A Travellerspoint blog

January 2015

Museum day #3

The actual National Museum of Singapore is under renovations, so what was left to see there, was slightly underwhelming. I was in time for the guided tour, which was informative, but it just wasn't worth the trip for me. Maybe it'll be better when it reopens later this year.

The Singapore Art Museum was also only half open, because it's moving to a new location soon. Anywho, I liked it better, as I usually like art museums the best anyway. There was lots of interesting art, including a cinema with giant bean bag chairs to lounge in.

Living animal machine

Living animal machine


Really old inscriptions

Really old inscriptions


Me vs. bean bag chair

Me vs. bean bag chair


Recycled stuff

Recycled stuff


Only graffiti allowed in Singapore

Only graffiti allowed in Singapore


Really awesome art, better in person

Really awesome art, better in person


Soundscape

Soundscape


Me at National Museum of Singapore

Me at National Museum of Singapore


Charcoal performance art

Charcoal performance art


Smelling some spices

Smelling some spices


Bell bought by Paul Revere's daughter or something

Bell bought by Paul Revere's daughter or something


Abstract art

Abstract art


Lobby of National Museum of Singapore

Lobby of National Museum of Singapore


All finished the pass!

All finished the pass!


Singapore Museum of Art

Singapore Museum of Art

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Museum day #2

Today I went to the Philatelic Museum and the Peranakan Museum.

The Philatelic Museum had a big exhibit on Elvis that was kind of hilarious, because it seemed really dumbed down. I guess maybe there's some people here who aren't familiar with him at all.

The Peranakans are local people who have mixed with other cultures, mostly local women marrying foreign men, for many centuries. They have their own unique culture within Singaporean society so this museum gives them a central spotlight. They are famous for beadwork and elaborate marriage ceremonies that last two weeks.

Elvis wrote a letter to the president

Elvis wrote a letter to the president


Peranakan wedding

Peranakan wedding


Elvis exhibit

Elvis exhibit


Peranakan Museum

Peranakan Museum


Philatelic Museum

Philatelic Museum


Peranakan wedding

Peranakan wedding


Elvis exhibit

Elvis exhibit


Elvis wrote a letter to the president

Elvis wrote a letter to the president


Peranakan living room

Peranakan living room


The first stamp ever

The first stamp ever


Peranakan living room

Peranakan living room


Mail shoot

Mail shoot


Peranakan dining room

Peranakan dining room

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Museum day #1

There's this three day museum pass you can get for $20 and it lets you into about six museums, so two per day.

The first day I went to Reflections at Bukit Chandu, where they explain the Japanese attack on Singapore and what led to the surrender of the British troops during World War II.

Then I went over to the Asian Civilizations museum where they explain all the different civilizations in Asia, because they are all in Singapore. Most of the stuff I knew, but it was nice to get a recap and learn a little bit more about India. I don't know anything about India and I'm not sure I even want to try to tackle that one.

Me vs. Vietnamese hat

Me vs. Vietnamese hat


Asian music

Asian music


Giant drum

Giant drum


Indian stuff

Indian stuff


Apron made from human bones

Apron made from human bones


Asian Civilizations Museum

Asian Civilizations Museum


Hologram war

Hologram war


Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Thow Kwang Pottery Village

So, I had all kinds of time to kill until my Chinese visa was ready. One of the last places that I wanted to go to in my neighbourhood was Thow Kwang Pottery village. A place just for pottery, and where you can take pottery classes if you wish.

There is an "eco-garden" adjacent to the pottery place, so I spent the rest of the day there hiking around, watching some amateur wildlife photographers chase birds. I smiled to myself when I got home and opened up an email from my boss that described this period of one month's free pay as "garden leave".

Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Thow Kwang Pottery Village


Jurong Eco Garden

Jurong Eco Garden


Jurong Eco Garden

Jurong Eco Garden


Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Thow Kwang Pottery Village


Jurong Eco Garden

Jurong Eco Garden


Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Thow Kwang Pottery Village


Jurong Eco Garden

Jurong Eco Garden


Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Thow Kwang Pottery Village


Jurong Eco Garden

Jurong Eco Garden


Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Thow Kwang Pottery Village

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Fireddddd

Well I have been refusing to do "training" every single weekend (which is three) since I got here. Once, it was possible for me to do the training during the three hours that we do nothing in the afternoon from 3-6 p.m., but that wasn't good enough anymore, and they wanted me to do it on Monday and Tuesday. So, I just refused. I was told during the interview I would have these days off, so whatever. The next week I was fired. Oh really? Without notice. So, I happily took my payment in lieu of notice, pick up a work visa for China and planned my next adventure to Australia. In the days leading up to my approval of my visa, I went around the city some more looking at stuff.

The first thing I did when I got this notice, was go to East Coast Park and get me some seafood. Initially, the plan was to get chilli crab, but it's so expensive and I'm sure I've had better in Baltimore.

My first stop though, was a hindu temple. They were just finishing some renovations, so it was the evening before their big grand opening. Lots of people around and it was all very festive, the smell of jasmine was overpowering. After that, I got an oyster omelette and sat down beside a nice couple, who told me I was making the right choice and Singapore is too expensive for teachers like me. Maybe if I worked at a private regular daytime school, it would be alright, but working at a "tuition" is crap.

Skate park

Skate park


Me vs. oyster omelet

Me vs. oyster omelet


East coast park

East coast park


Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple


Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple


East Coast Park jetty

East Coast Park jetty


East Coast Park jetty

East Coast Park jetty


Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Lindsey and Cornelia drop by

Wow! How random.

My Girl Guide leader's daughter Lindsey and her friend Cornelia stopped in Singapore on their way to Bali during their big southeast Asia trip.

I met them at their hostel in the morning (Hostel Mitraa in Little India) and we immediately went to the Mer Lion. Then, we tried to get Cornelia's travellers' cheques cashed, which was impossible without a passport.

We went to Raffles Hotel where they both bought Singapore Slings. I really couldn't justify the $30 price tag to get one myself. Yikes. I snacked on the peanuts and watched them enjoy theirs, haha.

After that, it was time for lunch so, we went back to the hawker place for laksa for me and some Japanese/stir fry for Cornelia and Lindsey.

They decided to check out the botanic gardens and the National Orchid Garden, where we saw a monitor lizard and some squirrels in the rainforest. I took a ton of photos for my dad, who is now an orchid enthusiast.

They are also putting together a documentary on happiness, so I was interviewed for that! Should be cool to see when it comes out.

We were really super tired after all that running around, so we went back to Little India, I had some dosai (which is cheap and good and you should definitely eat it if you come across it) and Lindsey and Cornelia had a spicy crab meal.

From there we grabbed some cider and sat on the patio at their hostel, which I was really uncomfortable with, because there were a gazillion African and Indian men just leering at us the whole time. Ugh.

National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


Raffles Hotel with Lindsey and Cornelia

Raffles Hotel with Lindsey and Cornelia


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple


Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden


National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Jurong Bird Park and dinner with couchsurfers

Oh wow, the Jurong Bird Park was so much fun. I had no idea there were so many kinds of parrots. I saw two bird shows and zillions of birds. Some of the birds were sad and flying back and forth from end to end of their cages, but I think the majority were happy there. There were quite a few large free flying aviaries. But, in reality, these birds would normally enjoy the whole world if they were allowed to leave the zoo. Also, they had a nice cold place for a bunch of penguins, but for some reason, they had to shove maybe five of them out into the heat. I didnt see any indication of the reasons for this… So, I'm not sure how I felt about this place now that I think about it.

My favourite part was the nursery, where you can see baby chicks hatching in incubators. I happened to get there at feeding time and it was cute.

After that, I went downtown to the couch surfing meet up, but I was early so I walked around following my guidebook and taking pictures of famous architecture again.

When I got to the meet up, I met some cool Singaporeans, ate some sting ray and then drank some beers on a swing at Raffles Place.

I had to distract this guy away from one of my new friends the whole night, that was weird. So basically, I drank beers with an arrogant, baby-man from Australia on the swings all night, rather than really enjoying myself with some fun 20-somethings. Haha. Oh well. Louise: taking one for the team since 1981.

Nagore Durgha Shrine

Nagore Durgha Shrine


Snowy owl

Snowy owl


Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park


Me vs. sting ray

Me vs. sting ray


Scarlet Ibises

Scarlet Ibises


Toucan bird show

Toucan bird show


Pelican bird show

Pelican bird show


Bird aviary

Bird aviary


South American birds

South American birds


Me vs. sting ray

Me vs. sting ray


Pelican bird show

Pelican bird show


Me vs. ostriches

Me vs. ostriches


Cassowary

Cassowary


Boat Quay

Boat Quay


UOB complex

UOB complex


Ostriches

Ostriches


Penguins in the heat!

Penguins in the heat!


Raffles Place

Raffles Place


Buildings downtown

Buildings downtown


You can never have enough flamingoes

You can never have enough flamingoes


Ostriches

Ostriches


Penguins in the heat!

Penguins in the heat!


Old building downtown

Old building downtown


Flamingoes!

Flamingoes!


Ostrich

Ostrich


Baby parrot

Baby parrot

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Katong neighbourhood and Joo Chiat Rd.

There is some more of those embellished shop fronts preserved on Joo Chiat Rd in Katong neighbourhood, so I went down there to see some more of it.

I had dinner of dumplings and Peranakan cookies.

Storefronts on Joo Chiat Rd.

Storefronts on Joo Chiat Rd.


Storefront on Joo Chiat Rd.

Storefront on Joo Chiat Rd.


Me vs. dumpling

Me vs. dumpling


Joo Chiat Complex

Joo Chiat Complex

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

East end architecture tour

Sunday is my Friday so I took off on Friday night to go exploring the east end of the city. This is the place where all the Malay people moved to back in the day, but now it is a mixture of people everywhere. Mainly, I wanted to see the old fashioned two-storey storefronts and eat some famous beef noodles. The rest I guess, was just gravy.

First, I headed to the national stadium. It's brand new and kind of looks like the moon. I mistakenly took a bus instead of the MRT there. The customer service people are not very helpful here. They are more confusing than anything.

From there, I went to Geylang Rd. and found my noodle shop, went looking around at the cool shopfronts and then went home.

Sports Hub

Sports Hub


Storefonts

Storefonts


Storefront

Storefront


Sports Hub

Sports Hub


Storefronts

Storefronts


Me vs. beef noodles

Me vs. beef noodles


Sports Hub

Sports Hub


Storefront

Storefront


Storefronts

Storefronts


Storefront

Storefront


Storefronts

Storefronts


Sports Hub bridge

Sports Hub bridge

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

So many adventures!

Singapore is really small, so it's easy to have a lot of adventures in one day. I started off at Alkoff Mansion, but it's not very interesting, so I left quickly. I headed on down to the ritzy Keppel Bay Marina, where the boardwalk was virtually deserted. That's the good thing about weekends during the week! I dunno if it was me, but it seemed like everyone there was pretty snooty, besides the ever-present gardeners and security guards, they were very self-centred people. I would try to smile and say hi, they always looked the other way. I even got bumped off of a sidewalk once because this man would not move over and/or walk behind his girlfriend to make room for me! He just bashed me on the shoulder instead.

After that I ended up in Labrador Park, which was awesome with an amazing mangrove you could walk through on a long boardwalk and a memorial to the soldiers that died while their guns were pointed the wrong way in a Japanese attack on Singapore in WWII.

Then I went for some Indian businessman lunch on a silver divided tray. Had no idea what to order, so I just said vegetarian. Also, had no idea how to eat it.

From there, I went up into the treetop canopy at Kent Ridge Park, also really peaceful and it was completely deserted on a Monday afternoon.

The highlight of the day hands down was Haw Par Villa. It's an amazing sculpture garden telling the stories of Chinese deities. I had heard about a lot of them already from when I lived in China, but this place made it really clear. It was originally built in 1937 by the son of the guy who invented Tiger Balm, so the vintagey, kitschy feel was incredible. The 10 courts of hell were amazing, with lots of gory brutal sculptures in a creepy cave. I even saw super monkey! Many of his escapades were on display in tableau format. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Asians sure do love tableaus.

After that, I needed a break so I was going to hang out at a bar in the trendy Holland Village area. However, it was so trendy that beer was at least $10/pint. No thank you, I'll have a slurpee instead thanks, and then I just went home, had an argument with my landlord and moved out the next day.

Keppel Bay Marina

Keppel Bay Marina


Labrador Park mangrove

Labrador Park mangrove


Talok Blangah Park

Talok Blangah Park


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Me in the canopy walk

Me in the canopy walk


Keppel Bay Marina

Keppel Bay Marina


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Keppel Bay Marina

Keppel Bay Marina


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Me at Labrador Park mangrove

Me at Labrador Park mangrove


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Kent Ridge Park

Kent Ridge Park


Keppel Bay Marina

Keppel Bay Marina


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Labrador Park mangrove

Labrador Park mangrove


Me vs. Holland Village slurpee

Me vs. Holland Village slurpee


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Keppel Bay boardwalk

Keppel Bay boardwalk


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Keppel Bay boardwalk

Keppel Bay boardwalk


Alkoff Mansion

Alkoff Mansion


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Labrador Park gun emplacement

Labrador Park gun emplacement


Tiger Balm car

Tiger Balm car


Labrador Park mangrove

Labrador Park mangrove


Keppel Island bridge

Keppel Island bridge


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Labrador Park

Labrador Park


Labrador Park mangrove

Labrador Park mangrove


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Me in Labrador Park mangrove

Me in Labrador Park mangrove


Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa


Canopy walk

Canopy walk

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Mount Faber and Harbourfront Centre

I felt energetic so I headed out to see the rainforest in the middle of the city at Mount Faber. Turns out there's lots of forests in the city here. It's pretty cool. I also explored Harbourfront Centre and VivoCity mall but it's not really worth talking about.

They turned an old power station into some trendy clubs as well, so you can see the architecture on that one. I didn't go in any of the bars, they weren't open yet and also, they were probably astronomically expensive anyway.

On top of the mountain

On top of the mountain


St. James Power Station

St. James Power Station


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


Ferry times

Ferry times


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


Ferry times

Ferry times


Harbourfront

Harbourfront


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


St. James Power Station

St. James Power Station


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


Vivo City

Vivo City


Mount Faber

Mount Faber


Ferry times

Ferry times


Me in the forest

Me in the forest


Me on the top of Mount Faber

Me on the top of Mount Faber

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)