Saturday, May 22, 2010

Overseas Day Trips [12/05 - 19/05]

19th May 2010 (Wednesday) - Day trip to Penang

On this day, I am flying off to Penang for a day business trip. The last time I was there for a day trip was about 6 months back. I have stayed in Penang for 4 months last year and love Penang cos of their friendly people, nice food, low cost of living and beautiful environment. Was seriously considering getting a house there.

I departed Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 8.05am. There was a slight drizzle and the sky is slightly downcast. All the photos for this trip is taken using my iPhone except for the group photo. Here is the scene after take-off. It is beautiful indeed with streams of line piercing through the clouds.

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The plane went above the clouds and we caught the sunlight again.

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40minutes into the trip, the plane went into descend mode. I remembered capturing the mythical Malaya image last year and here is another one again. This region is indeed a great place to live. It is famous for its abundant agricultural products as it has little temperature variation with long hours of sunlight and rainfall. But with globalisation and economic expansion, we may miss out on the beautiful nature around us.

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After the business meeting, the managers there gave us a splendid treat for lunch! I love Penang food the most. When I got there in the morning, the reception lady said that I have slimmed down a lot. It is true as I have been moving around a lot these few weeks and most important I don't feast on great food daily (we used to take seafood everyday in Penang. :S)

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We got back after lunch and have 30mins to catch up with fellow friends. I informed Ah Chin that I will be dropping by today (hopefully they don't go on leaves) and they actually prepared a large bag of local specialty for us. So sweet! I also got my gifts ready too, each time I visit them, I also splurge on gifts.

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12th May (Wednesday) - Day trip to Batam

It is my first time going to Batam. I just found out the island opposite where I stay in east coast is Batam. I thought it was Bintan all along. After 29 years of looking at it from opposite, I am finally landing on the island.

Had a bit of adventure at the customs. As I am on a business trip, I will have to apply for the Visa on Arrival which cost US$25. The next time I will go there will be on a tourist visa and I will wear my tourist cap and Hawaiian shirt (before transforming into business suit in the car).

It is also my first time departing from the Harbour Front Ferry Terminal where we took the Batam Fast ferry. It cost S$80 for the return trip. The boat ride will take 1 hour.

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There is the air-con area and the sea-breeze area in the ferry. I sat in the air-con section for 5mins before moving up permanently to the sea-breeze area. It's a bit hot but with the sea breeze coming in, the temperature is kept at a more acceptable feel. After taking a 30mins nap, I felt a great sense of peace with the sun, the sea and the breeze. I recalled watching a documentary of Singapore in the 50s-60s. Back in those days, lives were much simpler and there were people living on the boats. The feeling is almost similar to that now.

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I walked around and took a shot of the receding waves when the ferry cut through the sea.

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After the business meeting, we had lunch at a local restaurant. This place is recommended by the taxi driver.

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It's fabulous! Really want to try it again.

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And also my favourite - Otak!! We ordered 20 pieces in all.

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We took the ferry back and there was a slight drizzle. The sun was slightly shrouded by the gray sky but it will occasionally break through and cast its rays down onto the quiet sea.

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The evening sky against the busy port of Singapore.

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And finally we arrived back to the terminal. Here we have the massive Star Cruises ferry berth at the Harbour Front terminal. Had an interesting chat with a taxi driver lately on the suicide rates amongst casinos. He said for cruises with casinos, the suicide rates are actually quite high. Normally it is classified as man overboard and to the government, they have left their country and into international waters, so they will be recognized as missing overseas.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ngee Ann-Adelaide Singapore Campus

Information on Ngee Ann Adelaide is no longer hosted on this blog.

It has been migrated to:
Ngee Ann Adelaide Singapore Campus

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Circle Line / Marina Bay Sands [01/05]

Singapore second integrated resort is now opened for public visits. Since the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is much more accessible as compared to the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), we decided to check it out on the weekend after it's opening. The plan is also to visit it via the Circle Line and to walk along the Helix Bridge which was opened the weekend before.

Just a snapshot of Suntec City below. I was there for 3 days between the 21st - 23rd April. Each morning at 8.45am, I noticed sunlight streaming into the convention centre. The scene is quite nice and I took a photo of it.

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Circle Line

The Circle Line was started a few weeks before but I had not taken it until this week. I attempted to take it on Thursday but an announcement on track failure was given and I switched to the North-South Line instead. On Friday I tried it again and was successful in taking it from Bishan to Paya Lebar. This time round, we will be coming in from Paya Lebar to Promenade station.

There was a concert by SHE on the 17th April at the Indoor Stadium, so they officiate the opening ceremony of the Stadium station at the same time.

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Here is how the Paya Lebar Circle Line station looks like.

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We took until the Stadium station and alighted for a few photoshoots. The design for the Stadium station is quite unique.

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Here is another perspective from the top of the escalator.

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We walked along the ground level. Directly next to the station is the National Stadium.

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We boarded the train again and this time we observed the moving train from the last carriage. Here is the train departing from the station.

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And we arrived at the Promenade station. There are these big droplets shape-like sculpture in there.

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Marina Bay Sands

The Helix Bridge is a 5 mins walk away from the station. Here is the view that took our breathe away.

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For those who wonder what all the funny alphabets on the Helix bridge means. They are actually the sequences in a double helix. T and A are joined together, while G and C are together, forming a pair. My friend say the bridge is actually a quad helix and not a double helix.

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Here is the quad helix bridge. After convening a committee review and months of effort, the name 'Helix Bridge' has been decided.

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There are several view points where visitors can grab a shot of the Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

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The Singapore financial skyline is also in the distant. We have the dragon boat team propelling forward at fast and furious speed.

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And also the 'temporary' floating stadium.

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The Helix Bridge is partially open and we have to walk along the pedestrian path once we are near to the MBS integrated resort. The amphitheater is still under construction and I guess it won't be ready until June's official opening.

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Viola! The majestic 3 towers of MBS. They are actually 55-storey high hotel rooms.

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We went into the shopping arcade of the MBS. It is naturally lighted up by sunlight. Singapore has a great abundance of sunlight, thus modern buildings are designed to harness natural light.

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A large funnel-like shape. The water system has yet to be installed.

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Another perspective of the shopping arcade.

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A straight row of people just looking down.

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The funnel from below.

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The MBS design is going to be similar to the Macau's Venetian in that water will flow through the shopping arcade. Gondolas maybe traversing through this area. In fengshui, water equals to wealth. The water (wealth) will lead into the casino.

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Here is the highlight of the integrated resort.

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There are many people hanging around as Singaporeans will have no access to the casino unless they pay $100 per entry or subscribe for an annual pass which cost $2k plus.

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See the big sign 'Foreigner' below. There will be different treatment for locals and PRs.

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We crossed over the underpass towards the hotel. And there is a performance going on.

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Here is the interior of the hotel with restaurants at the first floor.

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More views of the interior.

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These are actually trees in large ceramic pots.

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A good place to just have tea and watch the crowd go by.

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Walking through the 3 hotel buildings.

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After visiting the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, it is true indeed that Singapore is a great place to live in (reference to the recent URA report that 80% find Singapore a great place to live, work and play).

The visit to the MBS Sky Park and the hotel rooms is continue HTML clipboard here