SINGAKU [Part 2]: Leaving a Trace in Singapore

Sultan Mosque
This was the last day in Singapore yet I haven't written about Bugis, an area where we stayed in. The name 'Bugis' sounds very familiar to our ears as it is one of the ethnic groups in Indonesia. We wondered whether it referred to that Bugis or another Bugis. After browsing, we found out that it is the very Bugis we know. Bugis people, making all the from their origin in Sulawesi to Singapore, was among the first communities settling down in this area. They were sailors after all. I didn't really see their presence here. But in fact, Bugis people is the biggest component forming Malay in Singapore. Here in Bugis also stands Singapore's biggest mosque named Sultan Mosque, a heritage of Bugis people who built it collectively. Some even sold their land to fund the construction. 

That morning we walked all the way from Bugis to Little India. It was just few hundreds meters walking down Syed Alwi Road until we found a popular 24-hour open supermarket called Mustafa Centre. There's nothing special with the building but you can find almost anything here anytime. Here there more than 300,000 items (electronics, souvenirs, clothes, foods, etc) with reasonable price. Rather than to Little India Stn itself, Mustafa Center is nearer to Farrer Park Stn, where we set our meeting point at. There some of us eating while waiting the others, something normal to do back in our country. But this is Singapore, many things are prohibited and even fined (that's why Singapore is also called as the fine city)! Fortunately at that time, the violation were still tolerated by the station officer who only gave a warning.

Mustafa Centre
Taking an MRT to Harbourfront, I brought the others to the Vivo City rooftop so they could see the Sentosa Island before crossing there. Being one of the best rooftop gardens in Singapore, this place provides not only a stunning view over Sentosa Island, but also has a 4 Olympic-sized swimming pool as its main feature. Sentosa Island, however, offers more than that. That's why some people just skip this rooftop garden on their way to Sentosa. There are some ways to cross to the island; by monorail, by cable car, by bus, and by walking. The cheapest one is certainly by walking through Sentosa Broadwalk. Last time, we came here at night when everything already closed down. This time we came a little bit early so that all attractions were still on. Three of us chose to spend their time in the Universal Studios Singapore (USS) and the others went to the S.E.A Aquarium. Taking pictures at the USS globe was not as easy as before. At day time like this, there were more people and the weather was much hotter
A View from Vivo City Rooftop
The cheapest way to cross to Sentosa Island

The best thing to cross via Sentosa Broadwalk (besides it's free) was we could have enough time to enjoy the seaside view and took some pictures with it, something we would not be able to do when taking a monorail to cross.

Welcome to Sentosa Island
The iconic globe in front of the Universal Studios entrance.
A-must-taking-picture spot even if you don't enter the USS.
Now I will tell you a little bit about Universal Studios Singapore which can be said as the #1 attraction on the island and in the country (if you bring little children). USS is a world class theme park, the second only Universal Studios theme park to open in Asia after Japan. Its success can be seen clearly from the number of visitors reaching more than 2 million people just in the first 9 months. It is promised to be the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia for at least the next 30 years. It then explains why more and more people come to USS every year long. Especially on weekends, long queue at the ticket counter is always happened. I suggest anybody plan to enter USS to buy the tickets before coming here. It is cheaper and you don't need to waste time for lining up.

Some pictures of what USS looks inside

I love when my tour members go to the Universal Studios because the area is huge (20 hectares in size) and so need a lot of time for them to explore inside, giving me spare time to do other things. At this time, Kristin and I met with a friend who worked in Singapore and had a lunch together inside Vivo City. After that I still also had time to send two remaining two pre-swap tour members to the airport.

Treated by a friend in a French restaurant inside Vivo City
The last thing we were supposed to do in Singapore was to take an express bus from Quenstreet Terminal to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. But when I surveyed the place few hours before, I saw a very long line. It's understandable that many people live in Johor and work in Singapore due to its living cost significant difference. And so it explained what I saw at the terminal. Avoiding the long line, I decided to take another route to Johor; by taking an MRT to Kranji then a short haul by bus. After having dinner, we performed this way. The MRT did not run as fast as expected and we were rushing to catch the night train to KL. Only three of us got the train tickets and they finally made it to catch the train on last minutes when other passengers had already boarded. Phew! I really love KTMB Trains because they are often late. While the others including the couple had to take a bus from Larkin Terminal to KL. Guess, who reached KL first?

To be continued..........

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