A Whimsical Walk Through the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Okay. Here's the 411.

Buying tickets to see Gardens by the Bay proved to be much trickier than expected.

I thought that all you had to say is "I need a ticket please," and you'll be given one automatically.

Oh, how terribly wrong I was.

It turned out that Gardens by the Bay offers not just 1 but 8 Main Attractions that visitors can choose from namely, Floral Fantasy, Serene Garden, Art Sculptures, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, Bay East Garden, Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway.

Tutapel showing his Gardens by the Bay Ticket 

The fambam settled for the Flower Dome + Cloud Forest Bundle (SGD 25.20 or around Php 960) with free admission to the outdoor gardens, Children's Garden at Bay South and the Supertree Grove SANS (WITHOUT) the OCBC Skyway pass.

Flower Dome + Cloud Forest Bundle for Non-Singaporean Residents = SGD 25.20 or around Php 960

Let's begin our walking tour then.

Welcome to our Walking Tour of Gardens by the Bay Singapore!

First Time To Fly With Singapore Airlines

I was a ball of energy when the fambam arrived at the NAIA Terminal 3. I can't help but smile to myself because, in just a few hours, we'll be arriving in Singapore after 8 long years! My son Tutapel was merely 3 when we first visited the place and although we were there for four days, we weren't able to see much because of the rainy weather. (Note to self: Don't fly to Singapore in late November to December.)

Another reason for my excitement was flying aboard Singapore Airlines for the very first time.  I've heard quite a number of favorable reviews about this particular air carrier that's why I can't help but be curious about what sets it apart from the rest, at least, as far as economy flights are concerned.

Singapore Airlines

One thing I noticed was that containers of complimentary earphones were stationed before boarding so you can have your pick right away.

A plethora of HD touchscreen monitors were peppered all throughout the plane quite similar to the set-up of Cathay Pacific.

Singapore Airlines' New Economy Class

What distinguished Singapore Airline's inflight entertainment from Cathay Pacific's was a more vast array of movies (yes, there are Korean and Bollywood, mind you), TV programs and games,  available with just a touch on the screen.

What I Think of The Bund Hotel in Shanghai, China

few days after we landed in the stunning city of Hangzhou, the capital of

Zhejiang, we went on a 2-hour 30-minute bus ride to Shanghai, the largest city

in China by population and the second most densely populated city in the world.

From Hangzhou's sprawling scenery and admirable infrastructure, the ride

provided an unhindered view of Shanghai's equally formidable edifices and

skyscrapers mixed with equally cared for scenery and waterfronts. 

That's why when we were scheduled to visit The Bund, a highly-recommended

attraction that's a fitting fusion of both worlds, I for one, can't wait for it to

actually, happen.

Tutapel near the Orient Pearl Tower just opposite of The Bund

It was already nighttime when we arrived at The Bund Hotel located along

Guangdong Road in the Huangpu District. The hotel lighting for instance added

a splash of elegance to the exterior which was of course more of a necessity

rather than of sheer opulence.

 The Bund Hotel at night

Mayon Volcano: The Muse Behind Catriona Gray's Ms. Universe-Worthy Gown

If  the intricate beading and fiery color were not enough hints for figuring out

the inspiration behind Catriona Gray's Ms. Universe-winning attire, then I guess

its moniker "Lava Gown" was a dead giveaway.

I never expected anything associated with the term "lava" to be synonymous

with something sexy; but, designer Mak Tumang proved everyone wrong when

Catriona Gray had donned the intense-looking gown before she strutted down

the 2018 Ms. Universe stage with what we now call as the "lava walk."  

Having seen the Mayon Volcano up close, it's no wonder that the designer and 

the new Ms. Universe were so captivated to the point of creating an evening 

gown because of it.

The first time we saw this natural wonder located in Albay, the volcano's perfect 

cone was barely visible due to a group of obstinate clouds unwilling to let 

visitors bask in the volcano's complete glory.  Old folks, however, have a 

different interpretation on this matter. 

Legend has it that whenever the clouds envelop the mountain, Panganoron

the brave warrior who loved Magayon, the only daughter of the tribal chief of 

Rawis, is indeed kissing her; and, when the rains do trickle down the slopes, 

they are actually Panganoron's tears as he mourns for his lost love.

Clouds swirling around the world-famous Mayon Volcano in Albay

What Starbucks Was Like In Hangzhou & Shanghai (China)

Several months ago, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced that the coffee giant will close down about 150 stores in the US by 2019.

I can't help but ask whether this decision will affect its global satellite branches as well?

Though I'm in no position to speculate about such financial matters, I guess I have a thing or two to say about customer service in Starbucks' international stores like in China. What I'm pretty sure is that Starbucks in Mainland China handles clients differently from my home country, the Philippines. 🤓

Starbucks in Hangzhou Songcheng Park

If you're flying to China this holiday season, chances are, you're more than likely to get your cup of java and frappe fix from good ole Starbucks. Some people maybe biased against this juggernaut for a number of reasons with the La Boulange Mess at the helm of its most controversial business decisions. 😠

Despite this ill-fated, heart wrenching yet premeditated tactical maneuver, as some sectors believe, we can't deny the incredible pull we feel whenever we're confronted by Starbucks' delectable array of Hot Drinks, Frappes, Cakes and Pastas.

Revisiting Hui Lau Shan Desserts in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Despite the gnawing chill that day, the fambam braved the 11 degrees Celsius temp to visit my fave desserts bar, Hui Lau Shan Healthy Desserts. It might be ironic, to say the least, but the best way to beat the cold weather is by eating cool stuff as well.

I have to credit my dear Gyu Hye Sun who portrayed Geum Jandi in Boys Over Flowers for that nugget of wisdom. While filming one of my all-time fave K-Dramas, she was asked how she dealt with the freezing temperature and she answered matter-of-factly, "By eating ice." 
                                       Second Time's a Charm @ Hui Lau Shan Healthy Desserts Hong Kong