Free Transit Tour in Singapore

It was my first time of long overlay in an airport. Most of my connecting flights just have 1 to 2 hours waiting period. When I chose my flight to Darwin at first, waiting time is less than 2 hours. But I changed my scheduled flight and the only options left for me was at least 8 hours overlay in Singapore before flying to Darwin in Northern Territory Australia.

Because of my long layover, I checked if Singapore Airport offers a transit tour and I am glad they do. When I arrived in Changi Airport, I went straight to Terminal 2 via Skytrain since I arrived in Terminal  1, my pace was faster than I normally do since I have few minutes left to register for free tour. I even asked three(3) information desks along the way to make sure I’m in the right direction.

I found the kiosk of free transit tour around 5 minutes walk from Skytrain of Terminal 2 towards Lounge F. The location is in between the two. I found the kiosk and there are tour personnel assisted me, she requested for my passport and my next flight boarding pass, then, she gave me an immigration card and I filled it up. When the time came, another tourism personnel assisted the group. She introduced herself and gave preparation advised. She gave stickers to all of us so she can easily identify whose going with her for the free tour. We took more than half an hour queuing in the immigration area and we passed the immigration same process for every visitors coming to Singapore.

Yes, I had been in Singapore for many times and I cannot even count how many times. But I preferred to go out in the tour so that I will not bore myself in waiting my next flight in the airport for the next 8 hours.

After passing immigration, we had been re-group and waited for other visitors. When we were completed, we followed our tour guide and went straight towards where the tour bus was parked. I felt so relaxed. I have with my hand carry backpack and my DSLR camera. We left Terminal 2 and drove towards the city. While on the road, our tour guide started telling information of the things that we are seeing like the new Terminal 4 that will be finished soon and probably in operation on 2017. Then she explained the residential buildings that  we passed and informing us that there were two types of residential building in Singapore. The two types are: the low-cost building they called HDB which are government housing projects and condominium buildings. She emphasized how to recognized the two by looking if the building is surrounded by fences. HDB buildings has no fences while condominiums has.

When we passed some Ferrari (F1) race tracks while on our way to the city center, our tour guide pointed it out and even the Pit building which serves as Pits stop during the race which recently concluded last September. Then, saw as well from the bus the Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City, a place where I used to work for half a year before and Marina Square,

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Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City

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Marina Square

The first stop we had in the city was in Esplanade Park along Connaught Drive where majority of known tourist attractions in Singapore are just nearby. From where the bus parked, we saw National Gallery (building with dome) and its behind is Supreme Court of Singapore. We had a glimpse of Singapore Cricket Club and Singapore Creation Club which stands each end of the vast open area of Padang.

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A glimpse of the city centre of Singapore

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Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum

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Jubilee Bridge (towards Merlion Park)

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Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay Singapore

All of us in the group walked towards Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay Singapore. Esplanade is famous because of its unique architectural recognition. The guide asked all of us what else we can think of aside from Durian fruit when looking to the building. Someone said microphone which I cannot disagree because the roof of the structure of Esplanade does really looks like microphone, which is an interesting idea and discovery. Then, we walked and crossed the Jubilee walking bridge towards Merlion Park where the famous Merlion stands. Merlion personifies Singapore because of its meaning to the country. I got a chance to see again the following: the city’s skyscrapers where the CBD of Singapore is, Marina Bay, Art Science Museum, historical The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Float @Marina Bay, Youth Olympic Park and Singapore Flyer.

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The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

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Merlion Park

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The Float @Marina Bay, Youth Olympic Park and Singapore Flyer

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Singapore Flyer

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Flower Dome in Gardens By the Bay

We returned to the bus again for our next and last stop which is Kampong Glam. While inside the bus, I saw Singapore again. We passed Chinatown and Little India. Our tour guide are very knowledgeable and she’s happy  in sharing it.

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We visited Kampong Glam area which is a place that even I was in Singapore for couple of times for the past 10 years and even I lived for almost a year in the said country, I never got a chance to visit Kampong Glam which is cultural heritage attraction. I learned an interesting story from the guide about the place. There were two categories of people comes in Kampong Glam. First, are Muslim people who went to Masjid Sultan mosque for their prayers which happens in day time. This means that it’s a place for peace and solemnity  during day time. Second group of people comes to the place are the people who are having a good time during night-time as the area is surrounded by different shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment establishments. It’s interesting because the place serves its different purposes on different times of the day to totally different types of people. I never thought that there’s a place like that in Singapore which a new discovery for me.

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Geduing Kuning (Mamanda Restaurant)

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As I walked in the area, first thing I saw is the yellow building called Mamanda wherein I checked that it’s a restaurant. But, the building is also a restored building since its was a historical building where some of the Sultan Hussein family lived like his grandson Tengku Mahmud as per writing display at the gate of the Yellow mansion.

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There is Istana Kampong Glam (Kampong Glam Palace) which built by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor in Kampong Glam which given by him by British East India Company and the place now is part of Malay Heritage in Singapore. Then, one thing that I like is the restored shop houses around the area because I can feel what the place looks like before. It’s an interesting place to see.

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Masjid Sultan

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Restored Shophouses

Before it gets dark, we were able to return to the airport and that’s where the group separated. I myself had my dinner in one of the food chain before my next flight. And then, I went back to Terminal 1 and passed immigration. I still have 2 hours before my flight to Darwin and I just sat in one of the waiting area until I walked towards the designated gate of my flight. This is how I spent my more than 8 hours lay over in Singapore.

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Arts and Craft: “Going Home” By Han Mei Ling

Arts and Craft (Post#2) : “Going Home” By Han Mei Ling

I am curious what the title of the sculpture after I saw it while descending towards South Arrival Immigration Hall at Terminal 3 in Changi Airport for my entry to Singapore. Photo collections were part of Singapore adventure within May 2016. Below is the excerpt that I got from airport’s website about the art sculpture.

China artist Han Mei Ling’s 900kg sculpture follows a theme that is intrinsically Confucian yet universal – the importance of family. The sculpture represents a family nucleus through three varieties of metal: steel for the father, bronze for the mother and gold for the child perched on the patriarch’s shoulder. Han surrounds the family with a flock of colourful birds, articulating the notion of returning and being homeward


Featuring Our World : Bedok Reservoir

Featuring Our World (Post#1): Bedok Reservoir

One of the things that I admired in Singapore while living there for almost a year was about their Reservoir. This kind of place made me felt that I was really near with nature. Singapore in overall impression it is a country city. Yes, right now it thrives to be more nature friendly country but if you never goes to green places such as parks, most likely what you will see are vertical buildings of residences, offices and even factories because of the country’s limited land space. Bedok Reservoir was one of the places that I like immediately after I saw the place. A nearby walking and jogging trails can be found in the place and that was the reason I got to know the place. My friends and I were scheduled to exercise near the reservoir and I was not aware that its really a scenic and serene place. One of the good things to know while reading something about the said reservoir was how it was developed. It was a sand quarry before which used to reclaim some areas in Singapore and this became the place to collect water storm during storm weather season.  And now, the reservoir is a great place for outdoor activities. Photo collections captured last April 2010.

This post has been updated to participate for Our World Tuesday – February 9, 2016 and Outdoor Wednesday – February 10, 2016.

 

Life Of Others : Jurong Bird Park – Scarlet Ibis

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Life Of Others (Post#3)  : Jurong Park – Scarlet Ibis

When I visited Jurong Bird Park in Singapore together with nephew, Scarlet Ibis was one of the bird that we saw inside the park. This type of bird has brilliant coloured and gregarious birds make impressive mass return to tree roosts. These birds usually silent, they make a ‘gurgling’ alarm call and bill clatter when they bicker. They usually found in northern and eastern South America. These bird eats fish, frogs, crustacean and insects. Photo captured last February 2010.

Colors : Jurong Bird Park Entrance Garden

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Colors (Post#1) : Jurong Bird Park Entrance Garden

Photo above was captured near the Entrance of Jurong Bird Park which displayed colourful flowers and some used to creatively display a bird shape which the park is all about bird. I visited this place when I was still working in Singapore and went there together with my nephew which just 3 years old as a way to introduce to him different kinds of birds. Snapshot captured last February 2010.

Name Of The Place : MacRitchie Reservoir

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Name Of The Place (Post#18): MacRitchie Reservoir

One of the place that I really enjoyed in Singapore was MacRitchie Reservoir since it was the place where I did some trekking and felt I was surrounded by nature even though it was not mountain but most likely a forest hill. It was one of an escape place away from the bustling city and its metropolis. Photo captured last June 2010.

Chromatic Outlook : Far Far Away Castle

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Chromatic Outlook (Post#18) : Far Far Away Castle

In our world today, I think Castle correlates to the word of fantasy and dreams as present time depicts opposite of happy and good dreams. For personal reference I like castle because most of the time, it is the common structure where a lot of story happened whether its monarchical and political stories, the significance of the building weigh based on the events occurred in the building. On the other side, castle also enjoyed witnessing the happiest things happened to the people lived in the castle. The above castle like structure though its not real castle, and it was created by creative minds with the influence of history still worth to find out. Far Far Away Castle is one of the theater castle to be found inside Universal Studios in Singapore, snapshot captured when we visited the place last August 2013.

Panoramic View : MacRitchie Reservoir

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Panoramic View (Post#18): MacRitchie Reservoir

When we arrived in this place for walking and trekking adventure, I fell in love with the place. MacRitchie Reservoir is one of my favorite place in Singapore as the area has nature surroundings that helped me forget that I live in the city. The reservoir shot has relaxing view that kept me standing there for a while to appreciate the beauty in front of me. Photo captured last June 2010.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Through My Lens – May 30, 2016
Our World Tuesday – May 31, 2016
Travel Tuesday – May 31, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Jun 1, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Jun 1, 2016
Water World Wednesday – Jun 1, 2016
Watery Wednesday – Jun 1, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Jun 3, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Jun 3, 2016
In Heaven – Jun 4, 2016

Chromatic Outlook : Tampines West Community Club

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Chromatic Outlook (Post#9) : Tampines West Community Club

I remembered that during my almost a year work in Singapore, one of the activities that I replaced for traveling in a city-island country was Badminton. I saw that Community Club is one way of the government to make people active since no mountains to trek in Singapore. And climbing a mountain was just one of the things that I really missed in my own country. Photo above was Tampines West Community Club which captured last March 2010.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Black and White View – May 16, 2016
Black and White Wednesday – May 18, 2016
The Weekend in Black and White – May 20, 2016

View At My Window : Harbourfront Centre

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View At My Window (Post#5) : Harbourfront Centre

My previous office when I worked in Singapore is just around the corner in Harbourfront. I captured this one as farewell to the office because that time we were moving to Suntec City and occupying one of the Suntec Towers. I was walking in overpass when I shot my phone to capture this last June 2010.

Walking and Trekking at MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir

Year 2008 was the year that reminded me or let say reawakened in my self that I love nature. I love greens and forest and that led me to love mountains. When I moved to Singapore for work I knew that I am sacrificing one thing that I love that is climbing a mountain.

Singapore is a city, though it tried to maintain itself as being green city still it does not have mountains to climb. I remembered that there is one mountain that I know and that is Mount Faber where one end of Sentosa cable car is located. Aside from that mountain, I know nothing else.

When I started working in Singapore I thought that things will get excited because living in another country different from what I used to be might be an adventure. I started working in Singapore last December 2009 and to my surprised less than a month or exactly after a month, I felt bored. My colleagues at work started to feel the same way, in another two months all of us felt home sick.

I belong to a batch of IT Filipinos who was hired to work through third-party company for an investment bank in Singapore. It was the first time that I worked abroad and it’s different compared if I was sent or assigned by my company to another country.

One thing that I never thought to experienced in Singapore was trekking. My colleague at work decided to visit MacRitchie Reservoir and I joined them.

Some of us met at MacRitchie, some met at the train station. Since I was coming from Sengkang area, I took purple line from Buangkok to Serangoon station and transferred to yellow line from Serangoon to Marymount (at that time, yellow line was still half-completed). From Marymount, we took bus to MacRitchie.

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–Amenities Centre

When we arrived at MacRitchie Reservoir, I already like its nature ambiance. We walked to the park’s lobby where some cafe are located. At the lobby there are shower rooms and wash rooms as well. We also found information of the park such as board map and walking trails.

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–Amenities Centre

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–Amenities Centre

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We don’t have walking guide, when we started the walk near from the lobby or park amenities centre but before we begin we decided to follow the Yellow trail as it will return to the amenities center where we started. We just followed the trail as we see it. First, we turned left as we face the centre and then we turned right on our way to the Paddle Lodge, Fishing Ground and Kayak Platform.

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After passing the Dam trail and Kayak Platform, we entered the natures trail. When we were inside the forest I felt that I felt great as I reminisce the experience of climbing mountain. Walking in the trail under tall trees and surrounded by different plants and vines made me fell that I was really close with nature.

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–Inside the Forest

From the start of the trail we saw post telling how far we already walk so far. And in every post that we saw we rest a while and took our chances to take some photos. We had fun during the walk, we talked about a lot of things. Along the way, we saw resting huts and the huts has its name which was nice. There is part of the trail that we walk along the ground and some has wooden path and stairs. It made me felt that I was trekking some hills and the trail was easy to medium level. During our walk we also experienced a bit of rain.

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–HSBC Treetop Walk

We already reached the 3.5 km post. After half an hour we saw the post of HSBC Treetop Walk, and in few minutes we arrived at the front of it. Treetop Walk as per the park information that it is a free-standing suspension bridge that connects two highest point which is Bukit Pierce and Bukit Kalang in MacRitchie. We did enjoy the bridge when we crossed it. The bridge gave us a chance to have a different perspective to appreciate the forest and the park.

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–Inside the Forest

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–Jelutong Tower Top

After the Treetop Walk, we continued our trek in the forest and follow the trail we intended to finish. We climb Jelutong Tower Top as we were curious what to see. We also passed a trail part where the side itself was the reservoir. Then some part of The Singapore Island Country Club which is left side of the reservoir. One of the cool things we saw along the way was the small turtle at the side of the water reservoir.

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–The Singapore Island Country Club

Before we reached the promenade, we saw the Zigzag bridge and the Bandstand beside it.

We finished the trail same where we started which means that we took the trail that go around the MacRitchie Reservoir. Though we were quiet tired in waking and trekking, I really enjoyed what we did because I had been the similar activity back to my country.

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–Little Turtle we saw near the side of the reservoir

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–Inside the Forest

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–On the way to Promenade

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–Bandstand and Zigzag BridgeIMG_1317

–One of the cafe at the Amenities Centre