Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend with two Bhutanese friends visiting Singapore :)

It's such a tiring weekend, but it was great! :) My Bhutanese friend's friends came to Singapore yesterday, Sithar and Palden. They came all the way from Phuentsholing and Thimphu. It was Palden's first time visiting Singapore, while it was third time for Sithar. Since I was free and they only had few friends in Singapore, I offered them if they wanted to visit the Singapore Zoo and River Safari today. They both agreed. And the night before, which was yesterday, three of us met for the very first time in Chinatown.
Chinatown, Singapore

At first I thought of bringing them to have dim sum. But then I remembered that there was one of the best chicken rice stalls in Singapore that was located at Maxwell hawker center (nearby Chinatown). I just thought that they should try that, better than having a regular dim sum. Therefore, we went to have chicken rice instead and just before that, we stopped by at Buddha Tooth Relic Temple or Fo Ya Shi for a prayer.

The shop's name was Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Beginning of last year I brought Karma and Tashi there too, but the queue was okay. This time, the queue was super looonnnngggg!!!! It was dinner time and Friday evening obviously, but the queue was  about 8 meter long! Oh my!!! I had to stand for more than 35 minutes before getting my food *sweat!!! If not because of two of them, I wouldn't queue for that... hahaha...

They became more famous after their Boss, Madam Foo Kui Lian's recipe defeated the Scottish celebrity Chef, Gordon Ramsay, whose restaurants had been awarded 15 Michelin stars in total, who came to Singapore last year July and tried to compete his cook with many other Singaporean famous local dishes' owners. You can read more about the competition here.

Anyway, it was worth it. Three of us finished half piece of steamed chicken and a plate of chicken rice each. The chili tasted really good and most importantly both of them enjoyed the food :)

After dinner, I suggested them to walk to Clarke Quay area. It wasn't far from there. By the time we walked, the sky had turned dark and the wind blew comfortably. We walked through the riverside where many restaurants were built. There was live band played in some pub (we could stand outside the pub to listen and enjoy the music), Turkish ice cream seller teased his customer again and again when delivering his ice cream and there was also scream heard from those people who were taking the GX-5 Extreme Swing. It was so lively and vibrant. Three of us enjoyed it so much.

Since we were still in full swing, we decided to walk further. We passed by the Boat Quay and walked all the way to see the famous Singapore's mascot, Merlion. On the way there, we passed by many beautiful buildings such as: Asian Civilization Museum, The Fullerton Hotel (used to be the general post office building ), etc. While walking we had a durian ice cream in between the two wafers. Hhhmmm.... it tasted really good :)

Sithar and I at Merlion Park, Singapore

It was crowded everywhere, mostly by tourists from all over the world. From the Merlion Park, we could see the Marina Bay Sands (shown on the photo above) - a combination of hotels, casino, restaurants, bar, infinity swimming pool, shopping mall, etc., Singapore flyer, MBFC (Marina Bay Financial Center), and many more.

Once done we walked back to Clarke Quay area. This time, we stopped by at one bar, took a rest and had a cool Tiger beer to ease our thirst (pineapple juice for Palden since he had quit drinking). We sat just next to the river, had a chit chat and relaxed. After that we went back to have a good rest.

This morning, we met at Ang Mo Kio MRT station and took bus together to the Zoo. We visited the River Safari first. Too bad the boat wasn't available as it's been fully booked. We had to walk instead to see the animals and there weren't much animals displayed. Within one hour time, we almost finished browsing, except for the Kai Kai and Jia Jia (the two pandas that were brought all the way from China). The queue was horrible!!! The staff said it would take us an hour to wait and she advised us to come back at 4 pm where the crowd would be lesser. We didn't want to waste our time so we decided to go to the Zoo first and later on we would return back to the River Safari only to see them.

Having great time at Singapore Zoo

We had an enjoyable time as well at the Singapore Zoo. There were lots of varieties of animals over there and we went into different parks and watched some performance too. Sithar and my son were brave enough to hold the snake on their shoulders. It's been the highlight of this visit for both of them :) (Actually I didn't expect that my son would be so brave holding the snake like that... hahaha... I'm glad that he did!! ^^)

At 2 pm we had KFC for lunch. I was glad to know that it was Pelden's first time in his life to eat KFC. (There were no junk food stall like McDonald's and KFC in Bhutan. They had to go to Siliguri as the nearest place to enjoy). He loved the taste of the fried chicken so much and was wondering how it was made :)

River Safari, Singapore

We walked until 3.30 pm. After that we returned back to River Safari, only to see the Panda. We supposed to see the two pandas, however, it's said that Jia Jia (means beautiful) - or Jarim in Dzongkha, was too shy to show herself to public and chose to stay inside. We managed to see Kai Kai (means Victorious) - or Gyeltshen in Dzongkha. Hahaha... I gave them Dzongkha names la! :P

Kai Kai was enjoying bamboo leaves when we visited him. It's said that each Panda ate 20 kg of bamboo every day, which was equivalent to the weight of 100 bowls of rice!!! Wow!!! He ate some carrots too.

Oh.. finally we finished visiting both places!!! We went back to Ang Mo Kio MRT station by bus. After that we separated. Sithar and Palden took MRT back to the hotel where they stayed while my son and I took bus back home.

I was tired of walking but I enjoyed the visit so much and happy too being able to bring them around. I only hoped that they enjoyed it as well and not felt tortured by me hahahaha..... Oklah, it's time to take a good rest now. Have a great week ahead everyone!! As for Sithar and Palden, wish you both have a fruitful and more enjoyable experience in Singapore!!! Have a great time and take care!!


Sithat said...

Thanks Rima for your time. We had great time with you and your son. It's definitely a trip to remember for a long long time

Rima Reyka said...

Your most welcome Sithar! :) Have a wonderful time with the rest of your days here!

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