Monday, August 4, 2014

Tips and Tricks : Singapore Day 2/4 - Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown, Garden by the Bay, Symphony of Lights

Day 2, 27th July 2014

Marina Bay Sands
Any given Sundays I would probably be VERY reluctant to leave bed but since we're in Singapore, it is only quite fitting if we make full use of the time here and go around sight seeing or eating. Well, eating as the primary priority. We slotted our morning for brunch and hipster cafe hopping before doing the sort of generic tourist spot visits.

Speaking of generic tourist thing to do, Ice Cream Sandwich is a favorite street food in Singapore on a hot day
Our first stop was Tanjong Pagar (alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station). It was a short walk to about 3 small restaurants (izakaya style) with ramen. One of my previous visit here I had was Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King at Orchid Hotel, and the I must say the ramen didn't disappoint to say the least. 

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King
So as a personal comparison, I was given the chance to try the other ramen, which was Hakata Ikkousha (barely 5 minutes walk away from Ramen Keisuke). Being it was a Sunday and brunch hour, the line was not a long (in fact, when we were there, there was none visible).

Black Tonkotsu Ramen ($13.50) and Tonkotsu Ramen ($12)
Bro Tips : Checking in to Hakata Ikkousha's page on Facebook will get you a free flavoured egg (worth $2) at time of posting. A good deal since the flavoured egg goes well with the ramen :)

The similarity between both ramen place, was that you are given an order sheet like an authentic izakaya would provide, and you can choose the texture of the ramen, intensity of soup flavour and any fixings that you wish to add or remove from your bowl, and unlimited rice and hard boiled eggs for consumption. Both places are on par on my opinion, Hakata Ikkousha however seems to be more comfortable to dine in being it is slightly more spacious than the other. Either way, ramen for lunch here wouldn't disappoint!

Traditional / Modern at Tanjong Pagar
What disappointed me however was that the cafe we intended to visit around Tanjong Pagar was bloody packed, and thus we had to improvise (in fact, we improvised a lot of the initial 4 days itinerary lol) and visited the nearest cafe to it, Plain Cafe. We only had coffee there as we just had our brunch per se, and it was pretty meh. It did attract a fair share of crowds there though.

An array of toast for breakfast or brunch anyone?

We then made our way to Chinatown (alight at Chinatown MRT station). Clean streets, free WiFi, buildings with Chinese motive facades and cultural blend of places of worship within short distance of each other - all can be found here! Excellent location for shutterbugs I must say.

Not a bad place to get bulk souvenirs if you're planning to get any.

Punny indeed
Interesting Tin Tin Shop
Entrance to the Food Alley... muahahaha
While you are there, do also pay a visit to a a cafe with awesome stacks of pancakes, at The Loft. I had the pancake with apple cinnamon compote, but basic short stacks with butter and maple syrup would just do the job as well.

Strolling further in Chinatown, you'll find the Chinatown Complex and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, and any given day, spot some elderly folks engulfing in games of Chinese chess (and checkers).

Buddha Relic Temple and Museum

Sri Mariamman Temple - Not too far away from the Buddha Relic Temple is another place of worship open for visit for tourists.
Later which, we went to Garden by the Bay for a garden stroll and random shutterbug shots.

Chinese themed garden.
Supertree Grove and the Walkways
Spot this sculpture! Marc Quinn's Giant Baby

Bro Tips : Unless you are into botany or plant photography, you may want to skip the Cloud Forest or Flower Dome as they charge you for entrance. The Garden by the Bay itself, is free to roam around. Also, you do have to pay to dine or traverse on the selected Supertree Grove (those iconic tree like structures), but that is your choice if you want to go for it or otherwise. We just went on a tourist freebie stroll before heading to Marina Bay Sands Atrium (alight at Bayview MRT station) for the Symphony of Lights show at 8 p.m..

Symphony of Lights

Bro Tips : If you're setting up tripod, it pays to be slightly earlier as the crowd builds up very rapidly 7.50 p.m. on wards, locals and tourists alike. 

Laser, projectiles and family oriented messages are the key presentation of the show. The show is on a nightly basis, with 2-3 performances from Sunday to Thursday (2000, 2130) and Fridays and Saturdays (2000, 2130, 2300). Definitely sums up a tourist's experience at Marina Bay Sands (well, aside from staying at the actual Marina Bay Sands hotel, but that's another story). Within walking distances from the MBS Atrium are the ArtScience Museum (which might be closed by 2030 onwards) and the Helix Bridge. Take the Helix Bridge and you can walk towards the Merlion, Fullerton Hotel and Esplanade. 

Louis Vuitton Gallery and ArtScience Museum behind
Helix Bridge
Pew Pew Marina Bay Sands
We did walked all the way to the Merlion, but we then realized we haven't had dinner, and we then decided to ditch the night photography there and find for dinner instead. After contemplating much on where to eat, we came up with the decision of getting McD, near Orchard area. That was probably the best McD meal I had in my life (funny the statements you come up with when you're on a brink of existence due to being too hungry).

Why-lah Malaysia don't have the Satay flavour?
That sums up our rather compact itinerary of the 2nd out of 4 days leg during this trip. If I would change anything it might be pushing Chinatown to the 3rd day and just focus on Marina Bay Sands and Garden by the Bay only. But I felt that the 2nd day went better than expected, a traveler's satisfaction if I may. :)

1 comment:

  1. Your photos are indeed fabulous and vibrant. I like that Tanjung Pagar shot which could relate on how you see things! I saw your Ramen and got hungry instantly.

    Time to go for office lunch now!