fbpx

Singapore Shiok!

I have been in and out of Singapore for some of my stay in Canon because it used to be our regional office. I never got to go around though because the days were primarily spent in meetings. Last year, I was fortunate to accompany five handsome Canon photographers *wink* for a trip sponsored by the tourism board of Singapore.
With Mark Floro, PJ Enriquez, Edwin Martinez, Jay Jallorina and Jo Avila.
Arrival at Singapore with our tour guides 🙂

One of the places we visited was Sentosa, of course. This was at the S.E.A. Aquarium.

Photo by PJ Enriquez
At the S.E.A. Aquariumâ„¢, you can observe more than 100,000 creatures from 800 species like sharks and sting rays. They are all swimming in 45 million litres of water!
One-day pass would cost you S$38 or a little over PHP1300 for adults. Operating hours can be found here.
I also visited one unassuming place, Yong Siak Street and there I found my little heaven. A bookstore called Books Actually!
I fell in love with the place instantly. Not only does it feature local authors, it also has a very creative feel.
Cute cookie brooch!!!
I love this so much!
And of course, I had to take some home. 🙂
We also visited Gardens By The Bay. The photo below is a shot of the Supertree Grove. According to their website, these Supertrees have canopies with environmentally sustainable function such as harvesting solar energy to light the trees at night while others serve as air exhaust receptacles. To learn more about the Supertrees, click here.
Photo by PJ Enriquez.
Gardens By The Bay is located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953. Check out ticket rates and how to get to the gardens here.
We also visited the MegaZip Adventure Park in Sentosa. I was caught unprepared. I thought we were just taking pictures around Sentosa. [Un]fortunately, we also had to ride the MegaZip.
According to their website, MegaZip is at 75 meters high, 450 meters long and heart pounding speeds of 60 KMPH.
I am not really frazzled by heights. In fact, I take every opportunity to ride ziplines because of the adrenaline rush it brings. Unfortunately, the shoes were not appropriate for the occasion.
I was just trying to look bored. Hahaha. But really, I was hanging on to my dear shoes.
From the jungle, I landed at Sentosa Beach. Haha.

For my last feature for this trip, I present to you my second most favorite destination on my list (after the bookstore, haha) РMarch̩ 313@somerset!

Marché is a self-service Swiss restaurant that is supposed to mimic the warm and cozy ambiance of the Swiss Alps.

According to them, they shipped original Swiss chalets from the highland around Bern, Switzerland.
Sorry for the blurred photo.

Marché has a very wide selection of gastronomical offerings ranging from their own fresh bakes, salads, an open grill, pizza, anything you can think of! Each guest is given a card which you use to “purchase” your food at the different stations. You will surrender the card and pay at the end of your meal. Pretty awesome!

Creamiest mushroom soup ever!
 
And yes of course, the dessert that comes with coffee!

Burp! Marché 313@somerset is located at Level 1, Discovery Walk, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895. You can check out their website here.

I stayed at Park Royal Pickering and I realllyyy loved the hotel. Unfortunately, I was only able to take very few photos of the hotel (my bad!). But just to show you how it looks like, I got some free to share photos from a Singaporean photographer, Erwin Soo to show you how beautiful this hotel is <3

By Erwin Soo.
(Flickr: LIME restaurant at Parkroyal on Pickering.)
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Erwin Soo.
(Flickr: Closer to nature than to stone.)
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
On the way to my room.
The roof deck.
My own lousy phone shot of the infinity pool at the roof deck.
Twin bed rooms cost S$290 or around PHP10,000.
Park Royal on Pickering is located at 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289.
So there goes a little throw-back about my Singapore trip last year. To know more, visit Singapore Tourism Board’s website at www.yoursingapore.com. Shiok!
xx,
Balot
PS. According to urbandictionary.com, ‘Shiok’ is commonly used in Malaysia & Singapore […] it essentially is used to convey a feeling of sheer pleasure and happiness. For example, if you really enjoyed a particular dish, the way ‘shiok’ would be used is ‘Wow! This dish damn SHIOK, man!’.

How I Was Scammed in Beijing Airport



“Don’t be gullible, use life before it uses you. Understand there are no free lunches, and for every action you take, there’s a reaction.” Sylvester Stallone

I know, I know! I feel so ignorant that I was scammed. But more than that, I felt sad that there is that harsh world of scammers. Husband always scolded me about this, always told me that I live in a fairy tale world. I received that comment with indignation. I don’t think I was stupid because I always believed in the utmost goodness of man.

This, however, just threw me off my belief and forced me to see others in great caution. At the end of the day, we should choose to protect ourselves in the first place.

Okay, so now to my story. Sorry, I got side-tracked haha —

I was on my way back to Manila from my four-day Beijing trip. I was early at the airport and was viewing the flight schedules when a man in a suit with an Air China nameplate approached me and in pre-school English and a lot of Mandarin, told me that he will assist me to the counter. Since I was too early, He said that I will be catered to a different front desk apart from where all the other passengers lined up. The counter was just beside the other Air China counters so I did not have any doubt that this was just some staff extending excellent customer service. Check-in was a breeze and I searched in the internet how much other people would usually tip. I did not see any reference. Since I was feeling pretty generous because of this extra mile (and I did not have smaller bills as well), I was planning to give him RMB100!

After checking in, he pointed to me the gate and asked me for RMB300! Is this guy effin’ crazy?! That is equivalent to PHP2,100 just for a tip his assistance? What the hell! He kept on egging me to give him more and I interjected and shouted what a lousy kind of an airline personnel he is. I told him I do not have any bills anymore. He kept on insisting until I raised my voice several notches higher, enough for other people to look at us. When I was drawing a little more attention, he left and said goodbye. Ugh!

I searched for Beijing scams and found out that there are sooooo many crazy scammers in China! So to give you a heads up and to those naive travelers like me, here is a list of those scams that I have found in other sites:

1. Top Scams in Beijing
2. Scams and the City
3. Comprehensive Scams from China-Mike

Hmm, this makes me all the more scared to go around. This has been my third time in Beijing and the past two visits had been okay since I had a colleague with me. This time around, I was alone, I did not look anything Chinese, can’t speak Mandarin (I truly regret not taking my classes seriously), so I was an easy target.

Nevertheless, I am grateful that it was all that I shelled out for a con artist. I am ever so glad that I was not part of any of those more serious ones that I cited above.

Lesson learned for RMB100. Hope you won’t fall into this trap and yeah, don’t trust a helping hand all the time.

xx,
Corporate Junkie