Staycation – June 7-12

For about 5 days in June, we decided to become local tourists instead of traipsing around other countries in search of a break.
While not exactly a dream vacation, the upshot was that we needn’t worry about flights and accommodation, and exchange rates.
Still – parts of Singapore held some attraction, and though we couldn’t visit every venue on our list, I thought we did a decent enough job.
To recap, we:
1. Went ice-skating
2. Went cycling & blading at East Coast park
3. Went to the movies at Film Garde Kallang
4. Went to the Singapore Science Centre
5. Went to Artscience museum
6. Shot the breeze at Marina Bay
7. Went to the neighborhood car wash
8. Went to Universal Studio in Sentosa
9. Went to MacRitchie reservoir to soak up nature
10. Dined at Siglap and had good coffee in Tiong Bahru

Add in my reads and music consumption and I was glad we spent time at home.

I’ll continue to publish more jaunts as this exercise has whetted my appetite to further explore what my Singapore has to offer – glitzy shopping in Orchard road notwithstanding.



Staycation reads – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Another highly recommended book. This one won the Cilip Carnegie medal in 2010. Not that it matters much to me. I like Gaiman’s writing.

A short review – Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The book, aimed at the teenager, is a fantasy tale about the how true love can overcome all difficulties. Young Tristan Thorn, the main protagonist, sets off on a search for a fallen star so that he could bring it back to his professed love, Victoria. However, the journey entails crossing over from the human side of Wall – his sleepy village – into the realm of Faerie, which is the world inhabited by non-humans. There, he encounters numerous characters who help him or hinder him, but he manages to find the fallen star, in the form of a girl.

As he journeys back with his find, there are others also searching for the fallen star, and for sinister purposes. It is a fairy tale ending for all, as could be expected of a book for teens, but caution for parents thinking of buying this book – there is almost graphic depiction of sex, so you might wish to discuss those issues with your teenage reader after they finish the book.

Evening @MacRitchie Reservoir

A popular haunt with trail runners, qi gong pratitioners, people walking their dogs, parents with toddlers and so on, MacRitchie Rreservoir has been around since 1868 (see link).

I went for an evening run on the Lornie/Jelutong/Champedai trails (it’s 4.8 km long), while the rest of the family decided to explore the newly completed boardwalk. An attraction is the canoeing station where there are canoes for rent – the paddlers seemed to be enjoying themselves from where we stood.

Another attraction is the Treetop walk, which is a 250m bridge that was built across the two highest points in the forest. Quite amazing views – but you must first trek about a couple of kilometres into the forest.

If you’re in need of a spot to calm your senses, clear your head, or just to enjoy the beauty of nature, do check out MacRitchie Reservoir. Parking rates are pretty decent, and parking lots adequate.

Lunch at Siglap

If you fancied something local at the heart of Upper East Coast Road, then you might want to check out Killiney Kopitiam at Siglap. They serve very ‘Singaporean’ breakfasts e.g. thin slices of toasted bread, spread with butter and kaya, two half-boiled eggs, and a cup of steaming hot coffee. By the way, Kopitiam means ‘coffee shop’ in Hokkien, a local dialect.

We went for more substantial stuff like chee cheong fun, nasi lemak, mee rebus, and (surprise, surprise) fish & chips. They also do chicken curries. With 4 cans of softdrinks, the bill came up to about $26.

Next door to Killiney Kopitaim is a Starbucks outlet, where you can satiate your latte craving. Cost of coffee – $5.50 (tall size).

Blading @East Coast

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Beautiful Sunday morning and it was too good to pass up. So we grabbed the kids and headed out to East Coast Park for a morning blade.

It was a good day with scores of people out and about – even man & dog 🙂

We went eastward from our starting point near the Xtreme Skate park, and reached the back of Tanah Merah Country Club. Lovely stretch of tarmac for skating and biking, with a canal or two in between. The Radio Control Car Modellers Club was also open, and we took a peek.

Cater for about 2 hours all in.