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Singapore: The "Not So Budget" Traveling

Most of time my traveling style would be budget, because the "wallet situation" (now i sound like that Jersey Shore show, yikessss!!!) not allow me to had so many choices but being smart to pick something that around my budget (yepp, feel pretty good at it now!). I like to pick something in budget in order i could travel much longer or had more places to go (e.g with only US$500, i could visit 3 different country in 18 days of traveling). Usually i pick cheaper accommodation, why would pay something over US$ 100 but you will go out like almost every time during the day? and might only sleep for couple hours? basic principle would be; security above everything, will pick something that recommended by other travelers, cleanliness-last thing i want is to find someone else hair on my blanket or pillow, yikes, distance to public transport or places of interest, i also prefer a dorm (good chance to meet new friends..hehehe, and most of time i will pick the one that had price included breakfast and had public kitchen, save more money. When i am on traveling i prefer the adventure part hahahaha.

I had a chance to do my traveling a little bit differently sometimes ago. It started when i met a new friends online and we decide to met in Singapore. Its one of my unplanned holiday gathering! and its great to try something that different than my type of traveling!

I stay in Lavender area, at A queen Hotel. Its a fairly new hotel, and it had reasonable price. The room is quite big (i was on the 2nd floor) and its clean. Service..hmm... comme ci comme ca... i like the fact that they're not really bother/too friendly, but because i also had problem with the room booking (ill write here later), i will say from 1 to 10, with 10 as the best hotel, ill say i gave them 5. But, really, if i had more choice, i wont stay here (Ry, said its "seemed ok"). The hotel is right next to a casket company, kind of spooky. I don't really mind that actually. But its the noise that comes from the "parade" when they take the casket out with the family, and music (like a marching band with trumpet, and drums) and ... its quite something different for me. And its actually funny (sorry, not being disrespect!). Its just something i never seen before. The room is not included breakfast too.

The boys that i am about to met there; their name are Ryan Cumpston (a.ka Ryan Crumpton?? i call him "Ry" hehehe) & Richard A. Stewart (Richard), they are working in a US Navy Ship USS Lassen/DDG-82 (yepp, sailor boys!), that stop by in Singapore for several days (they're on the way to their Japan base in Yokosuka from training in Goa, India). I know Ry like a month before we met, and its really nice to had chance to met him in person, kind of erase my curiosity.

(Lee, haha, i did try to hide your face, hope this work! you both cute!)

They're originally from USA and already spent sometimes in Navy (Ryan had only less than 2 years service left, out of 20 years! he kind of senior rank there). Richard had a girl friend name "Lee" and its quite a surprise she comes from Sumatra too, so, its four of us together. Lee is studying in Singapore, and shes a sweet girl! (i think they are sweet loving couple, hehehe). While with us, this "Navy Squids" seemed do know how to be a gentlemen... (haha don't be big headed boys!) we were impressive that time for sure. Me and Lee had great time with them, loads of laugh for sure.

We went to Marina Bay with MRT. From Hotel we had to walk about 5-6 minutes. Its not too far, but it might confusing for the first time. We had a fabulous dinner by the water at Vivo City at Carnivore. Its lots of fun! i never had so much meat! hahah Richard and Ryan, they eat a lot of meat. I think its because they had limited choice when they are on the ship (I know the feeling! i live in jungle!). We talk and laugh a lot. They were such a goofy guys! its wonderful night with lots of laughs and friendly conversation, its not awkward at all. The salad at Carnivore also worth the try, and they also had pasta on the buffet table. At carnivore its a unique experience as the waitress will bring you different meat to slice to your plate, you could have chicken, lamb, pork or beef. And its different kind of meat like for every less than 5 min! You should also try the cheese bread, its tiny button size bread, they also had garlic bread too. Its just awesome foods.

I never been to Marina Bay at night. The view is very good, and the air is not too cold and its just fine. Its a good place for walking at night as you could see city lights and being relax, enjoy the conversation and its quite romantic. For sure, its as happening as Boat Quay or Clarke Quay, but i think its more quiet. And of course not as crowded as those both places. Its just a place for a fine dining. They also had live music too in different restaurant. Oh, and it i s pricey to eat there (i think we spent over S$200..grin), but if you want to go on a date and your girl friend not a vegetarian, it might worth the choice tho. If you see across the water you will be able to see Sentosa Island and the Tiger tower! its beautiful and romantic (anniversary celebration perhaps?).

After we full, we went for movie still at Vivo City at Golden Village. We watch Iron Man 2, the movie start at 9.20 pm. I think its become one of my routine activity when traveling to go to movie, its fun ^.^ The theater is very good, nice sound system, and the seat is very comfy too! The air conditioner not too cold, its worry me a little bit when we enter the theater, because i thought i would be freezing! but i am not overall its worth the experience, and its a good movie too!

We kind of want to go somewhere else after that, i am thinking about Boat quay or Clarke Quay, but then they think its a bad idea since most of their navy buddy will be there! hahah nope its not really good idea! so we called it a night and decide to get some rest.

The boys had to go back to the ship because they have to work at the very next day. I don't really sure what my plan that time, so i spent some times that morning to browse places in Singapore, its raining a little bit. When i am about to fall a sleep, someone knock my door, its the room service, and they said something like "...check out time at 12.00" but i thought that time it must be misunderstanding as i got the room booked right until the morning i leave. But then, nearly 11.30am phone ringing, and its front desk saying, i had to check out!!!! what??? i try to contact dearest Ryan Cumpston for some suggestion on avoiding "kicked out from hotel 101", but, well, impossible to get his answer immediately, as he is working on his watch, and i need to clear this asap.

So i decide to wash my face and go down stairs to see whats going on. Front desk say that the room only booked for 1 night and i should check out (laugh like crazy) this is embarrassing. Then when i said, please do check again, because i am sure it was booked for another 1 night! they did stumble on papers, monitor screen..... and again papers, and notes (i am nervously thinking about running back upstairs and pack my things), and then say "oh, yes you right, sorry for the inconvenience" duhhhh.... seriously... they're on my black list already. Kick out your costumer that already book in advance definitely not a good thing.

After all the misunderstanding clear, i went for shower and dress up, think about Bugis Junction and some part of it that i haven't explore before. So i stroll on street by my self, went to MRT, missing my new friends, God know what they're doing anyway! hahah Ryan and Richard must be very bored at their ship! And i assume Lee must have a class, and too bad i didn't have chance to ask her phone numbers (duhhh silly!!) wish i know then we could go somewhere together. Talking about the boys hehehe (peace Ry!)

Its not a very good day since its raining a little bit. I went to Bugis Junction Mall, and had lunch at the ground basement. I have some Indonesian food there, i got my self a plate of Nasi Uduk with chicken and a cup of tea. Its fairly nice, and clean for sure. But real deals in Indonesia are much better, for sure, the "sambal" will be much hotter than the one i had there.

Up stairs after lunch, there are discounts in lots of things, shoes, bags, and clothes (feeling dizzy as trying to control my self not to shop!). But of course i fail to keep my self from the temptation, I end up getting two pair of shoes, and some vit. E from The Body Shop, and some smalls cute things. Satisfy with few bags on my hand, I went cross street in front of the mall and go to Bugis Market. Here you were at the mercy of the shop owner and your bargaining skills are needed. Prices are much different than the shopping malls of course. I had an opportunity to go to the 2nd floor of the market, finally. I've heard about this place several times before, but just doesn't have the chance to go. They sold almost the same thing as the first floor. The difference maybe because the 2nd floor had air cond. so its more comfort. There's less shop compare to 1st floor.

Its just the same crowded market as before in Bugis. You could find clothes, dress, jeans, watch and bags (mostly fake branded, but worth the look), and some stuff for gift like key chain, snow globe, and lots more. The price is lots cheaper than the mall price of course. I also went to the street market not far from there. Its quite fun walk. I see some street artist playing music, and hahah i think someone follow me! i saw that guy since in Bugis, and he there when i walk he walk and when i stop he stop. When i started to get worry, he was gone (fiuhh).

I went back to Lavender at Dinner time. I just had a cup of instant noodle that i bought from 7/11 not far from hotel as dinner. I also get my self a cough syrup as i feel not really good after long walk and had some rain, i sleep quick that night!

The next morning at 8 am, i heard a knock on the door, the boys coming. They are on liberty day again and today we are planning to go to the zoo. But first we will go to Orchard as they're need to groom their hair (hehehe) before they back to ship. I did notice the hair, Ryan had longer hair cut than military guys that i know, in Indoensia you could notice people who work in military with the cutting comparison 3:2:1 (3 on top, 2 on side, 1 on back if i am not mistaken) hehe my uncle is in army.

We had lunch in Orchard Rd, but this time we're fancy on Mc D (junk food is one of the fave!). After that we were back to hotel and call Lee and wait for her so we could go to the zoo.

After Lee show up, we went to MRT and start the fun journey! On map the zoo seemed very far away from where we are, so i think Ryan is right when thinking about using MRT then switch to taxi. I like MRT, so no problem. It took more than 15 minutes from Lavender MRT to Jurong East, we had to switch to another train in Jurong and we stop in Cho Chu Kang MRT Station, and then get a taxi to the zoo..fiuhhh...hehehe.. There is an interesting thing happened on train. Ryan a bit upset when theer was a lady stare at us, and its seemed bugging him hahah, he said its not polite etc. I told him about, most Indonesian girls dont want to had a caucasian boyfriend because of the negative image that caucasian guy gave. Most of girls that walk with a caucasian, just the same like in any other South East Asia country, just an escort. So i told him, hahah its not fun walk with him, hahaha because i will be center of the attention. They wont really notice Lee and Richard for sure. As Richard also half Asian. Ryan said he never know that, hehehe, yep.. now he know (told him not to bother that lady)!! I never been to the Singapore Zoo before. I know it will be interesting as, the zoo claimed to be one of the best zoo in the world. But from internet i could see it is lot smaller than Safari Zoo in Bogor, Indonesia.

We went there to find out that the zoo was closed like 5 minutes before, but then they offer night safari start at 7.30pm. So we don't have any choice. We decide to have some dinner first at Korea buffet in a mall, quite far from the zoo since were starving! The zoo does have some restaurant, and a buffet on the entrance, but.. gosh, i know Singapore are pricey, but.. haha nope, i don't think its worth the food. So yeah, we take another taxi back to a shopping mall with some food court and that Korean Restaurant. And its really worth it! its fun and we are very full!R

We full our tummies with fish meat balls, meat with different seasoning, shrimps and vegetables, and then we realize that its over 7.30pm hahaha!! so we rush to get a taxi back to the zoo.

The night safari turn out to be fun. We ride a small train like vehicle and there are plenty animals that we seen. Its not like some people said at internet, that they can not see the animals. Its very fun as i could see flying quarrels and enter a bat cage (its creepy as they flying all around!!). We stop near the lion cage for a walk. Its very fun!

There is a small cafe near the Lion cage, it sold drinks and food. We split and met there with Lee and Richard. When we finish see all the animals near the Lion cage we decide to have a rest for a while. Its not much food there and Its a little bit pricey too. We are a little bit thirsty, and its kind of hot, and we get our self ice cream. But then we had another bottle of water.

We finish the tour at 9.30 pm and line up for taxi near the parking outside the zoo. There are plenty buses to get to the town too. Overall once again a fun night!

Too bad the fun time have to be over and Ryan and Richard have to return to their ship, as they will head to Yokosuka, Japan (their base)! I wish we could meet again and next time i did offer them for doing some budget traveling! hahaha... (i don't think any of them (Ryan or Richard could stand hostels and budget things such public transport in Thailand) hehehe. Mr Cumpston at least admit it, if he stay in hotel, he want to be like a king, hahaha... so no bunk bed (after i saw his sleeping bed at ship, i got it!) he sleep in 3 storey bunk bed while at ship LOL! so no bunk bed for Mr Cumpston and Mr Stewart!!

And for Lee, we actually did plan a girls trip, and this would be her first for budget traveling, atta girl !! we will had our own adventure before she leave for Oz!

See ya boys!! Selamat Jalan! Smooth Sailing!

I found the Vivo city picture at night from google. Its really beautiful at night, i think.

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Unknown said...

Wow kenal sama ryan darimana? Kok bisa akrab gitu hehe,, jadi kali ini singapore nya ga dalam budget travelling yah? Heehe

Fico said...

kebetulan aku kenal sama dia di myspace ngobrol dah sekian lama di internet akhirnya ada chance buat ketemu sebab kapalnya ke singapore :)iya bukan budget traveling sebab tempat yang dituju mahal2 hahah

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