Sunday, July 18, 2010

Singapore (4 of 4): Sept 2009 - May 2010

The Integrated Resorts

The integrated resorts are the efforts of the Singapore government to diversify the country's economy by getting a share in the ever growing gambling business around the world (as least this is how i feel). The two large-scale resorts were conceived to meet Singapore's economic and tourism objectives for the next decade and they will have 30-year casino licenses, exclusive for the first ten years. We were there to catch the partially opening of the both resorts.

Resort World Sentosa

What are the major differences between Disneyland and Universal Studio? The cartoon characters? i think both are rather similar in the nature, to cater the need of small children and adults, with either the cartoons or the thrill games.

The foreigner got free entry, while the Singaporean and permanent residents have admission fees of SGD 100.

My sister said this part of the escalator with the wall murals of fishes and forest, the background music of birds and water, gave her a feeling of being in the tropical forest.

In general, i think resort world sentosa live up its name to cater the needs of the family. There are well equipped nursing room around and the areas are wheel chair or baby pram friendly. I later found out that, these facilities are not come in handy at the other integrated resort.

Marina Bay Sands

The Helix Bridge is a pedestrian bridge linking Marina Centre with Marina South. The bridge also functions as a gallery where children's paintings and drawings are exhibited for public viewing. When we were there, it was only half opened due to ongoing construction at the Marina Bay Sands.

The SkyPark is supposed to be home to the world's longest elevated swimming pool and also boasts rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens hundreds of trees and plants and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline.
It wasn't completed by the time we were there.

The casino is expecting to generate at least $1 billion in annual profit. People said, the interior of this casino looked more 'class' than the one in Sentosa.

At The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands or The Sands Expo and Convention Center, there is a good view from the deck to the opposite Esplanade.
The whole shopping mall has only one nursing room and poorly equipped, by the time of our visit. They probably do not plan to accepat any expo or convention relavant to baby or parenting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Singapore (3): Sept 2009 - May 2010

Places to Visit

If you ask me where do i missing the most in Singapore, i would say, my previous work place. I quite like the working environment, my bosses, my colleagues but i did complain about my job getting routine and lack of challenges. After i haven't been really working much for more than 2 years, i miss the CMM, the caliper, doing FAI, doing MSA, doing audit reports... Not to mention that, i knew by the end of the month, there will be increment in my bank account summary. :) When i read the forwarded email saying: 'If you are complaining about your job, then that is a good sign! Because you have a job and income!' I feel this to be very true and there is a feeling of gratitute that i never had towards my old employer. I wish the company doing well, so that it can continue to provide for all my former colleagues.

People taking train passing between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib always see this park, The Bottle Tree. It is a private park opens to the public for fishing and event. There are 2 restaurant and a bar within the compound.

In 1921, the building of Phor Kark See Monastery started as the first traditional Chinese forest monastery in Singapore, by Venerable Zhuan Dao.
Since Phor Kark See Monastery is situated at Kong Meng San ("Bright Hill"), it came to be known as Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.
Venerable Hong Choon with great perseverance, he progressively developed and expanded the monastery with his followers into the largest and most majestic place of practice in Singapore.
I was the volunteer temple guide in one of the year of wesak day celebration.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown. They used to provide free meals, but eventually stopped due to the widespread economic recession.

Singapore Zoo. This is a polar bear living in the tropical country. The pool and place to confine it is without air-con. Poor him.
Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc.

Nick named, the 'durian', by the local, Esplnade - The Theatre on the Bay, is Singapore major performing arts centre.
Also in picture, The Singapore Flyer ,is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km, including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

The Merlion is an imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot of Singapore.
The completion of the Esplanade Bridge, in 1997, blocked the views of the Merlion from the Marina Bay waterfront. By then, the original Merlion location was also no longer the entrance of Singapore River. So, in 2002, the statue and its cub were relocated 120 metres to the current Merlion Park that fronts Marina Bay where it stands on a newly-reclaimed promontory in front of The Fullerton Hotel.

Raffles Place was located on the south bank of the Singapore River. Near by is the pubs, bars and restaurants infected Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.
This is the central business district dominated by the skyscrapers with the flagship banks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Singapore (2): Sept 2009 - May 2010

The Greens in the City

I was a nature guide at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin. At that time, the nature walk at Chek Jawa was still not really under the coordination of National Park. Volunteers like me were trained by the nature lover, Ria Tan. The amount of time that she put into propagating and helping to conserve the limited wild areas (mostly shores) in Singapore, had made her a personal legend to me. She was the one who coordinated with the visitors, guides, van drivers and managed all the other logistic, such as check the tide table. I always enjoy dinner of the guides at the coffe shop in Changi Village after the guiding. The guides would gossiping about the behaviour/attitudes of the visitors, about the discovery of the day and others. Eventually, N Park took over the 'job' at Chek Jawa. Chek Jawa is in the development blue print of Singapore. It is to be reclaimed and developed in the later time. I did not manage to visit to Chek Jawa for this time. I hope next time, i could do so.

I did not know there is this Sembawang Beach, not too far from where we stayed. The beach was a bit dirty when we were there, quite many rubbish and the water won't made you feel like to swim. May be because it was near to the shipyard. There were people harvesting mussels, family camping and picnic too. Johor Bahru is just right in front.

After my 1 month confinement, we went for a walk with our new born at Sungai Buluh Wetland.

There were quite a few monitor lizards sun bathing. I remember when i was young, there was a guy nick named 'eleven fingers', who was always catching monitor lizard to sell the meat.

MacRitchie Reservoir is Singapore's oldest reservoir. There are boardwalks skirting the edge of the scenic MacRitchie Reservoir and walking trails through the forest. The board walk is pram friendly until certain area. There is a TreeTop Walk offers visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding lush rainforest.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the only botanic garden in the world that opens from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight every single day of the year, and does not charge an admission fee, except for the National Orchid Garden. The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage on Symphony Lake occasionally has free concerts on weekends. This is definitely a family friendly place. In the evening or morning, you can see people jogging, playing Qi Gong or walk their pets.