A Week in Singapore: Part III (Jurong Gardens + Haji Lane + SAM)

haji lane singapore

Legoland Malaysia is accessible from Singapore via direct coach services. Since I’m a sucker for theme parks, well any kind of park, I wanted to go that Sunday. We booked 2 Superior Coach roundtrip tickets online for S$44.50 (₱ 1477/$ 32.77) the night before. We woke up early since the departure time was 8:31 AM. We arrived 8:00 AM at the Lavender Station, nobody seemed to be waiting for the Legoland bus so we ate at Wendy’s while waiting. We waited until 9:00 AM but nobody came. My friend left his phone at home so he called their office on a payphone. They told him that they were calling him to inform us that they changed the departure point from in front of Wendy’s to the back of Wendy’s. They argued for a while as they didn’t want to give us a refund, telling us it’s not their fault we didn’t bring the phone. Bummer. So there were no other ways to get to Legoland at that point, so we decided to do other things.

Although disappointed, we hopped on the train and went to Jurong Gardens, located in Jurong East. It’s divided into two, Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden, connected by a bridge. Everything was nice, just nice. Nothing exciting. Also, it was blazing hot so we didn’t stay long.

After a glorious siesta, we went to Marina Bay area to have dinner. We rode a ferry around Marina Bay and got off near the Esplanade Opera House. Here you can walk to the Makansutra Gluttons Bay, Singapore street food haven. For me, it’s always better to eat at hawker centres like this one than at restaurants. It’s way cheaper and you get to choose from a variety of food choices.

Of course, you can’t leave Singapore without trying their famous chili crabs. We also ordered shrimp paste rice and some spring rolls.

Since my friend worked Mondays to Fridays, I explored Singapore on my own during the day. I visited the eclectic Haji Lane, one of the places I really wanted to see. Stupid of me, I went in the morning, which was almost senseless because the stores don’t open until 4 in the afternoon. The only advantage was I got to take pictures of the shops, which was prohibited according to the store signs. It reminded me Cubao X, artsy fartsy independent local stores which sell rare and specialty products, usually expensive. I also passed by Arab Street to take pictures of the Sultan Mosque and look at some jewellery and textile shops.

The following day, I decided to see what Singapore art was like. I took the MRT and got off the Bras Basah station. From here, Singapore Art Museum or SAM is within walking distance. Non-Singapore residents must pay S$10.00 (₱ 332/$ 7.36) to get in. It’s a contemporary art museum with nice art installations and interactive exhibits. The love letter playlists exhibit was particularly my favorite. It’s one of those I could have easily done it, but I didn’t type of art. After that, I bought some souvenirs and chocolates at Bugis Street.

Early morning the following day, I had to catch my flight back to Manila. We went to the airport by their very efficient MRT. I loved Singapore from how clean and safe the streets to how culturally diverse it is. I swore I’d be back.. so I did two months later haha.

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