Pulau Semakau intertidal walk rOCks !

Mention Pulau Semakau, or Lorong Halus, and you might cover your nose.
These landfill sites used to be, and continue to be Singapore’s dumping grounds. But Semakau also house Knobbly starfish, which are bigger than our face !

Daddy has heard a lot about Semakau before, how National Environment Agency (NEA) manage to cultivate and sustain the island’s ecosystem. Semakau is proof that landfills are not always about Rubbish πŸ™‚

There was a video campaign under Semakau and NSS end April, and Daddy has volunteered himself for Nature Society Singapore‘s (NSS) Semakau trip.

The early morning downpour at Pasir Panjang Ferry terminal nearly derail our trip.

We brought the glorious Sun to Pulau Semakau πŸ™‚

We can learn about how Singapore’s rubbish are first incinerated at Tuas, before the ash are towed to Semakau. More about Pulau Semakau here.

After our briefing, we head out to one corner of the island for our Intertidal walk. Intertidal means we can walk far out to shore when tides are low, and explore the rich inhabitants.

Regulars to intertidal walk came prepared with stylish boots ! (SAF shoe is Daddy’s)

As we were delayed by the rain, we need to speed up and cut through jungle trail. Hello mosquitos πŸ™‚

An amazing sight awaits us at the exit of the trail. Our eyes can scan the entire coastline. Start wading !

The water has risen (we lose an hour due to the rain), but still got pretty much to explore !

As Singapore is an island surrounded by busy straits and container ships. We can see heavy industries all around us. It is always amazing how our ecosystem continues to strive πŸ™‚

No wonder this is intertidal walk. In low tide, all sorts of seafood sealife is exposed ! It is very therapeutic to walk ankle deep in the sea. We try to walk in a single file, so as not to disturb the ecosystem. Occasionally, our guide will shout “stingray” !

Knobbly starfish aplenty. This is the first time most of us have seen starfish so HUGH, and upclose ! Pardon our excitement, but we can spot a colony every ten steps.

Whenever we gather, we spot new interesting stuffs. NSS guides will help us to identify the shells, fishes, seaweeds and other organisms flourishing here at Semakau.

Daddy even spotted a hugh seabass (60cm) lingering around, it might be injured, and maybe it is from a nearby fishery farm?

Wildlife galore

Back on the bank, a lone mangrove. We can spot countless fiddler crabs hiding in the mangrove’s root. The morning’s exploration has been nothing short of eXcitement !

After our short rest at Semakau’s admin building, we went to checkout the island’s scenic spots.

Mangroves, fish-farms, and we can even spot Raffles Lighthouse (Daddy visited beacon in 2011Apr) from a corner.

Beautiful and tempting lagoon under the hot sun, but no swimming allowed πŸ™
We even spotted a baby black-tip reef shark.

Pulau Bukom across the straits..

Walk further inland, and we can spot the island’s different plants and ferns.

Before heading back, we witness sunset away from Singapore mainland. Watching the sunset over the sea at Semakau can be an romantic experience, as there are no tall buildings to block our view.

Bye Bye Semakau, we will miss you! We overheard Yvonne (NEA representative) mention that she has been here five times, and every experience is different !

Additional tips for enjoying Semakau
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1) Your shoes will get muddy and dirty, do not bother to clean up, just enjoy the walk.

2) Walk slowly, as you do not want to minimise disturbance to ecosystem, and you do not wish to fall and let your expensive camera equipment swim !

3) Daddy would not recommend kids below 8 years old to visit. Semakau itinerary is whole day, and can be tiring.

4) For DSLR users, get use to manual focus, the constant ripples make it hard for camera to focus.
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City view from behind a field of lalang.

We can only enjoy Pulau Semakau’s intertidal walk, through NSS and NEA. If you prefer to catch galaxy star-trails, you need to stay over night with Tasos.

Daddy would like to thanks NSS (Ter Yang) and NEA for hosting us, and the friendly guides (Han Chong and Alice) for sharing so much knowledge with us.

Our blog cannot justify the beauty of Semakau, please drop by SengkangBabies album for more photos of the day itself.
–> Semakau Album

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** Our blog are finalists in OMY’s Singapore Blog awards, if you love our kids, Read our story, and Vote for us πŸ™‚

* updated 2014OCt – Checkout other intertidal walks from Sengkangbabies too, Chek Jawa and Sisters’ Islands.

Photos from our Paya Lebar Airbase cycling trip

We participated in 2012’s National Runway Cycling and Skating.
We do not know of any airbase which allows whole family to cycle or blade down the Runway.

Anyway, we arrrived before Sunrise as Daddy was worried there will be a lack of carpack space. We did not want to cycle too far out, and tired ourselves even before the race starts :p

Witnessing the beautiful Sunrise, Yawn, we know Mummy and the two younger siblings are still snoozing…

The Airbase gate was opened at 0700 sharp, and one by one, we got our bike inspected :0

A lot of l-on-g shadows were cast by the rising Sun.

We orientate our 6Km Family route first. We do not want to land on the 45KM strip !

0815 – Ready, get set… (Daddy ask Kang again whether he is READY ?)
To be honest, Daddy is still worried whether Kang can cope. A few months back, he was still wobbling on the multi-storey carpark.

Flag off at 0830… Whether you are here for some family leisure, or competition, we have the same start line.

Thanks to Jay for taking a snap of our rides in motion πŸ™‚

It does not matter your bikes/blades got 2,3,4 or even 8 wheels. We are here for FUN.

Water parade at 3KM mark. Daddy’s pedal has dropped off along the way.

..otherwise Daddy’s camera only capture some tired faces, but the smile and cheerful grin is always evident. Ample runway for us to ride comfortably.

Look at our first photo, we can even U-turn right in the centre to pose :p

Video (Link) – Besides cycling, there are a whole suite of entertainment and challenges to cater to the family. The hangars have been converted into hugh “playgrounds”.

We dashed for the Segway section. Kids got some practice rounds at Sentosa before (too expensive and too short route !) RSAF provided free Segway orientation and 5 min ride Yeah !

What can you do if you kids are interested to sign up with Singapore Air Force?
Dress like a pilot, with helmet to go. It helps if the Daddy can dig out his vintage TopGun Vcd, featuring Tom Cruise to debrief the kids afterwards.

.. or get them hook on a fighter console. Dog fight is not easy.

In worse case, start with Paper aeroplanes, to get your kids interested in flying.

Some other activities include hockey, wrestling, and even a small bounching-castle obstacle course.

IPPT parent-child tag team should be interesting. We did shuttle run, chin-up and even situps. Daddy told us he could do >15 chinups last time, but we saw him struggle with 3 ??

On Father’s day, this is a personal achievement for Daddy. He has trained both Wei and Kang to survive a 6km ride. We can only have more fun from now onwards.

We will definitely be back for more fun ride next year.
Meanwhile, you can click for more cycling photos from our album.

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** Our blog are finalists in OMY’s Singapore Blog awards, if you love our kids, Read our story, and Vote for us πŸ™‚

WowArt makes us go WOW !


Can you hear Boon Yee shouting in exclamation “WoW!”. His hands is dirty, but he is super happy and proud of his artwork.

WowArt Learning Studio (WowArt) has a series of workshops during the June holidays, and we were invited to trial a few classes last Tuesday.

Look at their artistic hair-blower, let Daddy try to paint our WowArt adventures from the kids’ perspectives.

Lesson 01SHELLS – How do you draw and emboss a seashell?
Daddy thought it looks like a fossilized seashell from dinosaur era.

Choose your Seashell motif first.

Kids will draw the seashell outline, with help from Teacher.

Yi and Xin need to choose their own pastel colours.

A little touchup, and our seashell is ready. Tata !

During class activities, everyone is serious about their own masterpiece.

..but kids will be kids. Cheeky Yi and Xin could not resist playing some pranks :p

Lesson 02Yayoi Kusama Polka Dots – Kang and his butterfly canvas

The final stage requires Boon Kang to stamp different patterns. Daddy might not appreciate abstract arts, but Kang’s masterpiece looks very pleasing πŸ™‚

Thank you Teacher Huda for her tips and guidance πŸ™‚

Lesson 03PAT a COLOR

Yi is encouraged to choose his own shapes and colours. He gets to exercise his imagination to paint his own abstract background. In fact, WowArt will strongly encourage your child to express his or her own creativity.

Teacher Adilah would be on hand to provide some guidance and recommendation.

We would like to thanks WowArt for the invitation. Daddy is very impressed by the kids’ creativity and patience. It is not easy to keep a kid focus for two hours, but something at WowArt has sparked our kids’ interests.

WowART Learning Studio is located at:
200 Upper Thomson Road
#01-10 Thomson Imperial Court
Singapore 574424

WowArt Fanpage
Telephone: +65 6352 2221
Email: Info@wow.com.sg