Little Guilin – Singapore

little guilin

Living in Singapore, there often comes a time when you want to go somewhere to escape the chaos of the city. While browsing on the internet I stumbled upon pictures of a place called Little Guilin. The western part of Singapore, I find, is much more greener than the East. If the weather is good, it almost feels like you are living on a hill station.

We left home at 11 in the morning. We alighted at Bukit Gombak mrt. Little Guilin is a very short walk from the mrt. As we walked on the winding road with a stadium on the left, we were almost wondering how could a place like that exist between the high rise condos and modern infrastructure. But as you walk closer and spot the towering rock structure from a distance, you know you are in for a treat. We spotted the lake after a few minutes. As we entered the park, it was almost like entering a small paradise. There were 2 boys fishing, a bunch of kids watching the fish struggling as it was pulled out of water and an old man sitting on a rock and watching his grandchildren play. Its like being transported in time when things were simpler.

We sat on a rock nearby and simply watched the ripples on the lake from the light rain. If you avoid looking at the 2 buildings jutting out from behind, it almost feels like you’re not in Singapore.

Note: Little Guilin is modelled after Guilin in China.

Color Run Singapore

Color Run – Singapore

Last year Color Run, we couldn’t get the tickets as they sold out pretty fast but this year we made it a point to get the tickets as soon as they were available.  We had fun, it was a good experience.

Color Run Singapore

Color Run Singapore

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Containers: Literally

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Sorry for the not so crisp image, it’s taken with my phone from behind the glass windows of one of the meeting rooms. Ports are a huge part of Singapore economy as Singapore imports/ exports tons of stuff from all over the world. Having worked with Port Singapore Authority for a few months I still cannot imagine how this Port manages to keep itself going day and night without any major goof ups.

Ports of Singapore

This post is for the Photochallenge

-Trupti

Split-Second Story :The Haze

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haze in Singapore
haze1That smoke, fog thing you see in the back is haze in Singapore due to the neighbouring Indonesian island of Sumatra’s forest clearing fires. The fires were used to clear plantations. Visibility was very poor, we could smell smoke all the time and had to wear masks before going out. It lasted for more than a week and the air pollution index went to a record high. 0–50 is supposed to be good, but it went up to 401 last year. It affected the whole of Singapore, parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

There was a lot of blame game, specifically people pressuring Indonesia to control the fires. But there were also a lot of people who blamed Singapore partially since some of the plantations were owned by Singaporean companies.

The haze is supposed to return this year during the dry season. Let’s hope it doesn’t affect anyone adversely.

This post is for the Split-Second Story challenge…

 

Shanghai to Beijing high speed train

Shanghai to Beijing…on a train!

Shanghai to Beijing high speed train
Shanghai to Beijing high speed train
When we wanted to travel to Beijing from Shanghai and were looking for options, we zeroed in on a High-Speed Railway that travels at around 300 km/h. This rail line is the world’s longest high-speed line ever constructed in a single phase. It was more expensive than the airfare but we decided to take it for the thrill of experiencing something new. And we’re ever so glad we did.

Shanghai to Beijing high speed train
First off, the train station is huge, it’s almost like a mini airport. In spite of the chaos  its very well managed. Even though we can’t read or speak Chinese, we didn’t have any trouble locating the boarding area. As far as we remember, there was no check-in luggage line. If you have bags, you can keep them in the train when you board in a separate place for bags. We bought the business class tickets but the second class didn’t look bad either. Considering there was no food served in the train I don’t think it matter what class you take. The seats for both classes looked comfortable except business class has more leg space.

Shanghai to Beijing high speed train 901182_10151762123933999_1013490411_o

At 300 km/h we thought the world outside would be a blur but we could see very clearly and also take pictures. If you ever want to travel from Shanghai to Beijing or vice versa, do think about this option. Firstly, you don’t have to reach the place 3 hours in advance. One hour is fine. The boarding process so painless and quick. And the journey is very comfortable. All in all a very good experience.

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Bukit Brown Cemetary

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Cemeteries are fascinating. Being a Hindu the only time we go to cemeteries is when we are traveling. So when I got a chance to do a photography project in design school, my first choice was a cemetery. Now I’ve seen Christian cemeteries before so I kind of thought a Chinese Christian cemetery would be more or less similar. Well, not really.

Bukit Brown cemetery was the biggest Chinese graveyard outside China. The cemetery is home to many bird species and wild life and is popular among nature lovers and photographers. There are also organized tours every weekend.

Bukit Brown Cemetery

But the cemetery has been in news lately because of governments decision to build a 4-way lane through the cemetery by exhuming thousands of graves. And in about 40 years new public housing will take the place of cemetery. This is so typically Singapore, destroying heritage and nature to build modern structures and on the other hand building a million dollar artificial garden. You see the Irony?

 

A 2 day trip to Desaru – Malaysia

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This was supposed to be one of those breeze in- breeze out trips where we wont remember much of it years later – but we were mistaken, pleasantly so. We decided to take a weekend trip to Desaru, Malaysia. Its around 2 hour drive from Singapore. It’s for people like us who forget to book months in advance for a long weekend.

So we rented a car from Johor Bahru, since Singapore car plates are easy targets for robbery and such. The trip to Desaru was uneventful, the husband enjoyed driving and I enjoyed the scenery whilst controlling his speed limit.
The resort was beautiful and the rooms were some of the best we had seen. But we are not the ones to sit at one place and relax even if it’s next to a beach. We tried out the Korean food close to the resort which was run by a Korean family. It wasn’t the usual Korean fare available in Singapore and it tested our taste buds quite a bit.
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The next day we toured the surroundings in our rented car and generally had fun. We saw the fireflies tour which was a tad disappointing in terms of the no. of fireflies but as a whole it was a wonderful experience. The cool night, the village on the river and the boat sailing through the river on an almost quite night was memorable.

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New Years Eve: Singapore fireworks 2013

Welcome to our first travel post. But before we start, here’s wishing you a very very happy new year…May you have a prosperous and fruitful 2013.

We were in Singapore during New Year’s eve for the first time (in spite of living here for 3 years), so we decided to see the Singapore fireworks at Marina Bay. We celebrated our last New Year in Hong kong watching the fireworks and it was a wonderful experience as more than 15,000 visitors gathered around the tower which was lit up to invite 2012. The fireworks were part of the building and everyone seemed to have loved it. Here are a couple of pictures…
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People always draw comparisons between Singapore and Hong kong, both are emerging economies of South Asia, both are similar in size and foreigner intake. Both have a chinese orientation and both want to make a mark on the world with infrastructure and tourism. So our expectations from Singapore fireworks were set by the experience we had in Hong kong.

Plan was to leave from home at 9:00 PM and try to reach Marina Boulevard by 10:00 pm. But the Mrs was not ready even by 9:35, so we ended up taking a cab. On the way we saw signs which said that private vehicles were not allowed around the marina bay area and hence we were dropped off at marina bay sands itself. The instructions we found on the internet were very confusing and when the cab couldn’t drop us at a specific point, all we could do was follow the herd. As a result of which we were not aware of any concert arranged.  With us being dropped off right at MBS, we missed the entire concert and were directly at the fireworks viewing deck. So in other words we were waiting for the fireworks 2 hours in advance with nothing else to do.

Crowd was sitting at premium locations and we had no choice but to stand behind, with the crowds building behind us. Expected crowd was 25,000 and with our HKG experience, we had really high hopes, but the actual fireworks did not commence until 12:00.. so basically we were left bored with no entertainment but to look at others. The government in HKG had made sure people had things to do when they waited during the countdown, like intermittent light shows or other things like small fireworks. But here, there was nothing, the count down was basically a painful wait.

The actual fireworks lasted for only 8 mins, and it was over before we were even started enjoying it. It was good but Mrs thought it was nothing spectacular. I guess we count the whole experience rather than just the fireworks. Here are a few pics.

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We didn’t manage to take many descent shots as it was very crowded. Nonetheless, we had fun. Strolled around Boat Quay for some time and took the last train home.

Introduction….

We are a young couple and feel extremely privileged to have travelled to the places that we have. We currently live in Singapore which gives us easy access to travel to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, China and Indonesia among many others. We love to travel even if it’s within Singapore.

We hope to pen down our travel experience in this blog and we hope you enjoy reading it.