Friday, July 2, 2010

Singapore - The Shopping Trip

I have been to this ever-full-of-activity metropolitan a couple of times earlier. It’s the closest neighbouring country to Malaysia, so it is obviously the easiest one for us to reach out for, especially after we moved down to JB recently. Singapore is just like a few minutes drive away for us now, so this beautiful city serves as either a shopping spot or a sight-seeing venue for us. Great, isn’t it? I can still remember the first time we set our foot in Singapore way back in year 2006. That of course did not count the few trips I have had much earlier with a couple of friends when I was still single (and available).

This time around, I was of course with my beloved hubby along with my sister and her hubby. I had to leave my son, who was almost 2 at that time, behind in JB with my parents who were there for a holiday. We made this trip (to JB) together and stayed at Selesa Hotel, JB.

It was our first time, as a married couple, exploring the streets of Singapore and we definitely didn’t want to drive. We were very unsure of the roads in Singapore, so we decided to take a cab from JB instead. I guess, it could be too much of a hassle for us and probably if my little boy were to tag along, it would be a tad too uncomfortable for him.

Oh ya, my story about our visit to Singapore could be a mixture of the many experiences I’ve had throughout the series of visits I made to this renowned ‘Lion City’. So here, let me start with the best topic ever for everyone (or maybe only for the girls out there) - the Shopping spree!

We had to go through the Johor Bahru Customs Checkpoint and then got across the Straits of Johor (Selat Tebrau) causeway to get to the other side i.e. Singapore. And in about 15 minutes or so, we reached the Customs Checkpoint in Woodlands, Singapore. The traffic was not too bad that morning but still there were a lot of cars going into Woodlands from JB. Once we’re done with the rather long-queue at the passport stamping counters, we were brought to Queen Street in the Bugis area i.e. the usual drop-off point for all cabs hailed from Johor.

We then made our way on foot to wander around the Bugis area, and there was one rather diminutive two-story mall called the Bugis Village. It was a suitable place for medium range shoppers, which was really good for someone like us. There were clothing and T-shirts, home décor as well as souvenir items that could be found at a quite reasonable price. There was also an adult shop that sells all sorts of 18SX items. My hubby asked me if I wanted to go in but I told him that I’d rather not. Geez… I couldn’t’ imagine what I might found inside that kind of shop! It already looked so eccentric and peculiar from the outside! We all agreed to just pass the idea and continued our shopping spree. In Bugis Village, we bought some fridge magnets, some Singapore ‘Fine’ T-shirts and some trinkets to bring back home.

We then continued our journey by MRT and got ourselves off at the Orchard Road – probably the most famous of all the shopping sites in Singapore. I must say that I just love the MRT bullet train. It was so convenient to get oneself from one point to the other in Singapore without having to worry how bad the road traffic would be. And the train schedule was perfectly accurate that you will know exactly what time the train will arrive and what time you will be reaching your destination.

The weather was a little warmer and humid but that did not stop us (and thousands of other people) from making our way to this main shopping hub in Singapore. The Orchard Road offers an array of A-list goods and services to please and pamper the needs of shoppers, from fashion to entertainment and arts, to local delicacies and international gourmets. We went into the Tangs, a big nice departmental store right in front of the Orchard MRT Station for a quick shopping. We then walked ourselves to the Hard Rock Café Singapore to get some T-shirts and other merchandises as mementos.

As we trudged along the Orchard Road, we hopped into a few other shopping centers i.e. Centrepoint and Takashimaya. Many of these shopping centers were filled with a variety of products from around the world and most of them carried the concept of "everything under one roof". Undeniable, everything that was desired for could be found in any of these shopping centers.

OK, what did we buy from our one day shopping spree in Singapore? I bought a sweat shirt for my son from Marks and Spencer, UCOB his and hers perfume for myself and my hubby, a beautiful bracelet from Tangs and a few pairs of party necklaces from one of the shops for my office mates (besides the items we bought earlier at Bugis Village). My sister bought a Levi’s Jeans for her hubby, some trinkets, chocolates and perfumes too. We headed back home with a great amount of shopping bags in our hands. :-)

Food wise, though the locals claimed that Singapore is a food haven, we don’t really trust the hawker food there, because it was definitely not Halal for us. So, we opted for the safest bet, the fast food joints i.e. Burger King. We also tried Singapore’s ever-popular local brand, the Old Chang Kee Curry Puffs. The curry puffs were quite big in size and they have it in many different fillings. I personally prefer the Pepper O and Curry O. The best part of the food is that it has boiled eggs in every one of its curry puffs. The taste, voila! And most importantly, it’s guaranteed Halal :-).

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