I followed my friend to Gleneagles Medical Centre in Singapore, as she was there for a routine medical checkup at a private clinic located in this hospital building. This hospital is located at Napier Road which is quite close to Orchard Road. If you are taking public transport, the cheapest and easiest way is to take a bus. There is a bus stop just outside the hospital entrance and also directly at the opposite road. So if you are going there via Orchard Road, watch out for British Council on the left, you can alight at the next bus stop and just cross over using the overhead bridge. If you are traveling by bus via Holland Road, then looked out for Singapore Botanical Garden. Just alight after you see the Singapore Botanical Garden on your left and the bus stop is just at the entrance of Gleneagles Medical Centre.
The Gleneagles Medical Centre is a private hospital in Singapore under the Parkway Health Group. When someone mentioned the word private hospital, you can be assured that it is going to be expensive if you are seeking treatment there. There are lots of private specialist clinics in this hospital and most of the patients are there to seek specialist consultation and treatments for their ailments. These private clinics are not directly under the administration of the hospital; but are privately owned clinics set up by specialist doctors. Anyway my friend is there for a routine medical check up and her appointment was on a Saturday morning. I asked her why did she choose to come here for a routine check up when such a simple procedure could be done in any Polyclinic or Government hospital in Singapore. She told me that this specialist doctor in this clinic is good ( attentive, professional and polite ). Well I am sure that if you are going to pay 3 to 5 times the normal rate, then you will get VIP treatment. It is just liked going to a hawker centre to eat chicken rice which cost $6 or in a nice restaurant in a Five star hotel which would cost $25. And most people I know hate to go to Polyclinics or public hospitals in Singapore because of the long queue and waiting time just to see the doctor. Also many people have the perception that the drugs that are given to patients at public hospitals are of a lower quality.
We arrived at the private clinic on time and it was a nice place – quiet, carpeted floor and with nice leather sofa seats. The staff at the clinic was polite and after a short waiting time, it was my friend’s turn to see the doctor. She was in the doctor’s consultation room for about 20 minutes – that is quite a long time for consultation. I remembered visiting the Polyclinic many years ago and the young doctor at the Polyclinic only gave me a five minutes consultation and a medical leave chit, and was told to wait outside to pick up my medicine. So I guessed cheap medical care means cheap and fast service. When the consultation was over, the nurse told my friend to wait for a medical report that would be ready in a couple of days. The cost of this check up was S$280 and to my friend it was worth it.
The Palelai Buddhist Temple is located at 49 Bedok Walk which is opposite the Simpang Bedok Post Office. The last time I visited this temple was more than 10 years ago; and so I have decided on a update visit on this Thai temple. I wanted to try going to this temple by using public transport to see whether it is easily accessible. I took a train and alight at Tanah Merah MRT station and thereafter took bus No. 9 and alighted at the second bus stop. Beside this bus stop are rows of shop houses which consist of mainly food outlets. I walked straight and saw the road sign ‘Bedok Walk’ and turned left and walked up the slope. After a short walk up the slope, I saw the Palelai Buddhist temple straight ahead of me. So it is very easy to visit this temple even by using public transport.
The Palelai Buddhist temple is located in a unique location – as it is surrounded by residential landed homes. I was surprised that even in a normal Thursday afternoon, there was a continuous stream of visitors coming to this temple. When I entered the main entrance, the first building that was facing me was the Arahant’s hall. Inside the Arahant’s hall there are golden figures of monks. The word Arahant refers to someone who is pure. There are signage to inform visitors on appropriate attire for ladies and men; and also to remove your shoes before entering the temple or hall.
Just outside the Arahant hall building is the Four Face Buddha Statue. I understand that the Four Face Buddha is a deity and not the Lord Budhha itself. Nevertheless, this deity is very popular as many people would pray to this Buddha for their wishes to come true. The Four Face Buddha has literally 4 faces facing four different directions. Each of the Four Face Buddha also represents a different element – The Face of Health and Peace, The Face of Prosperity and Good Fortune, the Face of a Good Relationships and the Face of Protection against harm and evils. So when I prayed to the Four Face Buddha, I am in fact seeking the blessings for all these elements. No wonder so many people from all walks of life would pray and seek the blessing from the Four Face Buddha.
On the left ( from the main entrance ) is the main hall of the Palelai Buddhist Temple. Before entering the main hall, I saw 2 large statue lions guarding the temple. Inside the main hall, I saw a large Golden Budhha in the center and a smaller size Buddha statue on the left and right side of the hall. At that time I saw quite a number of devotees praying in the main hall. Right above the main door of the main hall, there is a large mural that hangs on top of it. This mural depicts the many devotees coming together to pray to the Lord Buddha. There is a small entrance in the main hall that leads to the Founder’s Memorial Hall. Over there, I saw a monk sprinkling holy water and giving blessings to those devotees who were awaiting for this ceremony.
There is a Chedi in this Palelai Buddhist temple that is typical of a Thai styled design. There are significant meaning to this special design Chedi. The Chedi consists of 3 sections – the lower section of 8 circular rings, a bell shaped dome, a spire of 13 rings and finally a lotus bud that is protected by an umbrella. If you are keen to find out the meaning of the Chedi and want to find out more information on this temple, just visit their website at the link below –
The Palelai Buddhist temple is indeed a beautiful Thai temple. It has a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere; and I get to see beautiful images of Buddha, statues of Arahant and lions, beautiful murals and the popular Four Face Buddha. I do hoped that the management of this temple could looked into putting up information board or signage, so that visitors can read and have a better understanding of this temple.