Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pulau Ubin Adventures

Jon and myself decided to go to Pulau Ubin for the Hari Raya public holiday to do some cycling as we were getting really fat and useless.

Pulau Ubin is a small rural island not far from Singapore, valued for the rustic landscape and wildlife (one of the favourite spot for bird watchers), an excellent getaway from the concrete jungle.

The bum boat ride departs from Changi Village/Point on the East side of Singapore. The 15min boat ride costs $2.50 per pax.

There are restaurants, toilet facilities and Npark wardens on the island. However it is advised that you bring along your own drinking water, insect repellent and trash bags so you don't litter on the island.

Arrival at Pulau Ubin jetty shortly. The island was packed with foreigners (Bangladeshi, Malaysians, Chinese Nationals) while we are happy to share the island with.

We rented bicycles $6 (more expensive on weekends and public holidays), one of the shops tried to rip us off with $13 bicycles so we went to another shop. Nasty! 

You may also opt for the island taxi service if you don't feel like walking or cycling.

There used to be an iconic Thai Temple which has been relocated to Punggol.

Nature Boardwalk at Chek Jawi. You may wanna check the tidal timings before coming. During low tide, you can see lots of swamp creatures such as crabs, mudskippers, loch nest monsters etc. 

On quieter non-public holidays and weekdays, I've spotted wild boars, eagles, monitor lizards and snakes.

The Nipah plant which produces atap seeds.

The scenic lookout was repainted and provides breathtaking treetop view of the beautiful island; the tower has a maximum capacity of 20pax at one time.

Muslim cemetery where early residents were buried standing.

One of the quarries. Swimming was allowed in the older days until school kids drowned and paranormal incidences started to happen.

Boy fishing at the Noonan campsite.

One of the bicycle trails. Jonapong got attacked by mosquitoes while my rancid blood proved unappetising for them.

Malaysian visitors climbed trees for their fill of rambutans along the pathways. Kampung experts indubitably. 

Monkeys were spotted swinging from tree to tree.

Nordin Campsite was closed for reconstruction, however did not stop the Chinese Nationals who broke through the fences. 

We were looking into a fruit plantation (not exactly loitering outside) before the friendly resident invited us in to check out the rambutans which were in season.

We offered to help the old man harvest his rambutans which he intended to sell to the fruit vendor at Changi village. Jon and I also helped burn dry twigs and leaves which was supposed to ward off mosquitoes and wild animals.

We were later rewarded with sweet rambutans freshly plucked off the trees and coconuts.

Another quarry at Pulau Ubin.

Monday, July 28, 2014

中元節 Hungry Ghost Festival


G'day readers! Today is the first day of the annual 中元節 盂蘭盆 鬼月 Hungry Ghost Festival. This festival lasts the entire seven month of the lunar calendar.

The months symbolises a "holiday" for the Hungry Ghost Realm beings and the deceased when the gates of hell are opened, to receive food, entertainment and prayers among other religious offerings. 


According to research, these beings or ghosts (if you like) look like ermm.. short humanoids with a big belly (not aliens) because they are not allowed to consume food in other months due to bad karma from previous lives. In other months, whatever food they eat turns into burning coal magically. Unfortunate as it sounds, they also have different classes of hungry ghosts (rich, poor, celebrity status, handsome maybe etc).

Temporary stages/platforms 歌台 Getai are erected around neighbourhoods where artistes are invited to perform for both human and ghosts alike. 

Also, there will be feasts 吃桌 Jiat Tok which during the dinner, participants can bid for auspicious ornaments (黑金 Or Kim being the highlight), electronic products etc.

These Getai and Jiak Tok are usually organised by Folk Taoism Temples (note "folk") and Chinese Communities. 


Here we have one of the "standard package" of offerings that are easily available at any supermarkets or incense paper shop fronts at around $5.


While there are more elaborated and premium packages, this one here consists of :

1. Square Paper Money 
2. Hell Bank Notes
3. Candles
4. Incense Sticks
5. Seven-coloured Fabrics
6. Clothings and Acceseories pack
7. Gold bars
8. 往生紙 Thin White Rectangular Paper
9. Some licence thingy
10. Candies and Tea

I'm not sure if these beings receive all the gifts, but according to people who has the "third eye" 陰陽眼, the beings rush towards the offerings in excitement. Also, when you see the burning incense paper spiralling, they are "receiving" the products. 

I even have a personal friend who claimed to have seen these beings eat the candles. 

Anyways wishing all who celebrates a Happy Hungry Ghosts Festival and Selamat Hari Raya Adrifiti! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

IKEA Tampines

Tasty signature horse meat balls and chicken wings

Caramel and Almond Cake

Big Bad Wolf chewing on grandma toy







Friday, July 25, 2014

The Starbucks Experience

Got my Starbucks card (my Australia card couldn't be used here)
Upon registration they are supposed to give u an OTP SMS to verify your registration but it didn't happen. 
Starbucks emailed me an apology and gave me a free beverage. 

Another great service recovery. I wasn't mad or anything but other establishments should really learn from them (especially Jack's Place - shame shame). I mean what is the cost price of one drink? $1 tops

 Happy customers = Return customers = Profit = Job Security

More Bedok Scene

There's actually a shop call Simple Plan in Bedok

Tried Baker Talent
It's 流沙包 Salted duck yolk buns
They are really tasty
Around $0.80 to $0.90
Bad service with no smiles though

豪大大雞排 at Bedok Mall
Isn't my favourite brand.. I prefer 2 派克


Bedok 511 Hawker

Pork Satay

Bak Chor Mee
Minced meat soup noodles with wanton
Anchovy soup

Oyster Omelette


Princess Cinema (Bedok)


Anyone remember the good ol' Princess Cinema?








Sunday, July 6, 2014

COSFEST XIII Day 02 (Downtown East D'Marquee) 06 July 2014




豹子头 林冲 (水浒传)


Luffy, Ace, Akainu (One Piece)


Shanks and Benn Beckman (One Piece)


Boa Hancock (One Piece)


Dracule Mihawk (One Piece)


Sanji, Nami and Marines (One Piece)


Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan)


Attack on Titan


Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)


Tien aka Tenshinhan (Dragonball)


Phantom Assassin and Invoker (DotA2)


Chibi Mikasa



Watch video here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Duzx5Uqzc


Ryota Miyagi, Hanamichi Sakuragi and Kaede Rukawa (Slam Dunk)


Love Live!


Tifa Lockhart


Ultimate Warrior (WWE/WWF)


Masamune Date (Samurai Warriors)


Link and Zelda (The Legend of Zelda)


Wenge Kong, Yutaka Hoshino and Makoto Tsukimoto (Ping Pong The Animation)


Rurouni Kenshin


Psylocke (Marvel)


Ghostbusters


Uncle (Jackie Chan Adventures)


Elsa (Frozen)


Chobits


Red


Ryuuko Matoi (Kill la Kill)



More photos in album
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.551651578278724.1073741834.118858138224739&type=1




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