Lost in Singapore 2019, part 2: Sentosa, Universal Studios, Little India

This is part 2 of my blog entries about my Singapore trip this April (read part 1 here). I couldn't include everything in one post because it would feel too long. Here are the other places we've visited and my thoughts about the place.

Sentosa Island
Sentosa is an island near Singapore, connected by a bridge. The place is a popular tourist destination and is home to beaches, resorts, hotels, a casino, and theme parks. Visitors can cross to Sentosa by car, monorail, or the cable car. The most popular attractions are the Universal Studios theme park and Resorts World casino.

Universal Studios
A trip to Singapore isn't complete without a visit to the theme park Universal Studios. It was okay but it wasn't my favorite part of the trip. It was smaller than Disneyland (I enjoyed Disneyland more). There are many rides, shows, and short movies inspired by Universal Studios movies. There's something for fans of Jurassic Park, The Mummy, Shrek, Transformers, Sesame Street, Battlestar Galactica, Waterworld, and others. I'm not that familiar with anything else except for Sesame Street and The Mummy.

If you want to visit the place, it's quite sunny and hot during noontime and afternoon so carry an umbrella or a hat. Here are some of the parts of Universal Studios I visited:

Some ogre's house... maybe Shrek's
The facade of Ancient Egypt
"Revenge of the Mummy" ride entrance
Some Ancient Egypt-dig-inspired ride
Bert and Ernie in some Sesame Stree's 50th anniversary special
Little India
Some pictures of Little India in the morning:

This is my favorite part of our Singapore trip. Just like Malaysia, Singapore is a multi-cultural country, with the Malay, Chinese, and Indian groups. I love Indian culture, their mythology, art, fashion, and religion. In Malaysia, I visited a Hindu temple for the first time. I also went to the Batu Caves in Malaysia, a whole complex dedicated to Hinduism.

Since my mother is also interested, we also went inside a Hindu temple in Little India, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. It is dedicated to the goddess Kali who is the goddess I like best in the Hindu pantheon. I'm really amazed by the intricate, complicated, and exquisite art you see in Hindu temples. There is so much detail and color in everything, it would take a while to observe and really see the sculptures and paintings adorning the temple.

Inside the temple. Many are simply sitting down to meditate there.

At the back of the temple's main building. Look at all those details!
For shopping enthusiasts, Little India is a good place to shop for cheap souvenirs and for Indian goods such as saris, jewelry, accessories, and even furniture. I bought some clothes and colorful bangles.

Going back to reality + Thoughts
Most of the time, people would say "Singapore is smaller than Guimaras island," which is true. But for a small place with limited resources, they really make the most of what they have. The public transportation is efficient, the place is safe, and a visitor will not have many problems (except for money). Most people also speak English, and I've observed that they are generally approachable and kind to those who are asking questions.

Singapore is classified as a first-world country, and for someone like me from the third-world, the experience of visiting the place can be quite eye-opening. Little inconveniences in our daily lives that we experience almost do not exist in other places (traffic, brownouts, water crises, etc.). I also envy that they have very low tax compared to employees in the Philippines, but residents can see where the money goes!

One can see that the place was really planned well. The Philippines has so much potential for progress, but there are so many things getting in the way. I realized why so many Filipinos go abroad to greener pastures to work because life in the Philippines can be hard. We met with a relative who has stayed there for 9 years, and she probably wouldn't earn as much in the Philippines.

I do want to visit Singapore again next time. I've been to three other countries outside the Philippines, but this is the place I am most impressed with. I also want to experience working abroad even once in my life, and Singapore is one of the places I'm considering.

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