Friday, July 29, 2011

Kampong Fishin'

After yesterday's disappointing fish feeding day, we made up for it Kampong Fishin' today!  Little Miss M was so excited when she caught her first fish!

Kampong fishing has become non-existent in Singapore, as the urbanisation has taken over.  Before urbanisation, families lived in 'kampung', meaning village in Malay.  Around the kampung, there were many 'longkangs' (drains in Malay).  The drains here in Asia, are not like the drains we have underground in the U.S.  They are exposed, above ground. 
On rainy days, the longkangs would be flooded and fish would be found swimming in them.  The children of the kampung would quickly see the fish, grab a net or usually, empty bottle of some sort and start catching the fish there.  A fun past time, until Singapore became a modern day city and the kampungs were demolished, taking Longkang fishing with them.

They also were able to feed larger fish, see some ducks, roosters, turtles, bunnies and of course, no day trip is complete, without a treat of ice cream.  Prior to the ice cream, Riley must have been hungry.  He wasn't quite sure if the fish food was for himself to enjoy, or the crazy, splashing fish.  He enjoyed a few pebbles, before trying to hand feed the fish, one pebble at a time.  That didn't go so well for him. So, his big sister tried to teach him how to throw a few pebbles at the fish with one hand.

Going home with their new pet fish:

There are a few Kampong Fish Farm's throughout Singapore.  This particular one is called Pasir Ris Kid's Kampong:

Another one that caught my eye, Hausmann Marketing Aquarium Fish Farm near Kranji:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lornie Trail MacRitchie Reservoir

I told Little Miss M that we could take the butts from our loaf of bread and feed the fish.  Our cleaning lady overheard this and looked uneasy. She thought we were going to go out in the hall and feed the fish that clearly have a sign reading, "Do Not Feed or Touch the FISHES!" (I will take a picture of this sign and post it later.) Obviously, I didn't mean the fish in the aquarium.  Uncertain, as to where we can actually find fish to feed, we set out to explore the Lornie Trail at MacRitchie Reservoir.  There must be fish in the reservoir we can feed!  Once we arrive and find a trail to take, I notice the "Do Not Feed The Monkeys" sign posted.  Hmmmm...well, we can take the bread out, try to feed the fish and hope the monkeys don't come looking for a fight; or, we can save the bread for an excursion tomorrow to feed some fish.  Save the bread it is, now to explain this to a 3-year old, dead set on feeding the fish right now...try to distract, try to keep walking, try to explain we don't want the monkeys to get us...she isn't going to let this one go is she? Where does she get this determined, my-way-or-the-highway attitude?!

Along the way of the uneasy Lornie terrain, we saw an entrance to a boardwalk along the water.  Turns out to be Chemperai ~ the boardwalk connected by Lornie Trail, to another boardwalk, Jering.  This route was much easier to get through with the stroller.  I don't recommend bringing a stroller to begin with, but I didn't know better.  The beginning of the trail, was loose rock and gravel, leading into an uneven path with rocks and tree roots.  Fine, if you don't have a stroller!
The boardwalk was much better, but the kids walked most of the boardwalk path anyway, so the stroller only came in handy when they were hungry.  They were able to hide in the stroller with their sandwiches, so the monkeys couldn't see them eating.  I don't know if that was the real reason the monkeys didn't come out, or if it was the light rain. Little Miss M liked the thought of hiding from the monkeys better, so we went with that!

The Leaning Tree of MacRitchie:

Little Miss M hiding from the monkeys she constantly hears in the trees:

Plenty of other critters to welcome us along the trail.  A few different lizards, fish, and many different birds.  The most frightening by far came into sight at the very end of our journey.  The kids were in the stroller, eating their sandwiches and suddenly it appeared crawling out of the water, less than 2-feet in front of us.  Thank goodness the path is elevated, or I would've freaked and probably tipped the stroller into the water trying to get away!  The thing was huge ~ at least a 4 foot tail. Crawling, on it's huge 4-legs, I thought it was a crocodile.  As it passed under the path we were now, standing still on, trying to figure out which direction to run, it crawled into the trees and scurried away.  Eek ~ I can now breathe again! Unable to see it, but know that it is still there, in the trees, just out of sight.  We quickly passed by, so it's long slithering tongue didn't reach out and grab me! Crazy beast!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fort Siloso

The hidden Fort at the tip of Sentosa Island was an interesting adventure, dating back to the 1880’s!  From the monkeys digging in the garbage cans and chasing people’s feet, to the Advisory of Tree Snakes falling out of the trees, but don’t worry ~ they are only mildly venomous (what does that mean!?), to the bats skimming our heads in the tunnels – a warning may have been nice on this one….interesting adventure!  
To enter the fort, we took an old fashion tram up the hill.  The guide on the tram gave us a brief history lesson on this 19th Century British fortress, that now houses Asia’s largest collection of WWII memorabilia.  There are 3-zones to this fort, but after the 4th bat swooped Kev's head, we turned back in the longest underground tunnel complex within the fort, missing at least one entire zone.  I don't know what he was afraid of, it's not like the little flying creatures were trying to get tangled up in his hair :-)

Luckily, we didn’t see any snakes the signs warned of. They must have been hiding in the greenery just out of sight!  The monkeys and the bats were too close for comfort, but we will laugh about those bats for a long time.
Fort Siloso1
They have plenty of life-size figures recreating the story of the wartimes.  We have become more and more fascinated with history, as we discover that history, actually IS interesting!
Fort Siloso2

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Underwater World–Sentosa

All the way to the end of Sentosa Island, we found the aquarium, or Underwater World of Singapore.  The highlight of this attraction – the moving walkway that brings you through a tunnel, with fish and sharks swimming around you.  The kids loved it. The first time through, they were fascinated by the colors and fish swimming overhead.  The second time through, they were fascinated by the moving walkway.  The last time through, they were just screaming at each other and everyone around us, while jumping on and off the walkway.
Fort Siloso
The other highlight of this attraction is the “dolphin show”.  I would’ve named it the Sea Lion show, because the only thing the pink dolphin’s did was swim around and one jumped through 1-hoop.  Good thing I had the camera ready!

Jewel Box Cars - Sentosa

Jewel Box Cars (Cable cars) ~ great view! Brings you to the top of the Southern Ridges walk (Mount Faber) or down to Sentosa Beach.  Although, the most expensive transport to get over to Sentosa, it is a nice ride, if you aren't too afraid of heights!  Our big stroller actually rolled right into the car and the kids slept the entire ride. 


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Singapore’s Merlion


The famous Merlion ~ "sea" - "lion".  Still trying to understand this mascot - the head of a lion and the body of a fish.  The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village and the head represents Singapore's original name - Singapura - "lion city".  None-the-less, it is a famous tourist attraction in Singapore and it is one of the few souvenirs people associate to this city-state.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pasir Ris Park

We were drawn to this east-coast waterfront park, when I was informed of a huge children’s playground.  Well, we never stumbled across the playground, but found tons of other interesting things to see and do!  We walked into the park, where a wedding ceremony was taking place.  I didn’t feel right taking pictures, but one of the guests told us it was a “Royal Wedding” and wow did it look like it!  Traditional Muslim dresses, silk scarves, bride and groom sitting in their thrones with huge crowns decorating their heads, drums, music, camera crews, the list goes on!  It was an incredible event.
The park is a long narrow area on the water, but there has been no swimming since 2008.  The water has been rated unsuitable for water activities, as the water quality is affected by leakage from older sewers, moored vessels, animals and discharges from sewage treatment plants in the area.  Sad, because it is a nice area, but the ships and oil rigs within reach, don't exactly invite you into the water anyway.  Still, a nice sea breeze and relaxing park to take in.
A lot of fishing, tents set-up for weekend campers, cycling, walking, in-line skating, horseback riding, mangrove boardwalks, and a “natural maze” makes the adventure worthwhile.  The kids, as always, just love being outside and being able to run on their own and go in which ever direction they choose.

Little Miss M LOVED the horseback ride!  R was too little, according to the rules of being 2-years old or older, but they still let him sit on the horse and he didn’t want to get off.
Riley on horse
DSC00010Jellyfish Massive Jellyfish in the sea inlet created by the mangrove forest!
M and R on stairs 
Bike Rental and In-Line Skate rental from car park C!
A slight haze from the Sumatra fires.
No swimming allowed...
…But it’s okay to collect food/fish here?  I don’t get it!
Floating Fish Village

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jurong Bird Park

We squeezed through this park on a late Saturday morning, dripping wet from the heat, by the time we made our way through the crowd and back to the carpark.  Not my ideal day to say the least.  Not because of the lack of tropical birds to be seen, but rather, the crowd.  It was packed full of pushy, rude foreigners.  Yes, I am one of those foreigners, but I don't like to think of myself as pushy, and only rude when I need to be :-) 

It was a day gone bad from the start.  Which, I suppose didn't help keep us in our weekend zen state-of-mind.  The ticket line was short.  There was only one man in front of me buying 2-tickets, yet it took me nearly 20-minutes to actually walk away with our tickets....Singapore.

From there, Riley had a meltdown immediately after walking through the gate.  Little Miss M, followed suite soon after, because she wasn't getting the attention she felt necessary, after her brother melted into his puddle.  Standing in front of the very first, or maybe, second exhibit, we were ready to head home.  Trying to collect ourselves, we headed for the restroom and grabbed a few hotdogs, which ended up all over my feet - ketchup and all; then, continued on.  By the time I could think again, the kids had fallen asleep in the stroller and all we could do is continue walking, so they didn't wake-up! 

The birds here are magnificent and we stumbled across the one and only waterfall we know of in Singapore.  They do a fabulous job keeping this area feeling natural and green.

Monday, July 11, 2011

M turns 3!

All Makayla asked for on her 3rd birthday was ~ candles, with fire on them, so she could blow it out and chocolate cake.  Easy enough, until I started shopping around for a cake! They cost a fortune here and I wasn't about to bake one in my "micro-oven"!  I finally, found a normal cake less than S$100 and ordered it immediately.  She loved it, but not as much as her brother!  I caught him licking the bowl clean.

New paint set:

Getting ready for school on her 3rd birthday:

Out for her birthday dinner at Robertson Walk:


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