Monday, December 3, 2012

The Japanese Garden in Singapore

 The Japanese Garden in Jurong is right next to the Chinese Garden and both are linked by a beautiful white marble bridge supported by arches. The Japanese Garden was a collaborative effort between the govenments of Japan and Singapore and it was designed by a Japanese professor specially appointed for the task. Like my visit to the Chinese Garden, I was equally impressed by the standard of maintenance by the gardeners.
Imaginery mountains and waterfalls greet you as you enter the main gate.

Neatly-trimmed shrubs make you feel like a giant wandering around hillocks.
The red bridge, one of three in the garden brings back memories of my visits years ago.
Another massive river flowing through a forest of pines.

Graceful bamboo rustle in the wind.
Ixora flowers bloom healthily and abundantly.
A bittern stretching its neck to look for breakfast.
A large heron walking beside the pond hoping for fish.
Simple lines mark the architecture of this building.
You can sit here and listen to the birds in the shade of a huge tree.
Japanese stone lantern garden - there are several of them here including the cute one below.

Flowers of the bottlebrush tree.
Bittern with a punky hairdo surveying his tuft.
This one is more practical for it actively looks for food.
Why, I even saw this lovely kingfisher up on a tree.
Lotus in full bloom.
Pretty pink flowers - Kopsia specie.
I just love this bridge.
Shelter from the sun. This garden is wonderful also because of the absence of mosquitoes.
Cross over to the Chinese Garden using this bridge.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Chinese Garden of Singapore

Today, I went to the Chinese Garden in Jurong after quite a long while despite living close to it. I remember when it was first opened in the mid-seventies, it was filled with people eager to see this landscaped garden with Chinese Imperial structures designed by an architect from Taiwan. 
My first visit to the Chinese Garden was with my best friend and we took black-and-white photos with my yashica camera. Between that first visit and my previous one some years back, I visited the garden sporadically during events such as Lantern displays and Children's Colouring competitions. I remember that at some point in time, the place was rather pathetic and had a air of neglect around it and that had contributed to my loss of interest in the garden and as time passed I forgot about this garden.
When I visited this forgotten place in my memory this morning, I was pleasantly surprised that the garden was well-maintained and the structures looked good as new and that some of the structures were in the process of renovation or maintenance. Though I did not have the time to cover the entire grounds of the Chinese Garden, I saw enough that made me feel that this was a garden that Singaporeans should be proud of and like me, should return to enjoy its beauty. See for yourself here>>>

Sunday, February 5, 2012

River Hong Bao festivities Jan 2012

Every year, there is a River Hong Bao festivity at Marina Bay and every year, except this one, I have chosen not to go because of my intense dislike for crowded places. However, this year I decided to venture into territory that I normally dislike and to my delight, the experience was a rather enjoyable one. Firstly, there were these gigantic lanterns that glowed so beautifully in the forms of dragons, dieties, the twelve animals in the Chinese Horoscope, fishes, flowers and I was just overwhelmed. Secondly, the crowd was there but because of the vast area allocated for the activities and lantern display, the crowd was more dispersed and on top of that, if you are tired, you could take a rest high up in the seating area facing Marina Bay. Light belongs to the night undoubtedly for they make things shimmer and shine and glow and transform the ordinary to something out of this world. You will know what I mean when you see the photos I took of the same place in the day time and in the bright sunlight.Click on the photo to see the slideshow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sentosa Flower Show 2012

This year the Sentosa Flower scale appeared to be filled with less grandeur than expected. Nevertheless, it is always wonderful to to visit this annual flower show. Kudos to the foreign workers who kept the flowers looking lovely everyday with their meticulous attention to the necessary maintenance work as well as the decorative talents of those who put the show together a colourful display according to interesting themes. Also, I like the arrangement where young part-time staff were stationed at the special floral arrangements to take photos for visitors. Click on each of the three photos below to see my photos taken on three separate occasions - 18, 20 and 26 Jan.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chinese New Year festive lighting in Chinatown

The year 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon and Chinatown in Singapore lights up to welcome its arrival. I overheard a tourist saying, "This is unbelievable." What he was referring to was either the magnificent dragon decoration along the road divider of South Bridge Road or more likely the throngs of people out to soak in the festive atmosphere. 

 My photos, with the exception of a few, do not highlight the sea of humanity under the bright lights and amidst the overwhelming red and gold theme throughout Chinatown as manifested in the store goods and decorations. I am known for my aversion to crowds and and was only there to see the festive lights along South Bridge Road where Chinatown lies on either side. I avoided the crowds by sticking by the main road and not venturing into the Pagoda street area where people were packed like sardines out of a can.

Our approach by car was from Tanjong Pagar and miraculously we were able to find a carpark lot without much difficulty at the People's Park. The dragon smiles on me!

 Health and Good wishes couplets were prominently displayed for one to admire and to have photos taken with like the couplet on the right.

The mighty dragon along South Bridge Road was beautifully adorned with tiny lights defining its majestic form. There were other dragons too, smaller ones on the pedestrian bridge across the road for people like me who just wanted to take in the lights without jostling with other people to buy new year goodies or just to enjoy being a part of a moving body mass.When you are done with this post, click here for more photos.

 This is the God of Fortune inside the People's Park shopping centre where we had parked our car.
 Five dragons converging on a red lantern high above the escalator.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stories behind Singapore Street Names - Exhibition

Every Singaporean should visit this informative exhibition on the origins of our street names. There is an activity book for children and an excellent booklet that is free of charge and that will be a valuable addition to any home library. My visit to the National Museum was unplanned and this exhibition was a discovery that made my day.It is on levels 7 and 8 and is on daily (except public hholidays) from 10am to 9pm. You have until 29 june 2012 to catch this exhibition.

St Joseph's Church from the fifth floor of the National Library Building.
Maxwell Road was the area I always associate with driving tests and food.

You can watch a short video about how these unusual street names came about.

I took this photo because of the painting of the old houses in Chinatown.