Monday, December 14, 2009

Hong Kong Day 1: Wong Tai Sin

By the time we settle down in our room and unpack our luggage, it was already 2.30pm.
We decided to go to Wong Tai Sin, a famous temple.
It is located at the Wong Tai Sin Mtr Station (did they name the station because of the temple?).

Two hungry ladies were looking around for food.
As we were staying along the Flower Street, we decided to walk down the street to see what we can eat.
There were so many char chung ting (small coffee shop kind) around and we had no idea what to eat.
Then the familiar sign came to our view: MacDonalds. Woohoo.
Without much thinking, our very first meal in Hong Kong is at Mac.

I ordered the Big Mac meal upsized while Miss Yew ordered their new Ebi Burger meal.

Big Mac meal upsized with crispy-yet-not-oily fries.

Yes!!! Their fries are simply amazing.
It's crispy and taste somewhat like Long John Silver's fries and yet they are not oily!!!

Ebi Burger packaging.

Mac in Hong Kong is not just favourite amongst teenagers but also adults and even senior citizens.

After our late lunch, we walked to Mong Kok East Mtr Station.
Along the way at the bridge, we took some photos of the market street (it's like our night market but the whole street is covered.)

The whole road is barely visible.

Amount of people walking.

Mong Kok East MTR station.

We had to catch the MTR at Mong Kok East station to Kowloon Tong station and then change train to reach Wong Tai Sin station.
Actually, we were quite noobs.
Eventually, we realised that Wong Tai SIn station is acutally on the same line as Prince Edward, which is 2 minutes away from our hostel.

At Wong Tai Sin station, it is best that you observe the station exit first before really exiting.
If you exit at the one facing the main road, then good for you.
This is because, we followed the signages at the station and exited nearest to the shopping mall.
There lay a few landmines of old ladies trying to sell you incense and joss paper.
Well... I shouldn't use "trying". It should be "forcing".
Unless you have good agility and able to avoid them quickly once out of the exit.
Otherwise, be prepared to pay amounts from HK$10 onwards.

Praying items sold at the legal shops outside the temple. If you want to pray, you can get the incense and joss paper safely here.

Evening sunset at Wong Tai Sin

The sun sets early in Hong Kong.
By 6pm, it is almost dark.

After Wong Tai Sin, we went back to our hostel to change and head to Harbour City to deliver books to PageOne.
Miss Yew also met up with her friend, Stephanie, to collect her shoes back.
Dinner was at a canto restaruant and they provided free corkage.
I drank 2 glasses or red wine - the most amount of red wine I ever drank.
And after dinner, Stephanie brought us to a lounge at one of the tall buildings to drink and look at the night scene of Hong Kong Island.
It was past midnight when we took the bus back to Prince Edward station and walked back to our room.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hong Kong Day 1: Singapore - Hong Kong

I'm flying off to Hong Kong on United Airlines.
We choose this airline not because we were able to get the tickets at a good price (SGD$400+) but primarily because it is the only airline that fly at 6.50am to Hong Kong.
That means we will reach Hong Kong at about 11am.
This saved us quite a bit of time as it will be just nice to check-in to the hostel and have the rest of the day to explore.

With 6.50am flight, the environment is still pretty dark when we board the plane.

Next to UA, I see SIA.

We were given the Economy Plus seats. Don't know what's the difference with Economy seats.

As the plane leaves the gate for the runway, the sun began to rise.

It was a beautiful morning sky.

Food came in a simple "breakfast" box. I was looking forward to a much better flight meal :(

View of the plane's right wing in the nice blue sky.

The journey from Singapore to Hong Kong takes about 3 hour plus a bit.
The sky was too bright for the passengers to open the windows and enjoy the view.
Furthermore, the windows at my seat were at awkward location that I had to bend near to the front seat to look through it.

On-board, they were showing Mosters vs Aliens. I got board reading magazines and took a 1.5 hr sleep while listening to on-board Jazz station.

Reached Hong Kong airport and the first thing was to look for toilet.
To get to the immigration, we had to take the internal tram as the gates were too far from the immigration center.

At the Hong Kong Airport, I purchased the Octopus card (Ez-link card in Singapore's sense).


I'm off to Hong Kong!

I have check-in at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3.

For the first time in my entire life, I am going on a trip with my good-friend-"neighbour".
The best part is, this is my first trip planned and decided between the two of us.
First time to Hong Kong, first time going out on my own (not quite on my own bcos got my good friend but it's still by myself).

It was a bit worrying when the check-in counter staff told us that they are still finding a seat for us.
Eventually, we got our seat.

Going off to departure gate.


Friday, November 27, 2009

SITEX 2009

The annual last IT show is here - SITEX 2009.

Today's visit to SITEX has got only one aim: Look for good camera memory card deals.
The venue, Expo, was not really packed with people.
At tanah merah mrt station, the unusual crowd of people waiting for the train bounding to Changi Airport shows how many people are going to the fair.
On top of that, today is a public holiday. Even more people are free to go, look look and see see.
And there are a lot of children there too.

Actually, there's nothing to see at SITEX unless you intend to get a new desktop or laptop.
At every turns and corners, the sales-boy or sales-girl will come and ask me, "Looking for laptop?"
Unfortunately, I come with a purpose and items in mind.
Even if I wanted to shop for a new computer, I would have done my homework and have a brand in mind.
I would not be the group of shoppers who goes round the whole mall, looking at the various computers available and comparing specifications and prices.
I have to confess that I did that once when getting the new desktop for my brother as I do not know the brands available during the show.

Oh well... In the end, I got my stuff from the SanDisk booth, managed by Song Brothers.
These are what I got from them:

Compact Flash memory, 2GB and 4 GB.
SDHC Card, 8GB.
Card Reader.

There's nothing much to see as the booths are more or less the same.
What people are interested in is the "sale" or special prices for the electronic gadgets.

Let's wait and see what's there to buy during the next IT show.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beatuiful Sky

The weather for the past few days has been scorching hot.
I can feel the intense of the heat even when I'm at home.
Outside, it's even worst and standing under the sun for a few seconds feel like getting heatstroke.

However, the bright and sunny weather these few days has brought nice opportunities for pretty sunset shots.
While deciding what to have for dinner with my friends at Jurong Point, I came around this beautiful sun setting sky.

Pretty sunset,

Monday, November 23, 2009

NIE peeps fun

What happens when a group of trainee teachers have no class during term?
We meet up to do our essay assignment and then have lots of fun.

This week, we only have one class left: Edu Psy II.
However, we have two assignments due this week: Physics microteaching lesson plan and Edu Psy II essay.
Initially, one of my classmates told us that she will be coming to school to submit her physics assignment and then stay in school to complete her essay assignment.
Then the idea developed.
We thought of meeting up to do the essay assignment together.
Then someone suggested playing board games.
I have no idea how the board game idea came in.
And so.... We settled on lunch at NIE, study then play board games at Clementi.

We study hard. The Cavern @ Student Services Centre.

Game time! Mad Gab.

It's an intellectual game. Requires "deep" thinking.


Time passes very quickly when you have fun.
Together with this "crazy" people, we have lots of fun together.
Looking forward to the chalet next week.

Hum to the tune of...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hokkaido Ramen @ ion Orchard

For some reason, I wanted to go for dinner today.
So I smsed Jeanbean and Leonard and after a few rounds of discussions, we decided to have ramen.
The place was suggested by Jeanbean.
Hokkaido Ramen located at B2 of ion Orchard.
The plan was to meet at the restaurant at 7pm.
Luckily the 2 guys were early and they had to queue to get into the restaurant.

By the time I reached B2 (slightly after 7pm), the whole eatery area was filled with people and many of the restaurants had long queue.

This is my first time eating Japanese ramen.

I ordered the Shio Seafood Ramen and fried tofu.
Jeanbean ordered Shoyu Cha Shu Ramen with Toro Don.
Leonard ordered Shoyu Toro Ramen.

In my opinion, i find that the ramen soup taste saltier as I eat.
It could be the nature of the soup but it got too salty for my liking towards the end.
The egg is nice as it has a soft yoke for a hard boiled braised egg.

Shio Seafood Ramen

Shoyu Cha Shu Ramen

Toro Ramen

Fried Tofu

The restaurant has 10% discount for citibank cards.

It was a great dinner and we shopped around at Tangs before heading home.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maksim Concert

Maksim is having a concert in Singapore!
I finally get to watch him play live.
While buying the ticket online, I made a mistake and ended up sitting at the back of the concert hall.
But I'm here to listen to his playing, so it doesn't matter.

This is Maksim's Concert Classique.
He played classical music and also those in his albums.
The first part was so-so as it was those long classical music.
It was long for each piece.
Furthermore, this concert is Maksim and piano only.
Hence you only hear piano sound.

However, the second part I believe is what many of his viewers were waiting for - pieces from his albums.
It was shiok to hear the album pieces being played live in a concert hall.
The only difference was the lack of accompanying music that you get in the album.
This is solely piano.
Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable night and I believe Maksim had a great final night of concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
Though he had finished his concert, Maksim came out again to play an encore piece.
Everyone in the concert hall couldn't stop clapping.

Concert ticket from Sistic

Brochure promotion the concert from the Sistic counter

Ticket and brochure

Hopefully, Maksim can come to Singapore again in the future.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Great Eastern Women's 10k

One week after the the Nike Human Race, I ran the Great Eastern Women's 10k.
My first ever consecutive week run.
It was tiring for my legs.
Actually, I did not realise that I have signed up for runs within consecutive weeks.
Luckily, nothing happened. Just that I had some cramp like pain on my right calf muscle, near the back of the knee.

The route for the GE run was a bit similar to the Nike run.
It covered the nicoll highway, looped around national stadium, back on nicoll highway, raffles ave, F1 pit building and back to padang.
Whereas for the nike run, it started and ended at the F1 pit building.

GE run is special as it is a run meant for women only.
(Though along the way, I saw men running with their other half.)

The only bad point was that there was no distinct lane for those running the 10km and those running the 5km towards the ending point.
Everyone just ran towards the ending point.
Good thing was that it was not crowded at the finishing line.

Race bib (with baggage deposit sticker).

Race bib with finisher's medal.

Finisher's medal back view.

Finisher's medal front view.

It was a great run.
Chip finishing: 01:40:57
Gun finishing: 01:42:37
Position: 4972

Ladies' run,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NIke Human Race 2009

Having missed last year's Nike Run, I was on the look out for this year's run.
Finally, the advertisement came on and I quickly signed up for it.
But the website was creating some problem with the signups.
Nonetheless, I managed to register for the run.

Looking at this year's race tee, the design was rather disappointing.
I feel that last year's design was better.

The race route was ok.
Apart from the small slope at the nicoll highway and then at the underground road at beach road area, the rest of the route was generally flat.

One annoying issue was that the male runners were rather rude.
They push you aside in order to run past you.
Well... the very least they could have done was to say "coming through".
Isn't that the running courtesy all runs have been asking runners to do?

Baggage deposit was great and smooth and away from the heat.
The finisher's bracelet collection point was a bit awkward.
Overall a great run for me as I hit my personal best.

Race tee, finisher's bracelet and champion chip tag.

Close up of the items.

Finisher's bracelet.

Finishing time: 1h 40min (Personal best!)

Just do it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chek Jawa: Training Session 2

Today is the second training session for Chek Jawa nature guides from the NIE green club.
Every trip is a different setup.
So... for today's trip, I brought along my D200 with tamaron 90mm macro and SB800, and my LX3.
There are 2 other photographers along this trip too and they are brothers.

Upon reaching the gate to Chek Jawa, everyone started shoot already.
And near the visitor kiosk, there are 2 orb spiders resting on their huge web.

Golden Orb Spider

Orb Spider

For today's guide training, I followed Kok Sheng's group as an assistant.
Our group consisted of all ladies and one gentleman group of 7 and we started off from the coastal walk.

Our first station is the Hornbill's nest.

Hornbill's nest high up in the tree

The nest you see here doesn't look natural right?
Yup... this nest is placed up there by the NParks.
The objective is to encourage the hornbills living on Pulau Ubin to mate and reproduce.
The nesting box is fitted with camera to capture the activity of the female hornbill when she is nesting in it.

After much introduction to the hornbill's nest, we proceeded on to the coastal walk.
Kok Sheng shared with the participants about the Frog Island, Pulau Seduku.
Along the way, one of the participants spotted a juvenile water monitor lizard sunbathing on the rocky shore.

Following that, we took a look at the seashore nutmeg, which were flowering and bearing fruits at the entrance of the coastal broadwalk.
Our group had a lot of fun along the way, talking about mermaids and some thought that the island opposite was Batam!
Perhaps Kok Sheng's misleading question of "The place where every man will have to go." prompted Batam to be the answer.

Just as we were about to enter the Sea Grass meadow section, we noticed small red insects on a sea hibiscus tree.
On closer inspection, it is the juvenile cotton-stainer bugs!
This is my first time seeing the young and eventually, we found a mating adult pair.

Mating adult cotton-stainer bug.

Further inland, I noticed this pinkish moth resting on the sea hibiscus leaf.
In fact, I saw two moths on different leaves.

We walked through the magroves, looking at the different species of fiddler crabs waving, nipah plant (where your atap chee comes from), and then up the Jejawi Tower near the entrance of the magrove route.
I did not realise the height of the tower until I climbed it.
It was scary as I climbed higher.
The Jejawi Tower is a good place to observe the bird when they are feeding on a nearby fig tree.
Too bad, the tree was not figging today.
At the foot of the Jejawi Tower, I saw a beautiful red dragon fly, Neurothemis fluctuans.

It was a difficult task shooting the dragon fly without a tripod and it was rather far away from the broadwalk.
I had to lay stomach down on the broadwalk to get a closer shot.
With 3 fps, I shoot continuously to get a more focused shot of the dragonfly.

As usual, after every guided walk, the participants are brought to House 1 to pen their thought about the place.
Following that, the guiders went for a second round.
At the second round, I saw more things.
One of which is the common aquatic moths.

I did not know that these moths were so tiny until I saw them in groups under leaves and a quick check on the guide book.
They do not seem to be bordered by movements of the leaves and I managed to tilt a leaf outwards to get a good shot of it.
Next, a few of us saw a grasshopper.

The grasshopper got quite annoyed at the few of us who were shooting it and it kept moving.

At the seagrass meadow, while the rest were enjoying looking at the many mudskippers in the tidal area, I was busy trying to capture a fly.
And I did not notice this shoot until I got home.

Today's guiding session was fun and fruitful.
Before we knew it, the guard was cycling around to chase us out.
It was 6pm.

Took the bumboat back to mainland and had dinner with the gang.

Installed in the next trip, I might be guiding a group.
How will I fair?

Coast with beauty,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Attack of the sandflies.

I think I've been bitten by sandflies during my hike on either the dairy farm part or the mountain biking trail part.
I doesn't really matter at which location was I bitten as both trips happened within the same day.
However, I only noticed the bites and felt the itch the day after the trip.
Only my left foot got bitten and it is really itching like mad.
Till now, I haven yet to find a good solution to relieving the itchiness.
The best way so far is to avoid touch it as once touched, the itch will some back.
Apparently, the bites can spread through scratching.

Here are the 2 images of the bite on my left foot.

Hope that the bites will go off soon.

Itchy scratchy,


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