Sunday, January 31, 2010

A MUCH OVERDUE RETURN VISIT

The signage already indicates where we are and of course several bowls of mutton soup were quickly dispatched to the table. The island still serves hot piping dishes which has been famous for years. With energy charged we headed to Changi to see several airport terminals which is the hub of the island

Greenery continues into the interior






Views of the passengers' Lounge at Changi new Terminal 3 representing a pleasant designed lay-out



Awesome yet captivating ceiling with reflectors which throw lights onto the open spaced hall



An airport displays some creative works of its talented people. Crafts and artworks may form a distinct introduction to the country's past and future.


These three couples our hosts and my wife amidst the flowery arrangement
that greets visitors and flyers at the airport. Shopping arcades and displays form part of the major attractions at airports all over the world.


A few days back I wrote of inaction at least on my part; the lack luster of January. Now that would not be true when past midnight in the early hours of 30th day of the month with a full moon in the night sky, we were scouting around Singapore two new airports, seeing Terminal 2 and 3 with friends after a highly nourishing bowls of 'Sup Kambing'. Together with Terminal 1 which is under renovation, that section of Changi Singapore now has three main terminals. That would place the city in a very competitive position to steal the airline transport industry in the region. Just look at the photos, you will see that the republic has gone in a big way to welcome as well as provide the best facilities to the passengers and the international airlines that make Singapore their port of call.


A leisurely drive from Putrajaya, minus the normal heavy traffic on the North – South Highway a day earlier saw us arriving at Hj. Ibrahim's house along the Pasir Gudang Highway after a nonstop three hour drive.


It has been several years since we were last in Singapore. A working visit to Putrajaya saw us making way south to Johore Baharu to visit several friends which has long been overdue and naturally saw us crossing the causeway and into the island republic. It happened that the three friends and their wives were Singaporean though they have homes in Johore as well. It was a reciprocal gesture since they have been expecting us to call since their last visit to Titi Gajah in 2008. A planned stay at a hotel has to be abandoned upon insistence from our hosts.


Right now, I am at Hj Ismail's home in the Woodland's suburb. Malaysians of yesteryear may remember Woodlands as a halting place for Malaysian shoppers. Trust me, don't expect it to retain a semblance of its past. Like other parts of Singapore there has been a big change topographically. Ismail's home is like a HBA apartment, giving us the chance to see the much talked Singapore forward building industry especially for its residents. This is a golden opportunity indeed. For once, we observed that space and design do not compromised with aesthetic and profit. The designers have their say and the property owners gained from facilities and amenities thrown in.

This Singapore visit is unlike others that preceded it. No visiting for shopping and direction towards Orchard Road in particular. With help from our Singapore friends we moved to see new growth and development in the City State and learned much from them. Sometimes as you travelled you appreciate what you see and expect such trends are implemented in your own country. You ask and wish some directions are taken for the good of the community. Singapore shows its distinction of caring its habitats; throwing landscaping for the benefits of the people and controlling its rivers and sea frontiers. Many of its rivers have been re engineered, rehabilitated and pleasantly alive with thriving trees and shrubs. Significantly they attract birds to find their homes among the foliage.


Of course, things don't come for free. You have to pay to get what you wished and hoped for. To curtail vehicle movement or traffic, varieties of charges are levied. If you wish to drive, then be ready to pay. Then again we found out, you could still enjoy driving at minimum cost if you used a red-plated Singapore number plate paying a small road tax fee permitting you to use your vehicle from dusk to dawn only.


The island's link with Johore Baharu appears continuous as Singaporean and Malaysians cross each other's borders throughout the twenty-four hours. It is to be hoped that facilities at both check-points of the Johore Singapore Strait would improve with a redesigned crossing facilities, temporarily halted for reasons only the authorities know.


We are privileged to have friends across the Strait and discover their styles and comforts. Their cohesion amongst their colleagues, support for each other and families are a binding traits for all communities irrespective of position or locations; characteristics of human adoration for one another irrespective where you are. This cordial visit is unlike other visitation when you crossed the border.



We would not have discovered this corner of Singapore if we were traveling on ourselves. At Pantai Ris we had time to feel the sea breeze besides cycling along the routes of the theme park

Here amidst mature trees that form part of the landscaping of Pantai Ris a man exercised on his roller skates. Such opened space designed with care and control provides the much needed breathing area


At Marina Bay you will be clicking your shutters because the scenes are there. Here through the designed monument you catch an extraordinary building under construction heralding the very source of Singapore's growth i.e its harbor and shipping.

Rivers and drains are sources of water. A large catchment area in the Singapore Bay forms the up to date reservoir

An HBA home with a garden landscape above the carpark. Some of the apartment owners found time and space to grow a vegetable plot.

It would not be a completed tour if we have not visited the Sultan Mosque. Tourists naturally found this sector of Singapore attractive. The mosque's dome is pictured here plus a band below. We are told when the mosque was being built the populace around the area collected bottles and these formed the band as you see above zoomed with the tele lens. .

2 comments:

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Changi works very hard to retain its position as the premiere airport in the region. Never one to rest on its laurels, it keeps reinventing (renovation) itself. Its no wonder that a state with so small a population has one of the busiest airports in the world...

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Kota Star, Wow! Love the pics here.
And Changi as I remember it wayyyy back to our last balek kampong in 2002 already breathtaking.

Your pics are spectacular, and we always get to read of Singapore's fantastic airport, and SIA always being voted as best Airline to fly.

Re the soup kambing, that is one dish I have never taken a liking to....itek too, or lamb, ha ha.
My wife will tease, "and how come you makan Trengganu turtle eggs.."? Ha ha.

Woodlands? Oh ya...remember back in the 70's used to stop beli lychee and foodstuffs before returning across...murah pun.
I stayed in JB (Bukit Serene) in early 80's and crossed over 'where the action is' every weekend...
or just go to Woodlands makan, then balek.

Thanks for the memories Kota Star, you keep well and watch the speed limit, ha ha, Lee.