Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bras Basah Series 4

My new found love, barb wires! Need to find take more of these type of picture! They look so classic, especially in black and white!

And with 3 guys in the group, I felt perfectly safe walking into back alley to try out some shots. However, to be honest, I think there are nicer back alley in Malaysia. Singapore's back alley are just too clean to be pass as authentic. Sorry :P

Barb Wire

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bras Basah Series 3

Lights and shadows! Another wonderful thing to capture with your Nikon camera! The last two are my favorite for this theme :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bras Basah Series 2

There are a few things that I love to shoot, bicycles, umbrellas, and chain and locks! Yesterday I also discovered that I love barb wires, but that's another new collection that I'll work on. Here are a series of locks! Not sure if my photography shows my unhealthy state of mind, but I do so love these photos! Except for the photo above the wordings which was taken at Victoria Concert Hall, the rest were taken during the Bras Basah walk-about :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bras Basah Series 1

My first photo outing with Lynx and gang, to a place call Bras Basah. Let's start with my favorite, the black and white shots.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Southern_All_Stars (サザンオールスターズ)

Listening to Southern All Stars to keep me sane tonight. It's amazing how sexy the lead singer can sound! Easily my favorite Japanese Band of all time!

The first song that made me a fan

And my 2nd favorite song from them
Lonely Women

And the rest is history :)




A solo by the lead singer Keisuke Kuwata (桑田 佳祐)

Southern All Stars
Keisuke Kuwata (桑田 佳祐)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ice Kacang Puppy Love 初戀紅豆冰

Got to support this movie by Ah Niu, a fellow Penang Kia! He writes some of the most honest and beautiful songs! His songs always make me homesick for Penang. Some of my favourite songs from him. Couldn't find my favourite on youtube though. It's call Sungai Puyu Wind. Will keep looking. But in the mean time, enjoy those found :)

阿牛 - 踩著三輪車賣菜的老阿伯

阿牛 - 大肚腩

阿牛 - 你家在哪里

阿牛 - Mamak档

阿牛 - Abu ne ne

Ah Niu (阿牛)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Museums in Malacca

Have I mention that Malacca is classified as a UNESCO site? Alamak, after so many blog entry then I tell you! Sigh! Btw, Penang is also a UNESCO site! Aren't that wonderful! Anyway, what UNESCO site always have is museums! And there area a whole street full of them in Malacca! We visited three of the museums while we were there.

The first museum was the The Malacca People's Museum that houses the Kite Museum, and Museum of Enduring Beauty. It cost only RM2 (S$0.90) per entry, and has 3 level of exhibition. One thing about Malaysian Museum is, it's pretty spooky! hahaha. Plus, you can really smell it :P

Shown here are the spooky hall way of the museums, and some of the exhibit, the center being the deformed bone structure of the Chinese Bounded Feet ladies in ancient times which was considered to be feminine and beautiful, as well as the disc lips African ladies, another sign of feminine and beauty in another culture in another part of the world. Hence the name of the Museum of Enduring Beauty. An extremely educational museum. Too bad the aircon was not working, or I could have stayed there longer to read up on twisted beauty images around the world.

The other museums are kinda free. The architecture museum has a free entry, and some of the old mode of transportation were freely viewable as you walk around the museum premises! This place is really value for money! And its great for kids too!

The last museum we visited was the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum that cost RM8(S$3.50) per entry. Here you can see how the Baba and Nyonya used to live in the olden days. I like visiting this place cause it brings back memories of my childhood, with all it's Peranakan culture and tradition. My family (both paternal and maternal side) originated from Malacca before migrating to Penang. My mum actually spend her whole childhood and teenage years here with my grandparents. So I can relate to this small town and it's slower pace of life, and completely feel at home here :)

Malacca and Penang UNESCO status
Malacca People's Museum
Baby and Nyonya Heritage Museum
Feet Binding
Lip Plate

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bi Rain - Come Back Home

After spending 16 hours watching Full House during the weekend, somehow the character played by Rain isn't exactly what I was expecting. Still, it was an interesting Korean Drama! Here to share is my favorite image of him, so utterly unlike the character played in the series. I bet my cousin Doris would love this clip :P

Next target, want to watch "I'm a Cyborg but that's ok". Anyone got the movie to lend me watch? :P

Full House

Monday, April 12, 2010

Malacca River

One of the very obvious feature of Malacca is the Malacca River. Almost everywhere you go in Malacca, you're sure to come across it. If you know anything about Malacca, you would know that the Malacca river is rich in history. And it's extremely clean and pretty too by Malaysian standard! :P And if you walk along the river, you'll come across pretty bridges to allow you to cross from one 'kampung' to the next easily.

The other attractions are the watermill as show in the photo below, that can be found next to the river near the Dutch Square. I have no idea whether is it a functional watermill, but it sure look pretty! It kinda makes you feel like you're in a European country or something, probably Holland :P

Another very prominent sight at the Malacca River from Dutch Square, is the Maritime Museum in a shape of a ship. Pirates! Ahoy! It looked pretty impressive, and although we walked pass it, we didn't actually went into of it as, well, it's just a museum. If you're ever in Penang, there is also a ship replica at Batu Ferringgi Beach that houses The Ship restaurant. Now that one you should visit!

All in all, I find it extremely relaxing to walk along the Malacca River. Sometimes I feel that we spend too much money traveling to far away places when there are so many wonderful nearby places for us to explore that is just as beautiful, just as exotic. I think I should spend more long weekend in my own country!

The Ship, Penang

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

St Paul's Hill (Bukit St Paul)

On our second day in Malacca, we were still wondering around pretty much lost and without a map. But we managed. From the Dutch Square, walking straight on we hit the Maritime Museum (which photo I will share in another post later), and walked one big round till we reached the iconic "A-Farmosa" Fort. Just a few meters away from the fort, is a replica of the Malacca Sultanate palace which looks pretty impressive. Can't remember why we never bother to visit the palace. I think it was because of the massive noon time heat that kinda melted our brains.

At the back of the fort is St Paul's Hill. You can walk up the stairs to the hill to reach the St Paul's Church. But just before you reach the church, you can turn right and walk down a small pathway called the Dutch Grave. I guess here's where all the famous Dutch people who once lived in Malacca were buried?

St Paul's Church is actually a ruin, as shown in these photos. You can find painters there trying to sell their craft, and singers there singing traditional Portuguese songs which really adds to the atmosphere.

A shorter way to get to St Paul's Hill from Dutch Square, is to walk straight on and keep left until you reach this charming red door that leads up the charming hill. Both ways lead to the same place, and everything is really just a walk away. So Malacca is really a great place for a weekend getaway where you can see everything on a leisure scroll! We even managed an afternoon nap on the same day before heading to a Peranakan Dinner. And best of all, all these sights are free! No administration fee required! What else can you ask for?

Melaka.net (Almost everything you need to know about Malacca

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dutch Square

Our journey started from Beach Road Singapore as we board the Alisan bus(S$35 per person one-way) towards Malacca at 12noon, (bus was late 30minutes as the scheduled time was 11:30am). It was the start of the long weekend, and it took us 2 hours to just cross the border! We didn't reach Malacca Bus Terminal till almost 6pm! We make a mad rush to get our return tickets back, but all tickets to Singapore were SOLD OUT! (meaning Monday Urgent Leave! hahaha). So we did the next best thing and got tickets to JB instead for RM19 (S$8.15) per person from KKKL bus.

Next, we took a local bus 17 to Dutch Square(RM1 per person). Easier said then done, since I have no idea what Dutch Square looked like but only knew it was 15 minutes by bus! No fear! Friendly bus driver told us where to alight. And it was an amazing sight that greeted us!

Unfortunately, we didn't have much chance to admire the sights as I have told the hostel guy Sam that we were arriving by 5pm, and already I was running 1.5 hours late! We rushed to confirmed out lodging first, then came back to Dutch Square to enjoy the sight. By then, it was past 7pm, and all the trishaw were all lighted up! I've seen decorated trishaw in Penang and Singapore before, but the ones in Malacca win hands down!

Here's a view of the narrow red shop houses leading to Dutch Square during the day time, as well as the night time. The sight at night was extremely romantic. Malacca is an extremely colorful town! There was also a tourist information center in this photo that is just next to the Malacca River all lighted up like some Japanese Castle!

Here are two wonderful shots of Dutch Square to share, one being the current banner of this blog :)

Dutch Square

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jalan-Jalan in Malacca

Jalan-Jalan, which means 'taking a walk' in Malay, is exactly what me and my hubby did during the Good Friday long weekend, jalan all the way to Malacca. Coincidentally, it is also the name of the hostel that we were staying in - "Jalan-Jalan Guest House". After discovering Hostelworld.com, I've been rather geared towards staying in hostel then hotel. For one, it's a lot cheaper, and two, it's always so much more charming then the business like dullness of a hotel. Jalan-Jalan was just charming.

Costing at RM35 (S$15) for a double bed room per person (breakfast not included), Sam (the person in charge) was extremely kind enough to gave us a room with "more air" as he puts it. Although simple, I actually loved it! It reminded me of my old house in Penang, with all the mosquito included as well! The scene from the bedroom looks out into the courtyard below as shown here in the photos. It was extremely cooling even though there was no air-con. The air was sweet and fresh, with birds chirping merrily in the morning. Charming indeed! (Except for the damn mosquitoes).

Even the toilet was charming! Here shows the pathway to the toilet. There is only one toilet and one bathroom in the whole hostel, but we had no problem using them as and when we like. Best of all is the open-air-ness of the bathroom, which reminds one of a kampung(village) life, with squatting toilet included. And after a hot day of walking, it was extremely calming to come back to a cold shower and relax in a place where time seems to have forgotten.

The lobby area too was simple, equipped with PC which is free for 30 minutes a day for guest. I didn't even need it as I could receive the Wi-Fi signal all the way upstairs in my room! Sam was hardly ever around, so you could just come and go as you pleased as if it was your own house. And the location is just in the heart of Chinatown, totally near to all the sights of Malacca. In fact, we only had to spend RM1 per person to get to the hostel from Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal, and RM1.50 back when departing. No other public transport was needed! (Of course we did walked a lot!).

Nice place. Would love to come back if given the same room. I say that cause our experience could have been very different if we were given the more claustrophobic rooms with just a small window. Really thankful that Sam gave us such a wonderful room instead! Also, not for people who can't stand old fashion squatting toilet, mosquitoes, ants, molds growing on wall, etc etc etc. Yes! Hostel is the way to go! But a note from Jalan-Jalan itself: IMPORTANT : NOT SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT EXPERIENCE OF GUESTHOUSE AND CHILDREN UNDER 12. WE ARE NOT HOTEL AND THE PRICE SHOULD BE CHEAP ENOUGH NOT TO EXPECT RED CARPET AND CHAMPAGNE ON KING COIL BED IN THE ROOM. (Chuckle!)

Jalan-Jalan Guest House
Melaka Sentral (Website is in Malay)
Squatting Toilet

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Universal Studio Singapore (USS) 2010

Woohoo, brought my mum to Universal Studio Singapore last Sunday. Was prepare to spend a bomb there, but was pleasantly surprised!Allow me to share my journey with you.

We left home around 8am and took a taxi there from Bedok. Total cost of taxi S$14.60. There was no entrance charge of S$3 per person when you enter via the monorail, or the standard car entry charge of S$7 per car. We just paid the taxi charge!

As USS was still on soft-opening mode, we got our tickets S$72 for adults, S$36 for senior citizen above 65 years old. Each ticket came with a S$10 meal voucher, and a S$5 retail voucher! So for my mum, it cost only about S$20 to enter USS! I thought that was a great deal!

Some photos of the attraction attached. And even though some of the rides where not in operation, we still managed to have a wonderful time there, leaving only at 5:30pm. The shows were all splendid, and even the kiddie rides were fun. It makes you feel totally out of Singapore!

My favorite attraction are the Far Far Away Shrek Castle, and The Mummy shown here. The gift show next to the Mummy attraction was the only shop worth spending money on for me, so I got myself a Mummy T-shirt :)

Any complaints of the place? Well of course! I'd say it as it is. So here are the not so good point.

1. A stranger offered to sell us 3 of his tickets, each S$2 cheaper as his friends couldn't come. As we could only buy the tickets from him using cash, I went to the ATM to withdraw some money. At 8:30am, there was no cash in the ATM!

2. So I purchased my ticket at the normal price at the counter. No map or program was given to me upon purchase. I had to go back and ask for them each specifically. Don't ask, don't get!

3. The queue at each ride or show wasn't long, but the turnaround time for each batch of people were, in my point of view, long as compared to theme parks elsewhere.

4. Worst experience was buying food. Although there were lots of places to eat, each time I went in, even though the queue was short, I had to wait rather long for my food. The servers looked totally confused at times as to what they should be doing. The S$10 free meal voucher more then made up for it by keeping me patient. I was also given a wrong order and told that it was what I ordered.... Still, the food was rather cheap, reasonable good, and portion size large.

The other thing I like there during my visit, was the Hershey Shop just outside USS! It's definitely worth a visit! The Victoria Secret shop however, was rather a disappointment to me (not much secret stuff on sale :P ) Casino was off limit to me as a Singapore PR, but my mum went in and reported back that it was too crowded to play, and that the minimum change of chips is S$100! I rather go Genting!

All in all, would I go back there again??? Of course! Looking forward to it since I haven't tried most of the rides there yet!

Universal Studio Singapore
Victoria Secret