Saturday, 5 December 2015

Singapore Vlog Part 2: CBD & Orchard Road

Good Day Everyone,

Today I share with you the second vlog from our stopover in Singapore. On this particular day hubby had work meetings and so I headed into Singapore's CBD (central business district) with him. I thought it might be interesting to show you some of the architecture of the CBD area. In and amongst all of the high rise office blocks there are streets of traditional shop houses which have now been converted into office spaces, cafes and and restaurants. There are also places of worship for the different religions within the CBD area including a mosque and the oldest temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Keng Temple which is dedicated to Ma Zu, the goddess of the sea and protector of seamen.
Thian Hock Keng Temple
One of the things that struck me the very first time I walked through Singapore's CBD area, back in 2011, were the palm tree lined streets and green spaces. There are lots of small parks and gardens for people to enjoy and have their lunch. When we lived in Singapore hubby always used to say that it was a real joy to step outside at lunchtime, after being cooped up indoors with the air conditioning, look up and see bright blue skies and palm trees, and just feel that initial heat rush. Aside from the shop houses and green spaces, there are also numerous water features, some with koi carp, and art installations around the CBD area.
Water and art feature
Shop houses in the CBD
From the CBD, I jumped on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) which is Singapore's subway system and headed to Orchard Road - the famous mall lined street for a spot of shopping. Singapore's subway system is very easy to use as it is in English. Hubby and I still had our EZ-Link cards which we just topped up with cash upon our arrival back to Singapore. With the EZ-Link card you simply tap on the entrance and exit gates at the MRT stations. It is a cashless travel card which can be used on the buses too, and is available for tourists to purchase. Apparently the Oyster card system that we now have on the London Underground is based upon the Singapore EZ-Link card. You can see more in the vlog below :o).
Once at Orchard I went to one of my favourite malls, ION. This mall is full of lots of familiar brands like Zara, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Mango, Uniqlo, Muji,and the mothership aka Sephora aka makeup heaven ;o). It also houses a lot of the designer/higher end brands too. The basement levels of most malls in Singapore are full of food courts and lots of different restaurants and cafes. I stopped off at IndoBox for a spot of lunch and to rest my joints.
Malay food for lunch at IndoBox
Orchard Road is home to numerous department stores such as Tangs, Isetan and Takashimaya, as well as all the malls. The road is tree lined and is particularly beautiful at Christmas with all the decorations and lights. If you're not a fan of crowds then the best time to visit Orchard Road is definitely during the day in the working week as it gets very busy in the evenings, and ridiculously busy on weekends. There is always something going on at Orchard Road, be it pop up exhibitions, promotions, events or temporary art installations. On this particular day there was a display of Gundams. The Gundam Series is a Japanese science-fiction anime series featuring giant robots and these were absolutely huge!

The shopping malls in Singapore offer a good mix of western and Asian brands, and every year there is annual two month sales event, known as The Great Singapore Sale, which just happened to be on when we were there :o). After lunch I made my way down Orchard Road to Plaza Singapura which is another mall that I use to go to when we lived in Singapore, and this mall had a huge dinosaur display at its centre! I didn't vlog the rest of my day as we were meeting some friends that night for dinner and I didn't think it would be that interesting for you.
I hope this blog post and the accompanying vlog gave you a bit more of an insight into what Singapore is like. Have you ever visited Singapore? Did you enjoy it? I'll be back with the third and final part soon.

Love Sheen xxx
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