only managed to watch the performance for the last 2 minutes. Then, we went straight to Sci Fi City. My nephews, Danish and Aneeq were already excited because they saw giant Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee from Transformers. We wanted to try the indoor ride in this section. I don’t remember what they called it (too lazy to google), but what I remember the most was the loooong queue. They told me, it took 2 hours if I got in the line, so instead they offered me to buy the Express Pass for $50 each. Huh, thanks but no thanks. I rather skipped it.
Beside the indoor ride, the most interesting, tempting ride was Battlestar Galactica, Human vs Cyclon. It was so big, more extreme compared to Leathal Weapon and Superman in Movie World Gold Coast that I tried few years ago. It is a twin rides, with two different types of carriages.
They are designed as such so that the carriages from both rails will miss each other at mere inches, and with speeds of 90km/h, that should be quite the gut-twister. Hubby was a thrill seeker, so he tagged me along to try the ride. Since Cyclon looked more challenging, we chose to try that one. Aneeq and Abg Bob joined us too and KakSeha, Danish and Darling waited for us outside. I bet that was Aneeq’s first time being on a roller coaster and already he tried the extreme one. Haha. I loved the fact that he didn’t know what he walked himself into. He was so excited!
After about an hour of queuing (phewww), it was now our turn! We sat on the second row from the front, the four of us. I started to feel like peeing in my pants. My legs were already lain macam. My heart was starting her own roller coaster. Then, in a few seconds, we flewwwwwww upside down! I didn’t know how loud I screamed, sampai terbatuk2. Haha. It was totally a fun ride! While I was on it, I managed to look at my right where Aneeq was, and man, his face was soooo red! He was like burning up! And of course, he did scream like a girl. Haha. After that, I asked him if he wanted to try it again and he said, ‘Never!’
We wanted to try Human ride too, but since we couldn’t afford to queue for another hour, we moved on to the next section Ancient Egypt.
We rested here and had some bread with strawberry jam. My two besties, Ponnie and Eqa were here before, and they told me, the indoor ride in this section was so similar with Scooby Doo ride in Movie World, which was my favourite indoor ride so far. Hubby and I went inside the building while Abg Bob and the rest of his family went straight to The Lost World. I guess, Abg Bob was already traumatized after trying Human vs Cyclon. Haha
The queue didn’t seem long at first, until we walked in deeper, again, came the ‘great’ view of the loooong queue. Haha. I can’t remember how long we were in there, but it sure did feel like hours. This better worth it. Unfortunately, not so much. Scooby Doo was better. I guess, I had high expectation about this ride, but overall, it wasn’t that bad too.
After that, we went to The Lost World. Now, it was only us; hubby and I. The Lost World was quite boring. We just took some pictures and moved on to the next section, Far Far Away (Shrek’s castle). The castle was as amazing as the one in Disneyland. You feel like you are in fantasy island, really! We didn’t try the boat ride (because of the long queue of course), but we tried the 3D Shrek animation. Well, this was the second time we watched this and we still think it was fun though all the 3D effects were kind of expected already. Hehe. Last but not least, Madagascar! Actually by this time, we were both so tired so what we did was, just taking picture with Alex and the gang before wrapping everything up by going to the souvenir shop.
Yeah! All covered! Look at what happened to my shoes now! Haha. Banyak jalan punya pasal.
Since I was in a serious need of a new pair of sandals due to the situation above, we went to the last souvenir shop to buy them and few souvenirs as well, such as the Universal globe, few T-shirts and some other things for families and friends. I left it to hubby to pay for the stuff, quickly walked out and looked for some place to sit. My feet hurt like hell.
While I was waiting for him, there was this girl, USS worker, came to me and asked if I could spend some time for an interview. It was actually a quick survey in order to improve the system, facilities and whatnot in USS. One of the questions that I still remember is, which one is better, Hong Kong Disneyland or USS (before this, I have been to Hong Kong Disneyland, too bad I don’t upload the entry and by this time I already forget the details. It’s an excuse to probably to.. go again? haha)? I took me a while to answer that question. Haha. To be honest, I don’t know, but of course I told the girl USS was better. However, frankly speaking, the only thing that I hate (SUPER HATE) about themed park like this, was the queue, especially in December (school and Christmas break). Oh my! It was like I couldn’t see the end of it! We missed a lot of interesting rides because of the queue, be it in Disneyland or USS, so if only they could do something about the long queue that doesn’t involve money (remember the Express Pass for $50 each?), that will be superb! Haha
After touring all the seven sections in USS, we waited for Abg Bob at the main entrance. We planned to go to the candy section in next building. Hubby and Abg Bob were dying to go to Hard Rock cafe which the building was just next to it. I didn’t buy anything in HRC because I’m not really a collector of such stuff (bought one HRC T-Shirt in Surfe’s Paradise tho), so I didn’t really bother buying anything, but Hubby bought a very nice T-Shirt together with HRC badges. Actually I saw a few nice long-sleeved T-shirts in there, but…. Nah! No need.
After that we went to Candy Heaven. There were many types of chocolates in there! If you are a big fan of chocolates and a sweet tooth, you’ll be crazy. Not just chocolates, there were also sweets, lolipops, mashmallow and etc. Well, candies!
By the time we walked out of the building, it was already 5-6 o’clock. Perut dah berkeroncong and it was time for dinner. We took the monorail straight to Sentosa Island and had dinner at The Achilles. Since it was a buffet so it was our chance to eat a lot mcm setahun x makan. After having the superb dinner, around 7-ish, we took the monorail to the last station to watch The Beach Song. At first, I thought it was some firework presentation like the one I saw in Brisbane and Hongkong, but no, this one actually came with a story (but sorry I can’t remember what story it was) There were characters, dancers and songs! At this point, I couldn’t focus on the performance because I was sooo tired and couldn’t wait for it to be over so then we could go back to JB. Even though it was drizzling during the performance, I could see a lot of people still enjoyed it.
Right after the performance, we walked to the monorail station to go back to USS. We were going to wait for Mr.Alex at the ground floor parking. This time, I could see the globe was so much better in the dark surrounding! So, we took more pictures in front of it and this was better than the day because this time, no one was around.
After 15 minutes of camwhoring, we went to the ground floor to wait for Mr.Alex. While waiting, we bumped ourselves into this!
Few other photos taken during this trip.
So, in conclusion, the whole experience to Singapore is priceless! When you could travel to good places with beloved companion of yours, what can you ask for more? Besides, as for me, the trip was actually half sponsored! Haha. Even though we made a huge hole in our pocket after the trip (hahaha shopping a lot maaa), but it is all worth it. I’m looking forward to go there again next time, probably with our future children, insya Allah.