Who say Singapore is boring?

If someone mention Singapore is boring, Sengkang Babies will be the first ones to dispute that notion. Our kids have been roaming and sharing all the Fun places in Singapore, and most are Free.

In the context of nature and fun, Daddy attended a recent seminar about “Secret shores of Singapore”. Our speaker, Ria (from WildSingaporeHappenings) shares her insights about Singapore’s diverse marine life, reefs and conservation.

Some interesting pointers :
– there are more reefs around Singapore than we we can see, as most are only exposed during low tide.

– Dugongs, sea turtles and even dolphins are spotted around Singapore’s coast. This is quite amazing considering Singapore has one of the world’s busiest ports. Ria even help us to differentiate between crocodile and monitor lizard ! Some city folks have problem telling the difference haha :0

– We heard how Chek Jawa’s wetland quality has suffer from dredging and other sediment activities. Some of the inhabitants, once gone, might not come back anymore

– she singles out cyrene-reef as one of the better reefs. Who would expect a rough outcrop situated in between Jurong Island, Pulau Bukom, and Pasir Panjang port, to be so rich in marine life? This is where Singapore refines it’s crude oil !

To be near to these secluded reefs, you need to charter a boat, know the tides (maybe 3AM), and face sandflies !! Nobody say it is easy to be a nature-conservationist in Singapore keke

– urban folks like us have not seen rubbish piled like mountain before. So when kids participate in coastal cleanup, and when garbage bags number one hundred, it strikes home how much thrash Singapore can generate. Kids start their first lesson about recycling and caring for our environment.

At the very least, we can appreciate our efficient cleaners for keeping Singapore so clean.

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From WildSingaporeHappenings blog, we will come across nature activists :

Pulau Hantu divers – dive with them to explore Singapore’s rich Marine Life
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) – volunteers who pick up thrash and collect data about marine debris. ICCS promotes volunteerism too.
TeamSeagrass – Daddy learn that dugongs eat seagrass, and this group monitors Singapore’s marine meadows, they call Seagrass wild and wacky keke.

More NGOS are listed here –> http://www.wildsingapore.com/vol/act.htm

Daddy hopes “Green Education and Awareness” will start with young minds, let them take ownership of our environment. We can start with that small patch of garden or playground around our neighbourhood. We can leverage on social media (blogs and photos) to share Fun places. If kids are immersed in nature from young, they will appreciate our own ecosystem and habitat. Shared memories will help us to cherish whatever little pocket of greens in Singapore.

Even if Chek Jawa or Bukit Brown should be demolished tomorrow, at least our kids have been embedded with a lust for nature.

Sadly, some parents cocoon their kids in urban Singapore, and kids are sheltered from outdoor falls and bruises. Our kids are precious, but we can surely afford some rolls and tumbles, kids will grow more independent and resilient. If you can, climb some trees :p

During the seminar, It was heartening, to hear so many passionate teachers express their interests to bring the kids nearer to nature. Sadly, our education curriculum sometimes discourage non-syllabus activities. Grades will always rank Top for Singapore kids.

The challenge is always to first bring the kids out of the classroom !

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How can parents encourage our kids to embrace nature?

Share your adventures with more parents, provide more positive feedback to agencies or statboard if you appreciate our parks and gardens. Subscribe to nParks’ newsletter for latest activities.

In fact, Npark wants to pick your brain for future parks and developments. Daddy’s wishlist is for “more shades and trees at outdoor playgrounds“. During midday, the metal and aluminum surface at slides are so hot, you can cook an egg !

Formal education is important, but having an appreciation of Singapore’s flora and fauna should not be neglected. Daddy does not want our kids to think chicken comes from KFC, and fishes only live in fish tank. That would be a sad day.

Have you seen nParks’ latest City-in-a-Garden video?

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Upcoming events :

1) Daddy is going to tour Pulau Semakau in April as part of NSS’s video contest. It would be interesting to explore this piece of “wasteland”. Yes, Pulau Semakau started as a landfill, but it’s marriage of waste-management and ecosystem has won global accolades. Some say you can catch star trails too ! (stars in the sea and galaxy)

2) If you have an opportunity, visit Singapore’s Lighthouse. Daddy had a chance to visit Raffles Lighthouse last year, courtesy of MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore). The good news is MPA will be celebrating Maritime Week again from 22-27Apr !

3) Gardens by the Bay ticketing details are out. Gardens is free, except for conservatory and aerial-walkway. It would be nice if kids are given free entry, the two conservatories would trigger the kids’ Love for all plants. We visited the preview opening in Nov2011 and we cannot wait for June’s official opening ! Visit Gardens’ interesting timeline at their fanpage.

Pricing details for locals
One conservatory – $12
Two conservatories – $20
Aerial Walkway – $5

Singapore is seducing us to explore it’s offshores and secluded habitat. Bring our kids outdoor today, inspire them to love our natural habitats ! Sometimes, we adults need to acquire a child-like curiosity, before we can start to appreciate our flora and fauna 🙂

Singapore is boring? Please pop by SengkangBabies blog first.

Click to checkout where Sengkang Babies have been roaming in Singapore.

Photo credit from Ria and WildSingaporeHappenings

Penang Day 2 – Hardrock Pool and nearby Macalister Road

After a goodnight’s sleep, the kids are anticipating a dip in
Hardrock’s signature pool and slides.

Watch the videos to see what we have been doing whenever we dip into the pool !

The cool Slides!

When we are thirsty or hungry, Banana split awaits at the pool bar.

We sign Wei and Kang for some Lil’ Rock-ventures. If parents wish, the kids can stay from 1000 to 2100, and learn dancing, language, and squeeze in water-play, movies, and paper aeroplane sessions in between.

We thought Yi and Xin would appreciate the indoor slides and caterpillars more. Smurf and Mr Bean entertain us in the afternoon.

.. more splashing water session with kids…

For dinner, we had planed to go to Mcalister Road, but alas the street was closed. So our Taxi uncle brought us to another hawker center further down.

Tips . Taxi drivers can be your food ambassadors, they know where to find the best food.
No, Gurney drive is too commercial and touristy, but I supposed our families of six would still prefer all-under-one-roof joint compared to a well hidden street-side stall 🙂

So what did we woof down? Some food are repeated, simply because they are that Good !
Example, the Kway Teow is different from our earlier experience at Long Beach (Batu Feringhi).

ps..I forgot the name of this location, but let your guide see this
Carrot-cake uncle, and they should be able to identify his GPS :p

Even when we got so many choices for our meals, we will always order one plate of rice. Poor Yi and Xin must have extra carbo and milk as the sour spicy dishes might not be good for their stomachs.

By the time we reach our hotel, the guitar has form a nice shadow over the hotel 🙂

Good night, and we shall continue our journey tomorrow…

** Our 4D3N Itinerary
Day 1 – Adventure Zone at Golden Sand Resort, dinner at Long Beach
Day 2 – Swimming and Club house (Lil Rock venture)
Day 3 – Butterfly Farm and Toy Museum
Day 4 – Sight seeing (Second bridge and Penang Sakura)

Do click our Fanpage album for more adventure photos !


Penang Day 1 – Hard Rock hotel and Adventure Zone

Can you imagine Fun is only 2 hour away from Singapore? We are talking about flying and transport from Singapore to Penang, Batu Feringhi. Do pop by our Penang itinerary to discover why we chose HardRock Penang in the first place?

We chose the pool as our first photo, because we had the most fun when we are
wet ! How can Hard Rock Hotel rock you today? The guitars, robes, and red carpet, not to mention the snazzy entrance, makes guests feel like pop icons. Friendly staff always make us feel welcomed 🙂

Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, with Madonna’s bustier. Xin love the artistic guitar.

If in doubt, Fried rice always work for the kids. For adults, HRC’s burgers never disappoint, love the bacon !

Since our checkin time is 3pm, we got two hours to spare. We pop by Golden Sand Resort to visit Adventure Zone. We have heard about AZ’s slides, but nothing prepares you for the drop !

Look at Wei’s face. He is TENSE !

Three type of slides are available for the kids. (Adults can be kids at Adventure zone too)

1) Families can try the gentler slope with rucksack. Even toddlers can join their parents.
2) bigger kids can try the blue slide, crashing into balls.
3) the tallest Red slides are reserved for daredevils, aka bungee-jump kids version !

There are other less Risky games and obstacles, for the smaller kids 🙂

Look at how we train our hamsters haha :p

Smaller slides for Mummy :p

After a while, Wei need to get his andrenalin kick again. He even found a buddy, since Kang refuse to go up anymore. Kang had bumped his head when he went down the blue slide lying down, he failed to heed attendant’s instruction.


See that little gal in pic below? She maybe only a few years older than Wei, but we lost count how many times she and her sister went to the highest summit ! Crazy but Awesome!

Then, the whole family went up with rucksack haha. Yes, we even hide Boon Xin in the rucksack for some sliding thrills. Kudos to her, Xin keep requesting for encores !

We can even challenge each other haha, so proud of Yi who went solo 🙂

Let Wei show you how to play Mother-of-all-slides ! Not for the faint hearted. Kids must listen to instruction, as any slip could prove disastrous !

Adventure Zone’s obstacles will keep our kids perspiring non stop and fit. Parents will be glad to know that Adventure Zone is very clean and well maintained. The only problem will be pulling your kids away at the end of two hours. RM30 for two hours, you must visit Adventure Zone for kids to explore their inner fears :p

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Maybe you thought we had enough slides for one day already? We went back to checkin our room, and kids went crazy over the slide at the porch. We chose Lil’ Rock Suite because Mummy and Daddy both agree this room will be Awesome !

While the kids swing, Daddy and Mummy checkout what is behind our Lil’Rock Suite. Memorabilia icons and posters adorn every wall. Kids quickly pull out all the soft toys and storeybooks from their own bookshelf ! They got their own room and bed too 🙂

The only weird thing is the sliding door-frame between toilet and room. Daddy can understand when spouses want to see each other shower (blush), but what happens when we do our business? Daddy would not want to smell yesterday’s dinner (poo) floats over.

#Rule no1 – this sliding door must be kept shut at all times :p

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Dinner at Long Beach, we hail a cab to our dinner. Long Beach is an all-in-one hawker center, with a wide spread of Penang “delights”.

BBQ chicken wings above, juicy and not unlike Singapore’s version. Daddy would prefer his wings more charred 🙂

We ordered a pancake for the smaller two as we were worried they might not be used to Penang’s dishes. Love the crunchy almond, and kids did not mind the banana and ice cream.

Do take note that most Penangites love spicy food, and we recommend that you exercise restrain and let hawker uncle know “辣椒一點點” (literally little bit of chili).

Fried Oyster omelette. Nothing to should about, but Mummy comment maybe clams too big. Disclaimer : Do not expect Oyster for RM6 !

Wanton noodle is different from Singapore’s. The noddles are tangy and softer, giving a QQ texture. Our Wen Wei loves Penang’s Wanton noodle.

Mummy and Daddy both agree the Hokkien Prawn noodle wins this round ! The gravy is thick with prawn stork, yet we love the assam flavouring. Sweet and sour at the same time.

Food Rating at Long Beach :
8 Chicken wing
8 Hokien prawn noodle (soup)
7.5 Wanton mee
7.5 Pancake
7.0 Oyster Omelette
6.5 Fried rice

After a full dinner, we took a slow walk back to our hotel, cutting through the night market.
Slow = 20min walk 🙂

End of day 1. The kids will remember the slides at Adventure zone for a l.o.n.g time !
Please visit out Itinerary post to see how Daddy and Mummy piggy Boon Xin down the slides !

– Taxi from Hotel Hard Rock to most places (within 10min) in Batu Ferringhi should cost RM10.
– Taxi from Hotel to Gurney and further (Georgetown) will cost RM 30 to RM40.
Penang taxis do not run on meter, you have to agree on the price before the taxi moves.

** Our 4D3N Itinerary
Day 1 – Adventure Zone at Golden Sand Resort, dinner at Long Beach
Day 2 – Swimming and Club house (Lil Rock venture)
Day 3 – Butterfly Farm and Toy Museum
Day 4 – Sight seeing (Second bridge and Penang Sakura)

Do click our Fanpage album for more adventure photos !