Saturday 29 October 2011

All aboard the R.M.S. Titanic

Step on board RMS Titanic for the first time in Southeast Asia, and experience the majestic and dramatic maiden voyage of the iconic Ship almost 100 years after it set sail in 1912.

Each visitor receives a replica boarding pass
(photo taken by me)

This Exhibition takes visitors through the Ship's conception, construction, sailing day, life on board, the famous iceberg, Titanic's sinking, the discovery of the wreck, while all throughout telling the incredible stories of her passengers and crew.  With a replica boarding pass of an actual passenger onboard the Titanic, embark on the journey through about 275 authentic artifacts - of which 14 have never been seen before - such as china etched with the logo of the elite White Star Line, sheet music and jewelry items, and extensive re-creations of the First and Third Class Cabins, the Grand Staircase, Boiler Room and other locations on Titanic.

No photography or recording devices are allowed in this exhibition, so the following two photos are not mine.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Deepavali - Festival of Lights

Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November for different reasons.  For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.  For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.

This year, the Festival of Lights falls on 26 October 2011.

During Deepavali, the streets of Little India are artfully decorated and lit up in bright festive colours, transforming it with an explosion of vibrant, colourful arches and lights.

The festive stalls are decorated with wares such as fragrant flowers, garlands used during prayers, traditional oil lamps and beautiful Saris with intricate brocade patterns and glittering gems.  Colourful Indian outfits, intricate costume jewellery and traditional arts and craft are also on sale.  Indian delicacies can also be found in abundance during this period.

Lights on Serangoon Road

A new outfit isn’t complete without the application of henna on the hands.  Made from the henna plant, this natural-dye temporary ‘tattoo’ washes off in less than two weeks.

Thursday 20 October 2011

What a small world we live in

A random blog post I know, but I've gotta get this off my chest!

I was invited to an afternoon tea through one of my expat friends.  When I arrived, I meet up with a fellow Kiwi.  This gets interesting.

Not only are we both Kiwis, but we both lived in the same city, lived in nearby suburbs, lived about 1km away from each other, her in-laws live about less than 200 metres away from my Mother.  We both attended the same Primary and Intermediate Schools . . . and I perhaps know her sister that also attended both of those schools!

What a small, small world we live in.

Dalí: Mind of a Genius – The Exhibition

Enter the surreal mind of Salvador Dalí, one of the 20th century’s best-known artists and the most iconic figure of the surrealist movement.

There are over 250 artworks which highlight the creativeness of Dalí across different mediums, including bronze sculptures, rare graphics, furniture, gold jewelry and crystal pieces in three themed areas – Femininity and Sensuality, Religion and Mythology, Dreams and Fantasy.

Dalí: Mind of a Genius – The Exhibition
Art Science Museum - Marina Bay Sands
14 May - 13 November 2011

Wednesday 19 October 2011

The Karung guni man

Since moving to our new home, I have been wondering why a truck comes down the street a couple of times a day, announcing his presence by blowing his air-horn.

According to wikipedia "The practice of Karung guni is common in Singapore.  Its practitioners are a modern form of "rag and bone men" that visit residences door-to-door.  They make visits in carts, collecting old newspapers and other unwanted items.  These will be resold at specialized markets and eventually recycled or reused.  "Karung guni" is a Malay phrase for gunny sack, which was used in the past to hold the newspapers.  The karung guni men would haul the heavy sacks on their backs as they walked their rounds to do the collection".

This photo was not taken by me.

"These people can be distinguished by their use of horns or hand bell and shouts of "karung guni, poh zhua gu sa kor, pai leh-lio, dian si ki..." ("Rag and bone, newspapers and old clothes, spoilt radios, televisions" in Singlish and Hokkien) when making their rounds.  Depending on the person, a nominal fee is paid for the quantity of newspapers or unwanted items sold".

Friday 14 October 2011

Another KIWI set to land in Singapore!

Guess what?!  My cousin from Wellington, New Zealand is due to arrive at the beginning of November.  I cannot wait to show her around the sights, sounds and smells of the "Little Red Dot."

Photo courtesy of Sarah Young

Thursday 13 October 2011

Shopping in Johor Bahru

The novelty of shopping in Johor Bahru (JB) is that you catch a bus to . . . wait for it . . . another country!

My day began with a 49 minute train ride from Eunos (EW Line) to Kranji (NS Line), changing lines twice during the trip.

At Kranji, I met up with six other ladies, hopped on Bus 170, heading towards Woodlands Checkpoint, through to Malaysia, for a day of shopping at a mall called City Square.

Strategically located in the heart of the city and only a stone’s throw from the customs and immigration checkpoint, City Square stands out as a central landmark in JB.

City Square has four levels of shops, a food court, as mentioned by Leone Fabre (who organised this trip), this mall is best known for shoes, books, medication and bling, bling!

Why go all the way to Malaysia you may ask.  The answer - shopping in Malaysia is a lot cheaper than Singapore.

Huge thanks to Leone, who organised the day and showed us all how to get over to Malaysia hassle free.  As Leone has already written a fantastic blog about how to get there, you can read it for yourself here.

Proof that we all did some shopping (photo by Leone Fabre)

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens sits on a 74-hectare (183-acre) of land.  The Garden is bordered by Holland Road and Napier Road to the south, Cluny Road to the east, Tyersall Avenue and Cluny Park Road to the west and Bukit Timah Road to the North.

If travelling by foot, entrance is easy through the Gardens' major entrances: Tanglin Gate, Burkill Gate, Nassim Gate and Cluny Park Gate, and through the Bukit Timah Entrance. The Bukit Timah entrance (located at the northwestern part of the Bukit Timah Core area of the Gardens) is right outside the MRT station exit, called "Botanical Gardens"

MRT Exit (when you exit, the gates are on your right)

National Orchid Garden
Since 1859, orchids have been closely associated with the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The products of the Gardens' orchid breeding programme, which began in 1928, deserve a place where they can be displayed in their full splendour. The very design of these orchids is, one could say, 'hand-crafted' by the Gardens' horticultural staff, dedicated to bringing out the finest in any hybrid cross.

Over 1000 species and 2,000 hybrids are now found in the Gardens' collection, with about 600 species and hybrids on display. Every year, more vibrant and enduring hybrids are added on. So that all may admire and enjoy their diversity, richness and beauty, the National Orchid Garden now offers a permanent showcase, the largest display of tropical orchids in the world.

Admission to the Botanic Garden is free, except for the National Orchid Garden.

There is a lot more to see and do at the Gardens, go for a visit!

Skypark at Marina Bay Sands

(Updated - please find details regarding access to the infinity pool at the end of this post).
Photo taken before the completion of the Art Science Museum and the Crystal Pavilions

Located along the Marina Bay waterfront, Marina Bay Sands features three cascading hotel towers topped by an extraordinary sky park, ‘floating’ crystal pavilions, a lotus-inspired Museum, retail stores featuring cutting-edge labels and international luxury brands, trendy Celebrity Chef restaurants, endless entertainment at the theaters, the hottest night clubs and a Las Vegas-style casino.

Stretching longer than the Eiffel tower laid down or four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets, standing at 55 storeys high, with an impressive 12,400 square meters of space, the Sands SkyPark can host up to 3900 people. The gravity-defying cantilever is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

On top of the Skypark there is a public observation deck on one side and a 150-metre infinity swimming pool, the world's largest outdoor pool at that height (for use by hotel guests only) on the other side.

The Singapore Flyer and part of the F1 track
The Esplanade - Theaters on the Bay
The Art Science Museum
The Float @ Marina Bay

Infinity Pool
Infinity Pool

Updated - 23 December 2012
  • Three guided tours are available for Observation Deck tickets holders at 10am, 2pm, 9pm.  Please check the left-hand information box on the Sands SkyPark page for closure notices.
  • Guests are advised to register at the SkyPark Box Office (B1, Tower 3). Registration starts 9.30am daily, on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration list is refreshed daily. (No advanced registration)
  • Each tour is limited to 50 guests and lasts approximately 15 minutes.
  • Ticket holders can visit the Observation Deck before their guided tours they've registered for begins.  However, should a guest exit the Observation Deck before the tour starts, they will have to purchase a new ticket.

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