As we ascended from Minatomirai station to the 1st floor of Queen’s Square, all the stores were still close, since it’s still a bit early for the mall to open. We took the escalator, I can sense that the area has a bit of elegance and glamour. The ambiance that surrounds the place was also relaxing as the mall is spacious when we reached the 1st floor. We walked a bit in the Queen’s Square, then we went outside towards Landmark Tower.
On the way to the 1st Floor of Queen’s Square
Outside Queen’s Square to Landmark Plaza
Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo
Between Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza, we found a silver or chrome structural art. It is a magnificent roller-coaster-esque sculpture. As per map that I got, the structure is not only an art display, it has a purpose too. The art helps to break the wind tunnel that forms between the Landmark Tower and Queen’s Square Skyscrapers which still good to know. The public art is called Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo.
Queen’s Square (from Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo)
After spending time taking photos with the steel structure art called Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo, we walked in to the next mall called Landmark Plaza just beside Queen’s Square and based from the brochure that I got, the plaza is one of the most popular shopping complex in the city. Like the Queen’s Square mall, we just passed the mall too as all the shops are still closed. At the ground of the plaza, we spent time walking around the area and we took some souvenir photos because the mall has open space in the middle where it boast the elegant design of its floors up to the ceilings together with its pillars that supports the building. The mall is just beside the Landmark Tower.
Photos outside Landmark Plaza
Some photos inside Landmark Plaza
Entrance to Landmark Tower
During the trip, we thought that we can visit the tower later that day. Because of that, we decided to visit the tower as our last place to stop. But unfortunately, the day we spent it Yokohama was not really enough to see all the places recommended to visit. The opportunities we have in this tower was only to see it from the outside.
View At My Window (Post#16) : Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
While wandering at Dubai Mall, we found a huge aquarium where people can go and explore it quite up close and personal without getting wet, I am referring to non other than Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Photo captured last August 2014. People actually enjoy the aquarium for free from the outside though entering the tunnel has a fee.
View At My Window (Post#9) : Cafe’s at Marina Tower Ground
When I went to Abu Dhabi, one of the mall that I visited was Marina Mall which is located in Al Marina. The ambiance of the cafe’s surrounding Marina Tower were quite refreshing. Captured this photo last August 2014.
I captured this photo of Big Ben mall in Lipa City, Batangas in Philippines along Ayala Highway while inside the public jeep when we were on our way to Cuenca, Batangas for our Freedom Climb which happened in Mount Maculot last June 2009.
It was Sunday, my last day in Dubai as holiday. In Dubai or let’s say UAE (not sure if all Arab countries are the same), they started their weekday on Sunday and will last on Thursday. Therefore, they treated Friday and Saturday as their weekends. Because I will be traveling alone, I booked a bus tour which is hop-in and hop-out bus tour type. Though there are places included in the tracks that I already visited, I still join the tour since it is the cheapest way to go around the city since I can’t rent a car because I don’t know how to drive.
Here are the routes of the BigBus Tour that I booked:
1. Red Route (City Route)
b. Creek Park
c. Creek Walk
d. Al Fahidi Port
e. Old Souk
f. Heritage Village
g. Gold Souk
h. Spice Souk
i. Abra Station
k. Deira City Centre
2. Blue Route (Marina Route)
b. Union House
c. Jumeirah Mosque
e. Jumeirah Beach Park
f. Jumeirah Public Beach
h. Souk Madinat Jumeirah
i. Atlantis On The Palm
j. Mall of Emirates
k. The Dubai Mall
3. Night Tour
a. Sheikh Zayed Road
b. Burj Al Arab
c. Palm Jumeirah
d. Skycraper City
e. Burj Khalifa
f. Downtown Dubai
g. WAFI Light and Sound Show
Self tour within the area: Deira City Centre, Dubai Mall, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, and Mall of Emirates
Since I have one day left, I did not go anymore to the places that I already seen and visited. And because it still summer in Dubai, the hardest part is walking outside in a hot sunny day. During the day tour, I went outside the bus when we arrived at the Public Beach of Jumeirah and Souk Madinat Jumeirah which both belong to Blue route or Marina route. I stayed inside the bus in other location because I am maximizing the time that I still have to see much as I can. The places I saw from the bus in this route are: the 2nd of December Street (from the formal date of nationalization of UAE from British), Union House (where the UAE was form and the huge flagpole of UAE located), Jumeirah Mosque, Mercato (an Italian themed mall), and Jumeirah Beach Park (which exclusive only for women).
At WAFI (day time)
Raffles Dubai in WAFI (at day time)
Around WAFI (at daytime)
Khan Murjan Entrance (at daytime)
Etisalat Tower 2 (along Sheikh Zayed Road)
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
I got off from the bus when we arrived at Public Beach of Jumeirah because I thought I can take pictures there, but unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures in the beach that was why I was not able to take pictures of Burj Al Arab from that place. My disappointment in the beach was gone when I went to Souk Madinat which can be found inside Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. I was really fascinated with the place because of unique style of the market and the structure design of the hotel that you will really feel you are in an arab desert place. I went outside the souk and found a great place to capture Burj Al Arab hotel from Souk Madinat or from Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. I realized that I was standing in some part of the luxurious resort hotel in Dubai. Though not all part are free to all tourist, it was just part where there are restaurants outside the hotel. I enjoyed the place and if I will be given a chance to come back, I hope I can stay in Madinat Jumeirah Hotel resort.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah Entrance
Inside Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Burj Al Arab from Madinat Jumeirah Hotel Resort
Around Madinat Jumeirah Hotel Resort
Another area that I enjoyed without getting off the bus is the Palm Jumeirah. A famous man-made palm shape structure island, where you can find luxurious hotels and residential homes of rich people. I never realized how big Palm Jumeirah until our bus entered the island. There are lots of residential and buildings already exist and other structures are still being built. For me the place is already beautiful and I was excited when we saw Altantis The Palm hotel from a far. I can’t believe my eyes that I am seeing the hotel which I only saw in the movie of “Sex and the City”. It is a huge hotel that I was not able to capture the whole building with my phone when we were at the front of the hotel. Atlantis is another luxurious hotel that exist in Dubai, I can’t imagine how much it will cost when you stay even for one night.
View while entering Palm Jumeirah (Burj Al Arab from a far)
Atlantis The Palm (at Palm Jumeirah)
View of Dubai Marina from Palm Jumeirah
Next places I saw in daylight are Mall of Emirates, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, I took photos of these building again while inside the rooftop of the bus.
Novotel (at Sheikh Zayed Road) where I stayed in my first 5 nights in Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel
Mall of Emirates
Souk Al Bahar (near in Burj Khalifa)
After completing the blue route, I transferred in Red route or City route bus and in this tour, I saw more of Deira area and its old downtown. I saw the Creek River, Creek Park, wooden Arabian Dhow, Al Fahidi Port, Old Souk, Heritage Village, Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Abra Station, Baniyas and Deira City Centre.
Creek Park Main Gate (at Al Riyadh St)
wooden arabian dhow in Creek River (at Al Seef Road)
Creek River (at Al Seef Road)
Wooden Arabian Dhow
Old Dubai Souk Marine Transport
Old Dubai Souk Marine Transport
Around Al Ghubaiba MRT station
Around Al Ghubaiba MRT station
Around Al Ghubaiba MRT station
Around Al Ghubaiba MRT station
Creek River at Baniyas Road
Creek River at Baniyas Road
Deira Old Souk
RTA Marine Transport at Baniyas Road
Deira City Center
While waiting for my night tour, I did some souvenir and gift shopping, these gifts serve as a token to give to my relatives and coworkers when I returned in my country.
The last part of the tour is the night tour where I witness and discovered how grandiose the city of Dubai at night-time. We drove again at the same route of Blue route. Here I saw Dubai differently and witness how beautiful Dubai City is during night hours.
The night tour concluded. And I returned straight from Deira City Centre to my hotel almost 11PM. This was how I ended my last day in Dubai. I hoped that I can go back again in this beautiful city someday because I know there are more places to discover and my few days are not enough to see them all, if I will be given a chance, at least I wanted to live here for almost a year to learn more about Arab culture and its country.
I woke-up early, my stuff are all back in my luggage for my early checkout. It was the same day of my first day of having holiday in Dubai since the training was over. I checked-out early because I need to attend personal activity and I left my luggage at the hotel for the mean time. I was on my way to the place where I need to be, I thought the location was near from my hotel that was why I decided to walk instead of taking a cab, it was around 10AM in the morning wherein it was one of the time as the hottest hours during day time. I regretted that I walked because it was really hot and I was soaked in sweat. After such experience, I learned my lesson not to do that craziness again. When my morning activity concluded, I went straight to Mall of the Emirates, I walked to the mall from where I came from since it’s just nearby.
Some of the interiors that can be found inside Mall of the Emirates (above photos)
I wandered in Mall of the Emirates, from parking area, I went up to second level of the mall. I felt relieved and comfortable as I entered the mall because of the cold condition that I felt inside, then I went straight to food court for my lunch, I ate fries and hot dog sandwich. After lunch, I continue my stroll in the mall and while walking, I took photos as well. One of the features of Mall of the Emirates is the Ski Dubai slope, but unfortunately, I didn’t tried to find it.
Another hour of walking past, I decided to go back to my hotel to pick-up my luggage. Then, I moved to another hotel, its Landmark Grand Hotel which I arranged earlier, even before I departed Manila to Dubai. The hotel is located in Deira and it is near in Union metro interchange station. I arrived in the hotel past 4PM in the afternoon and rested for a while before the evening plan with my friend. I met my friend at the lobby of the hotel and we talked for another hour until we decided to visit traditional Gold Souk (Gold Market) which located at Al Khor street. We left the hotel and we went to my friend’s house unit and stayed there for half an hour. Next, we went to Gold Souk via public bus. While on our way to the market, I saw the other side of Dubai. My friend told me that Deira is the old Dubai. And by looking around Deira, I can feel the sense of history for most of the places we passed by. Most of traditional Souk are located in Deira. I enjoyed watching the place while inside the bus. And in Deira I discovered places quite differently from the impression that left on me while I visited places outside Deira such as places along Sheikh Zayed Road from Burjuman going to Jabal Ali where it is being called right now as the new Dubai. I realized that Dubai is far from where it was before, by looking from where it start, which is in Deira, Dubai is now a progressive and very modern city based from what it has and what it achieves.
We stopped at public bus terminal where the Gold Souk is just around the corner. After reaching the place, we quickly look around the place and most of the stores in each corner are showing off their gold products. We never tried to enter even in one store, because we never really intend to buy gold and we know nothing about gold for real.
One of the entrance to Gold Souk
One of the Gold Store in Gold Souk
Next place we decided to see was the Dubai Festival City Mall or DFCM, I think this was the third mall that I visited in Dubai. My friend told me that most of the concert events are happening around this mall. We tried to see the Festival Marina but we are not able to go around the area due to renovation .going on
It was Tuesday, second day of training, I focus my mind in the training knowing that I am going to enjoy another night in Dubai. I met my friend in Burjuman metro interchange station. Then, we transferred to green line going to Etisalat and got off at Dubai Healthcare City station. From the station, we walked for few minutes until we reached the WAFI city mall.
According to my friend the owner of WAFI city are inspired in Egyptian culture, that is why WAFI city mall were designed with the touch of Egyptian architectural design. Comparing the number of people visiting WAFI and Dubai mall, there are big differences. When we visited WAFI city mall, there are few people inside, you can count people whom you can pass by. I am not sure if WAFI mall targeted few people as their customer. There are luxurious store you can find in that mall, one reason why it’s not popular to the general masses or maybe the problem is the location. I can’t really give it as serious thoughts. Even though there are few people visiting the mall, I enjoyed walking around WAFI, because same with the owner of WAFI City, I like the pyramid because of mystery surrounded by it, I felt that I traveled in Egypt.
Some external view of WAFI (above photos)
Some interior design you can find at WAFI (above photos)
Raffles Dubai (at night-time)
There is one interesting place inside WAFI city that I really like, it is “Khan Murjan” (based from the mall directory brochure that I got, Khan Murjan is the legendary 14th century souk in Baghdad which is a hub for travelers and artisans). You can see how unique the place is. And even the restaurant inside it, it’s definitely has Arabian culture spirit.
After taking more minutes in strolling in the mall, we had our dinner and we waited for the light and sound show. The show entitled “Returns of the Pharaohs” which shown across the Pyramids and the other Egyptian themed buildings in the Central Courtyard in WAFI city mall.
Khan Murjan (one of the authentic arabian experience market and restaurants)
Inside of Khan Murjan (above photos)
That night ended again with feel of accomplishment by seeing another part of Dubai.
It was Monday, first day of my training. Here I met my colleagues from Pakistan. Out of 18 people in the training, including our instructor, I am only the woman in the training. At first, it was surprising to me, and I just realized that all the other 16 attending the training, I am the only one from Manila and the rest of them are from Pakistan. After the training, I planned to meet my long time college friend at the hotel lobby and because of this I was not able to join my Pakistan mates that night. From the hotel, my friend and I walked to the nearest metro station (Sharaf DG station). I bought my NOL card (transportation card accepted in train, bus, and marine public transport) and then took the train going to Rashidiya. That was the first time I took train in Dubai, while on the train, I discovered and realized that it is true that there are lots of Filipinos in Dubai. Hearing people speaking my own language and looking at them, yes they are all Filipinos by words and by looks. I thought that I was riding MRT train in EDSA back home, but I am not, I am in Dubai, riding Dubai Metro train. After half an hour travel, we got off at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station. We walked for a while until we reached Dubai Mall.
Dubai Mall Entrance from train station
We saw a lot in Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is said to be the largest mall in the world in terms of total area. There are lots of signature and branded store you can find in this mall. After walking a while with my friend, I honestly told myself that I will easily get lost in this mall, too many stores, too many things to see and too many places to go. I definitely advised that people who will visit Dubai Mall required to get a map, but if you are adventurer, just enjoy being lost in the mall. Significant part of the mall that I found are: Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and Dubai Waterfall.
Before seeing Dubai Aquarium, I am wondering how big it is and after I saw it, the aquarium is bigger than 3 or 4 shopping stores inside the mall. You can walk inside the tunnel where the top of it is part of the aquarium. Next, we saw is the Dubai Waterfall, wherein it seems that the water fall starts from the top of the mall down to the ground level. One thing that this waterfall is interesting are human divers sculptures found in the entirety of the waterfall. At first, I thought those sculptures are like people flying in the air but to think about it, since it’s a waterfall, I realized that the structure are people who are diving from the top of the waterfall.
My friend and I continue our walk while talking, then we found the food court and had our dinner. After dinner, we went outside the mall to witness the famous dancing fountain at Dancing Fountain lake where Burj Khalifa is nearly located. Before the show, I enjoy observing Burj Khalifa tower, took a lot of photos and amazed how high the tower is. I am fascinated on the lightnings shining across the whole tower. Aside from the tower, another interesting building that I saw is the Souk Al Bahar just beside the Dubai mall. The show started and I watched it intently, though it’s a few minutes show, I still enjoyed it.
Burj Khalifa (top)
Burj Khalifa (ground)
Dancing Fountain Lake
Souk Al Bahar
Second night in Dubai was over with satisfaction of seeing part of Dubai even in just few hours.
I do not have so much stories about West Edmonton Mall during my visit on this place. But one thing reminds me about this mall, I thought at first, that people living in Edmonton does not like going to the mall, because I have this impression in malls in Edmonton City. For instance, Bay Mall and City Centre which are both located in downtown but it seems like a ghost town mall for me. Why? One reason – I found few people visiting this place.
To my surprise, when I went to West Edmonton Mall for the very first time, there were lots of people inside it. When I realized that, I tried to find out why. Before I able to answer my own question, I need to stroll inside the mall.First reason, West Edmonton Mall is really huge, based on information that I got, this mall used to be the largest mall in the world, but China built two huge malls, West Edmonton Mall are now the third largest mall in the world and largest mall in North America. Can someone imagine how big this mall is? What will be your reaction if you will find out that there is a beach like resort inside this mall? When I heard this, I was shocked. I cannot imagine a beach inside the mall. I knew I need to visit West Edmonton Mall.
One of inside view of the mall (This photo was cropped,
there is a big fish sculpture and I was inside it)
I visited West Edmonton Mall twice. The first one was just to stroll around the place but I never able to take photos that time because I was not comfortable and there are lots of people walking around the place. After strolling around, I decided to watch one of the scheduled shows. I watched sea lions show. This show was the second sea-lion show that I watched. The first one was the time I had a vacation in Singapore. I recorded a video of the show as my souvenir, I was entertained while watching it. I was fascinated by the people who controlled the sea lions. For me, it takes a lot of effort on their side to have a show with special animals. And I can say that it is one of the distinct talent of human. The show can be found at Sea Lions Rock at Deep Sea Adventure inside West Edmonton Mall.
Sea Lion at Sea Life Cavern
Photos above is place to watch a sea lion show
Bridge at Sea Life Cavern
After sea-lion show, I visit Sea Life Cavern, wherein I saw a lot of underwater species. And I enjoyed watching creatures such as fish, sharks, sting rays, penguin and reptiles. During the time I visited the place, their was ongoing presentation done by one of the crew and she was explaining something about reptile bone.
The second time I visited this huge mall was happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, last Saturday I spent in Edmonton. I toured the mall together with my buddy at work. This buddy of mine likes a sister to me. She is also a Filipina who migrated in Canada together with her all family. Since she was with me, I got a lot of chance to take pictures of famous spot of the mall. Honestly, I tried to find photos inside this mall without myself and to my surprise all pictures that I have in this mall I was there.
All the pictures that I have are memories of this huge mall. Here are some of the famous place to be found inside West Edmonton Mall: Ice Palace, World Waterpark, Deep Sea Adventure and Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. I also found the Chinatown place, The Galaxyland Amusement Park and Bourbon Street.
Ice Palace is a place to watch hockey game. When I visited this part of the mall, there are young kids (both guys and gals) were playing.
I never tried to get inside “The Galaxyland Amusement Park” since I am too old to play in this place.
World Waterpark is the indoor beach-like resort where you can swim and just enjoy water. I actually like the slides built beside the resort. This resort has man-made waves wherein you will feel like you are totally in a beach. Edmonton has no beach because it is surrounded by land areas and this is the right place if you want to enjoy the beach like atmosphere. The people who enjoy the place are also the same people who enjoy the beach outside. They just either stay beside the water and enjoy the sun rays passing the glass ceilings of water park.
Inside World Waterpark
Parking beside Waterpark
I also found a bungee jump beside the world water park. I had fun watching the kids enjoying the jump. Next, we found the Deep Sea Adventure wherein I saw Santa Maria – a sea fleet with exact replica of Christoper Columbus Santa Maria. For me its a real classic boat. I also found some people who dine at the docking area of the fleet. Well, it is indeed quite cute for me as a place for a dating with someone.
Christpher Columbus Santa Maria fleet replica
My buddy and I continued strolling around the place until we found an awesome golf course place, Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. This golf course is a mini golf course with lot of small areas to allow different players to play golf.
Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf
Chinatown is a place for Chinese restaurants and stores. While Bourbon Street is a place mostly for western restaurants and diners.
There were lots of things I saw in this mall and I did enjoy strolling around the place. But for someone who really wanted to explore the place, one day is not enough. Before I forgot, I also found the Fantasyland Hotel wherein I saw an architectural design which similar to Europe.
That is all I have to say about West Edmonton Mall.