Singapore

A Friend Comes to Visit (Part 1)

Going on solo adventures is fun, but traveling with friends is even more fun. This weekend, one of my best friends from home came to visit Singapore. Vineet (or as I sometimes call him, Vinny) and I met way back in middle school when we both were enrolled in Kumon, one of those after-school math things that many Asian parents seem to put their kids through.

This summer, he’s been doing a research internship (much like mine) in India while living with his grandma, aunt, and baby cousin. This week, he’s headed to Malaysia to present his past research from last semester at a conference, and he stopped by in Singapore for the weekend on the way to Malaysia.

Vineet was only here for about 36 hours, so we made the most of it. For this post, I’ll go through what we did hour-by-hour, keeping each section short.

This post is dedicated to the first day, and a separate post for the second day will be up soon.

Day 1: Saturday

Hour 1- 8 am, Changi Airport

I left my dorm room about 6:30am in order to make it to the airport on time to pick up Vinny. His flight from Chennai was on time, and I ate a quick breakfast of otah bun, soft boiled eggs, and iced coffee while waiting. After we met up, we went to the Changi Aviation Gallery since Vineet loves planes.

Hour 3- 10 am, Sentosa

We went to Sentosa, which is a short ride away on the MRT. The Sentosa Boardwalk was free (and not crowded, unlike the Sentosa Express monorail), so we walked about 525 m across from VivoCity Mall to Sentosa Island.

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I have recently completed my quest to get a picture with all the offical Merlions of Singapore. Of course, I HAD to show Vineet at least one Merlion while he’s here. Why not show him the biggest one?

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My enthusiasm vs his apathy upon seeing the Merlion

After visiting the Merlion, we walked a little bit more to the end of Sentosa to visit the Southernmost Point of Continential Asia. This is a cool landmark, and even has a sign for some photo taking.

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Happy to finally have visited this

The view on top of the observatory thing was pretty good.

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Blue and more blue

Hour 6- 1 pm, Chinatown

After Sentosa, we hopped back on the MRT to get some food at Chinatown and visit the Tin Tin Shop. Tin Tin, according to Vineet, was basically his childhood, so he was excited to visit it.

I also took him to see the Sri Mariamman Temple (Hindu) and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Buddhist). I’ve visited these before, which I explained in a past post.

Hour 9: 4 pm, Little India

We stopped by Little India to see the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. 

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Tbh I thought this looked nicer than Sri Mariamman

As we walked to the temple and back from the MRT, I noticed many stores selling gold, and all of these stores were in a row. Vineet explained to me that Indians love gold, so these stores stay in business due to that love.

Hour 10: 5 pm, Kampong Glam

Took a quick stop at Bugis Junction to walk around and get some food and drink. Kampong Glam is only a short 10-minute walk away, so I lead Vineet over there.

I’ve seen the Sultan Mosque many times, but seeing the quiet streets of Arab Street near the mosque is a weird feeling. Many Muslims are still on holiday for Hari Raya Pusa, so over half the stores and restaurants were closed. The lack of a crowd did make for good picture-taking though.

Two streets down from the Sultan Mosque sits Haji Lane. This street is known for its eclectic street art, abundance of bars and restaurants, and cool hipster stores. Vineet and I visited a selfie cafe, where we had frappes with our faces printed on them.

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My photobomb in the corner of Vineet’s though

Hour 13: 8 pm, Marina Bay Sands

We headed over to Bayfront to see the laser light show at Marina Bay Sands, as well as the Garden Rhapsody show at Gardens by the bay.

The views of the Central Business District, along with Merlion Park, the ArtScience Museum, and the Esplanade never fails to impress me. This view is something that I will never forget, even if I never come back to Singapore for the rest of my life (though I hope I do come back).

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CBD

The Garden Rhapsody show was different from the show I saw last time I visited Gardens by the Bay. This show made me think that the trees were dancing to classic pop songs, rather than having a storyline like the last show did. However, I enjoyed both garden shows.

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Looking up to the supertrees

Hour 15: 10 pm, Clarke Quay

We took a quick stop at Clarke Quay before walking to the Japanese restaurant Ippudo. Clarke Quay at night is lit up and looks gorgeous, and I wish we could have stayed longer. But we had places to go, things to see, you know?

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Wow, looks fun!

Hour 16: 11pm, Mustafa Centre

Mustafa is a 24-hour shopping mall, and Vineet wanted to visit this place specifically at midnight so just so that we could say that we had experienced “Mustafa at Midnight.”

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Welcome to Mustafa Centre!

The mall had EVERYTHING, and seemed like a bigger version of Walmart, except some of the stuff is actually of good quality. I got some Cadbury digestives! With chocolate hehe.

The clock hit midnight while we were there, so I got the Snapchat time filter for it.

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Actual Mustafa at midnight though

We left Mustafa around 1 am, and I pretty much fell asleep on the Uber back.

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Blurry pic of Mustafa from the Uber

Hour 19: 2 am, CAPT

We fell asleep around this time.

That’s all for today! I’ll update with day 2 details tomorrow.

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