Singapore – From my eyes II

In the past 5 decades, Singapore has come really far. From a small island expelled from Malaysia in 1965, giving it an unwanted independence, it has become one of the world’s most successful countries in merely 52 years. If you sit and chat with the elderly, they will tell you about slums they used to live in during the earlier years of independence. Today, Singapore has the highest home ownership in the world. Almost 90% of all Singaporeans live in their own homes. A huge success on its own. It has grown from a third world country to a first world country faster than any other in the world.

Tourism is one important factor in the massive economic growth of Singapore. So a country a lot of people did not even know about in the 90s is now one of the favourite tourist spots in the world. It welcomes the fourth largest number of tourists when compared to any other city in the world. Although it has no ‘rich’ history or heritage to boast about as its a new country with no mountains, no desserts and no changing weathers through out the year, nearly every thing had to be built from scratch to attract tourists.

So if you are planning a short trip to a city in Asia, do consider Singapore.

I will be doing a series of posts with a few recommendations of must see/visit places and things to do while here in Singapore, starting with Sentosa.

Why?

Because its Sentosa 🙂

I don’t think anyone who visits Singapore leaves out Sentosa. It’s a must!

The itinerary I’m sharing with you will need to 2-3 days. You can stay at one of the hotels at Sentosa for the best experience.

You can reach sentosa in a cable car and start by paying a visit to the mythical 37 meters high majestic Merlion and see for yourself how it safeguards the shores of Singapore as the legend goes.

Then move onto the luge. They claim no one does it once and they are not wrong. We go to sentosa almost every month and we buy a 3-time ticket per visit. Its just a lot of fun.

You can then visit IFly and experience skydiving in a especially designed air tunnel while never really jumping out of an air plane. If you acrophobic like me, this is for you as you would never actually be flying too high up from the ground. 

If you are still not tired and adventurous enough, you can zip across South East Asia’s steepest zip wire, do a treetop obstacle rope course, do wall climbing or a 15 m free fall. And then you can end the day with the majestic light, laser and water show ‘Wings of Time’.

If you are travelling with kids, let the kids spend the day at Kidzania while you can have a snooze at one of the beaches or experience flow boarding at the Wave House. If that’s not enough, there is also The Butterfly and Insect Kingdom to explore the various different kinds of beautiful butterflies. And dont forget to drop by Madame Tussaud to meet your favourite celebrities. 

*The pictures are not mine, all taken from official websites of the respective attractions.

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Singapore – From my eyes I

Those who know me personally, know quite well that I love and respect Singapore a lot. Although I am not a citizen myself, I find myself defending Singapore every where I go and with every one I speak to.

I first visited Singapore in 1995 as a tourist and while travelling back from Singapore I made a little innocent wish of being able to visit Singapore again. I never knew that I will get married to someone 4 years later who lives in here. I moved here in 2009 after I got married and 8 years later, its become home now. Yes, I love pakistan but I respect singapore deeply.

In this post I will only speak about cultural and religious freedom that I have here.

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Singapore is a multi cultural country with people of all religions living with harmony. It’s main languages are English, Chinese, Malay Bhasa and Tamil and the citizens comprise mainly  of Chinese, Malay and Indian origin. The main religions here are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and there people from all religions are allowed to practice their own religion in their own way as long as they do not interfere in any one else’s practices.

I have spent a chunk of my childhood in UAE and some time in UK for my studies. Although I have never really faced serious bullying in my life directed particularly towards me but I have been called ‘Bloody Paki’ and treated as an inferior muslim for being a pakistani Muslim rather than being an Arab. But a lot of people might be unaware but I’m protected by law in Singapore against such discriminations. No one can call me names due to the way I look (the color of my eyes, my hair or my height can’t be commented upon), I can roam around in shalwar kameez the whole day without being worried about someone being judgemental,  I can sue someone if their dog touches me (yes, this muslim sensitivity against dogs is highly regarded), halal food is readily available and I can even pray publicly in a park without being stared at. Also, the Muslim laws of marriage and inheritance are being looked upon by the Sharia courts of law.

And the best thing about living in Singapore is that we have lots of public holidays too: 2 each for each of the 4 main religions which also ensures that we do not have to worry about going to work on Eid day 🙂

* the beautiful picture of Sultan Masjid is not mine but taken off the Internet. Sultan Masjid might be the most famous masjid of Singapore as it’s a popular tourist destination but there are lots an lots of masjids and some of them very beautiful and majestic in terms of their architecture. The Islamic schools (medrasaa) are in abundance too masha Allah.

 

 

 

Birthdays made easier :)

Please note this is NOT a paid/sponsored post.

So what do you do when you have two young kids, no culinary skills, no helper, laundry still screaming for attention and your little one has her birthday coming up! You start panicking?

Well, especially yes if you are living in singapore and are on a budget.

This year I decided to celebrate Duaa’s birthday on a budget beside the pool with a few friends of both kids and perhaps 2-3 of my close friends. I wanted something very casual but the cake has to be the most important thing in a birthday party no matter how extravagant or casual the party is. The lady who I have been turning to for the past two years for all our ‘cake’ needs was travelling and that’s when I found out that a friend, Ruqaiya has recently launched her business too. The best thing about her is that she can do all sorts of desserts and you are not limited to cakes only. The next problem was I had only seen pics of her cakes, who did look pretty but I had no idea how they tasted. So, I just trusted her blindly. Or let’s say not exactly blindly because I had already tasted some stuff she had made and it was absolutely amazing to say the least.

Finally I ordered cake pops, cake and cookies from her on snow white theme.

I gave her a few pictures and a few instructions so that she would be free to use her own creativity too. The cake, cake pops and cookies all looked better than the pictures I had given her and the taste was absolutely mouth watering. To top it off her rates are just as good. She didn’t over charge and packed everything with finesse.

It’s hard to believe that she has recently started her business and is just so exceptionally talented . She has been doing various baking and decorating courses to enhance her skills.

This is what she has to say herself, “I am a mother of two daughters (4 and 2) who are crazy about sweets. I am from Pakistan and moved to Singapore couple of years back. I loved baking since I was a student. I actually made my first cake in a pressure cooker:p Looking the shine in my daughters eye as they see the cake gives me push to be more creative and try something different! Over the period, I have experimented with variety of different cakes. I love making decorating cakes with gumpaste, fondant and buttercream. I like the freedom to play with my innovative skills to put the customer’s idea into reality. I am happy to have received very encouraging feedback from my clients so far! My favourite cake so far is the Frozen Castle, which I made for my daughter’s birthday.”

Please visit her Facebook page for more pictures and support her little business to help her nurture her talent.

Sweet indulgence https://www.facebook.com/groups/1692313401087469/

Moving

So we have moved to a new place over the weekend.

The good thing is that the new place is just across the road so the move was much easier than it usually is but of course the last 5-6 days have been rather hectic to say the least. We have been able to unpack most of our boxes and as this place is a little bigger than the previous one, things are getting settled rather nicely. I basically need a trip to ikea to buy a few things that will help me organize the toy room. With two girls,  shopping is something which we do every day so you can imagine the amount of stuff we have 😉 😉

I’m now catching up on missed episodes of all the drama serials and will be reviewing them soon.

 

Around Singapore in 15 days (1)

Entertainment in singapore is rather expensive but thankfully during school vacations there are lots and lots of events  with FREE admission. and trust me, they are rather good.
I know i should have postrd about these events really long time ago but, well, i didnt get around posting about it. i just saw the pics on my phone and finally decided to post this while putting D to sleep for the third time tonight.
Anyway, back in late november, wr had settled in our new home, K’s school had been finalized and we were bored. so i started looking on internet for activities for children (for free) other than the play grounds and man, i was pleasantly surprised there was just so much to choose from!
we finally decided to go to two live shows: Barney and Dora. to tell you the truth, we were not disappointed at all. the admission for both the shows was free and our expectations were rather low but apart from insufficient sitting area, there was nothing wrong with the show itself. in fact it was comparable to any other show for which you might have to spend hundreds of dollars.
in fact, we are now already looking forward to the activities that would b offered in summer vacations.

here are some pictures from the two shows

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Free indoor playgrounds

These days i am very much interested in finding indoor activities for K and D. Singapore is very hot for most of the year and it rains a lot too so its important to find indoor activities. Also, its very expensive so these days i am trying to find ‘free’ fun activities.

This week we went to two indoor playgrounds on orchard road (which is where our serviced apartment is): Paragon and 313.

Paragon: The playground is mainly targdted towards tots and is located inside the building on level 5. This means the children can enjoy playing for as long as they want without sweating much due to air con. There is a slide and some other fun activities free of cost. There are also some paid rides that kids can enjoy. My girls absolutely loved it. Also, if you are really tired, you can sit on  a bench while watching ur kids play.

313: This playground is partially indoors as it is located on the sky terrace on level 5. There is a roof on it so im sure it saves the children from rain and direct sunlight but it tends to get very hot. There are not too many activities here but it is a good option for those parents who might be planning to dine at the Food Republic.