Category Archives: Singapore

Singapore’s Chinese Garden

If you have a free afternoon I suggest strolling through the Chinese Garden.

Expect to see a lot of dragons.  In fact, someday I might have a red door with a guardian stone dragon.  They scare away evil spirits, bring you fortune AND they are a symbol of potent and auspicious powers.

If you arrive, at the West entrance you will enjoy a walk across a white bridge that has a lovely view of the lake and the twin pagodas.  I watched a few boat races from the bridge.

I went to a photography class once and she told me the best way to improve your photographs was to practice.  She suggested taking 50 photos every day.

Today I fulfilled my 50 photo requirement.  In fact, it’s safe to say I will take at least 50 photos every day until I leave Asia…  Yesterday’s practice session was HOW to get mediocre photos when the sky is WHITE.  It’s so much easier to get the look I want when the sky is blue…

In this next photo you can see a giant lantern in front of the building.  Once a year (except for last year) the Chinese Garden puts up lanterns to celebrate the mid-autumn festival.

My favorite lantern this year? Twin dragons floating in one of the lakes surrounded by lots of floating lotus flowers and leaves.  Here they are before the lights came on…

If you come to the Chinese Garden you should climb the 7 story pagoda (visible above my head).  Look closely, that is a dragon shaped tree behind me.  I don’t think I’ll ever have one of those in my yard but it is obviously appropriate for this location.

I love Asian architecture, especially pagodas.

One last look before I head to the top.

The whole walk up I was wondering why the pagoda is only 7 stories.  8 is the lucky Chinese number.  Why not build one more?

Here’s the view from the top.  There was a lovely breeze so I stayed up here for a long time.

The white bridge in this photo leads into the Japanese Garden.

I liked the windows of the pagoda too.  Here’s the view from the 7th floor looking out.

And the first floor looking out.

These golden dragon lanterns lined the walk up to the pagoda from the East Gate.

I watched the sunset by the lake next to the twin pagodas.

Then I met my friends and we walked around and enjoyed the lanterns.  There were many lanterns, but these are favorite friends so I was talking more than I was taking photos at this point…

I finally got my blue sky for a few moments at twilight…

One last shot of the auspicious floating and glowing dragons!

What a great evening.

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Almost Too Pretty To Eat

Have you ever seen a dessert that was interesting enough to photograph from all 4 sides?

It looks like your own private ice sculpture.

It’s so pretty you almost don’t want to eat it.

Except you can’t help yourself.

By the way, that’s mango and strawberry puree drizzled down the sides with fresh mango and strawberries nestled on the plate.

If you’ve been to the North Shore on Oahu and had their delicious shave ice with ice cream on the bottom and loved it…this makes that taste like trash. I’m just sayin’ it’s that good.

Are you in Singapore? Go find this in Chinatown.  Right now.

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert (味香园) 67 Temple St Chinatown, Singapore 088389 6221 1156

While you are there, try the pomelo and mango sago too. You may be full but you will not be sorry.

I Scream You Scream

I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream.

If you move to Singapore and you like Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s, Dryers or Tillamook you will be tested…

…when you see the price. How much do you really want it?

However, if you are feeling homesick, I strongly recommend buying some ice cream. It’s still significantly cheaper than a plane ticket.

Just be sure to savor every bite. (Did you notice the Dryers container is about 1/2 the size of what you see in the States)?

Tillamook is totally worth the cost. It’s actually FROM Oregon (my home state) and I don’t buy it often but it is absolutely cost effective for my resulting happiness.

I still scream for ice cream. Would you?

However, be careful when you return to the U.S. after living in Singapore. When I was there last December every time I went down the frozen food section I was tempted to fill my entire cart full of ice cream because it seemed so cheap! $3 for Ben and Jerry’s and $4 for Tillamook? What a deal! I need to buy it all! And while I managed to avoid filling my cart, I could not resist buying ice cream every time I went into a grocery store, even if I just bought some the day before.

Singapore’s 46th Birthday Bash

Some events deserve a lot of photos.

A photo timeline of sorts. Maybe even 30 photos.

Here is my photo timeline of National Day 2011.

On national day in Singapore, first comes the waiting. I got to the Marina Bay early and saved seats for our group.

I wasn’t the only one waiting…

Look closely to see crowds all around the Marina Bay.

I also wasn’t the only one waiting in a red shirt…

To entertain me while I waited there were a few live bands on this stage…

Then the skydivers dropped falling at speeds over 200km/hour with some type of red smoke flying behind them. At first it looked like only one…

Then there were many…

And their red smoke showed their crazy turns and stunts…

Until they each landed one by one on the floating platform stage…

Next up? The sunset…

Then my friends arrived. YEAAAA!

In general Asians take more pictures than I expect and they like all types of poses and props. In honor of National Day we did the same.

Next recite the pledge (or pretend to recite it if you don’t know it even though you have lived in Singapore 3 years) while a GIANT Singapore flag circles the bay via helicopter. This is at 8:22 every year.

Then watch the parade of military fighter jets, helicopters, tanks, and people.

Followed by a musical show including some of the history of Singapore. Unless you happen to see the musical show the previous evening while checking out the lay of the land. In which case you may decide to fiddle with your camera in hopes to get the most fabulous firework photos that you have ever taken.

AND finally the FIREWORKS! We had a fabulous seat thanks to 1) my friend Jennifer getting me tickets to the Marina Bay Sands event plaza and 2) my early arrival and fabulous seat saving. However, despite my camera fiddling during the show my photos of the fireworks aren’t great because we were just TOO CLOSE for my wide angle lens. Our spot was that good!

Birthdays are a big deal to me but I’ve certainly never celebrated like this before, maybe when I’m 46! So, Happy Birthday to you Singapore it was quite a party! I hope we get to celebrate together again someday!

How do you end an evening like this? With my fabulous friend and fellow foodie Sarah Furner and a Frenchie Burger at DB Bistro. Just in case you did not know, Morbier cheese is amazing. If you get an opportunity to try it do NOT say no.

Followed by a molten chocolate cake with chocolate gelato and vanilla ice cream. Yum.

An excellent ending to an excellent evening.

Saturday Night in Singapore

Last night, since my friend’s balcony was unavailable (she’s in Seychelles) I went down to the Marina Bay to get a close up view of the practice fireworks.

I arrived 30 minutes before the fireworks.  What was I thinking?  It was SO CROWDED!  As I tried to find a decent place, then a average place, then even a terrible place to set up my camera I realized only my mental pictures would be abundant tonight.  Sure enough, my virtual photos were fantastic (much better than they would have been if they had been actual photos of course) and I started wondering if I should dedicate next Saturday to getting here early for a prime spot.

Here is what the stadium looked like from afar during the practice show a few minutes before fireworks. If you have a practice show, you may as well have a practice audience to go along with it.  Notice the stadium is FULL. I took this photo by holding my hands high above my head so there wouldn’t be a line of heads on the horizon.  

After the fireworks almost everyone left quickly.  I decided staying would have two benefits. First, I could avoid the sardine-like state of the MRT. Yes, the subway can be that crowded and smelly. Just think of all those people sitting in the sun for hours, with most of them not having access to deodorant from the US that actually works. In case you are wondering, no, even after three years I have not adapted to the local deodorant, or lack thereof, because it doesn’t work! And second, and more important, I could enjoy the less crowded fake waterfront, realizing it would relieve a lot of the stress I felt with my late arrival by using at least some of my backpack stuffed camera gadgets.  

Or, to avoid my previous rant, I just decided to stay and take some photos.

Much to my surprise, a few minutes later the Marina Bay Sands put on a pretty spectacular laser light and water fountain show.  Even better, this time I was front and center with my camera set up without having to wait for hours ahead of time.

Here are my favorite six photos.

After what turned out to be a great night, now I’m not sure if I want to sacrifice next Saturday. Although, last time I sat 10 hours to watch fireworks was in Sydney Harbor in front of the Opera House on New Years Eve and it was 100% worth it. However, I had Greg for company and it wasn’t humid. Any thoughts?

Cut To the Front

The list is long as to why Singapore Changi airport is the best airport in the world. However, I added a big something new today to my personal list of favs. When the line or queue looks like this, it’s so fun to say “see ya suckers” in my head…

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and walk through an automated immigration that looks like this…

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Amazing! Lets be honest, who doesnt want to cut in line? Also, it’s faster because all you do is hold your passport steady for a scan and then scan your thumbprint. Done and with enough time for lunch and a blog post with my new wordpress app. I guess everyone in queue will just have to deal with the airplane food. 🙂

Light ‘Em Up

Whoever decided bridges need decorative lights was a genius. What looks like an ordinary bridge during the day becomes beautiful at night. And a beautiful bridge during the day becomes extraordinary with a few well placed lights.

I get even more excited when the lights change color…especially if that color is red.

Here is my favorite shot from an evening of photography last May with two friends, it is of the Anderson Bridge. Completed in 1910 and white by day…but red at night by light.

Now I have the police in my head, do you need a hint? So put away your makeup…