Friday, December 14, 2012

Destination: Universal Studios Singapore

How often do you get to see you favorite movies come to life?  In what way will you be able to see, touch, and hug some of the most famous characters in the world?  In Universal Studios, this is a definitely possibility.  The park boasts that everyone will be able to "Ride the Movies" and I can't wait to do so.

We rode the MRT Purple Line to Harbourfront station (you can also ride the Yellow Line).  From there, we went to the third level of Vivo City where the Sentosa Express can be found.  If I remember correctly, fare is about USD 3.50.  Go down Waterfront Station and walk your way to USS. 

At the entrance, a big giant rotating globe greeted us.  Of course, we have to take our obligatory pictures :)

Hollywood Boulevard will immediately transport you to another world.  With this long strip, you will see different types of buildings which houses the souvenir shops.  The street is lined up with palm trees and the Walk of Fame. This is also where most of the character meet ups happen.  But more on that later.  BF and I were on a mission.  To get to the Transformers Ride as early as possible.

I've heard so much rave about this ride.  All of my friends who have been there told me never, ever miss out this one.  And this was the reason why we went to the park early as the waiting time can take up to an hour or so.  The way to ride was very long, but along the way, you will be entertained with different videos explaining the background of the ride.  This made us even more excited.  Finally, after just about 15 minutes of waiting, it was our time to ride.  And really, it was the best ride ever!  The combination of the 3D screens with the actual ride movement was just beyond amazing!  My words are not enough to describe how awesome it was!  Mission 1 accomplished!

After the ride, we went back to New York (we passed by this going to Sci-Fi City).  We went to Lights, Camera, Action!, a show hosted by Steven Spielberg.  Here you will be able to experience how different lights and sound effects were being created.  Movie magic at its best.

All around the park, there are lots of street shows.  We stumbled upon The Rockafellas, a group of B-boy dancers.  They were really good, showing off different.  They also interacted with audience.  One of the members was Pinoy and looked like a member of the Streetboys (not sure :P).

It was already around noon and we passed by Sci-Fi City again.  According to the schedule, there will be some meet and greet there.  And lo and behold, Optimus Prime!

One of the main attractions in Sci-Fi City was Battlestar Galactica.  I'm not a big fan of roller coasters, and never in my life will I ever try this ride, so I just settled for a picture.  Yeah, I'm a big sissy.  Hahaha!

Ancient Egypt comes next.  One of the attractions here is Revenge of the Mummy, an indoor roller coaster.  I think I can ride this however the waiting time was too long.

Next comes The Lost World.  There are a lot of rides here that the kids will definitely enjoy.  We just opted to roam around.  But the highlight for me here is the Waterworld show.  I haven't watched the actual movie yet but I was given a quick intro by my bf.  It is a futuristic movie, where the ice caps melted and most of the Earth is already underwater.  A mariner then helps a woman to find dry land.  Well, you get the idea.  For this show, there are three "soak zones" where you can sit.  For the one nearest the stage, you will definitely get soaked, the middle one, possible splashes.  Before the actual show started, some of the cast members interacted with the audience, depending on what zone they were sitting on.  Lots of kids and adults enjoyed  getting dumped on with buckets of water.  Some tried to hide under umbrellas, but they too got wet.  Fun!  The actual show was amazing as well. I felt like I was watching a big play from Broadway.  There were lots of visual and sound effects.  This is one show you shouldn't miss.

Our big breakfast was already wearing off.  We opted to eat at Friars, located in Far Far Away.  We got chicken and chips, and fish and chips.  We also got some mashed potatoes and corn dog from the stall outside.  One of the more interesting food that we got was this noodle dog.  The hotdog was good, but I don't get the noodles.  Not sure why it was combined.  

It was drizzling already after our lunch.  Good thing that Shrek's castle was just across Friars, so we opted to see Shrek's 4D Adventure.  The show was ok, more for kids though.

The last part of the part that we went to was Madagascar.  We rode Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, a river ride showing the adventures of the four main characters.  This ride can be compared to It's a Small World in Disneyland.  It was a cute and chill ride.

We went full circle already and was back at Hollywood again.  As we were tired already, we just did some souvenir shopping.  

But actually, we had an agenda in mind.  We have to have more pictures with the characters.  After just a few minutes, Po arrived!  We were up immediately on our feet.  We need to have that picture.  Mission number 2 accomplished!  Look how happy Po was seeing himself on my bf's tshirt.  

More character sightings.  Weee!

The last show that we went to was the Monster Rock concert.  Here we saw popular villains like Dracula, Mummy, Banshee, Frankenstein, and The Phantom perform to legendary rock songs.  The Phantom made the most appeal to me.  Why, oh why, Phantom?  I won't tell you why so I won't spoil you.  Make sure to watch the show to find out.  There are several show schedules within the day.

I really don't know how to end this post but I just would like to stress out how much fun I had in this place.  You will truly feel the movies coming to life right in front of your eyes.  This will be something that you will carry with you as you go home, with happiness in your heart and big smiles on your faces.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dress Up 44 -- Cotton On

I don't know about you but I was a bit disappointed when I first visited the Cotton On branch in Megamall.  It was a bit small, with only a few items to choose from.  MOA is so far away from where I live and I don't want to travel that far just to check out what they have, not really sure if I will be able to buy something I would like even though I've heard so many good reviews.

But the Vivo City branch in Singapore rejuvenated me.  I literally went gaga over the wide selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories that they have.  I think I stayed a little over an hour and spent most of my budget there.  Hahaha!  I particularly went crazy over this dress that I bought.  I loved how it fit me and let me tell you, that is hard to find with my size.  I loved the dress so much that I actually bought it in two colors.  Weeee!

Since the dress is black, I can pair it with anything.  I decided to match it with some cute green ballet flats, just to break the monotony of the color.  I also added a simple green belt to cinch my waist a bit and give me more shape. 

I looked cute in this outfit, don't you think? :)  Next time, I'll play it up to look more classy and sophisticated.

And so with this new excitement that I experienced, I think I just might find the energy to go to MOA and check other fab finds.  Anybody like to come with me for a shopping day? :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Destination: Singapore

Singapore has always been, and will always be, a special country for me.  It was my destination for my first ever out of the country/business trip back in 2008 but due to work schedule, I was not able to go around that much and since that day, I always wanted to go back.  After four years, I was finally able to do so. This time I went home with more memories, more laughter, and more love.

BF and I got the 6:25 AM flight since travel will be about three and a half hours and I wanted to make the most of our first day.  We met with our friend upon arriving and dropped off our things at her place.  After that, we met with another friend for lunch which I posted about here.  

5J 801
MRT ride
After lunch, we did some of the "touristy" stuff that makes this place popular. We rode the MRT to Promenade station (Circle Line, CC4), intending to go to the Singapore flyer.  However, it was raining when we went out of the station and we forgot to take our umbrellas with us.  Good thing there was a mall near the station and we decided to have some coffee to wake us up while waiting for the rain to stop (no planner stickers here. boohoo).

Singapore flyer was just a five minute walk from MRT.  It is like a giant Ferris wheel which will give you the best view of Singapore's skyline.  One ride, which will take about 30 minutes to complete costs 33 SGD.  Before actually riding the flyer, we passed by Journey of Dreams, a small interactive museum describing the history of the city and the iconic flyer.  After that, you can have your pictures taken and have it printed after the ride.

At last it was time to ride!  I was so excited at first, taking in how beautiful the city was viewing it from such a height.  However, when I realized how high we were, my knees wobbled a bit.  Hahaha!  

After buying some souvenir items, we decided to go to the Merlion Park.  Tourists should have their pictures taken here.  It's like a rite of passage :). It was already dark when we arrived but I think it was prettier at night since all the buildings were lit up. 

The iconic Marina Bay Sands

We decided to go home early to rest and prepare for the next day.  We had so much fun walking around looking for the nearest train station.  We ended up passing by this hotel where an actual string quartet was playing in the lobby!  We thought it was recorded.  Awesome experience to end day 1.  Stay tuned for my next post! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yummy for the Tummy: Din Tai Fung (Singapore)

I was supposed to do a collaboration of all the places we ate in Singapore, like the one I did for Hong Kong food trip.  However, there were a lot of restaurants/food joints that we tried that I felt deserved individual blog posts.

We met with an old friend near Singapore Post Office and rode the free shuttle to 112 Katong (yes, free shuttle service!).  Located in this mall was Din Tai Fung, a restaurant known for it's wide selection of dumplings and tasty, authentic Chinese food.  Most popular for it's xia long bao or steamed soup dumpling, this restaurant can be seen around the world.  From Singapore, to Taiwan, to USA.  It's really topnotch with the cuisine they serve. 

Although traditional food is being served, modernity is incorporated in it's ambiance.  The room is cozy, with tables that can accommodate small or big groups.  I was warned that they easily fill up with customers during lunch and dinner.  Good thing we went there after lunch and there were few diners.  We were ushered to our seats and was offered a basket to place all our bags.  Yey!  No more placing bags on the floor.  We were also immediately offered hot tea as we scan the menu.  We left it to Henson to choose the yummy ones.

Here's what we devoured that day:

Of course, the xia long bao.  I was very excited to try this one!  Although I was able to try one during our Binondo food trip (which I have to tell you about, by the way), it's their bestseller so it has to be good.  Since it's served really hot and there is soup inside, I had to poke it with my chopstick to create a small hole and release some steam.  When I felt it cooled enough, I took my first bite.  Any my oh my, the soup burst into my mouth and it was the most delicious dumpling I ever tasted!

I think this one's called shrimp cake.  We also ordered some spring rolls and thin slices of beef which are served cold.  Not sure why, but it's delicious as well.  Of course, fried rice wouldn't be out of the picture.

The iced tea that we ordered amused me so much!  See that big ball of ice inside?  It's actually frozen iced tea.  As it melts, it keeps your drink cool but at the same time keeps the flavor.  Smart! :)

I was so full after.  We ordered a lot and had to "take away" the rest of what was left.  It was one of the best places to eat.  We also had lots of laugh as BF and Henson caught up with each other.  Good food plus good company, the best combination one could ever have.  Thanks again Henson!


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