The MRT series – Tanjong Pagar (EW15)

The original name of this place is hotly contested. But the word Tanjong (an aberration of Tanjung) means ‘cape’ while the word Pagar means ‘fence’ in modern translation. No surprise that one of the largest terminals of the port of Singapore is located here. A cape which is fenced off to secure cargoes stored within… heheh.

Definitely a very historic district with much more than the photos above show. Now the old railway terminal is undergoing a facelift for a while, so take a rain cheque for it. But there are many other things to see, such as the shop houses. Perhaps have a meal at the many Korean restaurants here?

←Raffles Place (EW14)

→Outram Park (EW16)

Part of the MRT series here.

Weigh yourself before getting on a plane

What has weighing you before you get on the plane anything to do with safety? You might recall that sometime back we wrote about a hilarious announcement some years back by an airline seeking passengers relieve themselves before boarding the plane. And you might have also read about some Pacific carriers selling airticket seats by weight in articles some years back…

But what if a mainline carrier in Europe starts to ask you to step up to a weighing machine (read here)? It was voluntary of course. What would zip through your mind and what will your response be?

If you re-read the first paragraph and pull a link between them, you might think that the airlines were trying to manage excess weight on the flights. And remember, the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it will need to use. Afterall it takes energy to move things around right?

However is there a higher purpose to all of this? If you had read the link above, you might know now that the weight that a plane carries is based on estimates. And it is critical just like a ship on the high seas to have a reliable understanding of the weight load that the plane has to carry. Not just for fuel consumption, but also for potential distribution of weight on the plane. You did read the part where it says folks in first class weigh more than economy right?

Can you imagine if the weight too frontloaded on the plane?

Anyhow. The next time your airline asks you to volunteer to be weighed with all you carryon luggage you know why.

Tourists go where Pilgrims go

Today’s handprint story is not so much about our sharing, but more about how the people, ideas and religion had crossed the deserts, mountains and of course – the seas. In particular it was an intriguing way to combine not just sightseeing, eating (compulsory) and relaxation on any journey you embark on.

The Indonesian archipelago.

You might have read our series on the Philippines some time back. You will then know that there are 7,107 islands according to offical Philipines records. But this is dwarved by that of Indonesia. Depending on who you ask, there can be between 17,508 to 18,307 of them all over the entire territorial space of the country. Obviously this means one of the most important mode of communication (and transport) would be by sea.

What would neccessitate folks sailing the seas to another far off island? Fishing? Perhaps. Visiting relatives? A long shot. Mostly likely it would be about trade and diplomacy. And it was this way that ideas and religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam) along with the physical goods traveled to Indonesia.

Nearby the city of “Jogja” are two heritage sites, one dedicated to Hinduism and another to Buddhism. Despite the ravages of time and natural disasters, they have endured. And they are magnificent indeed! We enjoyed being here to take in the history and in awe of effort people more than 1000 years ago put into their faith and devotion.

Why not have a read here to and sample what you might see and do here? Perhaps be inspired to make your own journey to these UNESCO sites?

The MRT series – Raffles Place (EW14)

Remember this post? Yep. It’s time to revisit the central business district once again. We actually said in the previous post that 5 photos does not do any justice to the sights one can touch while here. Aside from the bay area, one can also walk along the Singapore river, converted from warehouses that line the banks into restaurants and cafes right under the nose of the skyscrapers!

Look out for the bronze statues that line the river. They tell about life along the source of life for this island nation in the 1800s. How many have you spotted?

←City Hall (EW13)

→Tanjong Pagar (EW15)

Part of the MRT series here.

Visiting and relaxing in a sanitorium

Heheh… the word sanitorium in the modern context might suggest to you that one’s gone bonkers… Or that one had contracted a virulent form of TB. But did you know that sanitoriums were not all built for the purposes of taking in such afflicted persons?

If this post is true, then the good folks of the soviet era did have a little more joy than we are told. Though it would only be for two weeks, the vouchers or subsidized holidays would be a respite from the daily grind. Did you read the post? They sure have some strange ways to relax!

You might recall, outside of the soviet system in supposedly capitalist countries we also get the two weeks of paid vacation (some places much more), but we have pay for our own relaxation… hmmm… the irony. Is it really so much better to have to slog your way and yet be “worse” off? Do you think you are worse off today then before or will things only look up?

The world is in flux these days. Income inequality is rising. Technologies are disrupting the way businesses and how their processes are being run. New ways of doing things are emerging that will subsume existing ones in a disruptive creation. It’s no surprise that many folks who are caught up in these changes on the wrong side of the road are beginning to resist the tide.

Many might wish for a return to the past when life was predictable. At least the soviets had a way for workers to relax. Will you travel to a Soviet era sanitorium?

Clear Blue Waters

Did you know that the Dugong and the Manatee are relatives? And being separated by thousands of miles of ocean and living in very different environments, they have diverged in evolution too with the most obvious being the tail.

But today we are not diving into an anatomical treatise. Rather, we want to share with you our journey experiences of being on the tip of Palawan. No. Not the beach on Sentosa here in the little red dot in case you are wondering. Because clear blue waters aren’t what you’d find there.

We are referring to the island of Palawan just off the main archipelago that is the Philippines. Like an extended arm swaying to the side of a person, the island projects well into the west Philippines sea. And it is gorgeous, the waters that is. We spent quite a few days out in an idyllic location that was truly ‘off the grid’. We only hope it has continued to be so.

Swimming in the ocean, “hunting” for Dugongs was one of the expeditions we joined in. The idea was to “shoot” these magnificent creatures and capture them for posterity in our digital library. Alright it is also true we weren’t ON Palawan. Rather, we were on an island off the tip of it. But if this already what one can get here think about what more one can see further down the remote part of Palawan! Ok, let’s get to the essay (here) and start gawking at the photos!

Don’t need to go too far away, there is an alternative right in our little red dot’s ‘backyard’. Does this inspire you to make plans to Palawan?