Kampong Glam

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Address: 3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833

How to get there: A little walk from Bugis MRT Station

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Entrance Fee: Free; the mosque is restricted to Muslims, though

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Kampong Glam is the home to the Malay and Muslim community in Singapore.

It was the weekend of Eidl Fitr when we arrived and the Muslim community was celebrating Hari Raya that Friday. We decided to drop by the biggest Muslim mosque in Singapore that is the Sultan Mosque.

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Dusk was slowly approaching when we reached the religious building. It was a beautiful sight for the golden turrets and dome to meet the dark violet hues of the sky. Much more so, the religious chants of the Muslim community to officially end their month of Ramadan was hair-raising and is broadcasted throughout the area via speakers installed on the façade of the mosque. It was sad, though, that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.

I have never seen a Muslim celebration before and I’d really want to see them celebrate.

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On the streets of Kampong Glam are stalls selling souvenirs and clothing. There are also restaurants that cater to halal and food of countries where Islam is the predominant religion. It was a bit grim because majority of the stalls are closed because of the celebrations of Hari Raya.

Hari Raya celebration, I heard, is just the same as Christmas for us Christians. Families visit each other and there they have a meal together.

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However, I heard that Kampong Glam has a bustling night market with a lot of options to choose from. It has also a haven for after-work drinks that will last into the night. The next time I will be around, I will definitely return and hope that Kampong Glam is as lively as they say it is.

Gardens by the Bay

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Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953

How to get there: Take the MRT to Bayfront Station, Exit B.

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Entrance Fee: SGD 5 for the OCBC Skyway (check the site for the complete list of admission fees)

We decided to go to the OCBC Skyway because it has an elevation that could provide us a good view of the Singapore skyline.

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One good thing about these giant trees are that they contain solar cells which power a lot of the technology that surround it. So, it doesn’t add to the carbon imprint of Singapore – very much like what real trees do.

Also, the Super Groves are lighted at night and perform a light show which features the music of Singapore’s culture – English, Chinese, Malay, and Indian.

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We wanted to watch the sunset from above but heavy clouds were in the way. The view of Marina Bay Sands would have been better if there were orange, red, and yellow hues surrounding it.

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It was, still, a great sight to behold because of all the lights that surround you. If you are faint of heart, you don’t have to go to the skyway because once the wind blows, it’s going to move. Plus, it’s narrow and the thin wires and cables give a feeling of weakness.

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I enjoyed it especially during the stretch of the sunset up until nighttime. It was also a good way to watch the light show from above.

Next time, I’m going to visit the other conservatories.

Universal Studios Singapore

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Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269

How to get there: Take the MRT to HarbourFront Station. Take the monorail to Sentosa Island or walk via Sentosa Boardwalk.

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee: SGD 74

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Universal Studios Singapore (USS) is one of the attractions on Sentosa Island. It’s a theme park featuring movies produced by Universal Studios.

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When you enter the park you have the Hollywood area. It is dedicated to gift shops for all featured attractions of Universal Studios. However, due to their current fame, the minions have a shop dedicated to them.

We decided to do a counter clockwise round of the whole park.

Once you turn right, you’re welcomed to old school New York. Cookie Monster, Bert, and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street were performing. Glad that we were able to catch it because my friend is a big fan of Cookie Monster. We were able to fall in line for a photo opportunity with the monster himself.

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Next is Sci-Fi City which houses the ride that we’re both too excited to experience – Transformers! We immediately fell in line but the sign said that the estimated wait time for the ride will be 120 minutes. It didn’t feel like 120 minutes because the line was moving continuously. All in all, it was awesome. It’s probably one of the rides that I could take over and over again.

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The next ride is for Battlestar Galactica. It has two roller coasters – human and cylon. The human ride is just a normal roller coaster with twists and turns. The cylon coaster was much more thrilling because it will turn you upside down at times. It was a long wait too – for about 60 minutes. But it was also definitely worth it.

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Next is Egypt which houses The Mummy Returns. We didn’t ride this because I am a big scaredy-cat. Although I friend said that we should have. Maybe when I get back?

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Next is The Lost World. It has Jurassic Park and what seems to be a food court. We rented out a locker for SGD 4 and bough a poncho for another SGD 4. It was a good decision because we got drenched in the Jurassic Park ride. We tried to outthink the system by lining at the ‘Single Riders’ queue. We weren’t so keen on riding together. Just as long as we are able to ride.

The locker rental is SGD 4 for one hour. Since we weren’t sure how long we’ll wait for the ride, we decided to rent it for two hours. Since we had an easy time due to the Single Rider line, we returned to pick up our things after we were done with Madagascar.

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We immediately went to Madagascar because they said that you’ll be wet when you ride it. The ride was for children. It’s just telling the story of Alex and the gang in one of their adventures. There were times when you’ll get wet but not at the same level as that of Jurassic Park.

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Lunch was immediately on our mind because it was almost 3 PM then. We had lunch at Far Far Away because it looked affordable. I had chicken and chips. For SGD 14 I had two big pieces of chicken and lots of chips. I also have a large Coke disguising itself to be regular.

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Then, we continued with the Shrek 4D experience. It was funny and definitely a ride worth experiencing. We also went for it because it just has a 15 minute waiting time and time is a commodity.

Next is Madagascar and we already explored the area.

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After Madagascar was the road intersection of Hollywood and New York. That time, there were minions enjoying their photos with park visitors. The line is already long and we weren’t allowed to queue.

We’re back to where we started. We looked around the shops and decided if we wanted to buy anything. But, since the items we wanted are too expensive (i.e. Agnes’ fluffy unicorn for SGD 45) we didn’t. We said goodbye to USS. It was a great experience and I’ll go back when I return to Singapore.