Posts Tagged With: Free

Jurong Frog Farm: Frog in the well hops into your claypot!

Hiya dudes! After a week’s hiatus, we decided to get closer to the wild outdoors of our sunny island, and we arrive at the Jurong Frog Farm because XL says she wants something ‘special’, and I honestly don’t know if this is ‘special’ enough for her, but I guess a farm full of American Bull Frogs should do the trick! (Kill me please if this is not good enough for her, it’s alright if you readers out there like it 🙂

OK! This is how the frog pen looks like, kindda big because each pen is home to so-many-till-i-lost-count number of frogs, and yes XL is smiling, I guess she must be satisfied 🙂

$1 worth of frog food gets you a small packet of pellets to feed the frog

Pellet launched.

One Pellet Away!

Apparently some frogs (read: almost all) aren’t enthusiastic, hence the disclaimer

We caught these 2 *ahem ahem* away, OK we get the message.

Bull frog tadpoles, pretty big!

Like a boss!

Another one of the farm’s produce, freshwater patin fish

Tilapia is also on the menu!

And yes, this is the gist of our farm visit. The frogs here are reared for consumption, mainly for out favourite frog porridge, as well as for the snow jelly dessert (hashima). For that reason, the frogs are of only a single species. So those who are disappointed that there is a lack of variety of animals, do note that this is a commercial farm, and not a reptilian park.

Admission is free and you can walk around the farm by yourselves, as advised by their friendly staff. However, to fully understand the operations of the farm and handle the frogs etc (see below flowchart for more info), it would be advisable to go for one of those guided tours. For more info, refer here.

Besides the farm tours, you can also purchase some of the farm produce such as the frogs and fish. On certain days, the staff may offer some cooked food, which can be purchased and consumed on the spot (for the non-cooking folks out there)

As noted from the chart above, certain tours require a minimum group size of 20 pax. This was the unfortunate situation which we faced today….. And…. to avoid future disappointment of all of you, we have decided to collate groups of 20 or more so that you guys can enjoy the tours instead of simply milling around helplessly. *Disclaimer: Do leave your actual name, contact number, group size and intended date of visit. We do not guarantee that there would be a minimum group size of 20; and in the event that we do not gather 20 pax or more, we are in no way responsible for it since this service is provided on our own goodwill (meaning FOC). Once the group is confirmed, we will link you guys up, where you guys can then contact each other to confirm the type of tour and the date of intended visit. 🙂 So do be nice and not cancel the appointment at the last moment because many others are dependent on you to make the tour possible 🙂

As I’ve mentioned earlier, if you do not sign up for any of the tours, you will not gain much information about the farm and their produce. TO fully maximise the experience, the best time for the tour would be around 10am in the morning.

So there, we are done with Mr Frog; those poor souls we see today should land up in somebody’s claypot soon 😦

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Layang Layang 2012 @ Marina Barrage: The Kite Runner

So on this (rather) eventless weekend, we head down to the Marina Barrage for a touch of breeze, and also to attend PUB’s kite flying event, Layang Layang 2012. And Layang means ‘kite’. As stated in the PUB Website, there is a whole slew of events for the entire day. Is it true?

In our honest opinion, when we reached the location @ 2pm (when most of the main events would’ve started), we sighted some kites up in the sky, while some are still WIP (work in progress). On the ground level, there are some demonstrators randomly flying some kites at low altitudes, and totally not interacting with the crowd. Big boo boo we feel. However, it soon started to rain (drizzle actually), and the kite flyers headed for an intermission in the shelters, and everything seemed rather abandoned. In short, if you’re an avid kite-flyer, there is no need to specially attend this event, because there is nothing special that you can get to learn. If you are bringing your family along, there isn’t much to see because the event organisers did not seem keen to interact with anyone. One redeeming factor though is the kite making event they have; an interesting novelty for children nonetheless.

The highlight of the event had got to be the Mega Kite Flying Display on Sunday from 1630 – 1700, there could be many magnificent and interesting kites on display. But if so, then we feel that the duration of this particular segment could have been a little too short.

We discovered one interesting fact though, it seemed to be a good event for photographers to snap away, as we have done in the photos below. Enjoy!

Spongebob kite! (:

Kite making area

Stunt area. Erm… not too interesting in our opinion

‘Say Hi to doggie’

The Good :

  • Free family fun, great for children who want to fly their kites (but well, we don’t actually need to have an event to be able to fly them)

The Bad:

  • Poor organisation of event, attempt by event organisers to interact with the crowd could have been improved, does not really invoke interest in kite flying.

elson

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Gardens By the Bay: The Green Green Grass of Home (erm, maybe, maybe not!)

So, as we have promised ourselves, we must must must make it to the Gardens By the Bay on its opening day, which is right after work. Shagged by the audit internship, but fresh for the weekend. Dinner was quick. As I asked the girlfriend what she wanted to eat, she just said, ‘Just eat at Maxwell luh, so that we can ‘hurry up get to the Gardens’ ‘ Word for word quote, purrfect.

And yes, we drove down to the Gardens and along the way, we sight throngs of cars being literally piled by the road-side as the entire road was chocked full of cars delivering people with the same ideals (to visit the Gardens on the first day) So yep, we had to park far far away. But hey, no pain no gain. Is this worth the time and effort? The answer is….. It DEPENDS. Let’s sink right into the pictures first!

Bay South Entrance!!! WE ARE HERE!!!

Hey this must surely be the symbol of the Gardens.

Speaking of it being a symbol, there must definitely be times when you’ve noticed it whilst driving down the ECP. Funnily though, I think it resembles the Dolby Digital THX Amazing Life clip which all of us (surely) must have seen before during a movie. This is the clip  in case I’ve not been coherent enough.

OK let me give you my 2 cents worth. This structure is definitely awe-inspiring. I felt that it represented life branching out from a single source. And a complex, intricate but robust network that is formed reflects the need to network, not just for benefits sake, but forming bonds with not only among our own species, but also with the environment. A perfect piece of art I’d say, really enjoyed looking at it. On the flipside though, it is but a man-made structure; it might be a tad too synthetic for those who might prefer something natural. (Well, it is rather impossible unless we live on the movie set of Avatar. But I will touch on Avatar the movie laterrr on!)

Gift/Souvenir shop

XL makes her first appearance of the night with some  procession ( I dunno whut ) seems to be going on! Is it Mardi Gras?

For the Hungry ( We are not sure if it’s nice, cos we ate at Maxwell, remember?)

Aaah! Marvelous Backdrop!

Somewhere near the ticketing booth, picture opportunity for the girlfriend.

Cloud Forest, one of the paid Conservatories

Speaking of which, there are two Conservatories which are air-conditioned and contain certain species of plants that are supposedly rarer. The going rates are $20 for two conservatory for an adult Singapore RESIDENT (yes, you need not be a citizen, being a resident would suffice) and $12 per conservatory. For Non-resident adults, a standard rate of $28 for two conservatories apply. For more details, please head on to :  http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/plan-your-visit/visitor-information.html  

Personal we find the rates rather steep, even for the fact that the Cloud Forest contains the tallest waterfall in sg. Besides, we noticed that even children were charged admission fees. This is not an encouraging fact if the place is intended for educational purposes. We propose that citizens be charged a token rate since the attraction was built with support from the money from the public. This would not exclude certain groups of Singaporeans who cannot afford the exorbitant rates. A wonderful garden like this should be accessible to all.

Flower Dome, another paid Conservatory.

Sneak peek at waterfall inside the Cloud Forest

Somehow it gives me the same feel as when I watched Avatar. Here’s some scenes which resemble the feel below

Spot the difference

More Avatar-esque pictures!

I call this picture, The Synergy. Light produced by man, and light produced by nature. Intertwining of man and nature. Absolutely Zen.

And Yes! Something that everyone must try is the SkyWay, which is actually narrow stretches of roads up above the Avatar-like ‘Super trees’

Look closely at the bridge

Tadah! there are ppl above. This really really really reminds me of Avatar and their Home Tree!

The SkyWay bridge costs $5 per pax and it is rather worth the money going up and feeling like a real Na’vi. However the ticketing booth were already closed when we went there so we did not have any opportunity to go up 😦 But we will be back really really soon!

After which, we milled around the park, and found the gateway to Marina Bay Sands!

HUAT AHHHH!!! (more likely to lose $$$ though, we have already warned you!)

More scenic sights ahead!

Blue Art Science Museum, where we went to see the Harry Potter and Andy Warhol exhibitions!

Dragonfly Pond

Jason Mraz’s concert venue!

After a long trek, civilization spotted!!!!

If you are not the walking type, there is also buggy rides for hire at $5/pax!

Shy Flyer goes into hiding!

To be truthfully brutally honest, after walking round the park and immersing in the atmosphere, there isn’t really much to shout about besides being awed by the psuedo-Avatar atmosphere. While it is really a dream come true for me (an avid Avatar fanboy), folks who prefer nature and the wild outdoors will be uber-ly, epic-ly disappointed by this. Species of plants were not carefully explained, and if one does not look too closely, one might presume that most of the plants belong only to a few species. Educational value, there is none. However, this is only the start of the Gardens and there might be more additions. Proof as shown below

Although expensive, we strongly believe that the Conservatories are where the good stuff are kept, so we will definitely be snooping around there the time time we come. Although the public area is more synthetic compared to the naturalistic feel of the Botanic Gardens, the govt might be heading in the direction of grandeur rather than natural when drawing up the blueprint for this Gardens. This might be done to fit into the ‘Atas’ feel of the neighbouring CBD as well as the Marina Bay Sands IR. Nothing to do this weekend, head on down to Gardens by the Bay. The public area is free, and definitely worth the visit, especially the spectacular night scene. BEAU—TIFUL!

The Good:

  • Great news for Avatar fans! Come at night and watch the place turn into Pandora.
  • Breezy and nice to chill out and admire the picturesque view of the city at no charge at all

The Bad:

  • Conservatories are expensively priced, and  might not be as value-for-$$$ as say, places like the Zoo.
  • Rather inaccessible compared to the Botanic Gardens. Only Bus that ply this route is Bus 400 ><

so long!

elson

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YFest 2012 @ Esplanade : Tonight…… We are YOUNG!

TGIF for the win! Yes tonight is the night of YFest, which is organized by the Esplanade for youths, and of course the young at heart. So being hot blooded youths, how can we not grace this event?

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Tired audit interns that the both of us are, we manage to leave the office on-the-dot (damn lucky we know!) to check out whatever that’s brewing at the theatres on the bay. OK admittedly, elson wasn’t too optimistic about the event initially. Ehh IMHO, the marketing is not exactly too targeted and does not set to differentiate itself from other run-of-the-mil events held at places like Scape, with the usual flea-market, skate boarding stuff, yada yada yada. But still, we had to give it a shot, and boy were we really really glad.

Upon arrival at the Esplanade, we were bombarded by a loud concert-like noise, and the honour goes to a group of performers on the stage who were performing a kind of dance called ‘popping’. We ain’t too familiar with dances, and hence would not be able to explain the nuances behind them, but do experience the dance and judge for yourselves. We have to admit that, given the large crowd and thundering applauses, it must’ve been good. Indeed a very good way to propagate the art of dancing!

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Next up, we headed towards the area with lots of carnival tents (and this is where it really really really got us interested, INTERESTED!!! :DDD), the first stop for us was the ‘Swop Shop’. So what is this ‘Swop Shop’ thingy about? It turned out that it is actually a global movement. What you do is, bring down items you do not want, but are in workable conditions, and simply exchange them for any of the items displayed there. It was form of ‘free-cycling’, which is actually an aberration of ‘recycling’. This reduces the disposal of items and is actually a marvelous concept. Barter trading anyone? It is an impressive movement by this YFest, and a very noble and innovative one.  

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BOOTHS !

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All the above available for ‘barter trade’ or rather ‘free-cycling’!

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XL with Swop Shop lady! Thumbs up for the environment!

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Next stop, guess what?! Another darn interesting concept! You see people writing stuff on cards around? The concept actually revolves around writing a card to our friends and the Esplanade will send it only a year after! So it’s like a you in 2012 writing to a friend in 2013, pretty awesome we feel! This concept purported by the YFest is to promote friendships; if we are still in contact with the friend, well, it serves to reinforce the friendship; and even if we were to lose contact, it serves to rekindle the friendship. Aww! What a sweet gesture! XL got so hyper about it that she did not hold her horses back and immediately plonked down onto a chair, and started writing! (Hint hint: We will both receive a letter one year on! WAHAHAHAH!)

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How it works!

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Cheapo XL smiling at the prospects of sending postcards for free!!!

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elson writing his secret post!

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XL writing her stuff!

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Cute letter box!

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Popping the letters in !

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 Yes and we deposit those letters into the uber cute chutes and get to see the letters only a year on! And oh, did we mention that the service is totally FOC! YES FREE OF CHARGE! (yes don’t have to pay admission charges, don’t have to pay for Swop Shop, don’t have to pay for ANYTHING in this YFest! Shiokness! Everyone loves a good deal and everyone relishes a FREE deal!)

Our third stop in the carnival-like tents was this toy-making event, where you would be provided with a mould, and some clay, and DIY your own toys. Basically this event does not seem too unique and special to be honest, but it does allow one to play around with the clay and other art and crafts gadgets, in case one has been away from school for too long. So yea, get your hands dirty and get back to school! Unfortunately for us, we could not get to make the toy because the clay takes around 1-1.5hrs to set and the booth will be closing soon 😦

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Made by Singapore Boys’ Hostel!

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Right smack at the center of the carnival tents is this friendly Caucasian guy who is from the University of Melbourne’s faculty of arts. He called out to us, and how could we not show some Singaporean hospitality, tio boh? Anyway, he asked us some questions pertaining to friendships and he filmed our replies on camera, to be uploaded on Facebook (can’t wait to see it being aired HAHAHAHHA!)

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Steve from UMel!

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elson makes a new friend in Steve!

Although the question about friendships is rather cheesy, we really like the whole getup about promoting friendships, particularly with the Postcards thingy from the previous booths. Kudos to YFest! A good reminder that it’s really special to find someone whom you can relate to and click with among the torrents of people.  No matter how bad the going gets, there’s always someone out there watching our backs. We like that, we really do :)) Double smiley for this one!

Last station is actually a Cosplay station. Although Cosplay is a common trend, what makes this booth special is that, we can actually partake in the Cosplay! Yes the Cosplayers will provide all the equipments, including the makeup, and turn you into someone out of Naruto or One-piece. One caveat though, there’s only 4 choices to choose from, but it can really be enjoyable! Here’re some photos (We failed to do the Cosplay thingy because of time constraint yet again 😦  )

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Wolverine?

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Cosplay artefacts!

Walking out back towards the air-conditioned comfort of the Esplanade, we dropped by the Giant robotic statue where everyone is allowed to draw/write/doodle anything they like on those structures! Graffiti at its finest, and no legal penalties at all! WOOHOO!!!! We got down to work, and decided to leave our mark here! Artistic expression at its finest! Go ahead, write ‘My grandfather’s road’ here or imitate the Sticker Girl for all your heart desires without any consequences!

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Let’s put some graffiti on this robot!

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NAISE!!!

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We were here! :DDD

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Graffiti Art Attack!

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Singaporeans exercising their artistic freedom

We headed towards the entrance, and were greeted by more performances as we left. Tonight, we were truly young and awesomely awed by the wonderful concepts thought out by YFest. As Jessie J sang ‘It’s not about the money money money….’ This event serves as a yardstick for future events to be organized. Low in budget, but full of innovative concepts and meaning for our youth. The subtle lessons that would be inculcated into the audience is mind-boggling, especially the ‘Write a card to your friend’ and ‘Swop Shop’ movement. The intricate weaving of the fabrics of art, youth and altruism is indeed something worth celebrating. A successful event is not judged only by its ability to wow our external senses, but one that is able to warm the cockles of our hearts. In our humble opinion, YFest has managed to do that. We applaud the effort.

Some of the random pictures we took!

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Interesting picture. We like!

The Good:

  • Awesome concepts, values and great integration of youth and art.
  • Great for family, couples and folks who love the arts!
  • Best of all, everything is entirely FOC!

The Bad:

  • Operating hours are rather short. Seeing that the Cosplay and Toy-making might take some time, it would be good to head early so as not to miss the hands-on events.
  • Outdoor event, have an umbrella ready or prepare for wet weather program.
  • Not as many booths as we would like, but hey, each booth is interesting with a refreshing concept, so well, cannot really complain too much too 😉

How to get there?

Esplanade: Theatres by the Bay

Nearest MRT Stations: Esplanade station, Cityhall station

Event only runs for this weekend! 22nd June to 24th June

23rd June (Sat): 7pm – 11pm

24th June (Sun): 7pm – 10pm

Visit www.yfest.com for more details on the event!

Signing off,

elson

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