The garden

Hi all!

Just gonna pop by to share some of the shots I took the other day at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I didn’t even realised this place has become a bona-fide tourist attraction. As in tour agencies actually do bring their tour groups to view the garden groups. I’m not quite sure if I should be glad that SBG is gaining more recognition or sad that it could lose its allure as an area more for the locals to that of a tourist ground. Do you get the same distinction as me? But till the next post, bye!

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Desaru 2016, a city-break

Hi all!

Following the end of my finals, the beginning of the month saw my family heading down to Desaru for a day trip. Known for its pristine beaches, we made a quick pitstop at the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort to take a look at the coastline that bordered the South China Sea. The waters were pretty clear but the high temperature that day forced us into a quick retreat into the shade. The sand was literally burning.

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From the beach, we drove down to the ostrich farm, where tickets were priced at 15 RM for an adult. Once we were through the gates, we were treated to an exhibition of “cracking” the ostrich egg. But really, it was more like hammering a small hole in with a nail. There was then a call for the audience to pay and try an ostrich omelette. Did you know, an ostrich egg could serve up to 7 omelettes? Interesting eh… Also, when their beaks are orange-red, the ostrich is a male, while female beaks are grey.

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After having the omelette and a cup of coffee (ah~), we went to Jade Garden resort for lunch. The restaurant was only a short 3 to 5 minutes drive down from the ostrich farm. I would highly recommend coming here for the fish! Haha, super fresh and well-priced. We had a grouper (slightly more than 1 kg) for only 80 RM! Lunch was super good and it was accompanied by the sudden downpour, which brought some reprieve from the heat (even though we were in an air-conditioned room, lol).

Despite the on-going light drizzle as we left the restaurant, we decided to head down to Desaru fruit farm, in hopes that the rain has not hit the area yet. Entrance fee to this place was 25 RM/adult pax. While there were some interesting plant varieties here, most were left out by the plantation guide in favour of more tropically known fruit plants like the banana or papaya plants, to better entertain the children within the tour group.

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The animal farm located within the fruit farm was definitely an unexpected surprise, although the rabbits there were pretty sad. Especially one which was released from its cage to “interact” with the tourists. But it was so scared that it was shivering non-stop. Sigh… Even seeing the lone monkey in its small little cage made me feel so sad and guilty. But maybe because I’m used to the cage-less concept in the Singapore Zoo, seeing animals in a caged enclosure just makes everything seemed so wrong.

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But till the next post, bye!

A day in Hue

Hi all!

Happy Chinese New Year! We watched Monkey King 2 yesterday at Shaw IMAX at Waterway Point and it was good! Anyway, I thought I would share with you my last post from my trip to Vietnam last year! Similar to the day trip to Hoi An, we rented the same car and driver, but this time it was a little pricier (USD 95) because Hue was further away from Danang. We made a pit-stop at Hải Vân pass, a twisting road up the mountains. The mist rising from the sea made this route a scenic beauty and I literally feel like I was up in the sky.

Of course being funny people, we happily just went to one corner to snap some pictures of the scenery and then hopped back onto the car, not realising we actually have not even went to the other corner to see the pass.

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So, my aunt who was seating on the front seat was made to take the picture of the pass below for all of us from the car. Lol, seriously.

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Just look at the mist that clouds the road, it really does feel like you’re flying (but on land), hehe!

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Once we (or well the driver) manoeuvred us out of the mountains, we hit the windy road and lined on both sides were padi fields, so pretty. Along the way, I was preparing to wind down the window to snap a picture when suddenly a loud bang was heard from the back of the car in the area I was seated. So naturally, I was stunned and it turned out the cow, which the driver initially swerved to avoid, happily decided to backtrack his path and bang into our car. Luckily both cow and car was okay, although it was interesting enough to note that the driver went to check if his car was okay while I turned to see if the cow was okay. Haha, priorities.

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First stop in Hue was the Imperial Citadel (adults: 150.000/pax). Of course, you could buy combined tickets for the citadel and the tombs (price varies) if you know which tombs you would be visiting. But because we were unsure of the tombs we would be going, we ended up buying individual tickets for all the places of interest we visited.

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The Ngọ Môn gate has a central door and the yellow roof represents the door which the emperor would enter from, while the doors on either side, with green roofs, were for animals (e.g.: horses) or soldiers.

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Once you enter, you’ll have a grand view of the Dien Thai Hao palace where court ceremonies were held.

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Naturally, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take close shot of the horse roaming on the palace grounds. Perhaps it’s the grand (a lot of times) child of an imperial horse, :).

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Part of the palace grounds that was burnt down during the war.

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I love the intricate inscriptions on the roof tiles. They also had them in different colors.

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After the palace, we headed to Thiên Mụ pagoda (also called Linh Mụ pagoda), where we roam about for a short while before heading to lunch. Our entourage simply couldn’t leave the place without taking a shot of the pagoda and the four pillars at its entrance. But we had to wait for a terribly long time for this two friends to finished taking their posed shots (think finger at the tip of pagoda) -.- The pagoda was also facing the perfume river, which made for a nice view except that it was noon and the light was super harsh for photo-taking.

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We then had lunch in one of the restaurant along the street where the Tu Duc tomb is located. Entry to the tomb was at 100.000/pax. But a section of the tomb was still undergoing reconstruction work and the area itself was pretty small. So it was not really worth the price tag. At the same entrance fee, I would suggest you visit Khai Dinh tomb instead if time and budget are limited.

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We managed to wiggle ourselves in 30 minutes before the Khai Dinh tomb closed but I decided to snap a picture of the cow feeding just outside the tomb. Haha, I then rushed in like a mad woman to capture the tomb and the setting sun on film before the guard started to lock up the ground.

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Just look at how ornately decorated the interior of the tomb!

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Sunset shots from the tomb ground before we headed back to Danang. This post marks the end of my trip to Vietnam in December 2015, and till the next time, bye!

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