Singapore: The Essence of Today's New Asia

Posted by on | | 4 comments

The muti-cultural and sophisticated city-state of Singapore, officially called "Republic of Singapore," lies in the South-Eastern of the Philippines. It has a total land area of 660 sq km. Most of its citizens are known to be living at their public housing under the Housing and Development Board (HDB). Majority number of the population are English speaking, aside from other local language such as Malay, Mandarin and Hinduism.

Over the years, this city-state grown into a center of industry and commerce. Singapore is my first outside the country travel. I was surprised to discover that Singapore is not just one island. The mainland is surrounded with about 60 islets.

Getting There

Basically, you arrived via airplane and will land at their only airpot Changi Airport. With the new card "EZ-Link that are available at any Transitlink Ticket office, you can travel on all trains and buses in Singapore. So before hopping in the train or bus, get this card first. After securing one card for yourself, you can then either take a bus, or a train. I highly recommend train because its cheaper. Its the most affordable and convenient way of traveling in Singapore. When you ran out of credits all you have to do is go to the nearest top-up station to buy or fill in more credits. How to use this card? Better be observant, but its easy. All you have to do is tap it at the gate. Then you can pass once the way is open. The same when you go out from the station once you arrived in your destination. Warning! Do not seat on the seats provided for the elderly and handicapped. Do not hand carry a drink or a food and munch it inside the station or inside the train. You will definitely get a punishment.

"EZ-link card for your convenience of traveling around Singapore"

No other Asian country that is more safer, reliable and convenient transport system than Singapore. Their transportation system is considered to be well established. Integrated fare, information and networks of their Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT) and their buses.

"Boarding the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport SMRT"

Housing and Accommodations

When I visit Singapore for an educational tour back in July 2011, we stayed at a very low cost accommodation. Being a develop country, it is expected that the standard of living will go up in parallel. Though, hotels in this country is expensive, there are still low cost and budget dorms type accommodation that you can find as long as you are an intelligent traveler. During our visit we stayed at Urban Hostel Backpacker. However, if you can afford such luxurious hotel, why not! After all a vacation is really worth the spend!

"High-rise Housing in Singapore"
During my visit, I had this chance of meeting my long time and best friend working in Singapore. My group that I travel along with went home one day and night ahead of me. I had this chance of staying in my friend's place. One friend told me that housing in Singapore is pretty much different from the Philippines. 

Amusement and Entertainment

The Seven District Zones. Is Universal Studio Singapore seven district zones in the park which has a total of 24 unique rides and attractions.

"Universal Studios Singapore"

Hollywood. The entrance and the first zone of the park which replicates the glamorous life in Hollywood and the buildings of 1940's and all of the possible things you can see in the real Hollywood.

"Marilyn Monroe and the Gang"

Along the streets of this zone are unique shops, live Broadway Musical, also you will have the first meet and greet with Hollywood films famous characters such as Marilyn Monroe and more cartoon characters such as Puss in Boots and a lot more.

Puss in Boots

New York. The City of New York in Universal Studios Singapore is the next zone. If you have been to that city in the 1940's then this is your chance to reminisce its glory.

Sci-Fi City

Sci-Fi City.  Basically, this is the third zone of Universal Studios which is the haven of those who are addicted to Science and Fiction. Along its street, you can see the enthralled adaptation of the movie Battle Star Galactica roller coaster. It has two features, the human coaster (on the red tracks) which is designed for riders who want a roller coaster experience with no inversions. While the cylons, are for those riders who alley themselves to the (blue tracks) that travel on a space craft that will perform more intensive maneuvers such as one inverted loop, one cobra roll and one helix spiral. It also plunge into a 5 meter deep pit filled with artificial fog to give thrill seekers the sensation of a near mist with the ground, since part of the ride will take place at a lagoon. The two exciting loops will have a sudden turn’s breathtaking drop and thrilling near-collisions that will make everyone scream their heart out. So, if you are scared take another rides.

Battlestar Galactica

Ancient Egypt. Basically, this zone has two features. You can take the ride "Revenge of the Mummy," or the Desert Treasure. If you want to take the Revenge of the Mummy ride, be ready to queue for an hour or more. 

"Come, and enjoy the exciting ride"

The Lost World. This zone features two movie adaptation the movie "The Lost World," and the movie "WaterWorld" filmed in 1995. Witness a breath taking stunts, along with gun fires and other water exciting scenes. Warning! "Do not seat in the front rows...there are a lot of surprises!

"The Lost World of Dinosaurs"

Kingdom Far-Far Away. Fan of Fairy Tales? Behold and join the adventure of Shrek by entering this enchanted castle "Kingdom Far-Far Away" of the hilarious movie "Shrek" and have fun watching the 4D Animation movie. You'll definitely don't get bored!

"Kingdom Far-Far Away"

Madagascar. The Madagascar is the last zone in the park. Yes, its the adaptation of the movie "Madagascar." You can see them dancing on the stage by their lovely music and beat. Your children can dance along with them.


During our stay in Singapore, we ventured and walked a lot, but food is not a problem when you get hungry. There are lots of local restaurant who are more willing to serve you. If you don't like the local food, there are also popular fast food chains across the country like Jollibee, McDonals and etc.

Since, it was my first step in Singapore. I made sure that I shall have the taste of their flavor. The next morning we hurried to the local restaurant and had a chance to discover what great food they have. "Lo mai kai" is a local recipe which I deliberately like after tasting it. There are still several Singaporean Cuisine that I am sure you will surely love. How about drinks? Well, they got a lot of drinks which are fruit flavored. I was kinda interested to try Singaporean Sling. Its a cocktail drink which is developed through the long years of history before the year 1915. Someone told me its really worth the try. Its sad that I was with a group of students...No alcoholic drink is allowed through out the travel. Its recipe include's gin, benedictine, fresh pine apple juice and cherry heering. Next visit I will plunge myself with this drink!

"Lo mai kai"--- a must eat local food.
Traveling in Singapore is very easy, of course it is made easy because of their healthy economy, developed infrastructure, strict and well implemented laws. Its just sad to know that many of their citizens are lonely. More and more of their citizens got bored that eventually commit suicide. It is in this fact that I was caught into thinking. Happiness can never be guaranteed and fostered by development. It is subjective in the sense that. One can never tell what makes a person happy. This will make us realized that the happiness of one person is always relative. Anyone can be happy with a small amount of money despite lacking the luxury of life. Money is not a guarantee for happiness, perfect and harmonious life.