Back in SG Day 2 – Chinatown and Sentosa

Chinatown

Chinatown

Day 2 dawned bright and early so after our breakfast at the hotel, we were again on our way to do some sight-seeing. We decided to stop by Chinatown first before spending the rest of the day at Sentosa. One of my goals was to buy the pork jerky, also called “bakkwa”, that I so loved.

Straightaway, after alighting from the train station you could already see that we were not only in Chinatown, we were also right in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebration. It was quite festive. We came upon a Bee Cheng Hiang store with it’s appetizing display of pork jerky. This is one of the more popular stores selling this addictive pork barbecue. In case you would like to buy some, Chinatown is the place to go but you can also find branches all over the city and in the airport terminals as well. I got the normal kind and the spicy one. Both were equally yummy and came either freshly grilled in paper pockets to go (these expire faster) or in individually wrapped bite-size pieces which keep longer. This is a must-buy for tourists and it’s a good “pasalubong”, as we call it in Filipino, or gift from your travels that you can give to family and friends.

We then went to our next stop which was Vivo City. This is where you need to purchase tickets. DSC_0453Fare is at $4.00/person. You can also purchase tickets for the attractions here. We got ourselves the Day Fun Pass Play 5 for S$59.90 or PHP 2000+. We chose 5 from among the 20 attractions we could visit using ticket. Note that if you decide to got to Madame Tussaud’s, you are required to redeem the Images of Singapore LIVE as well. I wasn’t too happy with that but since we wanted to go to the wax museum, we didn’t have much of a choice.

DSC_0387Our first stop was at Resorts World Sentosa. My friend and I had both been to Universal Studios so thatDSC_0475 wasn’t on our list of stops for the day. We made our way to the S.E.A. Aquarium which boasts of being the world’s largest aquarium. You can see some of the photos I took from the aquarium below. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was the best aquarium I’ve ever seen, nor the largest. If you find yourself in Osaka, Japan, you can also drop by the Osaka Aquarium. I consider it one of the best. The Manila Ocean Park isn’t lagging far behind either.

12961620_1301027629923966_975026826956676174_nSince we were still pretty full by the time we finished at the aquarium, we decided to go straight to the Trick-Eye Museum. I was pretty excited because I’ve wanted to visit these 3d art/optical illusion museums for some time. Tip #1: Turn on your wifi, it’s free inside so you can upload your photos real-time.. they get free advertising too. 

This franchise is one of the more popular ones and there were a12963862_1301023849924344_7089931792002953259_n lot of tourists inside. Due to the number of visitors, it was a bit awkward. In some parts of the exhibit, the space was too tight and other people were in the frame. Tip #2: If you can go on a weekday vs. a weekend, I suggest you do so. Only then can you really take nice photos inside the exhibit without getting someone else in the frame or waiting a long time to have your turn for some photos. 

We still had a lot of fun posing for the photographs and trying out various ways of taking the photos to make them creative. I’m actually excited to visit the one we have in Manila — Art In Island, though I hear it also draws quite a crowd.

Here are some of the photos taken at Trick Eye Museum:

DSC_0552After visiting the Trick-Eye Museum and having a quick lunch at one of the restaurants in Resorts World, we then took the Sentosa Express going to the Imbiah Lookout station. There we were able to see the Sentosa Merlion before going up to see our next stop for the day. As I mentioned, if you want to see Madame Tussaud’s, you have no choice but to see the Images of Singapore Live attraction as well. It actually comes before the wax museum.

Images of Singapore is actually a live, theatrical and interactive take on Singapore’s journey to becoming one the first world countries of the world. I can’t really say that I would have chosen to go there had it not been a pre-requisite for the wax museum but I did learn a lot about the country and how it came to be because of the show. It was also done in an interesting way and tried hard to capture the attention of the audience.

E.T. Phone home!

E.T. Phone home!

With Audrey

With Audrey

The end of the show connects directly to the wax museum. I was actually quite excited since it’s my first. Most of the wax figures were actually quite life-like particularly in photographs. It features an array of international personalities from presidents, athletes, music icons and of course, famous actors and actresses. There were a few that I did not recognize, mostly local Singaporean personalities or other Asian actors. Although there were still a number of visitors milling about, it wasn’t as crowded as the other attractions we visited.

Here are some of the photos taken at Madame Tussaud’s:

Sky Ride

Sky Ride

After the museum, we actually wanted to try the Segway tour but we arrived too late and tours were already closed. As an alternative, we chose the Skyline Luge, a unique 2 in 1 experience.  First you get to experience the skyride (similar to ski lifts), where you get to see Sentosa and the surrounding area from high above. This was actually a challenge since we were carrying a number of things and to get on you needed to wait for the skyride to sweep you up. It was also a bit of a safety concern since there were no seat-belts, just a safety bar that was not that secure. I don’t advise taking small kids along on this ride. At the end of the ride, you can ride a luge down to the very start. By that time, it was actually dark and we had to head back soon. There was  long line for the luge so we decided to take the skyride back to the starting point. I was actually disappointed. Taking the luge seemed like a lot of fun. I guess I’ll have to come back to try it one day 🙂 Going back, there was a bit of a line before we could take the Sentosa Express back to Vivo City. It was again, another tiring day but we enjoyed the new attractions we got to experience in Sentosa.

12439371_1301023603257702_3813644420063289682_nUpon arriving at the hotel and resting a bit, we then decided to see some of the night life and had12994503_1301023643257698_8685096202388341562_n dinner at the nearby Chijmes. It’s actually a historic building complex which used to be a Catholic convent, school and orphanage for unwanted babies. That itself was a surprise and it was actually a bit awkward for me, being a Roman Catholic, to see a church right across from the bars and restaurants. Although it no longer serves that purpose, it is still a sight to behold particularly the old Anglo-French gothic chapel. After getting over that, we found a nice spot in a courtyard surrounded by a number of bars and restaurants with live entertainment so we could finally relax and have some dinner and drinks.

It was our last night in Singapore and the following day was spent just shopping in the nearby malls. It was short but sweet trip yet I enjoyed every bit of it. It was my second time in SG but I’m sure there will be more to come. I’ve barely scratched what the country has to offer and I can’t wait to be back soon. Until then, so long Singapore!

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