Universal Studios Singapore

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica Ride: red for humans, blue for cylons!

Yes its been while since we were in Singapore but we felt that we needed a review for the theme park and what better way of doing than a shared post.

Justin: I have been to Universal studios 3 times and this recent visit wasn’t the most exciting, as the rides and food are still the same but the experience is always enjoyable. Having fun hanging with the family and going on fast-paced rides where your heart almost leaps out of your throat. It’s always fun.

It’s my dream to have the park to my self for a day… no lines, no waiting, everything is clear but this is not the case when going during the school holidays.

Shaun: I second that! School Holidays suck for everyone who doesn’t go to school. It’s loads of kids running around, making noise and generally slowing your queue time to a dead stop. Ever waited 2 hours to get onto a ride before? Well that’s because you live somewhere other than Singapore.

OK, so I am ranting but that’s only natural because I am no longer on holiday and would really like to be again.

Universal Studios is an experience, it suspends your disbelief for a while and you remember your childhood. Jurassic park for me has one of the more complete visual escapes with the docking bay looking all docking bay like, you’re ready for adventure. Jump on the Battlestar Galactica Cylon ride for the thrills for sure; you’ll love the forces it puts on your body (make sure you look bored for the cameras).

Transformers Ride

Transformers Ride: Totes looks like this

Best Ride?
Transformers the ride is in every way better than the movies, there is actual use for explosions and the 3D effect. The idea is you’re in a short roller coaster ride that imtermittently parks itself in front of ginormous screens at various points. The screens are ginormous so you don’t really see the edges and they blend seamlessly with the physical sets. The whole shebang  makes you feel like you’re part of a massive city wide chase with Decepticons and Autobots, it’s amazing. Downside? 2 hour wait time in the peak of school holidays so go when it’s school time for both Singapore and Malaysia.

I go everytime I am in Singapore, maybe it’s because I am such a child. Love the rides, love the atmosphere, love the heat… wait no don’t love being outside in Singapore for an extended period of time.

Steph: Ok, so I’d been to Universal Studios previously but as it was still not finished, I just paid $5 to get in, walk around and check out the place, and then had dinner with some family at a restaurant there. So this time was lots of fun for me, despite the long queues as my brothers have mentioned.

I also really enjoyed the’ Transformers’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ rides as they were the most thrilling and well-designed in my opinion. ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ was also not bad. I don’t usually enjoy going on scary rides, but this one was not too scary and it had some thrilling parts. Also ‘Lights, Camera. Action!’ was pretty interesting. A bit of movie magic is always enjoyable!

Yes, we went to the park during the school holidays but unfortunately this was the only real way that we could go along with our cousins. One thing I will say that is really worth it is to try the Single Riders line even if you’re in a group. We walked by the Transformers ride about 4 times, and each time the wait was well over 90 minutes, so eventually we decided that we’d try the 90 minutes and hope for a quicker wait. We split up and took the single riders line and how long did we ‘wait’ in the end? 5 minutes and we were all seated! We also got to go at around the same time, just in different carriages or rows. Totally worth it.

Also, and this is common knowledge, but try to avoid buying food there if possible. We had the worst fish and chips ever and to top it off, it costed an arm and a leg.

The long queues and of course, the heat. Though they were selling nifty spray bottles attached to fans which looked like a good idea.

Next time hopefully we can go to the one in the US!


Memoir of a sweaty adventure

Happy new year!

As you’ve already read, we are all back in our countries after a great two weeks in Singapore. We didn’t end up going to Legoland because we had heard from our younger cousins that it is very much for young children, however we did manage to spend an eventful and hot, humid day at Universal Studios, eat plenty and do a whole lot of shopping. We also did go to Malaysia for a day, but our time was mostly spent in a shopping centre. Singapore is the land of shopping and eating, so you could say that the trip was very fulfilling. Though we’ve all been there countless times to visit family, there’s always something new to do because the country is constantly growing and changing despite its small size.

View from The Esplanade

View from The Esplanade

The main new attraction that we visited this time round was the Gardens By The Bay. I like nature, but this takes it to a new level. It is quite an amazing display. We visited with some friends at night to avoid the heat of the day and I must say that I think that it is more spectacular at night. The lights are shining and the park is a plethora of colour and magnificence. It’s really changed the cityscape. We didn’t have to pay an entry fee to walk around, but if you do plan to visit it costs $25 general admission and then further fees if you plan to enter the two main attractions there: the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Looking out from the Marina Barrage, you see the Singapore Flyer (Singapore’s version of the London Eye), the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens By The Bay, and if you’re into cityscapes, the view is beautiful. Also from The Esplanade (theatre) you can see the hotel, Merlion and other key structures.

Gardens By The Bay Supertrees

Gardens By The Bay Supertrees

I must say that I am not someone who enjoys or can even stand humidity, which is why it’s always a little struggle for me to spend a lot of time in a country like Singapore, but thankfully December is relatively cool compared to the rest of the year. Monsoon season is the only somewhat bearable season for me, so if you’re anything like me, I’d recommend that you visit Singapore during December because not only is the weather more manageable, but the city is really lit up and although it looks a bit cheesy with all the decorations which scream WINTER!!, there’s something nice about it. Also, if you are there to shop, you will be fine because basically every MRT station is attached to a well air-conditioned shopping centre, so you could technically travel around Singapore without being more than 5 minutes in the humidity.

This time round we got to be more touristy than normal because Michael had never been to Singapore before, making it an even more interesting experience. I really enjoyed seeing the new attractions and just having a really chilled-out trip without feeling like we had to cram every experience in and spend every free minute doing something productive.

Life is back in full swing now though with an exam on my second day back and regular classes. Looking forward to future travels already! The travel bug definitely bit me hard…

Packing and almost ready to go!

As you would now be aware, the Kokstars are reuniting in Singapore very very soon. I fly off tomorrow from Frankfurt but am packing now, the day before I fly. If I were going for longer I would have probably started last week, but I’ll be there for 2 weeks so it should be easy.

For Singapore, because they basically have one, maybe two seasons, it’s quite simple to pack for the climate. It’s always hot and it’s always humid, it just depends on whether it rains. Right now it’s monsoon season so it’s quite rainy, with temperatures between 30°-32°C. I’ve basically packed a bunch of shorts, skirts and dresses.

We’re planning to check out Singapore’s new attractions such as Gardens By The Bay as well as go to Legoland in Malaysia for a day. It should be good and I’m so psyched for it!

I’m also going to be flying for the very first time with Qatar Airways. I’m pretty excited about it because I tend to fly quite a lot and have used many different airlines, but Qatar Airways was rated the World’s Best Airline in 2011. At the moment, Singapore Airlines is my favourite in terms of service, food and entertainment for long-haul flights. I flew once with Virgin Australia in premium economy and that was incredible, but you can’t really be comparing economy and premium economy.

Anyway I’m sure you’ll be reading more from us while we’re in Singapore and I may do a review of Qatar Airlines on my trip Frankfurt-Doha-Singapore-Doha-Frankfurt.

A lot of people have been wishing me a ‘happy end of the world’, but I won’t do that to you. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a wonderful start to 2013!