It's school holidays again and it has been a while since we last took a family travel outside the country. We have promised the kids to bring them somewhere this June but where???? The kids have had experiences and exposures in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi so I thought it would be a good trip to see Singapore, perhaps the most advance country in South East Asia and we wanted the kids to experience something different than what they've seen in the past.
Initially, the idea was met with lots of resistance because the mom was there last month for 5 days (work) and the kids wanted to go to far away countries with long flights (something I don't really enjoy anymore), countries like Australia or New Zealand...but after lengthy discussions and deliberations we settled for Singapore!
The holiday became a reality on Saturday 12.6.2010 when we began our journey from home to KL Sentral, took a bus to LCCT and then a flight to Changi airport, we planned to use public transport throughout this holiday. It was 11.30am when we arrived in Changi Terminal 1 and we spent some time getting to know Changi by visiting T2 and T3 looking for Airbus A 380,s ince the hotel check in time is at 2.00pm. Changi is in fact the busiest and best airport in this part of the world. Everyone was already impressed with Singapore and the mood looked good and weather was great.
We left Changi on a taxi, driven by a Chinese Muslim lady during which we took time to talk and get to know her and got valuable information about halal food in Singapore. We reached AQUEEN hotel at about the right time for check in. The hotel is small and nice, enough for us to sleep and rest. It is located at the Lavender Street, just north east of the Marina Bay. We booked through the internet and did not use the company's corporate rate as this is our personal holiday. We settled down, rested and planned for things to do next....the excitement just grew and grew.
First we headed out to lunch (nasi padang) at nearby Masjid Sultan area and had our solat there.Once full and done with jama' qasar, we took a taxi to Clark Quay to experience the river cruise. I had a small quarrel with the taxi driver who still have an old mentality about Malaysian life & culture, I had to defend Malaysia. It was a nice river cruise on a wooden boat along the Singapore river, passing under historic bridges and through Standard Chartered Bank, the River Point, the Fullerton Hotel and we finally disembarked at the Merlion.
After entertaining ourselves with some photo shots, we continued walking along the Esplanade, enjoying (although hot and tiring) the Marina Bay view especially the beautiful new building of The Sands at Marina Bay, until we reached the Singapore Flyers. Got onto the machine and it went round in a circle in 30 minutes, again enjoying a higher panoramic view of Singapore....the Marina Barrage and even Pulau Batam were visible from the top. After getting off, we bought some gifts and headed to the Boeing Flight Simulation center downstairs (where you can experience being a pilot in a Boeing 767 flight stimulator to more than 300 airports around the world), unfortunately it was fully booked and it is not cheap $190 for half an hour! (perhaps next time round).
Faiz and I stayed on to watch the Nigeria vs Argentina world cup match at the ground floor cafe, with other guests and one guest was kind enough to buy french fries for Faiz. It was a nice end to a wonderful first day in Singapore.
Good nite and we'll continue tomorrow...