Category

Singapore

Category

Exploring the Ulu Pandan Park Connector A quick and easy weekend escape.

This is a post about my everlasting love for Singapore’s Park Connector Network (PCN), which is a series of beautiful tarmac that links up the many parks peppered around the island, allowing cyclists to travel great distances without going on the treacherous roads. And as I don’t have a death wish, I’ve been diligently sticking to the lovely PCN when I head out to explore my neighbourhood in the West on my foldie.

Today, I met up with Joao, my neighbourhood buddy who lives in Dover, and the plan was to take a leisurely cycle towards Bukit Batok. Our meeting point was at the canal of Commonwealth Ave West, which is also the start of the Ulu Pandan park connector. And because Joao got his bike’s brakes stolen, this route was perfect because it’s mostly flat and basically a walk in the park. This long track may not be the most scenic route, but it sure is quiet.

DSC00869

ulu pandan singapore PCN
I was quite fascinated by how the landscape on this path tended to be divided horizontally.

ulu pandan singapore PCN

ulu pandan singapore PCN

ulu pandan singapore PCN

ulu pandan singapore PCN
The old railway in Clementi.
ulu pandan singapore PCN
Stopped to observe some dudes using huge ass cameras to photograph a pathetic “waterfall”. The sign helped with the irony too.

Within 1.5h, we arrived at Bukit Batok Nature Park in one piece. We made good time thanks to a lovely couple, who kindly offered to pump my flattened tires. Kindness movement ambassadors right there. I was super grateful.

Bukit Batok Nature Park
“I look like I’m peeing into the lake,” says Joao.

DSC00890

Bukit Batok Nature Park
Spotted about three of these delightful White-crested laughingthrush.

The park was rather quiet as it was high noon by the time we headed back to our bikes. In search for food, we headed towards the nearby cluster of HDB flats and coffee shops at Bukit Batok East Avenue. And we just had to stop and marvel at how convenient Singapore is sometimes. This heartland was in full swing when we got there at lunch time, with aunties doing their grocery shopping at the wet market, families in semi-pajama wear eating at the coffee shop, and uncles browsing the Chinese New Year bazaar set up at the atrium. Joao and I ended up having pretty decent duck rice at the shabbiest looking coffee shop in the area. (Travel tip: The dirtier the store, the tastier the food. Applicable in most South East Asian countries.)

There was also a bike shop in the neighbourhood, so Joao got his rear brake fixed for just $6, and we headed back where we came from almost twice as fast.

IMG_3159

The RunKeeper app told me that we cycled 20km, took 2:30h, and burnt a total of 649 calories.

Love active Sundays!

Railway Tracking A scenic walk through the western corridor of Singapore

Because I’m a sad, single 27-year-old woman living with her parents, a big part of my very hectic social life involves long morning walks with mum. I’m very grateful to have a fit, adventurous, and nature-loving woman like her to match up to my thirst for discovering new places in Singapore.

This morning, we decided to explore the former KTM railway track, which has been opened up to the public since its closure in 2011, and is now known as The Green Corridor. The good people behind the Green Corridor campaign have crafted out useful maps of the different routes you can take along the track, which starts in Sungei Kadut Avenue and ends at Kampong Bahru. As it runs through my neighbourhood, we started at Holland Road, and ended at Kampong Bahru.

Holland Drive RSCLS graffiti
Our starting point is marked by a graffiti by local crew RSCLS.
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
A new perspective of our flat.
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
Posed vs…
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
natural.
Singapore Green Corridor nature walk
Much of the track is nestled in incredibly lush greenery.
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
The many flyovers and highways make for some interesting photo opportunity.
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
There’s something very alienating and dystopian about concrete structures.
Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
Beautiful painterly art works along the portion of the route that runs parallel to the AYE.

Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk

Holland Road Green Corridor nature walk
The track ends unceremoniously at an open field behind the housing estates at Kampung Bahru.

So we continued on from Kampung Bahru to Tanjong Pagar, and ended the morning walk with a lovely brunch at The Plain cafe.

The Plain cafe Singapore

Singapore’s first cat museum It's far from just another cat cafe

[stag_intro]Educational, therapeutic, Instagram-worthy, and all for a good cause, Lion City Kitty doesn’t get any better for cat lovers.[/stag_intro]

It all began with Brad Pitt.

Jessica Seet, former radio DJ and founder of voice coaching company Art of Voice, was fortunate enough to have him hanging around the office every day, and Braddie would treat the space as his own catwalk, charming the pants off anyone who crossed his path.

Jessica Seet with Brad Pitt in The Cat Museum
Jessica with Brad Pitt

“If we were to have cats around the office, why not have some fun with naming them!” Jessica says with a chuckle. Besides Brad Pitt, Jessica now also counts Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston as some of her famous friends. Most of them are rescued cats, and fueled by her passion for educating the public about animal welfare, Jessica recently took a huge leap of faith and set up the self-funded Lion Kitty City, Singapore’s first cat museum.

Located within a heritage shophouse on Purvis Street, The Cat Museum, Muses & Mansion is dissected into three floors, each with a different experience.

Level 2: The museum

The space is adorned with feline-themed art works which are donated by artists from around the globe (most of the pieces are for sale, and the proceeds will be split between Cat Welfare Society and Lion City Kitty), as well as exhibits that celebrate touching tales of the special bond between cats and their humans. And from January onwards, this floor will also be where all the kittens will be housed, and visitors can pop by between 12-2pm for some kitten therapy!

Level 3: The Muses

This is where the public can get to know the muses — rescued cats who are all up for adoption. Working in collaboration with the Cat Welfare Society, a maximum of 9 cats will be roaming around this entire floor freely at any one time, and visitors can feel free to cuddle (gently please!), test their agility skills with the many toys lying around, or snap photographs of the lazier ones. This is pretty much a win-win situation for both the humans and cats as the furkids learn to socialise better with humans in a simulated home environment while the humans gush and squeal and play with them.

It also brings me immense joy to learn that many of the cats have been adopted since Lion City Kitty opened its doors to sneak peeks!

DSC00181

Singapore cat museum

Let's hope they reach their target!
Let’s hope they reach their target!

Level 4: The Mansion

This is where Jessica’s 9 resident superstar cats reside. These pampered cats may not be as rambunctious as the younger ones on the floor below, but they will gratefully incline their chins towards you if you when you give them a good old scratch on the head.

Singapore cat museum Lion City Kitty
Jennifer Aniston aka JenJen
Singapore cat museum
Prince Harry, the cat museum’s cross-eyed mascot.
Singapore cat museum
Julia Roberts
Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
Singapore cat museum
Angelia Jolie
Singapore cat museum
Sarah Jessica Parker

Lion City Kitty officially opens on January 9.

Opening hours (from January 10 onwards): Friday to Sunday, 2-9 pm
Entrance fee: S$9 (free for kids aged 6 & below) for an unlimited time on the day itself

Visit The Cat Museum, Muses & Mansion Facebook page to get updates on their kitties!

A Furry Saturday A doggie haven near Johor Bahru where rescued canines run free.

Once in a while I lend my help to the people behind Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary (NANAS), especially when they hold tours at their lovely compound in Johor, Malaysia. It’s a sprawling plot of land that serves as the animals’ (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, and monkeys) retiring home, which the public can visit via the public tours (there’s a bus which takes you there from Boon Lay MRT) or on your own on days where NANAS is opened up to those who wish to drive up on their own . (Just follow NANAS’ Facebook page to be in the loop for the various tour dates.)

I love this sanctuary because it brings me real joy to see the dogs being so happy when they run freely around the place. But even if you don’t fancy the earnest nudges by the sometimes rambunctious dogs, you can head for the feline blocks to be surrounded by the many, many kitties that also roam free within, where they are safe from the slobbering hyperness of dogs (although a few privileged canines have gotten the approval to share their space).

It was very nice to meet everyone who drove up to NANAS for a visit yesterday, and I’m sure the furry residents couldn’t be happier to be at the receiving end of all the zealous affection. The next public tour is on May 18, so you can hop over to NANAS’ blog to get more details on the tour, or email noahsarkcares@gmail.com to register.

A visitor with Max, the gentle rottweiler who’s allowed into the cattery.

IMG_0738
After a dip in the pond.

IMG_0739

IMG_0741

One of my favourite cats, who lost its hind legs, but not its affection towards people.
One of my favourite cats, who lost both its hind legs, but not its affection towards people.

IMG_0748

The main cattery.
The main cattery.

IMG_0772

These quiet moments with individual dogs are the best.
Very often, a dog will trot up quietly to you and just hang by your side… These quiet moments are always the best.

IMG_0767

IMG_0764

Jill, who unfortunately keeps getting swiped by the cats because she's partially blind and keeps bumping into them.
Jill, who unfortunately keeps getting swiped by the cats because she’s partially blind and keeps bumping into them.

IMG_0758

IMG_0757
This one found new companionship with my backpack.

IMG_0756

The temperamental chow.
The temperamental chow.

IMG_0784

IMG_0778

IMG_0799

A rather coy one in the other cattery.
A rather coy one in the other cattery.

IMG_0801

IMG_0837

IMG_0825
Grooming time with one of the local workers.
IMG_0823
“How do you like my lush headpiece?”
IMG_0813
Thanks for sending me off guys! I’ll be back soon!

Laneway by the Meadows

Was thrilled that the third Laneway Singapore carried better names than the last. I’ve been wanting to watch Kings of Convenience for a really long time because somehow I’ve always missed their Esplanade gigs, and the others that I was excited to see were Of Monsters and Men and Nicolas Jaar.

Car boot pre-party.
Amongst Meadows by the Bay.
Amongst Meadows by the Bay.

We were utterly shocked at how long the ticket collection queue was when we arrived at the main entrance, and thanks to a few kind people who allowed us to jump a mile up the queue, we managed to get in just as Kings of Convenience was starting their hour-long set.

I was apprehensive about seeing them in an open-air venue at first, but their warm tones and melodious riffs pierced right through, and I was so damn happy right there and then.

Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe from Norwegian pop-folk group Kings of Convenience.
Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe from Norwegian pop-folk group Kings of Convenience.
Erland showing us some moves to the song 'I'd rather dance with you'.
Erlend nerd rocking.
The Laneway stage with Marina Bay Sands in the background.
The Laneway stage with Marina Bay Sands in the background.
Shady people.
Shady people.
Rock Chixxx 87.
Rock Chixxx 87.

After KOC, we headed out to Marina Bay Sands to seek refuge from the heat and had Kraze Burger for lunch.

Kraze Burger
The semi-nude burger at Kraze Burger is a must-try!

Then we headed back for Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, who completely surpassed my expectations. Considering that they were new, I was hoping for nothing more than a band that pulled together live. But their set moved me in ways which I thought only watching a band like Mumford and Sons could. It was amazing, and they were the best act for Laneway 2013 for me.

This 7-piece is set for greatness.
This 7-piece is set for greatness.
Vocalists Cartmen and Bjork.
Vocalists Cartmen and Bjork.
"Fuck yeah festivals!!!"
“Fuck yeah festivals!!!”
"In the meantime I should check how my pits smell."
“In the meantime I should check how my pits smell.”
Still managing some smiles after a day under the sun.
Still managing some smiles after a day under the sun.

Then it was on to some sexy, sexy music by Nicolas Jaar for the sundown.

Sexy beats by Nicolas Jaar and friends.
A small but groovy crowd gathered for Nicolas Jaar and friends.
A beautiful sunset and a full moon.
A beautiful sunset and a full moon.
Back to the car boot to reboot.
Back to the car boot to reboot.
Not a fan, but Alt J gave a commendable performance.
Not a fan, but Alt J gave a commendable performance.
Till next time!
So glad that it didn’t rain like the first year… Till next time!
%d bloggers like this: