Singapore: Universal Studios and Kallang Road (Days4&5)

Singapore: Universal Studios and Kallang Road (Days4&5)

September 6

Ever since I was a child I have always been fascinated with the ancient civilization of Egypt. I’ve often imagined myself exploring the pyramids and experiencing the scorching heat of the desert. I have also watched The Mummy 1 and 2 movies, it has always been my dream to see its set. This is why I was really excited to explore Singapore’s Universal Studios because one of its attractions is the set of the said movies.

Upon entry, first we visited the set of Madagascar, Shrek’s swamp cottage and the Castle of the Kingdom of Far Far Away.

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We also watched Water World, Shrek 4D where we experienced the eerie sense of spiders crawling on our feet, Donkey’s Knight Club, and watched Lights, Camera, Action by Steven Spielberg where we have seen the simulation of a Category 5 hurricane which hit the New York City harbor. It was a thrilling experience.

Then, my niece and her dad went inside Jurassic Park to experience its rides.

But, I decided that I’ll be enjoying Egypt and the sights in the Mummy movies :). There, we boarded an indoor high-speed roller coaster. It’s like passing through one of the pyramids and encountering the Mummy from the movie. I kept closing my eyes every time the roller coaster approaches the mummy coffins. I had goosebumps when a virtual mummy appeared in front of us and tried to swallow us. It was indeed a scary and thrilling ride. We were screaming from start to end.

Then, we visited Sci-Fi City, Galactica,  New York and the Hollywood Walk of Fame where I saw the star of Julie Andrews 🙂

We enjoyed taking a lot of photos and buying souvenirs from the shops. Then, we had our picture taken at the Lake of Dreams before leaving Sentosa and heading to our hotel.

It was really nice to unleash the “child in me” and just enjoy the activities and sights in the Universal Studios Theme Park. I was carefree and I felt like I just want to live in the moment. Seeing those movie sets made me experience stuffs which  make up our dreams – for me it was the highlight of our tour.

September 7

Due to some unexpected events, our flight was re-scheduled and we have to stay in Singapore for another day. So we decided to pack our things and then take a stroll in the park at Kallang Road near our hotel in the afternoon.

The air was hot and humid, but strolling outdoors was able to lift our spirits. And whenever there are trees, there’s also a light refreshing breeze that blows.

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Another thing, I was able to appreciate in Singapore is their sense of discipline. People are diligently following street signs. They go to bus stops and strictly follow traffic rules. You don’t have to worry about pick pockets and thieves stealing your phone, purse or other belongings. I felt secure while I was there.

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Lastly, everywhere you look, they are able to maintain order.

All in all, it was a fun and enjoyable trip. I was with the best persons I can be with during my first international flight and overseas tour. It changed the way I view life and what I’m capable of doing and achieving. I became a different person after the trip. Experiencing a different culture and seeing a different way of living made me realize that I still want to visit more places and know more cultures and broaden my horizon. So I promised myself that in the years to come – I’ll make it a goal to visit other places within the Philippines and other countries in Asia.

Photos (c) Te Leah and KuJo

Autumn in Japan Day 2

Autumn in Japan Day 2

From Kansai International Airport, we had to take the bus and travel to Fukushima, Osaka and reached Guesthouse U-en. It was a cheaper accommodation compared to a hotel but we enjoyed a traditional Japanese tatami room, with common pantry, but with separate toilet and bath for female and male guests. We also found out that other guests accommodated are Koreans, Americans, Brits and Japanese. It was also near the train station and other tourist spots in Osaka.

The next day we went to Universal Studios in Osaka. There were very long queues in each of the rides so we decided to experience a few rides since we still want to explore other places in Osaka. We enjoyed the highly immersive high-speed roller coaster ride with Spiderman, the boat ride that encountered the fierce teeth of Jaws, and lastly, watched the 4D presentation of Sesame Street (though we thought it was Shrek’s Adventures but we were an hour early so we had to enjoy what’s currently showing). Then the parade of the stars came next.

The Jurassic Park attraction of the park is still in construction so we had to leave that part of the theme park and just enjoyed watching the shows on the street, rummaging through the toys and gift items in the gift shops and of course trying cute and uniquely-packaged food available in the food stalls and restaurants all-over the place.

Since I was able to tour and visit Universal Studios Singapore – where I loved seeing the set of The Mummy in Egypt, I can say that Japan’s Universal Studios has fewer attractions and it’s smaller. But it’s also nice that I was able to see what it has to offer. By the way, one of its most visited parts is the set of Harry Potter, but we chose not to visit that place.

Afterwards, we went back to the guest house to rest for a bit and got ready to visit another tourist spot. But before that, we went to a nearby food house to have dinner. I enjoyed the alfa-alfa and the vegetable salad as well as the miso soup. The fried chicken nuggets and the tenderloin plus the cups of rice and tea quenched my hunger. 🙂

Since we’re already full, we can now walk to our last destination for the day – the Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory. It was really fascinating to see Osaka at night on top of the Observatory. Although I’m also afraid of heights – that fear dissipated as I looked at the sparkling lights of Osaka Prefecture.

After feasting our eyes, it’s now time to go back to the guest house on foot. Yep, since it’s only a few blocks from the guest house we were able to save on taxi fare. I enjoyed the walk since that side of Osaka is really peaceful at night. I loved seeing commuter bicycles properly arranged and parked at designated places, vending machines conveniently placed for the thirsty or hungry pedestrian, tidy streets with properly placed signs, the peaceful surroundings, and of course, well-disciplined Japanese men and women on their bicycles or walking fast-paced but diligently following traffic signs to reach home.

Because of the long walk, I had a long and dreamless sleep.

The next part of this post is about: the Osaka Museum of Natural History, Nagai Botanical Garden and our Trip to Kyoto