Category Archives: Travel

Singapore Zoo 

When we went to Singapore for holiday, we wanted Chhori to have lots of fun so Singapore zoo was on the top of our to-do list. 

Since we travel as a family now, the way we do things is very different compared to when we used to travel as a couple. Now there are a lot less adventurous stuffs and more baby friendly activities and so the zoo was on top of the list for us in Singapore. 

Chhori had enjoyed the Dubbo Zoo and Nepal Zoo so much that we knew that the zoo would be a must visit destination for us. 

The Singapore Zoo, formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (69 acres) on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore’s heavily forested central catchment area. 

Singapore Zoo is home to many exotic and endangered species.  

We caught a Grab Cab and arrived at the zoo around 10 am. It was already packed with families with kids and bus full of tourists. We queued for tickets and got a map with and it looked really easy to navigate. There are a number of zones located around the zoo: Frozen Tundra, Wild Africa, Fragile Forest, Australian Zone, Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia, Treetops Trail, Gibbon Island, Primate Kingdom, Reptile Garden, Tortoise Shell-ter and Tropical Crops & Orchid Garden.  

When we checked the timetable, we saw that there was a giraffe feeding soon so went and queued for the feeding. It took 30 minutes to get our turn but some for reason, the giraffe had decided to go away when it was being fed by the people before us. We waited for a while but the giraffe didn’t come back so they cancelled the feeding and we were so disappointed. I know we have no control over the animals’ behavior but I was so looking forward to do this one. 

Anyway from there we explored the rest of the zoo. The zoo is an amazing place to spend the day and is designed to be easy to navigate so you get to see as many animals as you want. 

Chhori was so excited to see the polar bear, cute otter and orangutans jumping in the trees. 

We also saw reptiles, pandas, dolphins and a white tiger. 

But the best part for Chhori was the waterpark in the Kidzworld and I have to say what a great idea. It was a hot and humid day and the waterpark was ideal for the kids to chill out in. We had packed her swimwear so she was super excited to play in the water. 

We spent more than an hour before we move on to another area. Chhori didn’t want to leave and wanted to stay longer but we were hungry. 

There is not many lunch option inside the zoo. There is only one main restaurant located in the middle of the park and a KFC at Kidzworld. There are a few more outside. 

We went to the Ah Meng restaurant and they had various stations of food like Malay and Indian, I had Nasi Lemak and AS had roast chicken and rice while we bought nugget & chips for Chhori. 

The food was ok but it was really busy. 

Overall we had a great time at the zoo and it was great fun for Chhori too.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Gardens by the Bay , Singapore

When we decided to go to Singapore, many people recommend Garden by the Bay. The last time I had been to Singapore, it was not there yet so I was excited to visit the garden. 

Garden by the Bay is definitely not your ordinary garden but a futuristic wonder that seems to be beamed down from space and might just be the best tourist attraction in Singapore. 

It is Singapore’s largest garden spanning a total of 101 hectares of prime land right beside the spectacular Marina Bay. It is a part of Singapore’s vision of becoming a “City in a Garden”. 

There are 10 different areas in the garden which are: 

  1. Cloud Forest Conservatory
  2. Flower Dome Conservatory
  3. OCBC Skyway
  4. Supertree Grove
  5. Bay East Garden
  6. World of Plants
  7. Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes
  8. Far East Organization Children’s Garden
  9. Sun Pavilion
  10. Heritage Gardens

The first one we visited was the Flower Dome. The dome is the world’s largest “columnless” greenhouse in the world. The conservatories’ glass sits on a steel grid that acts like an eggshell. This dome is home to a lot of flowers and plants. It was so huge, modern, and cold that I was glad we had light jackets and sweaters with us.

There are a lot of plant collections from different countries including Australia. There are labels and audio tour guides to provide you with more information about the plants as well.  

As it was Christmas time so there were Christmas trees and lights everywhere and Chhori loved it. 

We spent a few hours there before we moved to The Cloud Forest. This was my favourite of all the places in the garden. 

It was awesome with a huge 35 meter man made mountain dominating the dome, but what really tops it off is the tallest indoor waterfall in the world thundering down one side. You can explore the interior of the mountain, which includes a treetop boardwalk, stalactites and stalagmites and some great views of the Marina Bay area including the famous Marina Bay Sands).  

As soon as we walkd in this huge waterfall welcomed us and it was amazing to look at. From there we queue up for the lift which will took us to the top level of the mountain and then we could go down the cloud walk. 

It is so fun to walk down the amazing path from which you can see different views from different floors. 

We then went and visited the Super Trees and were amazed by the way it looked. I can only describe it as “out of this world” because it looked like a scene from a sci-fi movie. We were very impressed to say the least. 

The trees are absolutely massive. There are a total of 18 Supertrees, all located within Bay South Garden at Gardens by the Bay. Among the 18, eleven of which are fitted with solar photolytic system to generate solar energy, providing lighting for the two conservatories located within the attraction. Apart from that, its exposed funnel-shaped top also helps to collect and store rainwater for use in irrigation and waterfall display within the conservatories. 

We walked around and took a few pics of the various trees but as it was raining and a bit windy, the skybridge was closed unfortunately. 

When we were there we found out that the Super Trees have a light show in the evening so we decided to come back again in the night. 

Gardens by the Bay at night is super beautiful as the lights are everywhere. If you think the super trees are cool during the day then you’ll be blown away when you see them at night. The light show are at 7.45 and at 8.45 pm and it energises the trees with electric colours that makes them pulsate and looks amazing.

We just sat on the floor and enjoyed the light show and felt really luckily to have seen it. After the show there were fireworks in the Marina Bay which was superb too. 

We also walked through Sun Pavilion and Heritage Gardens in the afternoon but it was sprinkling so we decided not to do the other parts of the garden. 

Overall we had a great time in the garden and I would highly recommend everyone to visit the garden. If you have time start early and stay till the night light and I assure you, you will love it.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favourite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

 

Happy New Year 2018 from Singapore

Dear friends, readers, commenters, likers, followers and others,

Thank you everyone for an awesome 2017. Thanks for your interactions on this blog. Your readership makes this blog worth keeping up and I can’t express my gratitude warmly enough for engaging with me and my posts and helping me reflect continually.

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.

We went to Marina Bay in Singapore to watch the fireworks to welcome 2018. The fireworks was beautiful. 

Take care till next time everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favourite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

Luau – Experiencing the food and culture of the Hawaiian Islands

A visit to the Hawaiian Islands is not complete without experiencing a luau. Luau a Hawaiian feast featuring lively music and vibrant cultural performances from Hawaii and greater Polynesia.

Even though Hawaii is part of the United States, it has a very distinct cultural heritage that distinguishes it from other states. To enjoy this wonderful culture, we went to Luau one evening. After lots of research we picked Chief’s Luau and it was a good choice as it turned out to be an amazing experience.

We were picked up from our hotel and taken on a bus to Sea Life Park. Our guide was Cousin Ben and he was really funny. He entertained us for the entire journey, sharing some great jokes.

Once we got to the Sea life park, we were greeted with drinks and a seashell garland and then taken to our seat.

The whole thing was set right on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset. There was a stall selling souvenirs and a guy doing temporary tattoos. We joined the queue and all of us got a tattoo each. Chhori loved hers so much that she kept on talking about it the whole night.

While everything was being organized the guest were being entertained with spear throwing and leaf headband demonstrations.

We made a few headbands with the help of the staff which we wore through the evening.

The main course at a luau is kalua pua’a – pork roasted for eight hours in a pitlike earthen oven known as imu. They showed us how a pig is unburied before being served to the guests.

The food is buffet style and has kalua pua’a, fresh mahi-mahi and poi (mashed taro plant) and an array of salads and sides. I would say the food was OK as I was not overly impressed but it made us full for sure.

I actually enjoyed the hula and fire dancing. The chief introduced each dance and we enjoyed the Chief’s Journey through the Polynesian Islands which included New Zealand Haka and the Fijian Warrior Dance.

Also during this dancing, the volunteers were asked to come on stage to dance with the dancers. Chhori wanted me to go on the stage so we went on the stage together and we had a great time. It was fun as we danced with the drum beats.

We also went on the stage when they called for people celebrating anniversaries as we were there for our 6th anniversary as well. We were given a beautiful bouquet of flowers and drinks.

The fire dancers at the end was amazing and it was the highlight of the show for me.

Overall, we enjoyed the show a lot.

After the Luau was over Cousin Ben took us back to our hotel.

Some Popular Luau Dishes

Poi: Pounded taro plant root; a starch meant to be eaten with everything.

Kalua Pig: Pork prepared in an imu or underground oven and shredded.

Chicken Long Rice: A chicken noodle soup-like dish with bean thread noodles and ginger.

Laulau: Meat wrapped in luau (taro) leaves and steamed. Traditionally, this is prepared in an underground oven called an imu.

Lomilomi Salmon: A side dish made from salmon, tomatoes, onion and crushed ice.

Haupia: Coconut pudding.

Poke: The term literally means “to slice cross-wise into pieces” and commonly features raw fish served with a variety of condiments such as shoyu (soy sauce), green onions, kukui nut (candlenut), limu (seaweed). However, the dish isn’t exclusively fish-based and there are other variations as well.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate your favourite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

 

Diamond Head Hike with 2 year toddler

While in Hawaii, we decided to go and do the famous Diamond Head hike.

Diamond Head Crater is the remains of an extinct volcano with the highest point of the hike being 760 feet. Diamond Head’s Hawaiian name is Le’ahi. After the Pearl Harbor attacks, the military used it as a lookout post installing pillboxes and foxholes to prevent Hawaii from future attacks.

The trail is around 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) with almost 200 steps and a steep uphill tunnel.

Initially, we were not sure if we would be able to do it as there were mixed reviews of the kid friendliness of the hike but after doing lots of research, we decided that we would do it with the worst case scenario being returning in the middle if it was not doable.

As suggested by many people, we wanted to start the hike early in the morning so got there by 8am. It was around 15 minutes’ drive from our apartment. We drove through Kapiolani Park (located at the end of Waikiki) headed towards Diamond Head on Kalakaua Boulevard. It was a beautiful drive that turns into Poni Moi Road and follows the Diamond Head Road going through a tunnel that leads to the center of the Diamond Head Crater where the hike begins.

We thought we beat the traffic and would be the first few people but we were so wrong.

Once we got to the car park, we found that the car park was already full and they asked us to come back later.

We were so disappointed and returned the carpark outside the tunnel which was full as well. We waited for a few minutes there and decided to go back and check again. Luckily the carpark was open and we were allowed to go in after paying $5.

We put our on sunscreens and started our hike. At the start of the hike, there is a sign that said most people take 1.5 – 2 hours to hike to the summit and back.

Chhori started to walk with us but after 5 minutes she wanted us to carry her.  I and AS looked at each other and wondered if we were going to be able to hike or not.

AS decided to carry her first and did the first part of the hike. First half is not very bad at all and we saw lots of kids, older people going or returning from the hike. There were so many people on the trail and we saw parents carrying babies in baby carriers as well.

After around 30 minutes of the hike, I took Chhori and continued our walk. I really enjoyed the hike despite feeling a little hot.

Then came the famous and very steep 99 steps. I told AS I am going to climb the steps in one go carrying Chhori.

AS was worried that I might have to stop and take it slow but me and Chhori counted each step and made it to the top in one go.

Once we climbed the steps, I was tired and waited for AS and my friend to catch up before making our way through another tunnel and up a staircase to the summit.

It was so good to see the wonderful view from top of the crater. We took heaps of photos and rested for a while before trekking down which was much easier than climbing up.

 

Overall we had a great day and an amazing experience.

Few things to remember if you are going for this hike

·         Make sure you carry enough water and sunscreen

·         Go as early as possible to escape the heat and parking drama

·         Make sure to wear comfortable shoes

·         It is possible to do this hike with kids but be prepared to carry them or turn back if needed

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO