Posts tagged: Chinatown

Singapore: “Low Crime Doesn’t Mean No Crime”

By , April 11, 2011 1:30 pm
Marina Panoramic

Marina Panoramic

We are warned that Singapore is clean to the extreme. Arriving from Bali, Singapore first feels like being back home. Everything is easy, everybody speaks English, people are polite, and streets are clean.

Things start to feel different when we arrive at a high rise residence complex. We are first greeted by security guards at the front gate and then MuiMui’s cousin with her 2 adorable kids. The complex looks more like a holiday resort with palms trees, 5 pools at different depths and temperature, a water-polo field, tennis courts, exotic gardens with fish ponds, water slides, and multiple kids’ playgrounds. The residence even comes with a live-in maid! We learn that this is actually very typical of a Singaporean household.

MuiMui's Little Cousins

MuiMui's Little Cousins

Condo Resort Complex

Condo Resort Complex

Hiding Behind Her Mother

Hiding Behind Her Mother

Right away, MuiMui’s family makes us feel at home with their warm welcome. They make sure we try the several specialty foods and that we do not miss out on the must-sees.  The Hainanese Chicken Rice becomes our favorite dish; it’s simple but so delicious.

The city is very modern and squeaky clean. For instance, it is forbidden to sell or chew gum in Singapore. You will be fined for littering and children are taught right away that if they throw trash or get too agitated, a policeman will come and put them in jail. This makes Singapore an extremely easy, pleasant, and clean city to live in, but in our opinion also very tamed.

Hi-Tech Subway Station

Hi-Tech Subway Station

Walking Bridge @ Singapore Indoor Stadium

Walking Bridge @ Singapore Indoor Stadium

A visit to the famous Marina Bay guarantees an impressive skyline. There are lots of people walking around with Chinese New Year celebrations still lingering. It feels wonderful not to be pushed or have people come up to us and try to sell us things. As we make our way to past the modern buildings, there is a row of old Singaporean homes with couples hanging out by the water and tourists eating at the many seafood restaurants.

Marina Bay Sands Resort

Marina Bay Sands Resort

Tourists On The Sky Park On Top Of Marina Bay Sands Resort

Tourists On The Sky Park On Top Of Marina Bay Sands Resort

Marina Bay Theatre

Marina Bay Theatre

Night Lights

Night Lights

From Little India to Chinatown, we definitely notice the change in atmosphere. Inside a Hindu temple in Little India, it is filled with great energy as we listen on to the chanting. Then in Chinatown, the streets are filled with colorful lanterns and we visit a golden temple where there is not one speck of dust inside.

Entrance Of A Hindu Temple

Entrance Of A Hindu Temple

Inside of Hindu Temple

Inside of Hindu Temple

Chinese Temple

Chinese Temple

Buddha

Buddha

For our last day, we pay a visit to the famous Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo. It turns out to be a fun, interesting way to visit a zoo.

Jaguar

Jaguar

Singapore Moon

Singapore Moon

We want to thank Lia, Shan, and their 2 kids for their warm welcome to Singapore.  And thanks for making us yummy fajitas!

Low Crime Doesn't Mean No Crime

Low Crime Doesn't Mean No Crime

Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Singapore Subway Forbidden List

Singapore Subway Forbidden List

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The 7-step Handwashing Guide Found In Public Bathroom

The 7-step Handwashing Guide Found In Public Bathroom

Food Court

Food Court

Chicken Skewers

Chicken Skewers

Sting Ray

Sting Ray

Marina Bay Sands Resort At Night

Marina Bay Sands Resort At Night

French Ladies Would Eat There ;)

French Ladies Would Eat There ;)

Bells on Door

Bells on Door

Street of the Dead (Sago Street)

Street of the Dead (Sago Street)

Lights From A Shopping Mall

Lights From A Shopping Mall

Babirusa

Babirusa

Anaconda

Anaconda

Singapore

What We Paid: SGD USD Euro
– Flight from Bali (Denpasar) to Singapore on Jetstar Airlines 60/pp 41.50
– Taxi from Singapore airport to city 20 16 11
– Subway fare for one stop 1.10 0.90 0.60
– Lunch at food court in Little India 5 4 2.75
– Express zoo bus to Singapore Zoo 12/one-way 9.50 6.60
– Night Safari at Singapore Zoo 32 25.50 17.60

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Australia: Mel-bun

By , February 8, 2011 12:45 am
Federation Square

Federation Square

We heard Melbourne is more like San Francisco out of all Australian cities so we cannot deny it a visit. As we walk around downtown, it feels much more mellow than the super active city of Sydney. I enjoy the extreme contrast between the old and new buildings. Even more, I admire the bold risks taken in the modern buildings like SBS Studios and RMIT.

Funky RMIT Building

Funky RMIT Building

St Paul's Anglican Cathedral & SBS Studios

St Paul's Anglican Cathedral & SBS Studios

Modern and Wooden ... We Like

Modern and Wooden ... We Like

As we leave downtown, the area around the Olympic Park seems newer and there is more open space. We have a pleasant stroll in the botanical garden, admiring the various trees and plants. As we make our way out of the park, there is mob of runners who just got out of work and are going for their daily run. Once we escape the mass, we then make way for the bicyclers who keep on coming.

Pond Inside Botanical Garden

Pond Inside Botanical Garden

Boris Munching A Massive Leaf

Boris Munching A Massive Leaf

Pretty Flowers

Pretty Flowers

With a high reputation for wonderful food, we expand our budget for fine eats. However with so many choices, we consult a food guide at the bookstore for some help. We want to try Yu-U for Japanese food but after spending some time finding the place (an unmarked black door), we are turned away as they were fully booked for two days. As we are still determined to have Japanese food, we run into a cute place called Hako. The dishes are very tiny, but very tasty. With a little lemon juice, avocado, and shiso leaf added to the crabmeat, it makes a big difference in taste.

Crab Appetizer @ Hako

Crab Appetizer @ Hako

Udon Soup @ Hako

Udon Soup @ Hako

On our second night, we head to MoVida for tapas. Around this area are many cool alleyways filled graffiti art that help brighten up the rather dull alleys. At first glance, I wouldn’t think to find so many fine eateries and bars here. We even find ACDC Lane. The location of MoVida is great and the atmosphere reminds us a little of SF, but as much as we want to like this place, none of the dishes we try agree with our palette.

Graffiti Art Across From MoVida

Graffiti Art Across From MoVida

Scallop With Meat @ MoVida

Scallop With Meat @ MoVida

Anchovies With Smoked Strawberry Ice Cream @ MoVida

Anchovies With Smoked Strawberry Ice Cream @ MoVida

We even find time to squeeze in a little holiday shopping. Just as impressive as the modern architecture in the city is the inside of the shopping malls. At one mall, we are served a glass of free bubbly white wine. Then we find an adorable indoor lawn to relax on.

Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

Indoor Lawn

Indoor Lawn

Amazing Skylight

Amazing Skylight

Overall, we find Melbourne to be a young hip city that is best explored when not on a budget.

Inside St Paul's Anglican Cathedral

Inside St Paul's Anglican Cathedral

Royal Exhibition Building

Royal Exhibition Building

Small Parks In Downtown

Small Parks In Downtown

ACDC Lane

ACDC Lane

Anyone Up For A Game Of Chess?

Anyone Up For A Game Of Chess?

Nice Touch To Downtown Condos/Hotel

Nice Touch To Downtown Condos/Hotel

Welcome To Chinatown

Welcome To Chinatown

Victorian Terrace Houses

Victorian Terrace Houses

Flat White @ Gridlock Coffee

Flat White @ Gridlock Coffee

Me & Frenchie & Zoom

Me & Frenchie & Zoom

Pukeko

Pukeko

Lovely Wild Flowers

Lovely Wild Flowers

What We Paid: AUD USD Euro
– Flight On Jetstar From Sydney To Melbourne 92/pp one-way 92.50 67.75
– Skybus From Melbourne Airport To City 16/pp 16 11.80
– Room At Formule 1 Hotel [clean and great location; book online for discount] 69/room 69 51
– Dinner at Hako 42/pp 42 31
– Dinner at MoVida 35/pp 35 25.75
– Pho Lunch 12/pp 12 9
– Coffee at Gridlock 3.20/pp 3.20 2.40
– Firefly Express Bus From City To Avalon Airport 20/pp 20 14.75

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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