“Hiking” in Singapore?

We’ve read about so many other bloggers who trek in their home countries (such as our blogging friend Curt). Now you might not believe it, but it is possible to do some hiking here in our little red dot too. Now it might not take a few days to hike across the island, but there are trails which offer reasonably good combination of sights and physical challenges.

Today however we are introducing a simpler walking route.

Yep we are sharing with you the sights and sounds of walking along the southern ridges of Singapore. Some have written about this before so we’ll skip the details except to say it connect three parks. This connector is for humans unlike the one at Eco link over BKE for those more familiar with our little red dot. It’s a link where fauna can use it as they like…

Recommended to do this early in the morning before the sun bakes you into a dried prune (or tomato whichever metaphor you prefer). It takes about 2 hours for a brisk walker to cover the distance of approximately 9km, including the mandatory stops for photos… Our start was from the Hortpark ending at the Marang trail. Along the way we enjoyed flora and unfortunately no fauna. Well, maybe the cat waiting to be fed…

Let us show you what we saw while on the walk through the ridges here. Have you walked on it before?

The MRT series – Novena (NS20)

Aside from the ministry of Home affairs (where you can request for a heritage tour of the police musuem), there seems to be a concentration of hospitals and medical care centres around the station. But most importantly, the taxman resides here! Did you know they even have a heritage centre chronicling how they collected monies… great stuff. Now you know how they look to tax you!

One of the interesting places to take a look is the little art gallery along the walkway connecting the station to United Square mall. Obviously the next question is for red dotters or folks who have visited… Have you seen the works by the children?

← Toa Payoh (NS19)

→ Newton (NS21)

SSSS – not on our boarding pass please!

Have you ever wondered about those cryptic letters on your airline boarding passes? Now we are sure you are more than familiar with the flight class indicated on the pass. And you’d also be aware of the airport codes in case you fly to the wrong city with the same name (remember this post?).

Now if this article is accurate, then having the letters ‘SSSS’ printed on your boarding pass would be a big no no. Now just in case you did not read the article, let us summarize it for you. This code essentially identifies you for additional security checks before you board the aircraft. It means you will be Sadly Suffering Security Screening… though that’s not what it’s suppose to mean… heheh. Hey, this was the best we could come up with. Applause please.

Of course this was making reference the folks traveling to and from the US. But before you snicker at the thought that this does not affect you because you are not stateside, think again. You never know if this will be implemented in a different form elsewhere. Wonder why the security check folks ask for your boarding passes all the time even after you’ve been id checked? Perhaps in other airports there are similar codes which have been surreptiously incorporated onto your boarding pass without you ever noticing? Have we gotten you paranoid now?

Look out for strange and indecipherable codes on your boarding pass the next time. What did you find peculiar?

Sing like a Lombard

They say that in a choir if there is no conductor moderating, one could end up singing louder than required. That dear friends, is the Lombard effect. And the title was to inform you that without moderation we would probably have sung like no tomorrow about our adventures in Lombardy…

We were fortunate that while based in Amsterdam, one of the cities Mel had to frequent for business was Cremona. Now the main gateway remains Milan (here), with two airports in the city (Malpensa and Linate) he preferred the latter since it was nearer to town. But flights to that airport were limited and sometimes of poor timing.

So what did he do?

Instead, Mel (and Suan) took budget flights to nearby Bergamo instead. While it was not nearer from a physical location standpoint, it was less crowded on the roads. After all, Milan is a metropolis and traffic conditions quite tough. And because of this we had the opportunity to drive the ‘countryside’ of Lombardy. Definitely recommended. Not quite like Tuscany, many a time the weather was gloomy, wet and cold.

However do not be mistaken that Lombardy is unwelcoming. For we climbed cliff-top towns, did ‘pilgrimages’ and pretended to be music students. All within this diverse and beautiful region. Have to admit it is not high up on the ranking of tourists but you would be missing out if you write off Lombardy.

Wanna know more? Perhaps read our story here to decided if you might want to add lombardy on your bucket list.

This is not a post promoting Lombardy. We are not paid to do so!

Anyway this ends our Italian series. Time to switch back to the good ole’ US of A. Watch out for it! We are surely a singing louder and louder…

The MRT series – Toa Payoh (NS19)

As the second oldest HDB estate (suburban town), Toa Payoh was said to be a place of squatters that got a bad name because of the gang activities in the 1960s till 1980s. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II visited a family in this estate? She first touched this estate in 1962 (before her coronation in 1963) and came for a return visit in 2006. To the same family! What a change it must had been for her to witness!

As children we used to make fun of this estate as big ‘大’, slap ‘巴’, shake ‘摇’. Heheh… But to be serious, did you know its garden used to be a place where newly wed couples go to take outdoor photos? Can’t imagine that huh?

← Braddell (NS18)

→ Novena (NS20)

It’s your case!

Something funny today finally. And it will be a short one.

You all know about luggage cases that all look the same. Some folks put on straps, others stick to using tags. Of course the more enterprising ones will use case covers. You know, the ones that strap over the luggage case. Originally intended to protect the case from scratches, one company has upped the game and determined to print case covers in your liking (read here)… heheh.

Funny case

Would you have your face printed and strapped on your luggage?