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Saturday, October 27, 2007

XM Away Day 2007 - Sentosa

Merlion Tower
My roommate and I were woken up by a constant squeaking noise. I figured it was the trolley for room service in the corridor. By then, I wasn't sure if I was still staying in a Shangri-La Hotel. My room's view faced the forested hill (the other row of rooms faces the sea) and my room was above the dumpster.

Anyway, we went down for breakfast at 10am, and just as well, because the restaurant was packing up at 10:30am. I tucked into sausages, scrambled egg, pancakes, some other stuff that I can't remember, and washed it down with iced Milo. Yum!

Most colleagues were leaving already (only about half of the employees stayed overnight). I happened to be chatting with a few colleagues, and we decided to go to at least another attraction since we were on Sentosa already. So we decided to go to the Merlion Tower.

Fountain and peek at Merlion Tower
We checked out at 11:30am, then took a bus to the tower. We had to walk up this path that had a gaudily-designed waterway running down the middle. I guess it was supposed to be attractive, and in an "ol' skool" way, it was. But in the 21st century, it screamed, "Redevelopment!"

It cost $8 to go into the Merlion Tower. After a short walk through a dark passage that had figurines of mermaids and assorted sea creatures, we were ushered into a small theatre. There, we were presented with an animated film about how the merlion came to be. It started with the familiar story of Sang Nila Utama, but then degraded into a farce. In the first place, the lion looked silly with its big mane. I also couldn't help but think that there was some propaganda behind it. "The merlion represents..." okay, I can't remember what the dialogue said because it was too hokey! Anyway, the audience, which consisted mostly of Japanese students, had a good laugh over it, a reaction that I don't think the creators had in mind.

Northern view from the Merlion Tower head
Next was a small hall where we could get a coupon to claim a free gift. And then it was up to the top of the tower, 10 storeys high, apparently. From here, we had a clear view to the north and south, which also included a great appreciation for the destruction caused by the integrated resort development.

We went down to the gift shop, where we claimed our free gifts (I got a handphone trinket worth $3.90, bleah!), then decided to head back to the mainland. We decided to give the Sentosa Express a try.

Note to self: If staying at a Sentosa hotel, remember to ask for a free Sentosa Express ticket.

We paid $3 each for the train ticket, then "maximised" it by taking a round trip, i.e. from the Merlion Tower station down to the beach station, back to the Merlion Tower, then onwards to Vivocity. It was a smooth and trouble-free ride, reminding me of the people-mover at the airport.

And from Vivocity, we headed home, a relaxing ending to the week.



Kell Ch@n said...

The event company is called Anergy lah...

Yuhui said...

Hehe, ok, thanks for the correction!

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