08 January 2016

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and a Ferry: Singapore Vacation

Angel and I had planned our little Langkawi getaway months in advance. Come December 26th, my parents decided it was about time they come up with a holiday adventure for the family, too. Over a whirlwind of a conversation, a roadtrip to Singapore was decided upon. They invited Angel and I to join them in Singapore, but because they planned to leave a day earlier than we'd be returning from Langkawi, we would have to hop on a plane to Singapore instead of joining the road trip on the way down.

That spontaneous trip planning decision led to the most transportation-filled day of my life:

8:30 a.m.: Drove rental car from hotel to ferry terminal
10:30 a.m.: Boarded ferry.
1:45 p.m.: Arrived back on our home island and were picked up by our friend at the ferry terminal.
3:30 p.m.: Arrived at home.
5:30 p.m.: Left in our own car for the airport
9:00 p.m.: Boarded airplane.
11:00 p.m.: Boarded the first of the three MRT trains we needed to take to get to the place where our family was staying.
1:00 a.m.: Walked into the roomful of sleeping people, hoping we had the right room number and that this was actually my family, and fell into the two empty beds.

It was a total of: 3 cars, 1 ferry, 1 airplane, and 3 trains ridden in one day. Did I mention that this was on New Year's Eve? We wished each other a Happy New Year while transferring from one line to the other on the Singapore MRT--that's a first for me!

We had 3 days to adventure around Singapore. We had many excursions and saw all sorts of fun things. One of our destinations, Universal Studios Singapore, will get its own blog post all to itself, just because it was so awesome, so stay tuned for that.

One of my goals for visiting Singapore was to find Merlions. I found 2 official Merlions, plus this colorful one, so 2.5?

 Sentosa Merlion

 The Original Merlion

 Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay
We visited the first weekend in January, so all the Christmas festivities were still going, and we got to watch the Christmas Rhapsody light show, which was quite fun. Unfortunately, we were there too late to walk the bridge between the Supertrees--my long-standing love for bridges means that the prospect appeals to me greatly. On some return trip to Singapore we'll have to do that!

 We decided to go to Labrador Nature Reserve purely because, while looking at a Singapore map stuck to the wall in the place where we were staying, we saw some magic words: "Labrador Secret Tunnel" and a pin stuck smack in the middle of the Nature Reserve. We set off with the intent to find out if there really was a 'secret tunnel' and if we could go inside. In this respect, we were somewhat disappointed, because we did find the tunnel, but it didn't seem very secret and the door was locked, so were weren't able to go inside. However, we really enjoyed Labrador Nature Reserve, and were fascinated by the remnants and the history of Fort Pasir Panjang, an old British military fort which used to be located in the area. Once we started getting rained on, we went to Orchard Road area and spent a few hours wandering malls. Seems like Singapore would be a good place to buy Christmas presents, but perhaps not the best place to go shopping immediately after Christmas...

 We also made it to the S.E.A. aquarium!

"Merry Fishmas" was going on at the aquarium, which meant, among other things...that Santa himself was feeding the fish, which was quite hilarious to behold!

 On our last evening, we wanted to visit the TreeTop Walk at Macritchie Reservoir Park, but because we didn't read our info carefully, we didn't realize until we arrived that it was a 4.6 km walk to the TreeTop Walk--and that the Walk closed at 5 p.m. It was already 5 p.m. when we arrived, so we just enjoyed a nice stroll around the reservoir instead, but this left us with something else to do on our next trip. Its amazing how much you learn on vacation! 

 These (plus the Universal adventure I'll be writing about in my next post) were all accomplished during a mere 3 days in the country. We were out till 10 p.m. or later at night, which meant that occasional cat-naps in the car in between destination helped us keep our energy up. On our last morning, we were back in the car at an early 6 a.m. and made it through the border and back home by 2:30 p.m.--leaving enough time to unpack and do laundry and get all ready for school to start on the following day!

Have you visited Singapore before? This was my first time really getting to tour Singapore, I've been in the country before for overnights, but have never had the chance to see or do much. I think it's definitely the sort of destination that can be repeated without having to repeat the same activities again, just because there's so much to do!
Bekah Loves Blog said...

oooh fun. I LOVE aquariums! I wouldn't have been a fan of that first travel day, though.

Suzanne said...

Wow! You guys always manage to squeeze so much in! Your parents must be filled with Energizer Batteries.


Daisy @ Simplicity Relished said...

What a neat trip! I could spend hours in aquariums... also I love the blue in your hair! Way to travel with the fam!

Jen Lud said...

Girl you need to do a post on your meal plan because I just GOTTA KNOW how you have the energy! !!! I am a lazy vacationer - I like to go somewhere new, stroll around aimlessly, drink and eat food, and then sit and watch people. I think this is why I don't go on vacation very often haha! I've never been to Singapore but it looks lovely. I think if I went I'd try a straight shot plane from point A to point B - you are a TROOPER dealing with all those crazy modes of transportation! I think I must've lost my sense of adventure somewhere along the way but it is so fun and refreshing to hear it shining through your posts!! Happy New Year! :)

Charlene Maugeri said...

Sounds like you had a very busy break. But it looks like a lot of fun! Can't wait to read about Universal!

Jennifer Prod said...

santa in the fish tank is hilarious!! and all that travel? sounds like something from a holiday adventure family hallmark kinda movie? phewww that was a mouthful :) also... you make me wanna visit singopore. maybe next year? neither jon nor i have ever been asia...

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

Singapore!!! It's so awesome!

I love that you found Merlions! The main one was closed when we were there for repairs. The SUPER TREES WERE SO SO AWESOME! You should definitely go back and walk that bridge. I went and loved it.

I also think it is worth the money to go into Gardens by the Bay and The Singapore Flyer was pretty amazing too. Those two things were probably my most two big favorite events of SE Asia!

I'm glad you all had a fun time.

Susannah said...

What a fun trip! I love that it was so spontaneous!!!! <3 My sister was five when we went and my dad had her convinced that the Merlion was talking to her. Heehee.

RobRob said...

Wow, that is quite an adventure! Very fun. Well, except for the Hidden Tunnel, which sounds like no fun at all in the end. I think you're right about returning to Singapore - SO much to do, you could probably spend a year of holidays going back and still have more to do.

Kelly said...

Great story! Really enjoy your writing style. Keep up the interesting stories.

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