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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Singapore Garden Festival 2014

I have been going to the Singapore Garden Festival for the past few years. Usually it is held indoor at Suntec City but this year they decided to have it at Garden by the Bay South which was pretty cool or so I thought.

I first went on a Tuesday with a group. It rained early in the afternoon but by they time we got there, the rain had stopped and the sun was out. Which was the first problem. It was hot. Freaking hot especially with the crowd. So we avoided the outdoor exhibits which was a pity. To ensure that the plants survived the heat and rain, there was also a huge air condition tent to house the rest of the exhibits. But no matter how big it was, it was still much smaller than Suntec. And there was a series of a pavilions and not all of them were air conditioned which means we were subject to the heat. 

One of the outdoor garden display with the air con tent in the background
Another of the outdoor display
The orchids exhibits and contest area were housed separately in the Flower Dome but here again the exhibit area was so much more smaller than Suntec. The orchids were displayed together and there were queues everywhere to see them.
We have to queue (foreground) to go in for a look at the winning orchids entry
The main display for the orchids was in this structure where they planted the orchids all the way to the top on  the inside of this structure. Unfortunately one had to queue to go in and see the orchids.

And this is what the inside looks like. 

So I think they should move the show back to Suntec. If they really want the connection to Garden by the Bay, then maybe hold it at MBS and people can walk over to the Garden if they so wish.

Anyway, here are some photos of some unusual looking flowers from this year Festival and from the Flower Dome.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tiger Orchid

Mother Nature seems to be having fun with Singapore the past months. First there was this flower bloom all over. Then came the Tropical Swallowtail moth. And now there is this Tiger Orchid blooming all over Singapore.

I first heard about the blooming in the papers. Before that I swear I never even seen a single stalk here in Singapore. Then I saw it at MacRitchie Reservoir, a place that I go so regularly and yet have never seen it before. And suddenly I have friends telling me where they seen it. 
One of the beautiful Tiger Orchid at MacRitchie Reservoir
And on Saturday morning, I saw a big clump at Upper Peirce Reservoir, another place that I go so often and yet never seen the plant before.
The Tiger Orchid at Upper Peirce Reservoir
Some may ask what so special about the Tiger Orchid. After all, there are plenty of orchids in Singapore. Well the Tiger Orchid is supposed to be the biggest orchid plant in the world. Not the flower but the entire plant. And it flowers like maybe once in 5 years.

And the just concluded Singapore Garden Festival has a whooping 300 kg plant on display. Each stalk is approximately 2 metres long. How that for big!
The Tiger Orchid at the Singapore Garden Festival

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sentosa Facelift

Sentosa is getting a facelift after nearly 8 years, The last time it under goes a major change was the development of the Resort World. According to the press release, Sentosa will be getting five themed zones most of which will be along the beach.

But according to our little bird, that is not all that Sentosa is getting.

Sentosa will be hosting Singapore's first nudist resort! To shed more light on the unclothing of this, we managed to corner an executive of Sentosa Discovery Centre, Mr Miah Cheng Kor in the men's locker room to find out the rationale for the decision.

Mr Miah said "OMG, your little bird very big hor! Your news faster than I can unzip my pants hahaha! Yes yes we were mulling over how to attract more people to Sentosa. We already have the casino, the musical fountain, the museums, 2 aquariums, the golf course and we need something really unique. So then hor we were meeting and big Boss said die die Sentosa must have something new and so unique that it will be a game changer for Singapore. My good buddy, Mr Boh Cheng Sar and me, we were you know in the gym changing room when we saw the news. And bingo!

You know, the news about the people going to this ulu beach in Penang for this nudist sports game. And it struck us. Why should Penang get the cream of the nudists. And Singaporeans some more! If Singapore has its own nudist resort, then our nudists don't have to go and spent their money in another country and kena charged. They can shed their inhibitions and of course their cloths right here in Sentosa. And imagine how many more tourists will come. Abd you know, our Sentosa beach hosts many sports events a year so we can even have the first International Nudist Sports Game here not a miserly game for just 18 people on some faraway isalnd. Singapore do things must have style ok?

Of course to protect our guests from all the cheeko peks and paparazzi, we will have a 5 metres high fence to block them out and keep our guests' privacy. Even the beach will be blocked off to prevent sharks and fish from swimming in. We won't want the fish to mistake anything dangling as a worm and take a bit hor...hahaha"

So there you have it, Singapore very first nudist beach coming up soon to a neighbour island next to you. Get ready, shed your cloth and go....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

MacRitchie Reservoir

I go to MacRitchie Reservoir pretty often. Most times to run. Very rarely for any other things. During a run, it is pretty difficult to spot anything except maybe the monkeys or occasional monitor lizards. Some people have spotted snakes but while I seen them, this was not during a run but a hike.

Recently I went with a group of students for a hike to the Tree Top Walk. And because we were not running, we spotted so many things that I never noticed in my run.

Like this patch of beautiful Tiger Orchids just outside the ranger station. Now I stopped at the Ranger Station on almost every run for the past 6 years and I swear I never knew there was a big clump of Tiger Orchids growing just outside it. 

Then there is this little mushroom on the floor. It was covered by the fallen leaves and a Nparks officer showed it to us. Apparently it can eject a puff of powder if disturbed hence it is called the powder puff mushroom.

And everybody who been to MacRitchie is familiar with the long tailed macaques or monkeys as we called them. Unfortunately most of the sightings are either of them around the Amenities Centre scrounging for human food or chasing visitors for more human food. But how often have we seen them in their natural habitat in the trees or eating fruits like what we saw when we on the tree top trail?

Last but not least, how many people have seen a flying fox in MacRitchie? This one we saw was so near I could almost touch it.

Isn't these sightings good enough reasons for us to slow down and smell the flowers and look at the rich wildlife that abounds in MacRitchie.

Monday, August 4, 2014

126 Wan Dou Sek

I heard about this dim sum outlet in Geylang but never actually been there. Until now. As per the grapevine, there was a long queue outside the small little shop. Thank goodness a friend was there earlier and he queued up for us first.

The place is a tad too small with long table instead of the usual round tables. But while the place is certainly no fancy restaurant, it makes up for it with character and a super long menu comprising dim sum of all sorts and even chilli crab!

Ordering was simple. We just write down what we want from the menu onto a plain piece of paper and one of the staff takes it away and before we can even warm the seat, everything is on the table. The food comes quick and fast I suppose so that we can eat and get out fast.

We ordered a lot of dim sum for the 8 of us and surprisingly our bill came to a round $126 the same as the address of the place. Too bad we didn't strike any 4-D or we will be back. Food is so so but certainly very reasonably priced.

Fried wantons

Century egg pork porridge

Kong Bak pau - one of their signature dish

Fried chee cheong fun

Fried intestines

Kong bak pau and siew mai