Singapore | Malacca Photo Diary: I ditched Universal Studios and my holiday turned out fine

Here are a few photos from the recent trip, which convinced me well enough that there are a lot of good people still roaming the earth. But that merits another blog post. I ditched Universal Studios and Orchard Road (but went very quickly to Marina Bay / Art Science Museum for the Annie Leibovitz exhibit)–and for that reason, friends have wondered how I passed time in this rich albeit lacklustre city that doesn’t have enough grit. Obviously, it’s not raw and exciting like Manila (yes I love my home country, even if going around can be death defying), but it does have a few places that have character.

China-Town-Singapore-1Take my temporary home, for example. Welcome to China Town, Singapore!

China-Town-Singapore-2There’s a Buddhist temple nearby and across it is a shopping mall / hawker center. And right outside, you will see a lot of old men playing and betting on checkers. I lost five SG dollars.

China-Town-Singapore-3I like it because the China Town MRT station is along the North East and Downtown Lines so it was so easy to move around. It also helped that my hostel (A Beary Good Hostel) was only about 10 steps away from the exit.

Books-Actually-Singapore-1Of course, it is inevitable that I go to a book store. Books Actually is very popular on Tumblr, so even if I had to travel by bus for 30 minutes going to Bukit Merah and walk a good two kilometres going to Yong Siak St., it was fine. Until it rained and I got stuck in a bus stop on the way home.

Books-Actually-Singapore-2Oh the excitement. Hehe.

Books-Actually-Singapore-3It was paradise. I bought several books from Math Paper Press and a postcard set for my hipster officemate. Haha!

Graffiti-1And then there’s Haji Lane.

Graffiti-2I presume it’s some sort of hipster paradise.

Haji-Lane-Singapore-2Something like a more upscale version of Cubao Expo. Haha.

Haji-Lane-Singapore-3Where they sell expensive things to tree-hugging dudes.

Haji-Lane-SingaporeIt looks better at night. Trust me. Actually it looks good at day time and I just suck at taking photos.

Tiger Brewery SingaporeNow I’m not sure if there are a lot people who like going to breweries, but I’ve been a fan of beer since walking past the age of innocence. So, I signed up of the Tiger Brewery tour.Tiger-Brewery-Singapore-2Ohoho, I felt like Malaya’s champion after the tour alright.
Tiger-Brewery-Singapore-4This is Ben our tour guide. He taught us a shitload of things about brewing and how to pour beer like a pro. I think he drinks for a living. How I would love to take his job.Tiger-Brewey-Singapore-FriendsAnd these guys, I met along the way. Left is a backpacker named Antoine (who taught us a handful of French curse words), Michael, a Fil-Am working in Singapore, and his friend James–just touring around like a ninja. Tiger-PubOur tour culminated at the Tiger Pub for a 45-minute drink all you can session. All for 18 dollars. Dear god, I could do this everyday.

The other half of my holiday was spent in Malacca–actually, I stayed there for less than 24 hours, but I spent an awful lot of time on the road. Here are some of my favourite shots.

Malacca-3Once upon a time, Melaka was a South East Asian trade center with goods from the West, India, China, and the Spice Islands. Dutch, British, Portuguese, and of course, Malayan influences all in one place. Charming.
Malacca-2This ruins of St Paul’s Church is older than you, your friends, and your grandmother’s ages combined. They say Francis Xavier stayed in this place between his visits to Malacca between 1545 and 1553. Malacca-1And don’t you forget the quay. Stay here for a bottle of beer on a hot afternoon.

What transpired on the way there, I think, is by far the best story I would tell my grand children (if I ever get to have some). But like I said, I’ll save that for another post. Wish I could write more but my eyes are tired. Once I have the time, I will tell the story in full detail. Cheers and have a great weekend!

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