Not the Crystal Maze…

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…but I sure miss that show!
Here’s a quick snap for the weekly photo challenge, Edge This was in 2014 in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.

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Gardens by the Bay

 

 

I first came across Gardens by the Bay in 2012.  I saw the supertrees and the gardens was set to have its soft opening sometime that year.  I finally got to visit in 2014, and by then, there were plenty of attractions to enjoy for more than half a day.

More than aesthetics though, what I find epic about Gardens by the Bay is how it’s designed for sustainability, as these cool schematics illustrate.  In a nutshell:

  • Biomass is optimized in the gardens.  Green waste is burned to generate electricity for the complex and heat the dehumidifiers running in the cool conservatories.  Part of the green waste is also used as fertilizer for new material for the different gardens.
  • The cool conservatories’ greenhouses are shaped as such to collect rainwater.  It gets filtered, then used for irrigating new seedlings and cuttings.  The rest of the filtered rainwater gets discharged into the Marina reservoir.
  • Flue gases (or gas emissions from burning the green waste) drive ventilation in the supertrees.  Moist air expelled from the trees help maintain the right conditions for surrounding wildlife.
  • Water runoff from the gardens is further treated in the Dragonfly and Kingfisher lakes naturally by the trees, aquatic plants and animals that are in these lakes.

Now that is epic environmental engineering!  And Gardens by the Bay is a sight to behold, too:

 

Gardens by the Bay is accessible via MRT.  Alight at the Bayfront MRT Station, take Exit B, cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge.  And into the gardens you go!

Admission rates for the conservatories are as follows:

  • Local Resident Rate – One Conservatory
    Adults: SGD12
    Senior Citizens (>60 years old): SGD8
    Children (3-12 years old): SGD8
  • Local Resident Rate – Two Conservatories
    Adults: SGD20
    Senior Citizens (>60 years old): SGD15
    Children (3-12 years old): SGD12
  • Standard Rate – Two Conservatories
    Adults: SGD28
    Children (3-12 years old): SGD15

Access to the rest of the areas is pretty much free (OCBC Skyway has a fee of SGD5, I believe). The conservatories are generally open daily, from 9 am – 9 pm, and last admission is 8:30 pm.  You can get your tickets online to save time queueing, too.

A Look Back: HP Music Matters 2013 – J Rock Night

I can’t believe it’s been three years!

Yes, on May 23, 2013, flumpool and SID played on Clarke Quay’s Fountain Stage for HP Music Matters’ J Rock Night.  These gigs (actually, more of SID) were my main reason for flying to Singapore on a budget that year.  The little sightseeing I got to do back then was in Chinatown.

I had a full day then because I met with a high school classmate.  After a few hours’ chat,  I rushed to Clarke Quay.  It was pretty cool too how I got to walk with what turned out to be one of the performers that night, a Malaysian band called An Honest Mistake. They were going to the venue too so at least I had company along the way.  Too bad I wasn’t able to see them play though because they were slated to go onstage at around 1 am or so.

Clarke Quay gave me the Eastwood Libis vibe and it would have been nice to go around.  (Barhopping isn’t my thing so I’ll just be content taking pictures though.) But I didn’t have time to explore because SID was just a few minutes away from playing!

When I reached the Fountain Stage area, the place was already almost filled up and the fans were fully geared with their signs and glow sticks.  I was lucky to get a spot on the left side near the stage–at my distance from the stage, I’d still be able to take decent enough pics with my phone, and it’s the side I very much prefer! Haha 😛

So here are some pics of flumpool.  Wasn’t really a fan but I loved their energy on stage!

Flumpool played five songs, and after a few minutes came SID’s turn to rock the stage^^

It was my first time to see them perform live and I couldn’t be more excited to catch them up close.  Mao addressing the crowd in English was pretty endearing, too.  The first three songs they played are their popular anime themes–モノクロのキス、嘘 and VIP–and then they played One Way, with夏恋 as their finale.  Mao asked a fan to sing part of VIP.

These gigs were streamed online for free but I’d never trade the experience of actually being there~

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Check any travel guide about Singapore, and the Botanic Gardens would certainly be among the top recommended attractions–and rightly so.  It’s pretty much free to go around (except for the minimal fee to get to the National Orchid Garden), and yet it’s very rich in nature and history.

The gardens are a vast sanctuary in the heart of the city.  There’s so much to explore, it’ll take literally a whole day or maybe even two to fully experience what the gardens have to offer.

My plan was to get there early, but being the nocturnal creature that I am, I woke up pretty late and got to the gardens at around 11 am.  I started my looooong stroll from Bukit Timah Gate, where I took some shots of the Eco Lake:

After a brief stop and looking at the map several times, I decided to make National Orchid Garden my priority, then the small tropical rainforest.  I’d then check out the other gardens if I still had the energy to do so.

And stuck to the plan I did. Here’s a mini-gallery of the different sections of the National Orchid Garden:

And choice shots from the rainforest:

A must when going to the Botanic Gardens is plenty of time, fully charged camera battery and enough space in your SD card, comfortable shoes, and a bottle of water.  (There are drinking fountains throughout the garden where you can refill the bottle, too.)

When I do go back to Singapore, I’ll definitely check out the Botanic Gardens again and visit the rest of the sections I wasn’t able to explore as much as I wanted to. Besides, there are upcoming attractions to this newly inaugurated World Heritage Site 🙂

Singapore Botanic Gardens is open every day of the year from 5 am – 12 mn, although certain sections have their own schedules.  It is also very accessible via bus or train, and tourist shuttle services are available as well.

‘Til next time!

Sightseeing in Singapore: Marina Bay

One of the things I love about Singapore is how walkable the streets are, and for a state so progressive and modern, they do have a significant amount of carefully planned space that people can enjoy.

Marina Bay is one such place.  It’s surrounded by a commercial  and business districts; museums and plenty of open space and just enough greens.  And Marina Bay is more than a showcase; it’s a symbol of Singapore’s history and progress.

In my second most impromptu trip ever in 2014, I walked around National Botanic Gardens at high noon, stopped by the hotel to rest for about an hour, headed to Gardens by the Bay and finally walked around Marina Bay.  I’ll write about the gardens on separate posts (and a dedicated one on the Botanic Gardens, as requested by my boyfriend^^).

But for now, here are some highlights of my stop at the bay:

Home Cooking: Hainanese Chicken Rice

I love food (then again, who doesn’t?) 😛 now as for cooking, it’s probably my favorite household chore because more than anything, it strangely calms me down and I know I’m gonna enjoy the fruits of my labor… well usually! Haha!

So why am I writing about home-cooked food, you may ask?  Well it’s my take on a Singaporean classic, for one and I do miss Singaporean cuisine!

I saw a short video of this recipe on Facebook and knew that I have to take my own shot at it.  Mine is much simpler though because I ran out of oyster sauce and soy sauce.  But at least I have my homemade chili oil :3

The recipe’s pretty simple; just flavor the rice and water, give it a stir, put the chicken slices and green onion stalks on top, and start cooking the rice.

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The ingredients I used are

  • skinless chicken breast fillets
  • green onion stalks
  • salt
  • thinly sliced ginger
  • chicken cube
  • rice
  • water
  • homemade chili oil

Then I drizzled chili oil on top of the chicken and sprinkled freshly cut spring onions.  I like how it turned out!

It’s time and energy-saving too since I get to cook my rice and dish in one pot at the same time.

Do you have similar recipes that you like to make or to try out? 🙂

Vibrant Singapore Chinatown

About three years ago, I didn’t really have any plans of traveling so soon after my KL trip with friends.  That was until finding out that SID would be playing at HP Music Matters JRock Night. Fangirl mode triggered, I figured I still had juuuust enough money to go but I’ll be on a tight budget.  So I thought of staying in a scenic part of SG which at the same time would be close to Clarke Quay (because I don’t think I could afford staying at Clarke Quay >_< )

And so that’s how I ended up staying at Chinatown.  I booked a standard room at Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen.  It’s a restored Chinese Opera House-turned-hotel, and location-wise, it’s at a sweet spot.

The hotel staff were friendly and helpful, but I didn’t like my room assignment at all.  I was situated at the ground floor at the corner near a fire exit.  And I saw a small rat in my room too 😦 The lounge and other floors seem impressive, but I don’t think I’d go back to this hotel anymore.

Enough of the hotel.  Here are glimpses of Chinatown, both from exploring and unintentionally getting lost:

A Look Back: ONE OK ROCK Start Walking the World Tour (2012)

Writing about ONE OK ROCK today because it’s Taka‘s birthday^^

A popular conversation starter among fan groups run along these lines:

“What was the first song you heard from (insert band/ artist/ pop culture trash name here)?”

“Who introduced you to them?”

“What made you start liking them?”

Funny how with ONE OK ROCK, my answer to these three questions is either “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” or “I’m not really sure.” But hey, by the time they did their Asian tour last 2012, I already liked them enough to fly to Singapore to see them.

It would also be my first time in Singapore and I met my friend there so we could watch the concert together.

ONE OK ROCK’s gig was held in SCAPE Warehouse, located near Orchard Road.  I’d say SCAPE is an edgy mall geared to attract the youth, a rather fitting venue for ONE OK ROCK’s concert.  The venue’s indoor and pretty small compared to the crowds they attract now (I’ll write about their gig here in Manila!!! one of these days), but that just meant their energy reverberated even more!

So, a here’s quick recount of that concert in a few pictures:

Set list:  1. CODA 2. LOST AND FOUND 3. Never Let This Go 4. 皆無 5. Re:make 6. 世間知らずの宇宙飛行士 7. アンサイズニア 8. Mr.現代Speaker 9. Liar 10.Wherever you are 11.C.h.a.o.s.m.y.t.h. 12.Let’s take it someday 13.NO SCARED 14.恋ノアイボウ心ノクピド 15.完全感覚Dreamer Encore: 1.じぶんROCK 2.内秘心書

ONE OK ROCK has certainly come a long way since (Manila included ❤ ❤ ) and it’s great to see them keep their place in the international scene.  Looking forward to more of their gigs both elsewhere and here back home!