SCINTILLATING SINGAPORE

SCINTILLATING SINGAPORE

My sweet sixteen Niece Stuti travel first time Singapore alone after finishing her 10th grades exams to explore the the World’s no one country Singapore, Sice my sister moved to Singapore we all are very excited to visit there, so I requested my creative writer Stuti to send me your experience of Singapore visit and here her very honest review…

 

Singapore, also known as the “Lion City”, is a city-state in Southeast Asia!

I happened to have the golden opportunity of visiting this place. Like most of us, even I was bitten by the travel bug and couldn’t wait for my board exams to get over so that I could embark on this prodigious journey. My father had booked the tickets through MakeMyTrip. It was a 21 days’ trip and I was all set to take off. Being a 16-year-old, travelling alone for the first time was quite an escapade for me! In the beginning, I was a bit edgy but keyed up at the same time. I had my aunt (mausi) and her family staying in Singapore and they were going to pick me up at the Changi Airport.

On 22nd April, I began my journey. Like every typical Indian family, I had a horde of relatives at the airport that had come to drop me. My flight was scheduled to take off at 11:50 pm. We reached the airport well in advance at 9 pm. All of us discussed a few things, I made sure I had all the required documents handy and finally after a little bit of chit-chat, I bid adieu to everyone. After showing my tickets and passport to the police officer, I checked into the Airport premises. I could see everyone waving at me through the glass door.

After all the goodbyes, I pushed the luggage trolley with all my might and reached the boarding pass counter. It was quite a long queue. When I reached the counter, I gave all my documents to the person in charge of the counter and kept the luggage on the weighing platform. After a few seconds, the man inquisitively asked,” Are you travelling alone?” I said, “ofcourse yes!” He again asked,” What’s your age?” I replied,” Sixteen.” After listening to my reply, he immediately said,” You are quite young!” He did seem surprised because of course he hadn’t seen ‘SIXTEEN YEAR OLDS’ travel alone every day. I just gave him a smile and walked away.

I reached at a small desk and filled up my immigration form as instructed by my parents. I also had to help a few people in filling up their own forms. It was a good feeling! I finally completed my immigration check after waiting in the long queue. It was already 10:30 pm and I was quite hungry. So I went to the food court, and partially filled up my stomach. It was 11pm. Yes, I do eat quite slowly! Then, I washed my hands and went searching for some book to read. It was already 11:10 pm, and I couldn’t find anything good to read so I thought of heading towards my boarding gate as it was going to be a nice long walk to gate number 75. After the arduous walk, I finally reached the gate. But what do I see over there? The flight is going to Bangkok! I panicked for a while and immediately enquired about my flight and I came to know that there had been some changes in the boarding gate numbers. Now, according to this change, my flight was going to arrive at gate number 48. It was already 11:20 pm and I had to walk all the way to this gate which was at the opposite end to where I was standing. I had been told that the boarding gates close 20 minutes before the flight takes off. So apparently I had 10 minutes in hand to reach the gate. I began my strenuous walk all the way to gate number 48. At that moment, I cursed the architects for designing such a huge airport!

Of course I was travelling alone and there had to be some hurdles and some adventure. My trip would have been incomplete without them. After the interminable walk and all the hard slog, I reached the gate on time and finally sat inside the plane. I felt super relieved and proud as if I had conquered the world. After relaxing for a while, I called my parents and informed them that I was safe inside the plane. It was going to be a five and a half hour journey, so I had enough time to relax myself. I watched some movies, had some snacks that generally the airlines serve and then dozed off!

It was 8:00 am in Singapore when I landed. I got out of the flight and I felt I had entered the world’s most peaceful and silent place. The Changi Airport is huge and it has four terminals and another fifth one in making because it is a very busy airport. Too many people travel everyday but still no noise. I was coming from India where people generally speak loudly, but in Singapore there was literally pin drop silence. I reached the immigration check counter and got my documents verified. The staff at the airport was very helpful. The lady at the counter asked me a couple of questions. She also expressed concern for me as I was travelling alone and made sure I was safe. After all the formalities, I went to the belt to collect my luggage and I could see my sister and uncle waiting for me outside. I quickly grabbed my luggage and ran outside. I was so happy to meet them!!

There was a taxi waiting for us, so we kept the luggage in the car and went off to home. While in the car, I noticed that Singapore had no traffic and the roads were so clean. There were speed cameras everywhere and no one even dared to cross the speed limit. I realized I was already in love with this city! We finally arrived at their building and I could see that the security was alert and they used to keep a check of all the cars that entered the premises. Their building was huge. It had not one, but three to four swimming pools including an amazing kids pool. The towers had sky gardens and barbeque spots. Finally, I reached home and made myself comfortable. The house was beautiful and it had an enthralling view. I had a quick lunch, had a good sleep and then in the evening we went out to Suntec City, which is a place where there are shopping malls, offices etc. The place was amazing, we had dinner and came back home early as I was too tired.

Singapore is very systematic, well planned and super clean! The buses and the metro are also quite nicely maintained. There is a system of escalators there, in which people stand on the left always and those who want to walk on the escalator go from the right. It took me some time to adjust to that system as I would always stand on the right side and block people’s way. There is a card that people use for travelling in metros and in buses. That same card can be used for shopping and other purchasing stuff! This is very helpful for students as they would not have to carry money separately. That one card could do everything.

I went to a lot of places in Singapore. My favorite was definitely the Universal Studios. It is an incredible place and a must visit for whoever goes to Singapore. There are so many thrilling rides to enjoy, variety of cuisines to fill up your belly and a very helpful staff. It is a place that all age groups can enjoy and return home with wonderful memories! Another place that I enjoyed a lot was the Gardens by The Bay. It is such a lovely place where you get to see all kinds of plant species from around the world. It is a place where you can experience nature in a totally different way. There were so many different flowers that had filled the place with their sweet scent. The light and sound show at the Gardens by The Bay was the best part! We watched it from the sky walk and it was amazingly breathtaking! I also went to the Marina Bay Sands which is no doubt the best hotel in Singapore. We had dinner at the top of the hotel which is at 54th floor. The view from there is astounding. Entire Singapore was lit up and it looked like an ocean of lights. That view cannot be described in words. I also visited the Merlion Park which is also amongst the many tourist spots. I happened to have watched a couple of movies in Singapore and I was fascinated by the way the movie theatres work over there. You do not have much of a human help there. There are big screens through which you can book your movie tickets yourself. There isn’t much of a bag checking in theatres as it is in India. You are supposed to scan your ticket and then the gate opens and you can enter the theatre. The best part is that the theatres are so clean and keeping them clean is also the responsibility of the citizens. There is a dustbin installed at the exit gate and when the movie ends each and every person is supposed to throw their empty packages and cans into the dustbin. If you leave it under your seat, you might have to pay a good amount of money!

Singapore is a place where you will find people from all around the world! If you’re an Indian and have started to feel homesick and you are missing your country, then Little India is the place for you! Little India is an ethnic place where you find Indian restaurants and Indian shopping centres, Mustafa, being the most famous. The walls in Little India also depict the Indian culture. So it’s a must visit for the Indians and also for others to satisfy their craving for Indian food. If you’re a party fanatic, then you must visit Clarke Quay! It is the most happening place in Singapore where you’ll find clubs and restaurants and all kinds of interesting stuff. You can also take a boat ride gliding through the Singapore River. The best time to visit Clarke Quay is during the night when it is all lit up! For all those who are huge fans of the show ‘FRIENDS’, there is a Central Perk located in Clarke Quay! It is just made like the one in the show. It has places that are designed for every character like for example, you have Monica’s Kitchen and Joey and Chandler’s Foosball table. Overall it’s a fun place to visit for all the FRIENDS fans out there! Just close to the Central Perk, there is a South Indian restaurant named ‘Annalaxmi’. It has a buffet, where simple but delicious food is served. The food there is unlimited and the best part about that restaurant is that there isn’t any fixed amount of paying the bill. They don’t give you a bill instead they ask you to pay whatever you wish to. It is up to you how much you want to pay. Whether you pay just 1 dollar for five people or 50 dollars for five people they won’t say anything. Whatever is the amount, but there is no compromise on the quality of the food. Quite impressed to know that even though Singapore is the world’s most expensive place, it still has a restaurant like this!

So these were some of the places that I visited in Singapore and I had a lot of fun travelling alone. Every parent should send their child on such a trip so that they can learn to be responsible. I learned a lot from this trip. Travelling alone for the first time was the greatest experience for me! Singapore is an amazing place, it is very safe, full of energy, spick and span and it has some cool places to visit. So overall, Singapore should be on everyone’s bucket list. My trip came to an end on 13th May and I returned to Mumbai with lots and lots of exciting memories and experiences of the good times spent with my sister, aunty & uncle! So go visit Singapore once for sure and create memories for lifetime!

So DREAM, EXPLORE AND DISCOVER! There are lots of experiences waiting in store for you. Signing off for now!!  Stuti Chaturvedi

After reading this beautiful review  my summer holiday destination will be Singapore…

 

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