Penang Day 3 am – Butterfly Farm

Our Penang Day 3 subject could be “caterpillar and the princess”. Boon Xin bravely let the creepy crawlie wriggle on her palm, but ran away when the butterflies came too near ?

It is our third day at Penang, and before we head for the butterflies, we took some additional photos to promote Penang Hard Rock.

Even our blog’s header photo is taken when our kids were enjoying themselves at our favourite swing. This is one of Daddy’s favorite family photo as it showcase everybody with an element of Fun !

Check out Day 2 post about Penang Hardrock’s pool.

Daddy introduce the Beatles to our kids. The kids do not know how BIG and Popular were the Beatles when they reign the 60s and 70s ! (Kids thought Daddy is talking about insects and reptiles). Daddy told kids Beatles were as popular as Kpops in their era.

On to Penang’s famous butterfly farm for some insect explorations. Entrance fees are RM27 for adults and RM15 for children.

We now understand the butterflies life cycle, from mating, laying eggs, hungry caterpillars, and morphing into pretty Butterflies.

We even allow some caterpillars to tickle our palms ! (Warning some caterpillars are poisonous, so do no grab any caterpillar you lay eye upon !)

..Love the golden cocoon, so classic !

Fruits and honey-laced flowers are used to attract the butterflies, allowing kids to go real near to them. Kids are always amazed at the butterflies hovering all over our heads. But Daddy remember there were more butterflies 10 years ago.

Besides Butterflies, we can also see millipedes, iguanas, spiders and scorpions in the enclosures.

The hugh insect posters makes your hair stands !

We bid farewell to the insects world..

** 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)

More butterflies photos can be found at SengkangBabies Fanpage.


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 –>

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 !