Friday, August 5, 2011

NUS uTown: First Glimpse

If you've been an NUS student, either an incoming or a current student, then you would have know that for the past one to two years, there have been much hype surrounding this upcoming new section of NUS called the uTown or university town in long. Everywhere you go, you'll have posters, advertisements and even emails from the NUS administration telling you how awesome uTown is gonna be with its Tembusu and Cinnamon colleges plus all the awesome facilities they have inside.

Of course, being a hall resident, I was skeptical. After all, during my year, people used to say how high class the Prince George's Park (PGP) Residences were as compared to hall but in the end, what I found out that despite its apartment-like look on the outside, the rooms are just really small and there wasn't much life and activities in PGP to go around as compared to hall.

So my initial thought was that uTown is only famous for its publicity like PGP but in reality, hall life is still gonna be more awesome than uTown. And to prove myself correct, I decided to pay uTown a visit on its official opening date, August 1st, 2011.

Getting my pose ready for the trip

And so on the day itself, me and 3 of my hall friends, Xian You, Tee Hong and Erin hopped on a D1 (you can take either a D1 or D2 bus to uTown, depending on the direction you're traveling) bus on a hot August after to see if uTown is as great as how it's supposed to be..

That's us arriving stunned and lost at uTown. Noticed that there're CCTVs everywhere?

On first sight, I must say uTown is BIG. Really big. It's as the entire uTown is a separate university on its own. There's just so many buildings and places in it that we had no idea where to go. Heck, they even call the open area town plaza, which reminds me of big ass malls and huge loads of people. But then again, the whole place is a town after all (uTown, geddit?).

I guess the banner says it all

Aside from the big-ness, I also noticed there's a lot of cool facilities around uTown. Take for example the places which you can eat. There's a Subway, a Fish & Co., one Bruce Cafe (inspired by Bruce Lee I think, judging from it's extremely yellow exterior) and one insanely large Koufu food court. Plus who can forget about the highly anticipated largest Starbucks in Singapore, just at uTown? It's so big that they even have the largest ceiling fan in the whole of Singapore. Well it was the largest ceiling fan I ever saw anyway.

Destination of the day!

Compare the fan's size to the tables below. It's huge!

And the bestest part other than having so many food choices? As an NUS student, we get 10% discount on all things, including Starbucks! Which was why I immediately bought a caramel frap in the largest size available without even thinking twice. Not a good idea. I ended up with a sugar high for the rest of the day.

Sugar high-ing

But of course, food is not the only only highlight at NUS University Town. Before we had our lunch, we managed to check out other awesome facilities at uTown. There was a Mac common room, PC common room and also a cinema like lecture hall that makes your jaw drop everytime you see it. My guess is that after people start to use all these facilities, the old facilities like the central library would be empty already cause everyone's gonna be at uTown. Just check out the pictures yourself:

A glimpse into the Mac common room

PC user trying to figure out a Mac. Notice how large the screen is?

The PC common room, if you hate Mac. The room how big can

Too bad the PC screen not as big as the Macs. Mac bias lo

Beanie bags in PC common room. Sleep on it while it's still new!

The cinema-like lecture theater. How awesome can

Nope, this is not Europe. This is uTown

To be honest, after looking at all the facilities, I myself feel like quitting hall and staying in uTown because the hype was really not overrated. The place is awesome. The only downside is just that the fees are more expensive as compared to hall. And the facilities are not exclusive anyway. As long as you're an NUS student, you still can hog the Mac for the rest of the day, drink the discounted Starbucks until you cannot sleep for the entire week or run around the field as much as you want. Which is good, I guess, or else there wouldn't be many going to uTown already.

As for me, I have a class there on Friday. And together with my sweet tooth, I'm looking forward to a year of caramel frap.

Oh and not forgetting, if you're an NUS student, you should definitely visit uTown. Be it to study, drink coffee or even dating (yes, the environment there is even more romantic than the normal parks you can find in Singapore), uTown is now the place to go. If you're staying on campus, of course. The only thing that is missing now would be a shopping mall with a cinema in it.


P/s: Photos in this blog are courtesy of Xian You

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