Birthday Eve | Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

August 19, 2017


It is more beautiful in real life!

Right after USS, I walked on Sentosa Broadwalk to the main island... to be exact, I was heading to Harbourfront MRT to take the train to Bugis MRT, the closest station to where I was staying for the night. 

It was already 8pm when I checked in at the hostel. It was hard to estimate if I can reach Gardens by the Bay on time to watch the light show at 8.45pm. I decided to perform my prayers first then plan my route to see the Supertree Grove. :)

Singapore Flyer - The Eye of Singapore

Unfortunately, I arrived at Gardens by the Bay around 9.30pm, obviously I missed the light show.


Isn't it lovely? :)

But, it is okay. The garden itself is still looking gorgeous for me to enjoy the night view. I did not regret my decision of coming here when actually I had the thought of calling it a day before. Alhamdulillah :)

My friend went back to Johor Bahru after USS for her work and I decided to stay a night in Singapore. So, I was alone here at this garden. But yeah.. with some other travelers and visitors as well. There were many people there, despite it was getting close to midnight. 

Honestly, I felt safer compared to going out at night in KL. T_T

Coconut trees :D

Would love to try the skyway in the future :)

To those who do not know yet, Garden by the Bay is actually a project to make Singapore more greener and so many people from different qualifications were responsible to make this project comes true. As we know, Singapore itself is an island of very limited land. The government really plan well for every single project and construction. I will share in future post on how this country maintains the balance between development and nature. :)

With the gigantic Supertree Grove.

Garden by the Bay consists of these:

Source: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg 

I would love to enter both observatories but not this time, this is a very short trip to cover. I guess at least 2 full days are nice to explore Singapore city center (minus USS or any other parks). 

Marina Bay Sands, OCBC Skyway, Supertree Grove

These supertrees are NOT trees. They are basically constructions made of concrete covered by steel. Then, plants are planted on the concrete with the help of planting panels. The plants themselves are various and some species are from other countries. If you read the details in its website, you'll be impressed (like I still am) with how detailed this garden is.

The plants are chosen based on few characteristics. They must be easy to handle, lightweight, can survive Singapore's climate etc. 

I am really impressed with the supertrees for their functions :D

Other than becoming an attraction for their wonderful design and colors plus the various species of plants, the supertrees actually have other contributions. The canopy on top helps to shade the area and at the same time, some supertrees are installed with solar panels (to harvest solar energy). I read that visitors can go up the supertrees to enjoy the view of the garden and Marina Bay. Or else, walk along the skyway. Fuh, I can't imagine that. 

Another shot.
Marina Bay Sands at the back.

Meanwhile, Marina Bay Sands is separated from Garden by the Bay by the river. I love the color of the water, it is not that clear but at least, not the color of 'teh tarik' . T_T 

Marina Bay Sands is actually a 5-stars hotel in which a night stay at this hotel costs from S$ 450 (1 King / 2 Twin beds) to S$ 6 000 (suite of 1 King + 2 Queen beds + living room + dining area). Another popular attraction of this hotel is its infinity pool. It does not have infinity shape anyway. 

The view inside Marina Bay Sands.
Another view.

I enjoyed myself on my birthday eve there. Just spending time on my own to reflect how my life has been since I was born. Of course I can not remember details or any memories of the very first few years. But, since I have the chance to spend lots of time with my parents right now, I managed to imagine myself when I was a baby. From the moment I kept quiet in my mum's womb (I was a very good baby lol) until my mum a bit scared then the doctor said I was growing healthily and my heartbeats were normal. :) 

My birth time was close to Subuh prayer, if I am not mistaken 5.05am. I just knew recently that my parents did not want to know my gender in advanced. I am glad I was born as a baby girl (am still a girl though haha) just like how both of them prayed for. A healthy baby girl. :)

I am thankful my parents allow me to do what I want, give permission to go to places far away from them. Maybe there are few things or ideas I can not agree with them due to different perspectives of view and obviously we are from different generations. But, I hope and I pray hard that I can explain my reasons in a polite way... to understand their points of view and not to be rude... with the aim of finding the meeting point of our ideas, so that I can do my plans with their blessing. This is my life-time goal. 

Parents' blessings and prayers are powerful, don't forget that. Ever. 

Credit - @CoutureIslamicArt

Thank you Ayah Mak for sacrificing your energy on me, 
even though you are tired enough.
Thank you Ayah Mak for sacrificing your money on me, 
even though you are struggling hard to gain it.
Thank you Ayah Mak for sacrificing your time on me, 
even though you need to work hard for our family.
Thank you Ayah Mak for spoiling me with your love,
insyAllah I am giving mine as well.
Thank you Ayah Mak for giving me the best education that you could,
Thank you Ayah Mak for remembering my favorites.

Thank you Ayah Mak for your life that you shared with me.

Lots of love,
Your one and only daughter :)

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170817

A Day of Adrenaline Rush in Universal Studio Singapore (USS)

August 18, 2017


The famous place to have a photo of yourselves in USS.

I was on my Europe Trip with my parents when I received an invitation from a good friend of mine to USS. :D Well, a good friend whom I can share problems with even though we rarely meet each other, 4 times so far I think? Oh, she was the one who spent time with me in Scotland, last time. :)

I went into Sentosa island by bus, direct from JB.

Adrenaline rush, that is the main thing I can think of every time I came across the word 'theme park'. I have been to theme parks in Genting Highlands and Disneyland Paris, so I can say this USS is kind of similar. Maybe the characters are different as I did not see any Mickey Mouse and friends in USS but... you got what I meant. 

I was not expecting much, but I was a bit looking forward for the rides. I felt like I really want to scream out loud recently. Just that's not me, not my style even though sometimes my heart is itching to do so. 

And now, I have a reason to scream. HAHA. 

The ticket for USS.
1. USS Tickets.
I booked a USS ticket from a travel agency in JB. It was RM 230 that covers:

  • a 1-day ticket to USS
  • a S$ 5 food / drinks discount voucher (with minimum spending of S$ 10)
  • a S$ 5 retail discount voucher (with minimum spending of S$ 35)
  • return bus JB-USS-JB

If you buy the ticket directly from Resort World Sentosa, the price for an adult ticket is S$ 76 which is similar to the one I bought but you will just get the ticket :) But, I am sure there are some agencies out there that have more interesting offers (I just don't have much time to read more).

Trust me, please buy the tickets in advanced / online! Do not waste your time waiting in queue for the tickets at the counter. 

Then, check if the date you are going is within the summer break / school holidays or not. If yes, I would highly recommend you to buy the EXPRESS ticket. :D You can save at least 30-60 minutes at every ride compared to normal ticket. If not, you don't have to worry as the waiting time can be just 15 minutes or less. So, choose your date wisely. :) In my case, unfortunately yes, it is summer break sobssss! 

2. Crossing the border of Malaysia-Singapore.
It was my first time in Singapore so I have no idea how busy is the immigration and the processes are just... wow, speechless. 

To get into Singapore, we need to pass the Malaysia immigration (Johor Bahru Checkpoint) and then Singapore immigration (Woodlands Checkpoint) - this sentence means, once we arrived at JB Checkpoint, we need to drop off from the bus --> pass through the passport control / customs --> queue for the bus to Woodlands Checkpoint. Then, repeat the same thing for that checkpoint. 

The queue was not a joke okay?

It maybe be different if you are crossing by car or train. I don't know much. 

Haha, I have huge salute for people who stay in JB and work in Singapore. How can these people do all these procedures every single day... both in the morning and evening? Fuhhh. 

The Mummy.


3. The rides.
Of course, my friend and I had no chance to complete every single ride. So, we aimed for the thrilling ones:
  • Battlestar Galactica: Cylon - thrill ride that you will move in different direction in the air.
  • Transformers The Ride - it is a 3D thrilling indoor battle.
  • Revenge of the Mummy - indoor roller coaster. 

Battlestar Galactica - Human / Cylon - 14-storey tall

And we waited at least an hour for each of them. T_T. 

This is another place a lot of people recommended :D just I did not feel like getting wet that time. T_T

4. The lockers.
I would encourage you to store your big luggage at your accommodation or simply enter USS with a small backpack / bag. In my case, I went straight from JB to USS and planned to stay a night in Singapore. So, I had a backpack of clothes etc and another small bag for all other important items. In my head, I planned to store my backpack at the locker and go around USS with that small bag. But to my surprise, it was quite expensive. A small locker costs around S$ 15 for one day that I would rather spend it on food. T_T 

It was so hectic!
Another point to note is that most of the thrilling rides require you to go without any loose items like hats, sunglasses etc. For this case, usually just beside the rides there will be lockers that you can store your small bag for free for 45-70 minutes (it depends). So, put everything inside. 

You can walk inside with your spectacles, just when it is your turn to ride, they will ask you to put the glasses at the rack provided. 

5. Velociraptor 
This is the name of the dinosaur in the picture below. 

We were on our way leaving Sci-Fi City to Far Far Away zone. Then suddenly this dinosaur appeared. :p We spent some time to listen to the volunteer about this velociraptor. 

  • It is about 2 meters tall.
  • It has 60 teeth and eat meats. 
  • ...... I forgot.




6. Get hydrated.
You can bring outside food 'quietly'. For water, you don't have to worry as there are a lot of water fountains that you can always refill your bottle. Make sure you drink a lot, USS can be scorching hot that you may need a cap / hat or even an umbrella. :)

Slush.

7. A glimpse of Europe.
I can not deny the fact that I miss Czech. I miss the town of Hradec Kralove. But I know I need to move on and adapt with the idea of I am settling down in my own country. :)

USS brought back memories of my life in Czech and I totally love it - with the castle, buildings, cars etc.

Look at theseeee :

Castle in Far Far Away zone.
The walls with brick patterns.
Somewhere in Hollywood zone.
You can expect this view and the huge crowds. 


 8. Prayer room.
I was really happy to know that USS provide praying room for Muslims. It is a small block of building that has two separate rooms for male and female. For female praying area, it is enough to fit approximately 10 people at one time.

The prayer room

The prayer room for female - with 1 pipe for ablution.

9. Sentosa Boardwalk.
Do you know that we can just walk between the main island of Singapore to Sentosa Island (that has all those parks)?

And another point to note is that, the boardwalk is FREE to use till the end of 2017! You can walk on a roofed pathway, with beautiful scenery of both islands. Oh yea, you can see the cable car as well. :)

Open 24hours.
I chose to walk just because the queue for Sentosa monorail was too long. The estimated time to get to my turn was 60 minutes (as mentioned there). 
The sunset from Sentosa Boardwalk :D

Ways to get to Sentosa Islands that I read:

  • cable car
  • bus
  • taxi
  • Sentosa monorail 


10. Goodbye, USS :)
With Haziqah :D
Minionssss.

All in all, it is a nice place to go and experience all these adrenaline rush rides, all these characters. It will be nicer to go on off peak season, I am not sure when... but June, July, December maybe the busiest one. 

To go again? Maybe. But not definitely.



Good articles to read:
1. https://www.havehalalwilltravel.com/blog/8-insider-tips-for-an-awesome-day-at-universal-studios-singapore/
2. https://trevallog.com/2016/08/27/travel-singapore-johor-bahru-jb-public-transport-bus/
3. http://azyhazy.blogspot.my/2017/05/travelog-singapore-universal-studios.html

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170816

Accommodation We Had Stayed In Europe (Part 2/2)

August 10, 2017


Okayyy, let's continue with the rest of the accommodation :)


4. Odense, Denmark

Type: Private Room with Shared Bathroom & Kitchen
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

A room for 3 persons

Hugeeee bathroom!

The other side of bathroom. Trust me, it is as big as another bedroom!

The kitchen. 

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: This amazing place is one of a kind. If you want a very calm, peaceful environment, this is a place to go - you can expect lots of wheat fields along the way to get here (my parents LOVE theseeeee so much) . The house is under renovation (no working was done during our stay) but it does not affect our activity at all. I think the room Tam provided to us was also after renovation, so it was actually MORE than what we expected. :) The bathroom was modern and amazing! It is about 8-10km from Odense, 25-minutes car journey to Egeskov, 15-minutes to Kerteminde. Not really sure about public transportation as we were there on a road trip. Tam is a very nice person who shared about places to go in Odense. He even helped us with washing machine & dryer. Put this Airbnb on you trip as you won't be disappointed! :)
  • This place is honestly one of a kind especially because of the location. My mum would love to have a house surrounded by paddy fields, so... this place is quite close to her dream.
  • In this house, we also stayed with the owner and his family but we didn't meet them (except the owner - Tam). Tam is actually from Vietnam but has already settled down in Odense. Kind of interesting to see how a foreigner can live very well in a foreign country. His house is seriously big!


5. Copenhagen, Denmark

Type: Entire Apartment / House
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

Mak in the living area. That was the couch I slept in. :D

I seriously love the map!

The kitchen :D

The view from the balcony.

A bed for my parents.

Bathroom with toilet and washing machine.

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: I stayed here with my parents for 3 nights. Our stay was really nice, with a good kitchen, perfectly working WiFi and secure neighborhood. The buildings look similar so a bit confusing at night. Haha. There is a bus stop (about 10 minutes walk) where we can get to the city center, supermarket and petrol station are also nearby. Good communication with Per as well. Anyway, I personally love the map on the wall at the dining area! It feels so great for morning motivation for me.
  • We arrived this place at night, honestly there were at least 8 buildings that looks similar to each other. I forgot to check the building number in advanced haha so we kind of driving around the neighbourhood. 
  • This is a type of Airbnb that use self check-in. What does it mean? The owner will give you direction on how to get into the flat. Sometimes they hide the key somewhere that you need to find based on the clues. Sometimes, you just need to know the password of the door. It depends. :)
  • An interesting part of this apartment was the rubbish hole. Haha. At the main door of each apartment, there is a hole that we can use to throw away the rubbish. Maybe I will show you in my posts of Copenhagen later. 


6. Berlin, Germany

Type: Entire Apartment / House
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

A compact room for 3 persons to sleep in.

Another view of the room.


The bathroom and toilet.

The kitchen.

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: It was a nice 2-night stay for my parents and I. Everything is provided I must say, you just have to bring yourself. Full kitchen with plenty of groceries, Hardy even gave us chocolates. WiFi works perfectly. We didn't meet Hardy in person but he responded well to any questions. You can find lots of information about attractions and public transportations in Hardy's place, everything is provided for you.
  • Actually, we had a problem with check-in that I have resolved it with the owner. What happened was we could not find the keys to get into the flat. Yes, another self check-in Airbnb. The owner had already sent the instructions but the keys were simply NOT at the mentioned location!
  • It was a tiring night that we needed to get the spare keys at his office (7km away) as the owner was 400km away from us that time, obviously he could not come. 
  • Upon entering the flat, it was nice. Just we kind of afraid if maybe anyone else might have stolen the keys, so we basically brought all valuable stuffs while travelling around the city and locked all doors in the flat. T_T
  • The rest was okay, alhamdulillah. :)


 7. Prague, Czech

Type: Private Room with Shared Bathroom
(click the link to get to its website)


The beds.

Lessons Learned:
  • I did not write any reviews yet on its website
  • This was the nearest, cheapest accommodation quite close to the car rental company and the city center. Before returning the cars, we dropped all luggage at the hostel. 
  • It was funny to recall that time when we parked in front of the hostel (with emergency signal) as we just wanted to drop off the luggage. Then, a police car came and asked us to move the car. After explaining the situation, the policeman asked me to park properly at the parking lot (in which that lots are for residents living there) I told him that I didn't have the resident pass and fortunately, the policeman allowed us to park for 10 minutes. Fuhhh. 
  • Best points to consider if you want to get a room at this hostel are: (1) it is located IN FRONT OF Prague Mosque! (2) it means you have secured at least one halal restaurant. (3) close to main train station and Vaclavske Namesti (4) 24 hours mini market is just downstairs. 
  • The cons - no lifts (I felt bad every time my parents need to climb stairs T___T) , no kitchen, bathroom and toilets are separated. 



Stay tuned for tips on how to choose a good accommodation. Well, my choices are not the perfect one but maybe you can learn something from my experiences and use them as reference :)

Till then,

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170807

Planner Giveaway By Eeca Shyaa

August 8, 2017


I used to plan my activities in my head and write down on a piece of paper that I will surely lost it somewhere. Haha. Since then, I saved many things on my phone, so glad that I have S Note that I can write with the S pen to feel more natural. 

Click the banner to join.

But, I think it is time for me to get myself a planner. Not only to have, but to use wisely :) 

One of my post-graduate resolutions is to be more organized. Sometimes I feel like I am good enough, but nope.. my skill needs some improvement. When I clean my room recently, I came across few small books that turn out to be my planners when I was in high schools. A bit funny to see my neat handwriting that changed so much since I entered the medical school... but my point is I love the previous me that planned well for my days - things to do, things to buy, chapters to study etc.

Wohoooo, wish me luck!

Batu Burok, Terengganu, Malaysia
170808

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