Thursday, 9 February 2012

Singapore - Sungei Buloh

Previous blogs:

Thanks to our friends for introducing us to Sungei Buloh. This is a wetland reserve - a home to several birds, animals, and insects, and exotic plants. We took a taxi to this place. When we visited it, the water had subsided, and the day was humid; weather being very different from that of Bangalore. The reserve is open from 7:30 A.M to 7:00 P.M. Only during the weekend and public holidays, the reserve has an admission fee. There are three routes that you can take inside the mangrove; each route is a different experience. Though the reserve has a cafe, please carry snacks and water.

The reserve attracts a lot of photographers (, probably, professionals), with equipment that is worth crazy amount. Because of the low tide, the roots were visible, and amazed us with their shapes. The cicadas and mud-skippers can freak you out. The turtle and fish are adorable. You can see crabs on tree trunks. If you are lucky, you can stop Smooth Otters.The monitor lizards are every where. Yes, and why not, it's their home! At the shelter, the tiles are painted with murals by students from the Commonwealth Secondary School. The paintings are lovely.

Ensure that you add this place to your list of places to visit at Singapore. With this blog, I complete the Singapore series, though there is so much more to write and share. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Singapore - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Previous blogs:
Though I am not a Buddhist, I am strangely attracted to Lord Buddha. I enjoy visiting monasteries and Buddhist temples. Buddha's idols can mesmerize anyone. The peace and tranquility on His face... amazing! If I can, I would go a Buddha Trail tour with Ram. Would be awesome.

First time, we visited the Buddha Tooth Relic temple at Singapore in the evening. The temple was about to close; however, we managed to get a glimpse of the wonderful Buddha idols inside the temple. We made a second visit to this temple, and spent more than four hours admiring it. We managed to capture a few photos of the temple, and as always, stopped clicking and soaked ourselves in the beauty. What an experience!

A few instructions for people entering the temple:
  • If you are wearing sleeveless or low back tops, mini-skirts or *shorts, please kindly use the sarongs and shawls provided by the Temple before entering. * Knee length shorts are permitted
  • No pets are allowed.
  • No wearing of hats.
  • No food and drinks are allowed.
  • No smoking and drinking.
  • No dangerous goods and highly flammable material.
  • Please enter with footwear.
  • Please speak softly.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
Main attractions are:

The Temple is situated on the South Bridge Road, Chinatown. The architecture has influences of the Tang dynasty. Different colored paints are used for different parts of the temple - the red lacquer paint for the timber, green for the timber windows, and gold for the edges. The Mountain Gate is the main entrance to the temple. The Dvarapalakas guard both side of the gate. The Nagapuspa trees add a lovely Green tinge to the landscape. A few free books are available for the visitors to take home.

As I write, I'm wondering about the photos I need to share here (among the several ones). Photos may not capture the actual beauty of this place. I strongly recommend that you visit this place when you are at Singapore. We found a lot of peace at this temple. :-)


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Singapore - Jurong Bird Park and Zoo

Previous blogs:

What else was there to see at Singapore? Hmm... Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo. Well, we could have taken a taxi to these places but we were in a mood for some adventure. We took the Metro, and then a bus to the bird park. See the Metro Map for our route - City Hall -> Dhoby Ghaut -> Outram Park -> Jurong East -> Boon Lay. From Boon Lay, the bus dropped us off at the bird park. Was fun!

Jurong Bird Park is stunning. Be ready to walk, walk, and walk. And don't forget your camera! Ensure that you are at the park by 10:00 A.M to watch the Kings of the Skies Show at Hawk Walk, and at 11:00 A.M to watch the Birds and Buddies show at the Pool Amphi-theatre. We saw both these shows, and were they amazing!

If I have to write about all those birds and our long walks, I may take months together. Let me spare you the details, and share a few photos. For information about the park, you can visit their official website. Carry water and snacks. Take rest at regular intervals.

The Zoo is another fun place to visit. Again, be ready to walk. Plan your day such that you get to enjoy the Night Safari and dine at Indian Tandoor. At one point in time, we stopped clicking photos; began to just soak in the beautiful experience. From the Night Safari, there are buses that ply to the city; see We took the 10:30 P.M bus, got down at Orchard Road, and then took the Metro to Swissotel.

What a day that was! We were exhausted; but was fun. :-)

Next blog: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple


Singapore - Sentosa

Previous blogs:

From Swissotel, we hopped on to the Metro, and reached VivoCity. VivoCity lures all shopaholics. Of course, I shopped! We had brunch at Marche Restaurant. Eating here is a unique experience, which makes you want to revisit. Absolutely fresh, delicious vegetables, fruits, dishes, and breads; can't stop hogging especially on a cloudy day. :-)

Marche Entrance

Giant Christmas Tree

Beautiful Spread for Brunch

From VivoCity, we took the mono rail to Sentosa. Well, I am sure everyone becomes a child when at Sentosa. When we visited the place, the Universal Studios was still under construction.  

There are several activities that can keep you occupied at Sentosa. I am sure a day isn't sufficient to see the whole of Sentosa. We saw the butterfly and insect park, merlion, tiger tower, underwater world, and watched the rain too. What was absolute fun was the segway ride! We also loved feeding the birds. We missed the Song of the Sea show; sad. Well, that gives us one more reason to visit Singapore again, isn't it?

Under water

Birds in conversation!

Butterflies showcased

Ram's hand attracting the fish

Under the water
Sentosa is a exciting place. Ensure that you carry water and snacks just to keep your energy high. If you have elders or kids, please don't let them wander away; stay close. Take short breaks between activities; no point in straining yourself on a holiday!


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Singapore - Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

The travelogue about Singapore is long due. With a little free time on hand, I am able to continue the log now. I started with:

Later in the day, we went to Little India for our lunch. Ouch, we got down one station prior to the Little India station, and walked a long distance to find Ananda Bhavan! We saw a slice of India - vegetable vendors, florists, and departmental stores. The Little India mosque is stunning. The Mariamma Temple was under renovation. We walked past the Mustafa centre, but didn't venture into it; kept it for another day. With a full stomach, we returned to our hotel.

Metro station

In the evening, we took a taxi to Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, and wow, did we love the place! That's THE place for the party goers. We had dinner at Boat Quay; it's interesting to watch the competition among the eateries to attract customers. Choice of food for vegetarians is kind of limited. Seeing live crabs, fish, lobsters, and prawns made me cringe. But it's a delight to a person who loves sea food. 

At evening, the Singapore River and all the establishments long this river are absolutely stunning. Harry's Bar tempted the visitors with the live Jazz music. IndoChine is another world class restaurant. Don't forget to see the Extreme Swing or try it during the day. Ah, never miss the taste of Turkish ice cream! We loved it. Also, walk on the bridge, feel the air, count the lights, admire the street art, and soak the beauty of the night.

Next blog: Sentosa