Hike to MacRitchie, Singapore

With an awesome team we went to MacRitchie Reservoir today. We met at the opposite to Flame Tree Park bus stop and enter the MacRitchie nature trail from Venus Entrance. Awesome choice by our Nade Gura (leader in the travel team in Sinhala), because we wanted to go to the Tree Top Walk and to the reservoir. We were chatting non stop and had our breakfast, some sandwiches I brought for the breakfast and then strated the hike around 9.30 am.

After around 3 to 4 km walk we reached the Tree Top Walk. You can zoom in the view of the reservoir, the plants and the trees and see their top view. How cool is that. Tree Top Walk is a Sangili Palama (in Sinhala) or a suspension bridge. If you have been to a crazy Suspension Bridge connecting two sides of a river, and crossed it, this Tree Top Walk might not get you excited. But you can see trees and flying little birds and loads of monkeys and good break from urban Singapore life.

There are few huts set up for the visitors to relax and enjoy the view. You can hear the sounds of the birds and water flowing, which are music to your ears. After around 6.5 km walk, we found Ranger’s office, where visitors can use the wash room and fresh water taps are available to drink. This is a safe place to eat as lot of visitors are gathered, but be careful, a monkey might appear all of sudden and steal your food. This happened to us. A monkey stole a piece of cake from a member of our team. We brought our own food and we had a mat to sit and eat. It was a wise idea by Madhawee and Suranga to bring that. If you plan to eat inside the area, you have to bring your own food and a mat, because no food stalls inside the forest. Make sure you do not feed the monkeys, as the video cameras every where around the ranger’s office and the fine for feeding the monkeys is S$50, 000. Feeding the monkeys will disrupt their normal behavior and it is very harmful for them according to the notice.

After the lunch we started hiking again to the reservoir side. We found the viewing tower and went to the top layer of it, which has nice view and a cool breeze. Then started the rain. It went away after few minutes or around an hour, I was not tracking the time. Then we started moving towards the reservoir again and in the middle of it, we found that the area is under construction and closed for visitors. That was a sad thing ūüė¶ . Note that it will be opened again on 30th of April 2017. Then we turned back came came to ranger’s office.

Then started the pouring. We waited in the middle, but then Nade Gura decided to leave in the rain. It was the best part of the hike I must say. In the heavy rain, we walked back. Yes, we got soaked. Around 4.30 pm we came back to the Venus Entrance and said good bye to our friends and left the place. It was a wonderful hike I must say with this awesome people. If you are going to MacRitchie you can wear exercise cloths, wear some sun cream. I brought an extra pair of cloths and changed it to it because I got soaked from the rain and smelled really bad because of the sweat. I don’t mind going there again, after the renovation of the reservoir area and I checked¬†MacRitchie from my to do list in Singapore.

Advertisements

Posing with the celebrities at Madame Tussauds

I remember watching a TV program on Madame Tussauds wax museum, when I was small. I don’t exactly remember what was the TV program, I think it is 9.05(namayai paha) presented by Hema Nalin Karunarathna. If you remember him presenting it, don’t forget to comment.

Let me come to the story, it was my childhood dream to visit Madame Tussauds one day. The TV program was about its London Branch, so the dream was specifically, to go to London and visit Madame Tussauds. Well, my brother has visited it once and brought a book on how they make wax figures.

One of the branches of Madame Tussauds is at Sentosa island, Singapore. Thank you so much Moi Khim for the tickets. My husband and I had so much fun! The problem of visiting Madame Tussauds Singapore¬†is, if you want to visit it, then you have to buy tickets to visit “Images of Singapore” too. Images of Singapore is another attraction, which has a 40 minutes guided tour on the history of Singapore. No choice, you can only enter¬†Madame Tussauds after this tour.

How did we come to Madame Tussauds

Around 1 pm on a Saturday, we took the train to Harbour Front and got into a mono rail to go to Sentosa island. You have to pay 4 SGD, as an entry fee to Sentosa island, if you are taking the monorail. You can also just walk through Sentosa Broad Walk and no entrance fee involved. Also you can take a taxi or cable car to get into the island.

When you take monorail, you have to get down from Imbiah Station to go to madam Tussard. Its just few meters of walk from Imbiah station.

Our Experience

As all of you expected, I screamed with happiness. The wax figures looks so real! The trick for a good photograph is, just get your camera to the direction they are looking at and you look at the same direction, then take the photograph. Voila! you have a nice photo with your favorite celebrity.

It takes at least 3 hours to visit the place and take photographs with the celebrities. Some figures like Queen Elizabeth II, Justine Beiber are very popular among the visitors and you will have to wait few minutes to take a photo.

There are props like, jackets, hats, mask and wigs available in the boxes near the wax figures. Make sure you wear few of them, when you are taking the photos, it is so much fun that way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was a professional photographer taking photos at several photo spots, like Mr. Lee Kuan Yew¬†and Queen Elizebath II. He gave us a ticket with the photo id in it. We presented it to the counter near the exit and they showed us our photos, we selected one photo from the two photos he took to buy. Then they printed it and put it in a cardboard frame. It was ¬†20 SGD for a photo and for an extra payment of 2 SGD we got the soft copy of the photo we printed. If you are given a coupon at the entrance, don’t forget to present it to the photo printing counter when you are buying the photo. I got a 5 SGD coupon and totally forgot to redeem it when I buy the photos.

1b7h9n6tryb8uiq64o4bic86dyikn4sj4tb5306gh154dwy5m9
With the Queen

There was a stall, where we can try making a wax hand from our own hand. It is go like this. you have to put your hand in an ice cold water for few mins, then they put your hand in a hot bee wax. They make sure a good layer of bee wax is around your hand, let it dry and carefully remove it. As I remember they sell it for 20 SGD. You can add LED bulb, get the wax hand colored in your favorite color or add a stand buy paying some more money.

You can do a Q&A game and learn about how they make the wax figures. There is an area dedicated to learning about the process as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Food and Drinks

No food or drinks allowed inside the building. Startbucks, Subway and several other outlets were near the place.

How did we return home

We took the mono rail from Imbiah Station and alighted from Sentosa station. Then just walk to the Harbour Front MRT station to get a train back home.

You can find more info about Madam Tussards Singapore at https://www2.madametussauds.com/singapore/en/

Do not forget to tell me in the comments, if you have been to a Madame Tussauds, or another wax museum . I am so excited to hear about the other places.

Looking forward to write you about another experience soon. Take care, have a nice trip with your lovelies.

 

 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Marina Bay

I came to Singapore on 3rd of January, last year and everyone was talking about how fabulous the fireworks were, at Marina Bay for the new year’s eve. So it was a priority in my to-do list to go and see the fireworks.

I heard that fireworks are not allowed in public areas in Singapore to continue its peacefulness. So you will not hear any sounds of crackers during any kind of celebration, if you stay inside your apartment.

How did we select a place to watch fireworks

We left home at 10 pm and got down from Raffles Place MRT station and Just followed the crowd, passing Fullerton hotel and some other giant, very sophisticated  buildings.Trying to find our friends. There was a countdown projected to Fullerton hotel and it was decorated with lights. The atmosphere was beautiful and festive. There was a huge crowd as we expected.

20151231_231314 (2)
Countdown at The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

During our walk, we found a green patch near DBS and Standard Charted bank which has a better view of the sky without any obstacles. But we were trying to find our friends, among the thousands of people and ended up stopping in a very crowded area, where DBS bank had decided to put some of their banners. The banners stole our clear view of the fireworks.

A blinking drone was launched to the sky and for me, it was like an aliens’ spacecraft. To be honest it took me a while to figure out what it is. I believe it is used by media to record the show. The fireworks were started exactly at Mid night and it continued for exactly 8 minutes. Sky was filled with colors and people were so happy and cheering. ¬†I have no words to explain the beauty of it.

20160101_000016 (2)
New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Marina Bay, Singapore

Food and Drinks

People have gathered around Marina Bay from the afternoon, to find a place with better view. In the news, some people commented that it is their family tradition to go and see the NYE fireworks with the whole family.You can bring your own food, drinks and a mat, and make it a small picnic. There were some food trucks in the area, catering the crowd. Starbucks was also opened all the night.

How did we return home

Again we just followed the crowd and  kind people were everywhere to guide the crowd to the nearest MRT station. With the help of one kind lady, we managed to walk to Raffles Place MRT station and took our train. The train was not much crowded as I expected, and as I  was warned by my friends.

Where else you can go to see fireworks

During my stay at Singapore, the only places I have seen fireworks are Universal Studios on Saturday night, Wings of Time show at Sentosa and Marina bay area on the day before National Day and NYE. Trust me when I say, all were much better shows than the fireworks I have seen before and Marina Bay NYE fireworks is the best.

I have a dream, a big dream, to watch fireworks from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel one day. I am sure I need to be super rich to do that.

Happy 2016 my dear friends. Make sure you have travelling included in your new year resolution. Have a lovely trip with your lovelies! See you soon.

Wandering along the Orchard Road on Christmas eve

I am going to start from the last trip we travelled. It was just a few minutes ride to see the Christmas lights. Oh, let me tell you first, we live in Singapore. We stands for, me and my husband. We took a train ride to Orchard on Christmas eve.

Orchard is like the shopping capital of Singapore. If you go to Orchard Road, you can see all the branded cloths, shoes, handbags.. etc shops, big shopping malls and expensive looking hotels. It is one of the tourist attractions in Singapore. As a non-fan of all those branded items (due to my financial status, those were looking so beautiful anyway) this was my first visit to Orchard Road.

According to Wikipedia, lighting up the Orchard Road for Christmas is like a tradition, which is continued from 2003 to announce the start of joyful Christmas.

How did we come to Orchard Road

As I told you, we took the train and alighted from Orchard MRT station. Then there are enough signs to find out the Orchard Road. I wanted to see this beautiful Christmas tree by Swarovski near Ion Orchard mall. So we went there first and snapped some selfies.

12431501_10208909437880231_1343448789_n
Christmas Tree by Swarovski

Our Experience

Then we met two of our friends and just walk along the Orchard Road where the crowd was heading to. There were so many beautiful Christmas trees and road side decorations, events, live music and performances. Bunch of teenagers were selling cool headbands and some hair accessories with colorful lights for charity.

The surrounding was so beautiful, christmassy and heavenly. People were enjoying themselves and snapping selfies. I was bit disappointed for not seeing the Santa anyway.

The place was so crowded, may be because of the Christmas eve. We also managed to check the Ferrero Rocher shop in the street. Well.. I have no idea why Ferrero Rocher chocolates are so expensive there than in a super market.

Food and Drinks

I noticed that the food and canned/bottled soft drinks were over priced in the small road side food stalls. If you are not on a budget, there are many nice restaurants around.

How did we return home

We were just chatting and walking, realized that the roadside decorations are over and saw Dhoby Ghaut MRT. We just got into the train from there.

Where else you can go during Christmas holidays

Christmas light ups and roadside decorations we saw, will be there till 4th of January. You can also go to any shopping mall and walk around to see the beautiful decorations. Honestly I like the decors at Jurong East Malls more.

Jurong East
Christmas decors at Jurong East

I heard from friends that there is a Christmas Wonderland built in Garden by the Bay and it is so beautiful and much better than the Orchard Road. I have a plan to go there also.

Snow city in the Science Center, Jurong East also got a Christmas theme. It is also in my to do list.

Have a lovely trip with your lovelies! See you soon.