maanantai 22. kesäkuuta 2015

City Lights

Three weeks have passed very quickly. We've seen and done alot but haven't had time to write our blog. Now we thought that it is a good time to catch up with the writing and tell you what we've done the past three weeks. So let's start with our first weekend. 

Queue Hard: With a Vengance

During our first week we only had two school days in which we started our projects. On Friday Mr. Wee took us to the Visitor Service Centre to get our Student Passes. The pass works as an ID for foreigners in Singapore.

The bureaucratic process was different than we are used to. In Singapore we had to queue on several different counters to get our passes. In Finland most of the applications are handled electronically nowadays.  It took us 5 to 6 hours to finalize our applications to get our ID's. One of the reasons the process took so long was that our Finnish passport photos were not applicable to the Singaporean authorities, the pictures were too shiny. You should get the photos from the Visitors Service Centre before queuing. Against all odds we got through and kept our sanity. Mr. Wee took us to a local restaurant and generously paid for the lunch. After eating our group decided to see the Chinatown.


The heat was real. Hey remember that movie Heat? It is a really good film. Well, the weather was hot and the sun was shining. We didn't do anything special because it was the day time and most of the establishments were closed but the area was beautiful. There were a lot of old buildings and temples. We spent only few hours in Chinatown but we're definitely going to visit there again.

Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple

Sleepless in Singapore

We had heard about Clarke Quay, a place where we could find an active night life in Singapore. So we decided to spent our Friday evening there. It was easy to get there by the MRT. When we arrived to Clarke Quay the place was already full of people: Locals, expats and visitors like us. The view was composed of high-rises and the lights of the Clarke Quay. After a brief walk we found a cozy place near the water and ordered food and beer.

Our first view of the Clarke Quay

The price of the food was around the same than in Finland the drinks were somewhat cheaper during the happy hour. When we finished our drinks and food we proceeded to explore the rest of Clarke Quay. There were a lot of bars, pubs and night clubs. From the center square we chose one bar and got in. To our surprise there was a live band performing. They played their own interpretations of popular songs. The original songs weren't something we would listen but hearing them performed by a live band made a difference. The drink prices inside the bar were rather expensive: The cheapest beer was around S$16 which is about 10,50 €. Time flies when you're having fun.

Dinner by the river

Local band performing
After enjoying a few drinks and watching the band play we decided to go to eat and then head to the
apartment. Hailing a taxi was easy. Taxi prices are low in Singapore compare at least to Finland. The trip to our apartment cost around S$15. Overall it was a great experience!

The Tourist

Saturday morning we headed to Jurong East where we knew there was a shopping mall, The mall was larger than what we're used to see in Finland. Janne got a haircut from a local barbershop and was satisfied with the results. It was very affordable (S$ 15) compared to Finland and the service took around 15 minutes. There was no reservation required, only thing that Janne had to do was to write his name down in a queue list.

Like in most places the mall had a food court with wide selection of cuisines. Meal prices were around 5 to 8 dollars and the quality was a bit higher than what we've eaten normally. Basement floor had a supermarket which carried products from all over Asia especially from Japan. Also it is worth mentioning that the mall had a lot of international clothing chains e.g. Marks & Spencer and UniQlo.

Mixed beef noodle soup
The next day we headed out to the Singapore Zoo. This was the first time we witnessed Singaporean rain and of course we decided to leave our umbrellas back home. The Zoo didn't really include anything special than other zoos but they let some of the monkeys roam around free. According to the Singapore Wildlife Reserves' website the Singapore Zoo contributes to the global conservation effort with captive breeding programs of endangered animals. In 2014, the zoo bred over 100 animals, many of them endangered or threatened in wild. Also, the zoo is evolving from being a "viewing park" to a "learning park" and it showed. There were many plaques that educated the visitors about abuse towards animals and how to prevent it at consumer level.

Eero, Janne, Santeri

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