Monthly Archives: November 2011

DYKS: Urbanisasi Saves the World from Global Warming

Crowded City - Big Picture

Because with urbanization, people move to city and leave green area in the village grow naturally. The only issue now is how is city manage incoming citizens which become more and more each year.

Untouched Green

Source: National Geographic December 2011

Someday in Land of Lion – Part 4: City Walk

Due to limited time after work (we leave office at 6 PM!!!) I spend several days to do city walk (just walk around the city), and I summary them into this post.

I visit 5 areas of different life/culture (Gee I am surprised I’ve done that much in short time). And here is the story

1. China Town (Day 3)
As its name, it is full with chinese things, especially chinese food. I buy pork porridge and pork (again) rice dumpling (bachang). My first gifts I buy here, they are t-shirts (10 SGD/pack). I think they are cheap at first time, but I am wrong, in other place (Bugis village) the price is even cheaper.

China Town Street

China Town Street

ChinaTown basically contains low level shopping center and street food seller. Low level shopping center is if it’s compared to Orchard Street. You can imagine mall in China Town is ITC, and the Orchard Mall is GI. Although it’s low level, it doesn’t sell pirated DVD, hehehe. I know that because once I go to one movie shop and search it, but can’t find one. When I am about to leave that shop, I take picture of the shop. And then the shopkeeper run into me angrily said something like ‘you should pay to take a picture’… What?!? At the end I show him I delete the pictures.

The other thing you find in China Town is 3 Pray House, each one located in the street which represents it: Mosque St (Muslim), Pagoda St (Hindustan), Temple St (Buddhist).

Temple

Mosque

Pagoda

2. Marina Bay (Day 3)
Walking in Marina Bay is breathtaking. It’s because there are so many interesting things in here.

a. Merlion
The mascot of Singapore. I just know that it’s combination Lion and Fish. I though it’s Lion in chess game.

Merlion

b. Marina Bay Sand Attraction
It’s a laser and water fall attraction, it’s very beautiful to watch it from a far at night. The more beautiful if you can watch it from a boat. In the middle of darkness it’s glowing beautifully.

Marina Bay Sand Laser and Water Fall Show

c. Cool Rest
If there is person stay under it, the fan start moving

Cool Rest Area

d. City View
Marina is a business center, so it is full of high building

City Look

e. Splash Pipe
Since it’s a beach area, it’s hot. That’s why this cooling water sprayer pipe is installed here

Splash Pipe

f. Half Ball Sound Relay
This one is really genius invention, one person can talk in one side of ball and the other one in the other side will be able to hear it. It’s like metal wire phone, but it’s made on a half ball shape from end to end.

Sound Relay

g. Helix Bridge
Wow this one is also great landmark. There is mirror in shape of helix surround the bridge.

Helix Bridge

h. Art Science Museum
A good shape building. You can watch it from the Flyer

Art Science Museum

i. Stadium
This place is a normal bay side stadium.

Stadium

3. Little India (Day 4)
First thing that I catch from this area is traditional market. Yes it’s far from the view of big city of Singapore. I can preview suburb of my city Jember in here. Then I also notice there are many flower booths. Yes in Hindustan’s ceremony, they usually wear a flower necklace on their neck. The last is I smell a fragrance of incense. It’s not bad smell but I can’t stand it, the smell is too strong.

Little India

It seems that Indies in here still use rupee for their daily transaction. That’s why there are many money changer counters here.

And of course I find Hindustan’s Temple, like the one in China Town.

After some walk, I go to a restaurant to buy food. When I see the receipt I find that they put additional 2 items in there. Oh no… They try to cheat. When I ask it, they answer like they don’t understand me. It’s so annoying. So after eating I go as fast as possible leaving this area. Quite bad experience, I will put it on my black list surely.

Little India

4. Geylang (Day 4)
Hohohoho… I don’t expect to get here actually. After unpleasant moment in Little India, I decide to go home quickly, but it’s too early so I plan to explore area which is not listed in my itinerary. And the one I choose to visit (also the closest area from Little India) is,,, Geylang, the Singapore Red District Area.

I hear something about red district area in Europe (Netherlands) and it’s very crazy. So I am curious enough to visit this part in Singapore.

I walk in main road of Geylang. There are mostly chinese restaurant. It’s about 8 PM, when I am at there. The situation seems normal, probably it’s not night enough.

But when I walk further, it become different. There are some bars and night clubs. And also there are many lair with stair which probably go to some place you know :D.

And beside the main street, there are some branch streets. It’s smaller and quieter. And I find some temple in here, a little bit ironic huh… Also there are some flat with probably 10 floors. It’s creepy enough to walk in this area. I am afraid if a mafia/yakuza will get me in this kind area. So I go back to main street as quick as possible.

Finally I arrive at place where I think is the main part of Geylang dark secret. This place is literally dark. There is a big building, I think it is a bar and hotel. In front of it, I find some drug dealer. Not kind of narcotic drug but it’s more like Stamina Drug.

The people in here are vary. The guests who need entertainment are mostly chinese and western. The entertainers are mostly chinese, but I can also see brown skin people like philliphines / indonesian. The guests usually park their cars in the sideway of street. And it make this area is really full of cars.

I leave that area and walk into MRT station. That place is very hot, in connotation and denotation meaning. So I am glad I have left it. Although I don’t think to come back, I get sort of experience of being here :D.

Note: I don’t take any photos in Geylang (or probably I do take but I don’t want to share it hehehhee, who knows)

5. Bugis Village (Day 7)
In the other hand of Little India, Bugis Village is my favorite point. If you want to get something cheap from Singapore, this is the place. You can have 3 t-shirts for 10 SGD, and many other Singapore accessories. It has many stands in one square area. I enjoy window shopping here. I only buy several items since lack of budget hehehe (unfortunately I have spent my money to buy gifts in other places, and go to Bugis Village on the last day). Next time I will surely go to here to buy gift. It saves your money

Bugis Village

6. Other places
a. City Harvest Church (Day 6 – Sunday)
I plan to visit this church. So I am looking for the schedule and the place. Gladly I find that the Sunday Service is held in a Suntec building exactly in front of my hotel. It’s a dilemma for me to choose English Service or Indonesia Service (wow there is Indonesia Service here). Finally I choose English Service because I don’t experience it so often.

City Harvest Church

And I make good decision :D, because I am totally get something new here. First when I sit before the service start, I choose the empty seat at the corner, far from crowd (because I don’t know them, it is normal to sit a bit far from them). But then 5 minutes later, a man comes to me and greets me. He asks me if I am a newcomer. Wooo, how can he know that? He explains that everyone in City Harvest church is sitting in a group, it’s called cell group. So if there is someone who is sitting alone, they can guess that he/she is a newcomer.

A warm welcome really makes me glad, the man’s name is Bryan, he is about my age and we exchange phone number in case we visit each other. He introduces me to other member of his group and they are really nice to me. At the end of service they ask me to have lunch together, unfortunately in my itinerary I need to go to Santosa Island so I politely decline their invitation. I will surely contact them if I visit Singapore next time.

The Sunday service in here is also special that day, because there are guest speakers, YouTube singers but also strong Christian figures: Jayeslee. Well it’s one of the reasons why I think I made good decision. I am their fan. And now I have a chance to watch them by my own eyes in a place I never expected. They give testimony about their mother faith and it’s very beautiful story. They also sing 2 songs,,, another beautiful melody. I feel really blessed by this Sunday service. Thanks God I can experience this moment.

b. National Library (Day 7)
A very beautiful and well organized library. I glad to witness it. But it’s already closed when I arrive there. May be next time I should come before 9.00 PM.

National Library Floors

It has 14 floors. Each floor consists of book, study room, reading room (indoor/outdoor), theater room, and many others. Imagine you are reading a book in the outdoor park in 10th floor, how enjoyable it is.

Outdoor Park of National Library

It has book drop box that will be used to collect book donation from any people. This book drop box available for 24 hours.

Drop Box for Books

c. Golden Village (Day 8 )
Many Indonesian go to Singapore cinemas since Hollywood movies didn’t showed up in Indonesian cinema. So I also feel like to go to the cinema as one of my checklist in Singapore.

I watch Transformer 3 in cinema Golden Village, the ticket is 8 SGD. And I fall sleep inside the cinema, hahahaha. I don’t know why but the studio is almost empty that day, less than 20 people inside the studio. I take the last schedule (10 PM), because I am afraid I have something I need to do in the office so I can’t leave early. The subtitle of the movie is in Chinese. So all those factors are combined to make me sleep inside the cinema (I lost my 8 SGD, hiks)

The ticket is bought online in internet and you will receive booking code, then there is a vending machine in malls that you can use to get your ticket (by input the booking code).

When the show ends, everyone (cinema keeper) have already left. So it’s very quiet. I need use back door to leave the cinema. It’s almost 00:30 AM. I try to go back from the cinema to my hotel. Usually it’s very simple to use underway inside the mall, but now since the mall is already close, I need to find other way through main street and believe me it’s not easy. Finally I manage to reach hotel, thanks God!!!

d. Changi Airport (Day 9)
Although it’s an airport, you can find anything in here. It’s a mall, a supermarket, a park, an internet cafe, a game center, an information center, a restaurant, a lounge. You will never get bored in here. Moreover it’s very big and there are too many things to be explored while waiting you planes.

The interesting parts for me are:
– Free internet box, if you are a geek, you can spend you waiting time in here.
– Parks: bamboo park, rain forest park, butterfly parks, etc. Actually they are small but they are designed beautifully, you can spend natural moment in the middle of crowded airport in here
– There are 3 terminals, and since it’s too far to walk from one to another, they prepare monorail for the transportation between terminals
– Snack to bring back home; of course my choice goes to the most popular snack for non-Muslim: Bee Cheng Hiang, roasted pork meat. Beside that buy some chocolate can be an option here
– Gifts, e.g. key holder, sticker, book separator, t-shirt, etc.

Butterfly Park Changi Airport

It’s quite long story, but I think I enjoy each part of exploring the city of Singapore.

Someday in Land of Lion – Part 3: Walking Day

I think I miscalculate distance of several places in Singapore. I use google map and in my reading I find that several places are actually near to the hotel I stay.

For example, Orchard road is supposed to be around 1 km in my calculation. Means that it should only take a half on an hour to reach it (because usually when I go to office, it only takes 15 mins for 500 m distance). But I reach it about 1 hour. So I guess it around 2 km far.
And I walk that far…

OK, that makes me really healthy. Gladly I don’t walk alone, I walk with my colleague (I mean my boss during my assignment) in one evening after office hour on day 2.

We walk from the south (my office in Marina Bay area) into the center of entertainment Orchard Road. After several minutes we reach Beach Road. It’s said that in the past Marina Bay is a bay, a sea. The beach line is located on Beach Road. But now Singapore reclamate the bay and make it to be land.

After several minutes we finally reach the most crowded MRT junction call Dhoby Ghaut. It’s like Harmony in Jakarta.

And several minutes later we are welcomed to Orchard Road by the bird chirping. It’s crowded, very very crowded. When see it, I remember about Harajuku, Akihabara, or some crowded place I usually watch in Japanese Dorama. It’s full of huge malls with colorful lamps, but it also has nature touch: bird chirping. Very weird, but it’s real.

Singapore Visitor Centre

I visit my colleague apartment and then we go to food court for dinner. We get into mall, it’s surely even more crowded in here, it’s very packed with human being. So after eating I don’t want to stay too long on place full of carbon dioxide, I go outside and start my own adventure (I and my friend separate in here).

Since it’s mall area, so I can’t find too much interesting things here. But finally I find one, a bookstore, yeay… It’s a big bookstore ‘Borders’. I take a chance to go inside, walking around the bookstore. The place is very wide; there is big space between one rack to another. I also find several sofas so the reader can sit enjoy reading the book. All books in here are uncovered, so if you want you can read every book all day as long as you want. But the book type is mostly a written book, I don’t see too many comic books.

After get bored with so many serious books, I get out and look for something else. I find a part of street side where it has many picture about Singaporean places of interest. Hmmm basically my itinerary (I make itinerary before I go to here, hehehe) has cover some of them, so I am satisfied hehehe.

Singapore places of interest

Big avocado

Now time to go home, it’s already far I have walked, I am very tired. I will take MRT to go home, my colleague has teach me previously how to travel by MRT, even he buy me my first ticket from station near his place (Somerset St). Now I have walked far away from Somerset St, and I find other MRT station Orchard St. But hmmm the ticket is more expensive because the distance Orchard St – Promenade St (my hotel) is farther than Somerset St – Promenade St. I get panicked, what should I do, should I buy other ticket Orchard St – Promenade St? Mean that I will not use the ticket I already have (Somerset St – Promenade St).

MRT Station

In the confusion I decide to walk back to Somerset St so I can use my MRT ticket. After think again, actually I can buy short ticket Orchard St – Somerset St, and then continue Somerset St – Promenade St. But probably it’s destined to be my walking day. In total I’ve walked:
2 km : Office – Dhoby Ghout
1 km : Dhoby Ghout – Somerset (my colleague apartment)
1 km : Somerset – Orchard
1 km : go back Orchard – Somerset
Total: 5 km

Day 2 travel map

Fiuhhh… I need long sleep for sure to recover my walking energy for next adventure.

I get lost in MRT lair after that, hahaha (I still need more walk inside MRT lair!!!!). But glad after that day I don’t anymore trouble using MRT. I finally master it.

Inside MRT, it's very clean!!!

That’s my story on day 2 which I spend most walk. But I glad I can explore this place. There are still 6 days to go. Let’s adventuring!!!