Monday, April 25, 2011

Singapore Trip, Day 1

After landing in Singapore, it took us about 45 minutes to clear immigration and get our luggage. We ended up going directly to our hotel instead of stopping in at work. 4 of us piled into one taxi (Mercedes Benz C200)... good thing the A/C was on full-blast since it was really hot and humid, the typical weather for Singapore.

Since dinner was at 6pm, a co-worker and I decided to check out the surrounding area. It was his first time in Singapore, and since we were near Orchard Road (shopping area), he wanted to find his wife a souvenir. We walked for about and hour and each ended up buying "I SG" t-shirts (mine was for Sindy).

We did see this shop but didn't go in

A Singapore co-worker told us about the new Marina Bay Sands Casino/Hotel on her trip to Irvine. We wanted to check it out and our hotel concierge made us dinner reservations at Ku De Ta restaurant on the 57th floor deck. The food was just ok (but totally not worth the price) but the view was awesome.

Singapore skyline from the 57th floor when we arrived at 6:30pm

Most of the tables were outdoor and it was pretty windy. Not sure what they do during the frequent rainstorms.

View towards the south. There were lots of cargo ships "parked" in the water.

The restaurant style was Asian fusion and the dishes were supposed to be shared. Judging from the prices, I thought they would be decent sized dishes but I was wrong. Dishes ranged from S$30-S$60 and were tiny... a bowl of rice was S$5. We ordered a bunch of stuff, some good and some not very good. I didn't see the total amount on the check but the receipt was pretty long.

We stayed away from this "special" section of the menu. That's right... S$138 for 100g of tenderloin. That comes out to ~US$500/lb!

As the sun went down, the temperature cooled a bit and you could see the night skyline.

Another shot of the Singapore skyline at night when we left the restaurant.

The hotel has three towers with interconnected lobbies. There was also an attached casino. Two co-workers wanted to go to the casino after dinner while the rest of us caught a taxi home. I think this is the first casino in Singapore. At the entrance, there were two lines: one for Singaporeans and the other for foreigners. If you show your passport, you can get in for free. Singaporeans need to pay S$100 for 24 hours or S$2000 for an annual pass.

It's now ~4am Singapore time. I crashed immediately when I came back from dinner but now I'm not tired. We do have about 6+ hours of non-stop meetings tomorrow (not stopping for lunch to accommodate US schedule) so I'll be struggling to stay up.

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