Memory of Asia’s Most Dynamic City: Hong Kong
Another one of my favourite cities in the world. Together with Tokyo, this is another city where I feel a certain connection. There are so many places to see and things to do in Hong Kong; but if you only have limited time, go to the Peak to see the magnificent views of the Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers. The city is also known for its amazing dining scene. In fact, it is one of cities with the most Michelin-starred restaurants.
More pictures of Hong Kong to follow.
Memory of the World’s Most Awesome Airport: Changi
If I ever have to be stranded in an airport, I would choose to be stranded here. The list of unique amenities is endless: several gardens including a butterfly garden, a four-story slide (not just for kids), a movie theatre, and even an outdoor pool. Check out Jaunted’s tour of the airport to see more pictures.
What’s more, Changi is actually undergoing an expansion; Terminal 4 is expected to up the awesomeness of this airport come 2017!
Next stop: Hong Kong!
Singapore Botanic Gardens:
Open from 5am to Midnight, daily. Admission is free except for the National Orchid Garden, which I think is worth the $5.00 fee. Click here for more information including how to get there.
Memory of the Lion City: Singapore
Singapore is everything that I imagined it to be: Modern. Multicultural. Multi-faceted. Except for one thing: I had the idea that everyone in Singapore followed all the rules, even the most minor ones. After all, Singapore is known for banning the chewing gum. However, I noticed right away that people often jaywalked and my sister actually stepped on a chewed gum on the street. I guess it is the people’s small way of rebelling against the strict rules of the state (Or maybe it is mostly the tourists? I couldn’t tell). Still, Singapore is absolutely impressive. Tall, modern and unique buildings dominate the skyline. The diverse history of the state is definitely recognizable from the architecture to the food scene. Singapore offers a truly multi-faceted experience, from casinos to safaris. There is so much I can write about Singapore but to summarize, I’ll give you three things I love about city (besides the airport, that’s another entry).
1) Singapore Botanic Gardens: Walking around the botanical garden, you would not think that you are in the middle of the city. I recommend going early in the morning before it gets too hot. The National Orchid Garden is not to be missed; for me it is the highlight of the botanical gardens.
2) Hawker centres: open-air food courts are not unique to Singapore, but it is one of things you must do when visiting the city. They say eating is a national obsession in Singapore. Going to a hawker centre for the first time can be overwhelming and intimidating, but do not let that ruin your experience. Here is handy guide to help you: A Beginner’s Guide to the Singapore Hawker Center
3) Transportation: Singapore’s transit system is considered one of the most modern in the world. It is easy to navigate and can take you everywhere. Do not rely on the subway system alone; sometimes taking the bus is the better option.
As I have mentioned before, Bangkok was one of the most photographed cities on Instagram last year. As a matter of fact, more photos were shared at Suvarnabhumi Airport than anywhere else in the world. As you can see in my pictures, that is not surprising. The airport was designed by Helmut Jahn of the Chicago-based Murphy / Jahn Architects and was opened in 2006. A lot of organizations such as the Harvard University Graduate School of Design have praised the innovative, environmental and integrated design elements of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The airport may not have all the amenities that other top airports like Changi in Singapore and Incheon in Seoul have, but its architectural features is one of the most impressive I have seen. Check out this e-architect article to learn more about the unique architectural and design features of Suvarnabhumi Airport.
I would also like to point out that it turns out, friendly border agents actually do exist. I don’t know if it was just my experience but the border agents at Suvarnabhumi Airport were very friendly and actually smiled. I had always thought that it was an unwritten rule for border agents to always be condescending (humor alert).
NEXT STOP: SINGAPORE!