I planned for Singapore looking at the Tiger Air ad (yeah, that random) in newspaper and we decided to welcome the New Year’s Eve over there. Being a newbie in travel writing, I would not really know how this series ends up, please keep up.
We were travelling from Bangalore and booked the return flights in mid-August on Tiger Air through Cleartrip.com. New Year’s is big time celebration in Singapore and many people holiday around that time. Accommodation is very expensive there all year round so I searched extensively for budget hotels and zeroed on Value Hotel Balestier, booked in mid-August through Booking.com. Visa was done month ahead. This was the first international holiday, planned it completely on my own and I am very proud of it. If you would ask me that how I chose this hotel or location, I would say by reading many reviews on Tripadvisor and Booking, and one has to take the plunge. Glad that everything worked out.
Day 1 - Orchard Road
We reached Singapore in morning. Changi airport is huge, swift and immigration process is a breeze. A friend was there to receive us and he was real help. The first thing he suggested was to get the Ezlink card at the airport and it was the smartest move. We used this card throughout our trip riding buses and MRT. We decided to ride by bus from airport to the hotel, and absorbed the whole city like this. We checked in the hotel, staff was helpful, rooms were clean, all amenities provided. Just in front of the hotel is bus stop and Novena MRT station is nearby. During our stay only twice we had to board a cab (very small distance), otherwise all travel was done through public transport. One can completely do with that.
We decided to start with Orchard Road – the shopping destination in afternoon. Boarded bus till Far East Plaza, had our lunch there and tried Thai Laksa. A complete walkthrough the humungous shopping malls there – Isetan, Ion Orchard, Wheelock Place, small shopping centres tucked in the basement. At Orchard Road, one could find from $5 shoes to Cartier jewellery.
|Ion Orchard, loving the Christmas decoration|
**JAMES BOND MOMENT**We came face to face with Mr. Pierce Brosnan outside Coffee Club, Wheelock Place, and were so dazed; shocked that could not mutter courage for a photo. I mean how one could dream that we would see James Bond passing by on the street. He was with family and shopping I guess. This is a fairly good pointer that you could encounter Hollywood / Bollywood personalities in Singapore holidaying, so dress up to the part and please believe your eyes. I was star struck for a minute but would remember it for whole life.
|Experienced Pierce Brosnan moment here|