Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore.

Tripoto
21st Dec 2018
Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

Trip Details: Tour Organizers - Veena World , Number of people - 40, Currency carried - S$300 , RM300. Mode of transport - Local tourist bus arranged by tour operators.

Malaysia

Day 1

Day 1(22nd Dec):We landed in Kuala Lumpur on the 22nd of December early morning. We met our local tour coordinator at the airport itself who had arranged a tourist bus for us. We left for Putrajaya city south of Kuala Lumpur. The infrastructure and architecture of this city was just astounding with the main attraction being the Putra Mosque overlooking the man-made Putrajaya lake. The mosque is flanked by the office of Prime Minister - Perdana Putra to its right. Opposite to the Perdana Putra and Putra Mosque leads a pathway to the round about with 13 Malaysian state flags at its centre.

Putra Mosque

Photo of Putrajaya, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

Perdana Putra (Office of Prime Minister)

Photo of Putrajaya, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

Now it was time to visit the King's Palace which is 35kms north of Putrajaya City. Also known as Istana Negara, the King's Palace has ,unbelievably, an area of 100 hectares. But unfortunately , we witnessed heavy showers when we reached King's Palace.Seemed like the king had secret rain calling powers and didn't like any visitors. And ofcourse visitors are not allowed inside so i would recommend to skip it.

King's Palace moments before getting wet.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

After witnessing the diplomatic side ,it was now time to climb the heights of Malaysia. We were now on our way to Genting Highland for our hotel stay at Awana Hotel(around 3000 Rs) .It was dinner time.A variety of chicken, beef, pork ,sausages and other vegetarian options served with bread or rotis was on the menu.

View of Genting Highland at the top from Awana Hotel.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe
Day 2

Day 2 (23rd Dec): It was time to bid goodbye to Awana hotel and proceed to Genting highland situated 1,865m (6118 ft) above sea level so we had to travel by ropeway crossing 3 lush green mountains to reach there. The ropeway exit and Resorts World Genting entrance is connected. Resorts World Genting is basically an ostentatious mall with a splendid Christmas theme decor featuring numerous lavish clothing , cosmetics , sport brands but what really stands out is the Balloon show that is scheduled every 30 mins.

Photo of Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

Batu Caves was next on the check list which is about 1 hr drive south of Genting. We are welcomed by a larger than life statue of Lord Murugan (Tamil God)or Kartikeya(Hindu God of war). The statue is 42.7 meters in height.272 vividly hued steps to ascend.As if to mock us, the monkeys sitting on the side rail laughed at our sluggish pace. They also have a Dark Cave exhibit featuring all kinds of nocturnal creatures. If you are a nature lover, go for it! Tour duration is more than an hour.

Lord Murugan Statue and 272 steps leading to the temple.

Photo of Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

The caves have a deep elegance to them.On a quiet day, you might hear water dripping in between the cracks , sounds coming from a nearby dwelling of bats and pigeons.Amidst ,the sharp walls and the cacophony of the birds stands a multicolored temple with beautiful architecture.We were lucky to catch the midday prayer.

Shri Murugan Temple.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

Taking in the religious and architectural wonder of the Batu Caves it was now time to leave to experience another architectural wonder and the main attraction in Malaysia-The Petronas Twin Towers and the KL tower. The Kuala Lumpur (KL) tower is a communications tower with a height of 421 meters and it offers a 360 degree view of Kuala Lumpur. KL tower has a observation deck,sky deck, a rotating 360 degree restaurant! Souvenir shopping around KL tower is pretty cheap, you can get a good t-shirt for 12RM ie around 240Rs. Preferably visit KL tower evening time so that you can take in the view from the observation deck and by night time you can experience the amazing lighting of the tower.

Photo of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

KL tower and Petronas Twin tower are just 2kms away so one can easily reach there by taking a walk ,exploring the streets meanwhile.Twin Towers are a sight to behold standing 415 meters high with 88 floors. Why 88? because 8 is a lucky number for the Chinese and most of Malaysian finance is controlled by the Chinese corporates.Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. Finishing up photo shoots we head to our hotel for the first time.Our stay was at Vivatel Hotel which would cost you about 2500Rs. We were Exhausted but we slept excited knowing we had an adventurous day ahead of us tomorrow at Sunway Lagoon.

Spot the difference challenge.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe
Day 3

Day 3 (24th Dec) : Sunway Lagoon is a theme park with over 80 attractions spread across 88 acres (Again too many 8's to digest). Tickets would cost you about RM190 (Rs3800) for Adult and RM160 (Rs3200) for Child. Sunway Lagoon has a dry park and a wet park. Dry park is basically a wildlife park containing over 150 species of animals. Fantastic beasts and where to find them. Right here at Sunway Lagoon's dry park. I would recommend going to dry park first and then continue to wet park.Also don't spend too much time at dry park else you won't get enough time to complete wet park(Personal mistake).Lockers are available near Subway. Don't miss the "Tale of Mount Berapi" show at 4pm-4:15pm near the main wave pool and immediately after the show ends they start the waves. NOTE: Never underestimate those waves they'll launch you back to the entrance.

Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

Scream Park at Sunway Lagoon.

Photo of Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by AtharVa LeLe

Singapore

Day 4

Day 4 (25th Dec) : We left early around 7am for Singapore. Fortunately, Singapore immigration went through smoothly and swiftly.S$1 = Rs 52 so we set the multiplier to times 50 now . We entered the Lion city and felt the modern touch right away. Urbanized concrete jungle with towering skyscrapers and competitive architecture, every building not alike and roads such that you can travel Singapore end to end in just 45mins. Hotel stay was at Four Points by Sheraton.Compact but comfortable rooms, but hey who cares about the rooms anyway, you don't visit such places for luxurious rooms,right?

One hour rest and we leave for Night Safari. Timings 7 to 12 pm daily. Ticket cost Adult -S$47 (RS 2444). It's a NIGHT safari therefore cameras are useless so i suggest you use your eyes. "Creatures of the Night" is a popular attraction, it is extremely entertaining so reach early and take the front seats.Show length is about 30mins.

Photo of Mandai Lake Road, Night Safari, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

Day 5(26th Dec) : Sentosa was next.One has to take cable cars to reach Sentosa Islands. The view is breathtaking water bluer than the sky and cargo ships going in and out making Singapore's cargo seaport one of the busiest.Construction being done to increase land through seaway.Luge Ride is the first thing once you arrive at Sentosa. It is basically like Go Karting but everything Manual.Not sure "Once is never enough" is really true or a good marketing strategy because i did it twice! Madame Tussauds also in Singapore is now a worldwide attraction so if you have been there before just skip it!

Photo of Sentosa, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sentosa, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sentosa, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

Moving on ,we went near our hotel to catch a Bumboat ride straight to Merlion. Bumboat- Fishing boats/transportation boats turned tourist attraction used to take tourist from one place to another.We boarded from Clarke Quay and got down at Esplanade.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

There are in total 7 Merlions in Singapore but amongst those only the Sentosa Merlion and the Original Merlion(shown below) are the most popular costing around S$8million each. The head of the national animal of Singapore(Lion) coupled with the lower body of a fish because fishing is one of the major factors supporting the Singapore's economy.

Day 5
Photo of Merlion, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

The Marina Bay Sands stands taking up 160,000 sq ft of space with a capacity of 2561 rooms , casinos , infinity swimming pool and garden at the top. The curve end of the boat is open for tourist where one witness the grandeur of Singapore from the 57th floor. The ticket to the observation deck would cost you S$23 (Rs ~1200) for adults.

Top of Marina Bay Sands tourist viewing area

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

Next up, Gardens by the bay! For all those nature lover this is the perfect place to be with an area of 250 acres.Bay South Garden is the largest of the three garden and that's where we were. The Flower Dome. Other than Flower dome you can explore Cloud Forest , Supertree Grove,etc.Ticket cost is S$28(Rs~1500) for adults. Garden by the Bay opens at 5am till 2am. I would suggest you to go a little late as the lighting at the Supertree Grove is just mesmerizing.

Flower Dome.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

Supertree Grove

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

Clarke Quay is a nightlife hub just minutes away from our hotel.Busy streets with flamboyant pubs and restaurants on either side some having live band music while others preferring the modern electronic music.Pubs trying their best to lure you in with captivating offer so make sure you are there for the happy hours which are from 5pm to 8pm. Most of the offers are valid only in happy hours. Cost for a pint of beer is around S$12-14.I'm sure i saw Sake(Japanese rice wine) written on the some boards.Singapore Sling is the local alcohol having a blend of Pineapple and lime juice mixed with a bunch of other liqueurs but mainly gin.Clarke quay is generally open till 3-4 am(varies from pub to pub).So make sure you include Clarke quay in your travel plans and start a little late the next day. Unfortunately we had to start early.

Day 6

Day 6 (27th Dec): Universal Studios! The day has come.Similar to Sunway Lagoon, the S.E.A. Aquarium is just adjacent to Universal studios and it needs to be done first.Make sure you spend most of your time in Universal studios.Universal can sometimes be tricky in terms of pricing.1 day pass for adult is S$76(RS3800). Express pass is an additional of S$50(RS2500) minimum at the start and it can go up to S$150(Rs 7500) depending on the crowd.Only for comparison, the Annual pass is S$188(Rs 9400).

Must do rides: 1: Revenge of the Mummy. 2:Transformers the Ride 3:Battlestar Galactica 4:Jurassic Park Rapids 5: Waterworld (live water show) 6:Shrek 4D(for Shrek fans). Save the best for last( Mummy ,Transformers) .The Studios is just as exciting regardless of your age.

Photo of Sentosa Gateway, Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sentosa Gateway, Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sentosa Gateway, Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Sentosa Gateway, Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

Then,we went for the "Wings of time" show which is quite popular. The show takes place in front of a panoramic view of the Sentosa Beach.With a theatrical display of water,laser and fire and a gripping storyline will keep you on the edge of your seats.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe
Day 7

Day 7(28th Dec) : Jurong Bird Park is about 20min(17.8km) away from Four Points -our hotel. We reached Jurong early as we had our flight later that day(at ~5pm). Jurong covers an area of 50acres harboring over 5000 bird of 400 species.It is also a sanctuary for the threatened species. Tram ride similar to that of Night Safari take us to our first stop "Lory Loft". Lories are medium sized parrots with different type of tongue for feeding on nectar.If you're lucky enough they may sit on your hands or shoulders but be careful ,they bite. The Penguin Coast is home to five different species of Penguin where they live- indoors- in a controlled climate. Catch the "High Flyers" show at 11am and 3pm featuring birds like hornbills, pelicans, flamingoos, macaws and many more.Show Duration is about 20mins. Ticket cost - S$30(Rs1500).

Photo of Jurong Bird Park, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Jurong Bird Park, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Jurong Bird Park, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe
Photo of Jurong Bird Park, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

After the show we left for Changi Airport. After a 40min drive we reach Changi Airport at 1pm. You may why so early? The reason is Changi airport is currently the world's best airport.Futuristic ambiance,flashy decor and just the mere size of the airport certainly living up to the expectations.Pass time activities like free movie theater,rooftop swimming pool, Butterfly Garden ,Sunflower Garden ,koi ponds with exotic fishes, and tons of duty-free shops will make you not want to catch you flight back home.

Butterfly Garden

Photo of Changi, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

Lego Station for kids.

Photo of Changi, Singapore by AtharVa LeLe

The first stepping stone conquered-South East Asia.I will leave Thailand for the near future.With heavy hearts we say goodbye to one another and to these two beautiful countries.I think Malaysia and Singapore have more to offer in terms of isolated beaches, peaceful mountains,raw jungles and many more so i hope to come back here in the far future to explore these unexplored places.

Photo of Christmas time in Malaysia & Singapore. by AtharVa LeLe

And now we are back home, but our minds and hearts still stuck in Malaysia & Singapore.We live our crazy ,normal routines and keep thinking about the memories until the next big thing.

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