SHOPPING IN SINGAPORE

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Singapore Shopping is very famous among Singapore visitors. Orchard Road is full of Malls and endless brands. And this is one of the lively places during day and night. When I decided to visit this place with the help of a city Map, It sowed 15 minutes walk from my Hotel. But, it was almost a 30 minutes walk. But, the road was quite nice and the good thing is you will find mini cafe’s all over the roads. People are chilling out in those cafe’s. And, since Singapore is a very safe place, you do not fear to walk even on isolated roads.

ORCHARD ROAD

ORCHARD RD is very famous in Singapore for branded stores and new fashion stuff. Few people come to Singapore only for the latest collections. Orchards RD has many malls. Even when you are walking in one Mall, you will not know when you entered the other Mall. They are very well connected to each other. Orchard RD will be a good stop to buy brand stuff and latest Fashion to add in your wardrobe.

I was walking on Orchard RD. And, I wanted to cross the road. In that crossing the subway was the only option. I went through the stairs and got confused. As there were so many stores and too many people. And, I exit from the same road on the other side. It was really funny, I was thinking, how come I am still on the same road even though I walked and took the stairs.


BUGIS STREET

BUGIS STREET is one of the good and big markets for local shopping. It has many food joints, cafe’s, Mini Restaurants etc. It is a good market to buy souvenirs. Many shops have fixed prices but few offer bargaining. Here mostly shops are for Women & Men Clothes, Accessories, Shoes and gifts items.

GETTING THERE

Nearest MRT station in Bugis MRT EXIT EW12/ DT14, it is 2 Minutes walk to Bugis Street. And By Local Bus you can stop at Bugis Junction Tower. I went by Bus and it was very convenient to me. 

If you walk on the opposite side of Market, you will find many stores selling dried seafood. And there are many local Beauty salons. They even call you for Beauty services. So if Ladies, you are looking for any Beauty service at an economical price, you can try this place.


I passed this temple of Lord Buddha while Walking to Orchard RD.

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MUST VISIT PLACES IN SINGAPORE

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SINGAPORE is a very beautiful city and a great place for party goers. It is a 5 hours flight from India and around 2 hours from the Philippines. It was my 3rd trip abroad. I took a 6 days holiday from the office to visit Singapore. Well, 6 days are more than enough to see all the best attractions in Singapore. This city is very well connected by MRT and local buses. Travelling by Bus and MRT is cheaper than taxi as-usual. MRT is very well connected to all key Attractions within walking range.

MRT AND BUS PASS

MRT is a good and cheap option to visit all key attractions, and a taxi is also not very expensive. One can buy EZ-Link store-value card which will allow you unlimited travel for one day (SG$10), two days (SG$16) or three days (SG$20). The cards can be bought at the Transit-Link Ticket Office at the following MRT stations: Changi AirportOrchardChinatown, City Hall, Raffles Place, Ang Mo Kio, HarbourFrontBugis, Lavender and Bayfront.

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SINGAPORE ZOO AND RIVER SAFARI- NIGHT SAFARI

One can cover 2 to 3 places in a day as travel time is less due to less traffic on Roads. Singapore Zoo and River – Night Safari are at the same place. Singapore Zoo and River Safari will require around 5 to 6 hours of your time. Night Safari starts from 7:15 pm, so you can plan your time accordingly. I had booked SEAx Bus Read More….


UNIVERSAL STUDIO

UNIVERSAL STUDIO is one of the highly visited places; this ‘Theme Park’ is located in Sentosa Island and you need one full day to cover all the Rides. There are seven movie-themed zones, and each is uniquely designed, my personal favorite was “Far Far Away”, I watched that twice. But my husband liked the Transformer ride, we waited 45 minutes in the queue to experience the most incredible Transformer 3D ride.

ADMISSION FEE

Normal One day pass is SG$-75 Adult and SG$ 54 for Child. Express pass will cost you Read More…


JURONG BIRD PARK AND SEA AQUARIUM

Jurong Bird Park and S.E.A Aquarium can be covered in one day. Though both are not at the same place, still they can be covered in one day. Jurong Bird is not a very big place and can be seen completely in 3-4 hours. Jurong Bird Park is very well maintained and you will be amazed to see all Beautiful Bird Species- OR I should see very Beautiful and Colorful Birds. There are big cages organised like small forests and people are allowed to go inside of those cages. You can visit them to see rare birds playing and singing on trees.

S.E.A Aquarium is situated just next to Universal Studio on Read more…

GARDENS BY THE BAY, THE MERLION AND MARINA BAY SANDS

GARDENS BY THE BAY is the nature-park. When I planned my trip to Singapore, this place was shown as one of the highly visited places. And I also decided to take out my time for this place. As I was visiting all the attractions alone. When you visit alone you are more comfortable in terms of timings.

GETTING TO GARDENS BY THE BAY

Nearest MRT station is Bayfront, take EXIT B and follow Read more


Singapore is also famous for shopping. Here you will find all amazing brands and new collections. People can also shop from local open markets as well from famous brand stores. You can read more about these markets HERE, and about the famous eating options HERE.

JURONG BIRD PARK AND SEA AQUARIUM: SINGAPORE

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Jurong Bird Park and SEA Aquarium can be covered in one day. Though both are not at the same place, still they can be covered in one day. Jurong Bird is not a very big place and can be seen completely in 3-4 hours. Jurong Bird Park is very well maintained and you will be amazed to see all Beautiful Bird Species- OR I should see very Beautiful and Colorful Birds. There are big cages organized like small forests and people are allowed to go inside of those cages. You can visit them to see rare birds playing and singing on trees.

SEA Aquarium is situated just next to Universal Studio on Sentosa Island. You will not be able to see the same day you visit Universal Studio, as Universal Studio is a one day affair and Sea Aquarium closes at 7:00 pm. And you need a minimum 3-4 hours to observe more than 100,000 marine animals. At the S.E.A. Aquarium, you can observe more than 100,000 creatures like the leopard shark, Goliath grouper and squadrons of manta rays.

As you stare at them swimming in the aquarium, you may wonder who is actually watching whom. Are they, in fact, ogling humans like two-legged mammal exhibits from the other side of the glass tank?

SEA Aquarium is a magical marine world with more than 100,000 underwater animals from 800 species, swimming in 45 million liters of water.20160817094653_r3gwa1510808_849884348362672_3254338381102483650_n


GETTING TO JURONG BIRD PARK

The easiest way to reach Jurong Bird Park is by SAEx bus. Find the Bus schedule and bus-stop information at SAEx. Another way of reaching is by Singapore MRT, Nearest MRT station is “Boon Lay” and then catch the connecting Bus No. 194 to Jurong Bird Park.

ADMISSION FEE AT JURONG BIRD PARK

For adults it is SG$ 29 and for children it is SG$ 19. Trams are not available here as it is easily walk-able. Tickets can be purchased at Jurong Bird Park entrance OR you can buy online. Keep the Bird Park Handy to check out all rare species. Check the website for latest rates here Jurong Bird Park.
 Follow the Bird Park Map to check timings of “free Bird show” which is a very famous show and they organize twice everyday, one in morning and other is in evening. take your place near to green ground to watch dancing and performing Birds. It was a great show and kids and adults both loved it.

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GETTING TO SEA AQUARIUM

Take MRT to Harbour Front station, take EXIT E to Vivo city and proceed to level 3 to board Sentosa Express. Stop at ‘Waterfront Station‘, walk straight until you see Chili’s Restaurant on your right then turn left for SEA Aquarium.

ADMISSION FEE AT SEA AQUARIUM

Entrance fee for adults is SG$ 34 and for children is SG$24. You can top-up with SG$8 to your SEA Aquarium ticket upon check-out to level up your Pokémon experience now! Pokémon Research Exhibition.

S.E.A AQUARIUM are grouped according to 10 different zones with 49 habitats. Check out the fish from the Bay of Bengal, the Straits of Malacca & Andaman Sea or the Great Lakes of East Africa, the underwater community in coral reefs, and cool marine life in the cold-water habitats.

Stroll over to the Shark Seas containing over 200 of these predators including endangered species such as the scalloped hammerhead shark and the aggressive silvertip shark.

Do not miss an AQUARIUM DINING EXPERIENCE: Enjoy your meal at Ocean Restaurant while sea animals swim gently above you. Most Dishes are freshly made from sustainable seafood.


OVERALL the experience of visiting both Jurong Bird Park and S.E.A Aquarium was thrilling. Both have rare species: one flies in the sky and the other swims in Sea. Seating with Jelly Fish was fascinating and watching them quietly while they swam.

UNIVERSAL STUDIO: SINGAPORE

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UNIVERSAL STUDIO is one of the highly visited places; this ‘Theme Park’ is located in Sentosa Island and you need one full day to cover all the Rides. There are seven movie-themed zones, and each is uniquely designed, my personal favorite was “Far Far Away”. I watched that twice. But my husband liked the Transformer ride, we waited 45 minutes in the queue to experience the most incredible Transformer 3D ride.

ADMISSION FEE

Normal One day pass is SG$-75 Adult and SG$ 54 for Child. Express pass will cost you SG$-130 Adult. With Express you can bypass the queue at all the rides, as on weekends you need to stand a minimum 1 hour in a long queue for every ride.

One day pass is valid at all the rides and you can take them as many times you want to. I had purchased a normal ticket and had to be in long queues, then we realized that buying an Express pass would have been worth it on weekends.

GETTING THERE: Take MRT to HarbourFront station, take EXIT E to Vivo city and proceed to level 3 to board Sentosa Express. Stop at ‘Waterfront Station’, walk straight until you see Chili’s Restaurant on your right then turn right for Universal Studio.10606389_848703605147413_4944260771664864910_n7344_848703755147398_5260322655573162191_n

MY EXPERIENCE ON RIDES

TRANSFORMERS Ride was the feature ride: The ultimate 3D battle ride where you are at the same place where evil and transformers are fighting. Transformers saving you from Evil. My Husband wanted to take that ride again but the waiting line was very long; for the first ride itself we waited for around 1 hour. Other Ancient Egypt and face mummies rides. And in Madagascar, prepare yourself to be drenched in a wet river boat ride.

STREET PERFORMANCES

There are many street performances organised by Universal Studio in the evening; you just need to follow the Map and be available at the place to see performances. Universal Studio is a one day affair and you can’t miss these street performances in the evening.10570309_848704475147326_3576366650692183029_n


As I mentioned above it is Themed movie park with best of Hollywood streams. Young ones will love the shrek 4Dadventure at ‘Far Far Away’. This fun cinematic experience allows you to feel physically all actions in the movie. And other joyful rides for kids. After finishing your ride you can enjoy your meal at any themed restaurant. For returning follow the route of MRT and locate your nearest MRT station with the help of MRT MAP.

SINGAPORE ZOO AND RIVER SAFARI- NIGHT SAFARI

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One can plan 2 to 3 places in one day as the travel time is less in Singapore. Singapore Zoo and River – Night Safari are at the same place. They will require around 5 to 6 hours of your time. Night Safari starts from 7:15 pm, so you can plan your time accordingly. I had booked SEAx Bus to reach Singapore Zoo, SEAx bus is very well known in Singapore. Find all the bus stops, Bus Timings and Fare details at SEAx Bus.

Check with the driver before you step-in the Bus for the location. SEAx Bus service is available for Singapore Zoo and Bird park, and both are in different directions. Bus Conductors also sell tickets for Singapore Zoo and Bird Park attractions and they give tickets at discounted rates. The bus fare is around SG$6 one way.

ADMISSION FEE: You can buy combo of Singapore Zoo+River Safari- SG$33 per Adult and Night Safari-SG$45 per adult. For Night safari you can book the available slots such as 7:15, 8:15, 9:15 and 10:15.

All Combo tickets are available at ticket counters, do check for discounts and offers. Do not forget to take the Zoo map from the ticket counter. There is a paid Tram ride available inside the zoo from one station to another. One can take the tram ride without a ticket also ;). Well, the stations are not very far, so visiting all the places shown in the map is feasible depending on how much you are enjoying it.

If you are visiting the Zoo with kids, do carry their strollers as you really need to walk too much and kids will not be able to walk that much. Also, do keep an umbrella as it will be very hot. Singapore weather is unpredictable, so always keep an umbrella with you. Take a water bottle before entering the Zoo, although there are plenty of restaurants in the zoo but they are located at designated areas only.

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If you have taken SEAx Bus return ticket, please reach on time to catch the Bus. But, if you are staying to see the Night Safari then MRT will be a good option. Singapore Zoo is very well maintained and one can  see White Tiger, Penguins and many more interesting animals.


TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN HONGKONG AND MACAU

HongKong (HK) is a great place to visit. The night life is fun for party goers. We spent 3 days in Hong Kong and a 1 day trip to Macau And managed to cover all the amazing places which were in my top list; and now sharing my trip and tricks here. In those experiences I had there were many challenges faced. One of them being food – Yes, as I always say being a Vegetarian is a hard road to walk; you have to specify very clearly for your food and sometimes people make some faces. :D.

I will write about the transportation, about the food, which all places can be covered in one day, where to stay and which all places are must visit. Will also write my day wise itinerary in HK & Macau. And off-course, if you are a shopping lover then I would like to highlight the best market places.

The people in HongKong are kind of mixed, few are very helpful if you have any questions and few will turn their face if you ask anything. :D. So the best thing is to keep the ‘City Map’ and working ‘Internet’. In my case I used both and yes they helped throughout.

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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HONGKONG

Would like to recommend not to buy souvenirs from the attraction shops. They are 2 to 3 times more expensive than the local street market.

Keep a extra jacket for Tin Tin Buddha and The Victoria Peak if you are visiting in winter season.

The busiest season hotel cost is around KH$ 1000/- per night of 4 star hotel

The MTR is the best mode of transportation, though the local buses are also have good connectivity.

TRANSPORTATION IN HONGKONG & MACAU

Taxis in HK are very expensive and you can’t even think of taking all the places you want to visit. The best mode of transportation is MTR, which is very well connected to all possible areas. And things are at walking distance from MTR stations. Only thing you need to do is keep a ‘MTR Map’ with you to follow the right route. The frequency is very good, so not to worry if you miss one.

Same in Macau, they have very good connectivity of local Bus, and all the Bus stops have the Bus number and their destinations. Even the Map has all the Bus numbers. Even travelling with Hotel bus ( which is free ) is a good option. However, you will have to plan your itinerary and check the routes beforehand.

Taxi – We took a taxi from Airport as our flight reached late night and MTR operations were till 1:00 am. The fare is comparatively expensive and you have to ensure that Driver understands the location properly ( due to language gap). They don’t speak English and if you don’t speak the local dialect the sound of two different places might be the same. So the best option if you are taking a taxi, keep the address printout along with you. You can show them, they will read the address and take you to the place.

PAYING METHOD AND INTERNET

The recommended option is to buy an OCTOPUS card when you land.You can use this card at MTR, at Ferry, at Food Joints, at Shops and many more places. You can refill your card at any MTR station. The card helps you in saving travelling time. You can buy this Octopus Card online before your travel and collect the same at the Airport. Same with the local SIM Card, which will come with 1.4 GB internet and local calling for around $12. In my case, I have purchased both from KLOOK. Be mindful of the counter number and the time till which they operate at HK International airport.

If you are travelling and your card shows less amount, do not worry as you can go upto -30 dollars, and when you will refile the card, the amount will be adjusted accordingly.

FOOD – WHERE TO EAT IN HONGKONG

There are great locations to eat in Hongkong. In my case , being a vegetarian I looked up Veg options. Hong-Kong is full of Veg Option and amazing food. You can try the authentic Chinese and Japanese food at “Tsim Sha Sui” Well you will get the food everywhere, but personally I like this place. And the economy food best option is “McDonald”. They have all kind of food one need in travel. I liked their Jumbo Breakfast treat and at a very nominal price. The best thing for me is that they have Veg options.

Also, you can try authentic street food, you will find small food venues everywhere. And the fine-dining options are available at all the places.

SUBWAY is also very popular in all the places. But, unfortunately my experience with the subway didn’t go well. I was standing in Line for 15 Minutes at the ‘Harbour Subway’ and this staff member was making sandwiches for all the people. He was picking up meat and other stuff from the same hand. As I said I am vegetarian and the menus show vegetarian food. I requested him to change his gloves, he said in a rough tone “we are not serving full vegetarian, checkout other places”. Something went wrong at this place, as I never expected such an answer.

SHOPPING PLACES IN HONGKONG

Hong Kong is a very expensive place for shopping; though there are many street markets to buy some small stuff. I personally suggest buying souvenirs from local markets, except the attractions you’re visiting. The highly recommended street shopping places are ‘Temple Street Night Market’ and Ladies Night Market’.

I would advise bargaining with the seller before buying anything. They will quote you 2 to 3 times more of the actual price. Also, do not buy anything from the very first place, try to search for the same item at as many stores to understand the final and right price. I even did the same, and understood there is one break-even price which is the final price for particular item at every store.

WHERE TO STAY IN HONGKONG

I would suggest booking your hotel in HONGKONG island. The reason I am recommending  Hongkong island is for good connectivity of the MTR. I stayed in Kowloon island and the nearest MTR station distance was 2.5 KM. So every time, I had to depend on the hotel shuttle; it was very difficult to come back to the hotel and go back to the city. The cost of a 4 star hotel in peak time was around HK $1000 per night. You might get a better deal for early bookings.

All the recommended markets, food streets and direct MTR to attractions are on Hongkong island. I faced little difficulty while traveling with my 10 months old kid and travel time was almost double. And if you miss the hotel shuttle, either you have to wait for the next shuttle or hire a taxi (which is very expensive).

TOUR PACKAGES WEBSITE

KLOOK is an online website for tour packages. You can find the tour and packages of all attractions in Hong Kong. I have not done the price comparison with KLOOK and counter tickets & packages. I had bought tickets for ‘TIN TIN BUDDHA’ and ‘THE VICTORIA PEAK’ just to avoid long queues. I had also brought an ‘Octopus Card’ and a Local SIM card loaded with an Internet pack from KLOOK and the same collected from the international airport from the designated counter.

Do book your tickets 2 to 3 days prior to your travel day. Select the package, pay online and they will send the confirmation, you can attach this voucher with your mobile wallet. I had loaded confirmation vouchers to my Apple mobile wallet and showed them at the counter. No hassle of keeping printouts.

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#DAY 1

We reached late at night around 1:00 am and then we needed to catch the hotel shuttle tomorrow  morning at 10:00 am to MTR station. My plan was to visit  ‘TIN TIN BUDDHA‘ and ‘TEMPLE STREET NIGHT MARKET‘.

TIN TIN BUDDHA

This is one of the highly visited places in HongKong and it takes 4 to 5 hours to complete this attraction. It will be around 15 to 20 minutes cable car ride from cable terminal to the peak and then around 210 steps to ‘BIG BUDDHA’. You can reach the nearest MTR station Read more…


#DAY 2

We started our day 2 at 10:00 am to visit ‘THE VICTORIA PEAK and MADAME TUSSAUDS. I had booked the tour package of “The Victoria Peak ” from KLOOK. This tour package includes; The Victoria Peak Tram and Sky Terrace walk, Madame Tussauds and Trick Eye Museum. The cost of all three attractions was around HK $309 per adult.

THE VICTORIA PEAK

There are time options at the time of booking, I had selected 12:00 pm so the reporting time was at MTR Central Station at 11:45 am. Take a Exit Read more


#DAY 3

Million dollar fireworks are the highlight for 31st Dec evening. And I was all set to experience that. As I was travelling with my 10 months old kid and I was staying in Kowloon Island, so going back to the hotel and coming back to harbour was a little difficult. Also, it is said that at 6:00 pm onward a few places will be closed and people will start taking their place at Harbourand Tsim Sha Sui.

BIG BUS CITY TOUR

We took the Big Bus City tour on 31st Dec. This was one of the best options to complete all the small attractions within the city and Read more…


#DAY 4

It will be a very exciting day and I had this place in my top list. Most of the people who come to visit HongKong; plan their one day trip to Macau. This is not a very big city and all the highly visited attractions can be covered in one day.

HOW TO REACH MACAU FERRY TERMINAL

The best way to reach is by MTR, take MTR to ‘Sheung Wan‘ (follow the MTR Map) and then take exit D, follow the sign board and you will reach Turbojet ferry station. Buy Ticket Read more…

Overall, my vacation in Hong Kong is recorded as one of the best memories so far. Hong Kong is a very beautiful city and has good transportation facilities. To cover all the places in my list was a little hectic; but I am happy that my little 10 months old was also enjoying all the views. Me and my husband enjoyed it a lot and all the photographs are evidence of it. Big smiles and fulfilled faces in all the photographs. It Indeed the best trip so far.

TOP PLACES TO VISIT BY BIG BUS CITY: HONGKONG

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Million dollar fireworks are the highlight for 31st Dec evening. And I was all set to experience that; as I was travelling with my 10 months old kid and was staying in Kowloon Island, so going back to the hotel and coming back to harbour was a little difficult. Also, it is said that at 6:00 pm onward a few places will be closed and people will start taking their place at Harbourand Tsim Sha Sui. We decided to start a little late from the hotel so we didn’t need to return back to the hotel. Also, we will take the city tour by ‘Big Bus’ to cover all the mostly visited attractions.

Today, 31st December 2016; we started at 11:30 am from the hotel and took the MTR to Tsim Sha Sui, and had our lunch at MacDonald. Then we took the ferry to Harbour Ferry Terminal. It is also one of the main transport people use to cross the sea. It takes only 10 minutes to reach one place from another and ferry service is available every 10 minutes.

After reaching Harbour we tried to see if any last minute reservations can be made for a cruise to see fireworks. But, unfortunately, all the cruises were fully booked and one person offered us a standing place to see fireworks. Well, we thought about discussing it with each other before we buy that place. He offered us KH$ 200 per Adult.. After sometime we went back to buy that standing place and came to know that, that one also sold out :(.


BIG BUS CITY TOUR

Half a day already passed and then we brought the ‘Big Bus City Tour’. We took a small tour as tomorrow we will be going to visit ‘Macau’, so we have time only till 7:00 pm to complete today’s Big Bus City Tour which is one of the Must seen places in Hong Kong.

GOLDEN BAUHINIA SQUARE

Our First stop was Golden Square, It’s very beautiful and facing the ‘Wan Chai Waterfront’. This was presented by China’s Central Government in 1999. One of the highly visited places during city tours.

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LAN KWAI FONG

Lan Kwai Fong is the best place to see nightlife. Night is always young here, there are many Bar’s, Mini Cafe’s and beautiful restaurants. It is a must visit place for party goers as this place offers western-style-restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

HOLLYWOOD ROAD

Hollywood Road is also known as Upper Lascar Raw and it is a must-see stop in the City Tour. This street is full of antique shops and an open-air market, this is one of the ideal places for picking up eclectic souvenirs and gifts.

LADIES STREET

Ladies street market is a famous street for anyone who visits Hong Kong. It is for fashion lovers and for bargainers-priced clothing, bags, toys, cosmetics and many more things.

MAN MO TEMPLE

Man Mo Temple is a picture-sue tribute to God. Man means ‘Literature’ and Mo means ‘God of War’

It is one the Famous stops in the City Bus Tour itinerary.

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We had completed our Bus tour by 7:00 pm. Then, we looked for a place to sit and luckily found one empty bench. From 7:00 pm till 12:00 pm we were sitting there and enjoying the view of the harbor. From 8:00 pm onward people started taking their places and they were fully packed with their mats and dinner.

Then from 10:00 pm on-wards the place started getting packed and people started to stand and take their places. It was wonderful to wait for 12:00 am and everybody was enjoying themselves, kids were playing. Finally we reached the time to see the world famous ‘Fireworks’ show. I stood on my bench and enjoyed the entire 10 minutes fireworks show.

Just to mention that people say that from 6 pm onward you will not get a place to stand. But, seriously, this was not the situation. The place started packing after 10 pm only and before that people were coming and going. Also, it is said that you will not be able to reach the metro and it will be too packed. We easily reached the MTR..I am not denying the fact that, place was not crowded, but we got the metro easily. The only place we faced problem, taking a taxi to a hotel. It was 1:30 am and less taxis were coming and more people were hiring them.