30 July 2012

Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay

Marina Bay Sands has became a Singapore landmark just like the Merlion and the Esplanade theaters. It is pretty from the other side of the bay but there is so much more to see inside. Our last day in Singapore was alotted to exploring the inside of the hotel.

We took the MRT and got off at the exit connected to the shops. Apart from being a hotel, Marina Bay Sands also has a casino and a mall. Upon entry, we were greeted by this canal  with gondolas which reminded me of The Venetian.

Inside were high end shops, most are luxury items. I visited the Longchamp store but I was surprised that the price of the bags were almost the same in Manila.

On the 4th floor was a viewing deck where you'd get to see a magnificent view of the Singapore skyline. I think this would be stunning at night.

It is also where the Art and Science Museum and the famous Helix Bridge is located. We didn't have time to enter the museum though. Plus I wasn't too enthusiastic in paying for the entrance fee.

I didn't actually know that the Helix Bridge existed until Sandy told me about it. I actually thought that it was a bridge for vehicles but apparently it was for pedestrians. And here I was thinking I did all the research. Haha!

Our visit to MBS was also very timely because the Gardens by the Bay has just opened. From the photos I've seen, the garden is pretty majestic at night. Due to time constraints however, we had to settle going there in the morning.

Since my family was already very tired, we did not explore much of the gardens anymore. On our way back, we were able to take a glimpse of the interiors of the hotel. I was in awe at the buffet spread. As in!

I would have loved to see the famous MBS infinity pool but I heard it was exclusive for guests only. Besides, I was on a mission to buy an iPad that day so we headed over to Funan right after. But ah! The life of the rich and famous. Will I ever get to stay in this hotel in this life? LOL.

29 July 2012

Pino Restobar in Malingap Street, Quezon City

Maginhawa Street in Quezon City is a haven for hole in the wall places. Usually, it is dominated by college kids or by those who just want to chill and unwind after a long day. Pino Restobar is one of those places where you can do just that.

Technically, Pino is in Malingap Street but it was originally located along Maginhawa. Besides, for those residing in Quezon City, Maginhawa is equivalent to pop culture so it's an easy recall. I've always wanted to try Pino so I treated my parents there for their 29th wedding anniversary. I really admire my parents and I really hope that one day I'd get to find my match just like them. We arrived a little past 7 PM; come 8 PM the place was packed already so better arrive before 8.

For starters we had the Fried Kesong Puti Salad with Mango Vinaigrette (PhP 185). I absolutely love mangoes and using it as a dressing was a good contrast to the saltiness of the kesong puti (white cheese). We also had the soup of the day which on Mondays is Pumpkin Soup (PhP 80). I think I do better pumpkin soup though. :P

For the main dish we had the superstar of Pino, the Kare-Kareng Bagnet (PhP 565). The house specialty consists of deepp fried pork belly on top of vegetables served with peanut sauce. It was soooo good that I did not care that my cholesterol level probably shot up after pigging out on this dish.

To compliment the pork dish, we got the Fresh Vegetable Lumpia (PhP 120). It was huge for its price and it came with these fried crackers which reminded me of kropeck.

Pino Iced Tea (Pitcher at PhP 80) now tops my list of iced teas all over. It was tangy and sweet at the same time and it has this zest I can't explain haha! Super refreshing! The Pino group serves this in their other restaurants as well. I was able to have this at The Burger Project too.

Confort food plus a laid back ambiance, this will definitely have me going back to Pino. Oh and of course, for that divine Kare-Kareng Bagnet. *winks*

Pino Resto Bar
39 Malingap Street
Teachers Village - East, Quezon City

23 July 2012

Chinatown Singapore

I think the Chinese are dominating the world because every country seems to have its own version of Chinatown. Singapore was no different and from my first visit in 2008, I knew that it was the best place to buy souvenirs. Straight from Sentosa, we took the MRT and got off at Chinatown station and took Exit A towards Pagoda Street.

We tried authentic Chinese food in one of the restaurants here. It was surprising that it turned out to be more expensive than food courts here in Singapore considering that it was on the street.
Chicken, Sea bass and Char Kway Teow

I went around Pagoda Street four souvenirs and found interesting stuff aside from the usual keychains and magnets.
Chopsticks in all colors
stuffed toys
Dried Pork from Bee Cheng Hiang
Keychains in Chinatown are priced for as low as 10 for 10 SGD. I was able to buy 30 pieces of chopsticks for 10 SGD as well. There are also hawker stalls along Smith Street. I was able to try superb chicken satay from this place. But nothing beats the chili pork of Bee Cheng Hiang! It's the bomb! 

How to get to Chinatown:
Take the MRT purple line and get off at Chinatown station. Take Exit A to Pagoda Street.

22 July 2012

Sentosa Island, Singapore

We returned to Sentosa Island on our third day in Singapore. Sentosa Island has long been famous even before Universal Studios was built in Singapore. The easiest way to get to the island is via the Sentosa Express which is located at the Vivo City mall. We took the MRT to the Harbourfront Station and got off at Vivo City. We went around the mall first and had lunch at Carl's Jr. I remember having this in the Philippines in the late 90's but the franchise was pulled out. It was one of my favorite burger joints back then.

Oh and they have a salsa bar. Love!!!

The Sentosa Express station is located at the 4th level of the mall. Unlike Universal Studios, entrance to Sentosa do not come with unlimited rides and entrance to the attractions. You can either pay for the entrance per attraction or purchase a play pass. We availed the afternoon play pass where we get to experience 4 of the attractions in the island. Since our play pass was just good up to 7 P.M., we had to purchase a separate ticket for Songs of the Sea which is probably the most famous attraction of the island. Songs of the Sea has two showing times everyday the earlier being at 7:40. The sun tends to set late here in Singapore so the earlier show is at 7:40 PM.
Taken fron the Sentosa Island website
Vivo City station

Our first stop was the Siloso Beach so we got off at the Beach station and took the tram. There are free shuttle buses all around Singapore so you do not have to worry about killing your feet from walking. The beach was full of foreigners but there was nothing spectacular about it. Philippine beaches are still at the top of my list.

Next stop was the Imbiah Lookout where the Merlion Park and Images of Singapore are located. Images of Singapore is a museum showing the history and culture of the country.

The next attraction we chose was the Merlion. There was a film shown explaining the history why the Merlion became the symbol of Singapore. We also climbed the head of the Merlion where you can view the whole island.

Outside the Merlion is this colorful park with this figure that I really haven't figured out what. so colorful perfect for more photo ops!

The third attraction we tried was the Tiger Sky Tower which is the highest revolving tower in Singapore. It gives you a 360-degree view of the country and you can even see neighboring country Malaysia while on top.

After walking for hours we took a break and had coffee at Starbucks. starbucks sure is expensive in Singapore. It's like 200 pesos per frapuccino. Deym.

After resting, my sisters and I tried the 4D simulation theater showing this movie about logs which turned out to be a bore after the first five minutes. My parents went to the other theater showing Pirates which I think is the same one shown at the Crown Regency in Cebu. By 7:0 P.M. we were ready for Songs of the Sea. It was spectacular!
Waiting for the show to start...or should I say for the sun to set.
Princess Amy!
We left the island at around 8:30 PM and headed back to Vivo City via the free shuttle bus at the Beach station. We decided to head over Chinatown which I will be writing about next. In the meantime, I leave you with this photo of me taken on my first trip to Singapore in 2008.

A lot could definitely change in four years. ;)

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