13 August 2010

To The Far Far Away

Finally I stepped my feet inside Universal Studios Singapore (USS). It was on weekend, so I booked the tickets online since 2 weeks before. Last time I wanted to go there on weekend also, I checked the tickets 10 days before but it was already sold out. After I purchased online, tickets and confirmation was sent to my email, and I just needed to print and bring them along on the day. Presented the printed tickets to the staff in the gate, they scanned the barcode, then voilaa.. I came into another world.

First we went to the Guest Service to redeem our vouchers. Each ticket comes with $5 voucher of Souvenir, and $5 voucher of Food. Our bags were not inspected like when I went to Hong Kong Disneyland. It is okay to bring drinks/bottle from outside. There were many water tap spots around the studio for us get water refilled, that way we would save much money, because it was so damn hot and we would need so much water! Don't forget to bring your sunglasses, umbrella, hats, sunblocks and raincoat.

So I started my journey around 11 AM and finished around 7.45 PM or something. Basically there are 7 main areas: Hollywood, Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, and New York. It was on Sunday, very hectic, but we managed to try all attractions, from the most scary ride Revenge of the Mummy until the lousiest ones like King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round (carousel) and Accelerator. But if you really-really do not have so much time, here are few recommended attractions from me:

Shrek 4-D Adventure (Far Far Away)
An amazing adventure of Shrek and Fiona, not really the story, but the 4D experience. My seat was moving when Shrek rides a horse, water spout to my face when they jumped into the water, and sometimes wind blew my face, neck and legs.

WaterWorld (The Lost World)
Witness death-defying stunt, awesome explosions and thrills at this sensational 'live' water show. It was from Water World movie, starring Kevin Costner (I never watched this movie). There were some people fighting, shooting, and throwing bomb. They were not really shooting at each other but it looked real.

Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (The Lost World)
A thrilling river raft ride through primeval dinosaur habitats. This is the place where your raincoat is needed, you mostly get wet and possibly soaked. Too bad we did not bring any, so we bought it in the souvenir shops ($2 each). I guess this is the most favorite ride among visitors, because the queue was always long (60-90 minutes). We checked it several times, until finally around 6.30 PM the queue was already short enough and we took the ride.

Revenge of the Mummy (Ancient Egypt)
A thrill roller coaster with forwards and backwards movement. I could not bare to open my eyes because it was really dark and sometimes the mummies showed up in a sudden.

Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg (New York City)
Be blown away by the filmmakers incredible special effects as an empty stage becomes the setting for a major hurricane about to hit New York City, right before your very eyes! It was so stunning, looks real. Filmmaking is magic!

Pantages Hollywood Theater (Hollywood)
Come watch the Universal monsters in a rock-n-roll musical show: Dracula, Frankeinstein, The Mummy, The Bride, Were Wolf, and some other things I forgot. They sang popular songs like Nobody But You (Wonder girls), Low (Flo Rida), It's My Life (U2) and many other songs with beautiful dances and fireworks.

There were some small shows in the street in particular times: Madagascar Boogie! (I like to move it move it...), The Rockafellas (street dance!) and Kowabunga Kove (singing and dancing). Also along the way I met some characters: Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, Dr. Frankeinstein (many children were crying when taking photos with him).

Most attractions were closed at 7 PM but merchandise shops and the studio itself were still opened. You better take pictures around studio (when there are not so many people anymore) and shop some merchandises at that time, so you could safe times for the whole day before 7 PM to catch rides and attractions. In that way you will be able to try all the rides. The ticket is not so cheap, so better use it effectively.

That world was very perfect: cute shops, beautiful views, happy people, friendly staffs, stunning shows, amazing costumes... me and my boyfriend were singing, laughing, jumping, being child again, forgetting problems on the real life.. can I live there forever? :P

(*) More photos here

12 August 2010

Sudden Tourist

For past 3 weekends, I was busy-busy bringing some people around this small dot country. Since I lived here, I have been to Sentosa million times, watched Songs of the Sea twice (okay, not much enough like my friend Ronny, 4 times! It's not like the show is THAT good, but we just need to come over to accompany some people watching, by the way it IS a recommended show), been around Marina Bay couple of times, gone to Orchard gazillion times... oh well, this one is indeed my favorite place here, so yeah..

My ex-housemate from Bandung came by. Then my Mom, Sister and Aunt visited me (sudden inspection, whoaa I cleaned my room keener than usual). Then a week after, The Boy came. And there will be a bunch of people are coming tomorrow (hey you, guuuys!). Singapore is really really easy-reachable by many people, even for those who do not have so much budget, because the flight tickets nowadays are very cheeeeeeeap! You even could get free accommodation by joining couchsurfing or something. Isn't that nice, traveling becomes more and more economics.

Okay, back to my guide stories. During my tour (I should open a tour agency), I also had times to visit some places here I never been to, except trying Extreme Log Ride and the new Circle Line MRT. Here they are.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark

This is newly opened (last month I guess), located on the top of the three towers of Marina Bay Sands which shaped like a ship. The cool Nashe has posted how fancy it is, I need to have a look! Up there, we can see the whole city, by paying $20 per person. There is swimming pool with a really nice view, but only for hotel guests. I am so envy!

Along the way to the hotel building, we walked pass the shopping mall and casino. I have written about it few months ago actually. Now, the sampan ride is already opened with a discount price $5 (I don't know until when). Also there is this big round glass with a tiny hole in the middle, people throw coins there and hope they will fall inside the hole. I don't know what's the point, but still I threw some and failed.

Chinese Garden

This park is not located in the city, but really near my house and office, yet I had not been there until last week. There are pagoda, statue of some Chinese heroes (Mulan, Confucius, etc), dragon shaped grass, twin towers, bridges, traditional tea houses, Chinese astrological signs.. very beauty! There is Japanese Garden also just across the bridge, but me and my family were already tired and we went to Chinatown instead, shopping yay! Maybe next time I'll visit the Japanese one.

Memories at Old Ford Factory

Last Monday was Singapore National Day, when usually the entrance fee to national museums are free! So I took that chance to go to some museums I never been. This is one of them, which is located in Bukit Timah. In the old days this building was used for Ford motor factory. During World War II, this spot was marked as the place where the British colony surrendered to Japanese Commander. So now this building is used as museum to memorize the 44 months Singapore (they called it Syonan) under Japanese colony. The most interesting part was the giant Snake & Ladder board game on the yard with 44 squares. We can also play its game online from here.

There is another place, but I will write it in the next post ;)

11 August 2010

Ramadhan Mubarak

This is epic!

Yesterday in Chinese Lunar calendar, the Ghost Month (7th month) was started. They believe during this month, the gates of hell are opened, and evil souls visit the living.
Today in Islamic calendar, the Fasting Month (9th month, or we called it Ramadhan) was started. We believe during this month, the gates of heaven are opened while the gates of hell are closed tightly by Allah, so no evils come out.

During this month, the Chinese offer to the ghost in the form of prayers, food and paper money. They burn fake paper money, paper television, paper car and paper house to give to their dead relatives so they will live comfortably in their world.
During this month, the Moslem do not eat, drink, smoke and do any sexual activities, from dawn to sunset. It's believed to teach us about patience, humility and spirituality.

This month, the Chinese are visited by the hungry ghosts, while the Moslem make themselves hungry.

During this month, the Chinese prefer to not be outside too late at night because the ghosts are wandering in the streets. Sometimes they make stage performance at night to entertain the ghosts.
During this month, the Moslem prefer to not be outside too late at night because they want to have break-fasting with family at home and then continue a special praying, called Tarawih.

All bad things happen to the Chinese in this month, they consider those as Hungry Ghosts' curse. It is a taboo to move house or get married during this period.
All good things happen to the Moslem during this month, they consider those as Ramadhan's power/magic.

This month is a dangerous month for Chinese, but a holy one for Moslem.

Happy Ramadhan, Moslem fellas! This is a time when we slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment; this is to establish a link between themselves and God through prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others (from wiki). I hope I can be a better person, especially in terms of my relationship with Allah. Amen!

You're Going Places, Baby!

I just remember that I got this award couple weeks ago from the lovely Tiara (thank you, Dear!) but I haven't done it yet. It's called You're Going Places, Baby! The rules are "describe where you think you'll be in 10 years and then pass it along to other bloggers".

Ten years from now I will be in my thirties (and awesome), already back to my country, most likely staying in Jakarta. By that time I would have already visited/lived in the other side of the world before going back to Indonesia. I would have already found what my passion is, what the happiness means, and how to live life to the fullest. My life will be more exciting and meaningful. Like any other girls' dream, by that time I would have started my own family and lived in my own house.

Now it seems more like You're Growing Old, Baby! award.

I would like to pass this award to ElfiraChristin and anyone who just want to write about it in their blog.

06 August 2010

Angkor Rocks


Still from my previous trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, now I put some pictures of me (and my friend, Helen). (If you notice,) I did not put my pictures in previous posts, so here they are. Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are heaven for taking narcissism pictures!

I really love that place. We watched sunrise in Angkor Wat, went to Angkor Thom (Bayon etc), Ta Phrom (Lara Croft Tomb Raider's scene), watched sunset in Phnom Bakheng, visited Banteuy Srei, had tracking to Kbal Spean and the 1000 Shiva Lingas, and went to other small temples which are SO MANY! I bet an archaeologist will spend few years to finish exploring all those old stuffs.