And as we approach the final day of the travel week I feel a little sad. I know tomorrow will bring forth another week and another theme. But travel which is very close to my heart brought in a lot of fun!

Today we have another blogger visiting The Philospher’s Stone. I have Afshan Shaik writing for us about her lovely Singapore trip which by the way was also her honeymoon! Though she seems to think we met only during UBC challenge but I had read her blogs sometime before as well. Her art of writing has won her many prizes! And every now and then too I keep finding her name in many competition’s winner lists. Her writing like her is simple sweet and captivating.

Without any further delay, I leave you with her words and travels. Hoping this one transports you literally to the Lion city!

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Richa who blogs at The Philospher’s stone is doing a
wonderful series which goes by the name I travel. We met during UBC challenge and I enjoyed most of her posts and even doodles
she makes. I spend a long time on her blog and never get bored!Do check
out her blog for more such interesting topics every week!
As I love reading and writing travelogues I
thought, why not be a part of it. I wrote this post after a long break. Hence I
lost track of details πŸ™ This is the second part of my honeymoon trip post. The
first part is about our
holiday in Malaysia
!

We started for Singapore in a starmart bus on the 4th day morning from Genting
Highland of Malaysia as per our itinerary. We had tasteless south Indian
breakfast early in the morning in one of the restaurants of Firstworld hotel!
Lack of proper food and lot of roaming around made me feel little sick and migraine
attacked me the night before and I was feeling bad thinking I may not enjoy
Singapore. The luxurious, comfortable bus with massage chairs which were as
spacious as couches relieved me and I stared out of the window at rain droplets
as we moved on. I switched on the massager and felt heavenly. Rain, the bus,
clouds and hills were soothing. I didn’t feel like wishing anything else in life!



Fog at bus stop-Genting in the morning
Singapore is at the Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.
We reached Singapore in no time. It took 2 and 1/2 hrs.precisely but the drive
was so heavenly that I didn’t want it to end. I made some Indian friends in the
bus among whom one exclaimed that her Chachi’s daughter looks exactly like me.
Where ever you go in the world it always feels good to see intervening Indians
:). It feels like home!
Our hotel FORTUNA
was in 
Mustafa Center.  As and when we
checked in we tossed luggage in the room and hunted for an Indian hotel in
Mustafa. Food is very expensive in Singapore. We had Hyderabadi Biryani (
which was not exactly Hyderabadi) on
which we spent 700-800 Indian Rupees .I was not tracking expenses as I was too
tired but remembered to get the dollar conversion done as soon as we entered Mustafa.
One dollar == 39 INR, it was. We were offered free paapads with green chutney
which I munched on restlessly as If I just arrived from a drought area!
Post lunch we went exploring the Mustafa center as
we were on our own for that half day. We roamed around electronic shops and
some local shops. We brought some local goodies like laughing Buddha key chain
and a wall hanging which was extremely cute and which as per the age old belief
brings good luck to any home. One more unique thing we bought there was a
chappal key chain. Key chains are in the shape of cute slippers adorned with
shining stones. They are also good luck charms as per Singaporeans.  We were happy to sevSarwanabhavan and Anandbhavan
hotels of Delhi there. Mustafa was totally INDIA. Its lot better than the Little
India of Malaysia!

@Mustafa

                            










After some window shopping, we decided we will
discuss on buying a Sony/Samsung LCD TV (32 inch) as those were at the cheapest
possible prices one can pay. Next day morning our cab was waiting outside the
hotel and we rushed after gobbling some upma and drinking some tea. The cab
driver kept on boasting about Singapore and theor life and how fast everything
progresses there unlike India. He showed us the “KRRISH” building. It
is the building where Hrithik jumps in Krrish but as stopping there was not
allowed we took pictures from the moving Cab!

The Krishh Building
The driver Mohammad/ Mehmood succeeded to
irritate me in 15min. Unlike the Christopher of Malaysia this guy I guess was
born and brought up in Singapore, so he doesn’t know how much India progressed
or changed. When he showed MLCP (multi-level car parking) and told – You wouldn’t
have seen this in India Imran in a high pitched voice shouted that there are
100s of these in Gurgaon and 100s of such malls too. I too shouted, β€œWe have
MLCP in our office”. He replied, “Oh! Is it? Good. Good!” Thank
heavens he didn’t brag about Singapore and complained about INDIA not being
sophisticated after that.
I remembered a comedy movie in Telugu titled Manmadhudu
where Brahmanandam behaves similarly saying “PARIS
is like INDIA fast forwarded for 50 years”
and learns a lesson later when a
thief steals all their bags.It’s a ROFL scene and I was controlling my laughter
wheneverMehmood spoke. He showed the clear roads and said – β€œYouwon’t find any
beggar here like in India. β€œClean roads. No beggar.”He stressed. β€œI wished the
coffee which he was drinking from a plastic cover using a straw spills on him!”
It was odd to see the plastic cover and straw. I didn’tsee
this unique style of having tea/ coffee anywhere else. I remembered having seen
it in Hangover2 where people in Bangkok also drink it in the same style. Imran
asked him – “Is this the way you drink coffee here? He proudly nodded and
then said, “Some of the Indians say it’s bad.”
Then we quipped in chorus, “It’s extremely bad. Anything in plastic
may lead to cancer and it’s not hygienic. In our country we never drink a tea
if it gets cold.” We added. He thought to be silent for the rest of the drive
other than just guiding and mentioning the history and importance of few
places. He then took us to some memorial built in the memory of warriors which
was not that fascinating. It was just a tall tower with names engraved on it.
We took photos around and entered the cab in 10min.

Our next stop was “Merilion park” . Its
name combines “mer” meaning the sea and “lion”. The fish
body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village when it was called
Temasek, which means “sea town” in Javanese. The lion head represents
Singapore’s original name β€” Singapura β€” meaning “lion city” or
“kotasinga”. To know more go to wiki->Merilion. Actually Merilion Park has a great view in the
night but due to lack of time, as we have only one and half day for Singapore
as per Itinerary we had to wind it off in the morning.

Flyer on the way for singapore city
viewing
The below image shows Merilion park (night view)- This image made me tad sad when I saw in friends’ albums. The below one is googled.
So, we cursed our travel agent and Mehmood for giving us stipulated time where ever we went. Nevertheless Merilion was beautiful even in the day time. Check the snap shots below
We at Merilion
We took many photos in different angles in and
around the mysterious Merilion – which felt like the heart and pride of
Singapore City! History of how the city evolved is fascinating. You may want to
google and know if interested. We were happy at Merilion and spent more time
than the allotted minutes to us.
Our next stop was a Chinese Buddha temple which I
loved but shall discuss in detail in my next post soon.

Imran at Chinese temple
Beautiful Chinese Temple
There’s not much left other than a trip to Sentosa
and the
songs of
the sea
which was extremely beautiful and a memorable experience. This
altogether has to be written as a separate post, hence stopping now. Sharing a
glimpse of Sentosa and the beach there below. More details about it in my next
post :- ) . A visit to
Sentosa is a must if
you ever visit Singapore. We spent very less time in Singapore. We trusted
Welfare holiday package but arguing and getting things done at a place out of
India was little tough. I don’t think it is easy even in India.

The wish tree at Sentosa
My sincere advice to everyone who plans any trip is
to find out the details of the travel agents and package clearly, do some R
& D and never plan a trip in a hurry! I certainly wish to visit Singapore
again in leisure and explore the rich flora and fauna there and also spend a
long time at Sentosa, visit Universal studios, Bird parks and experience the
flyer and also visit Merilion in the night and enjoy the night life at
Singapore!
Last but not the least, Singapore airport (Changi International airport) is enormous and
extremely beautiful! My favourite click at the airport is shared below :- )
Bye! MempunyaiBaikHari (Have a good day in Malay language)


Leaving you with more photos!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  




 

The laughing Buddha bought for luck πŸ™‚
































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