It’s the June holidays! It seems customary that parents spend more time with their primary school age kids during major school holidays (March, June, December). I guess seeing the parents with older kids having fun out makes me wanna plan more activities with our young ones too! How do you have fun but not spend a single cent (e.g. NO admission fees)? Go to the National Museum of Singapore!
To cater to families during the June holidays, the National Museum of Singapore introduced Masak Masak 2016!
Immerse yourselves in a colourful world of interactive installations, activities and workshops that are specially curated for the whole family. The activities are suitable for children aged 3 to 7, so treat your young ones to a fun day out at the museum!
Celebrating Radio: Sounds from the Past
We were at the Museum bright and early, and wandered right into the first (and gloriously free) exhibit on Level 1 – Celebrating Radio! Aidan got treated to a 1:1 guide around the exhibit where Mr Edwin patiently engaged our little fellow in discussion about the history of radio.
We were brought into a simulated radio broadcaster room and I. WAS. THRILLED. More so than Aidan, I’d say 😜 My childhood dream was to become a DJ! Either that or a writer, though both aspirations are of vastly contrasting personalities.
Two other kids joined in the tour halfway and the kids got to wind up a real gramophone, put on the vinyl record and needle and got the oldie going.
There was an introduction to the various tools used to create sound effects and the kids loved making
noise music! Cute kids art n craft corner included where you can decorate your own vinyl record and sleeve.
This 30-minute interactive tour is available for pre-schoolers. The tours are limited to 15 children on a first-come-first-served basis. Click here for more information.
Snakes & Ladders and Ludo in 3D – what’s not to like? The children seemed to have more fun throwing the dice than really abiding by the game and its rules. Aidan was super diligent in following through from start to end though. Perks of introducing board games to em’ kids young!
After walking around and peering at interesting things all day, our tummies rumbled like the thunder outside the museum. I wanted to try out Food for Thought but the queue was sooo long. It was a weekend, after all. What’d you expect? In the end we walked over to Food Republic at the Manulife Centre along Bras Basah Rd and had chicken rice. Cheap and good + aircon! 💪🏻 Next outing we hope to visit the Singapore Art Museum (located right next door to Manulife Centre).
Masak Masak 2016 runs from 28 May to 31 July. Visit the National Museum of Singapore website for more details on current exhibitions and family programmes!
Being a mother of a 5 year old is hard. Aidan attends Berries class every Sunday morning to improve his mandarin. Best money ever spent. Not only has his mandarin has improved leaps and bounds, I have also learnt a new mandarin 成语 (Chinese idiomatic expression):
彬彬有礼 bin1 bin1 you2 li3
(of a person) courteous and refined in manner
Gotta admit it was humbling (and amusing) during Aidan’s workbook revision he asked about 彬 and I had no clue what the word meant, much less pronounce it. The husband was no help of course – he would be best described as one who is “jiak kantang” (loosely translated as eat potato; westernised). I can no longer brag to the kids that “Mummy got A1 for ‘O’ level Chinese one ok?!”
NOT looking forward to the future where Algebra and Cations become part of his curriculum! 😫
So incredibly hard to teach to a child. And probably just as difficult to demonstrate in our society which sees its people constantly comparing one to the other.
The husband has been travelling more for work and as a result I was bitten by a travel bug. I am totally cool with the kids when he is away and I’m not burnt out or anything, but it has been a while (years!) since my last proper vacation and some me-time sans kids and husband seemed like a really good idea for a recharge for me. What with all the hype around Descendants of the Sun, which is a K-drama if you don’t know (seriously which rock did you live under?), I thought Korea would be perfect to test my newly found mediocre Korean language picked up from too many K-drama episodes.
I love to travel alone and that was the original plan: me + foreign country + foreign language = perfect holiday. I mean, isn’t it great to wake up everyday without having to meet someone else’s expectations and simply live for yourself? You can make decisions without worrying about affecting others. Then again… who goes to Korea and eats alone at BBQ places or eat chicken and beer at home alone at night? I wanted to eat so many types of Korean food, so the best solution was to ask a friend along to share tummy space for yummy food! 😆
We took Malaysia Airlines from SIN to INC. Everyone thought we were crazy, and I got comments like (quote unquote), “Not afraid to get downed by a missile or go missing over the ocean, ah?!” 😒 Anyway, aside from tickets being cheaper than SIA (Singapore Airlines), the flight timings were better. That said, 10 days after I booked the tickets at SGD$500 per person, MAS released a promo rate at SGD$300 per person. What poor timing! Because of this I was not an entirely happy customer, but I really have no complains about our flight experience. The 1 hour lay-over in Kuala Lumpur was a breeze to get through, in-flight food was tasty, we experienced little turbulence, and most importantly we arrived safe and sound. The only downside was that I could not use my KrisFlyer miles as MAS is part of oneworld and not star alliance.
Hello Incheon International Airport!
We booked an Airbnb apartment at Chungmuro and it was really convenient to move around. There was a direct airport limousine bus 6015 which took us from the airport to Chungmuro. 6015 is a loop service and makes several stops at major hotels/stations. Tickets cost 15,000KRW (SGD18) one-way, regardless of distance. You can purchase this right outside the airport along Gate 5 from the ticketing counter, or simply tap your T-money card (the equivalent of our local EZ-Link card) on the bus.
The driver will help you load your luggage and tag it with a sticker. You will need to present the other half of the sticker to claim your luggage when you alight. The on-board commentary when we neared a bus stop was announced in Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and English. No worries about missing your stop, but I think it is still advisable to let the bus driver know your intended destination as he might skip stops if you miss the announcement and forget to press the stop bell. After a 1.5 hour journey (it usually takes 1 hour but 8am morning traffic was congested), we alighted at T-Mark Hotel and walked 5 minutes to our serviced apartment. Easy peasy.
I picked this apartment because it was more affordable compared to a hotel, yet has facilities such a kitchen, washing machine, bidet toilet, and boasts a view of the N Seoul Tower from its large panelled windows. Myeongdong shopping street was 1 subway stop away, and the subway (Chungmuro Station) was a 2 min walk from our apartment. Could not ask for better as it turns out we travelled by subway to almost everywhere we intended to visit. 👍🏻
I was worried to use the machine for laundry because there was only an indoor drying rack and the clothes might not dry well, but my worries are undue. Probably due to the cool weather (~10 to 18 degrees celsius) the clothes dried indoors without a problem, even with the windows closed while we were out. Being able to wash our clothes came in really handy because when we returned to SG after a week’s trip we did not have to worry about the mountain of clothes to launder! The flip side is you have to keep the apartment clean but if you are comfortable with doing some light housekeeping yourself then this will not be a problem.
The view was great, the weather was great, the food was great, and people were generally kind and friendly. Even when they don’t speak an ounce of english, body language works about 30% of the time! 😝
As I type up this post, I wish I was back here again. Unfortunately it is really late now and as I have got work tomorrow like the rest of you, I will continue this travel log later this week. I will be back, Seoul! Next time I will hit Jeju Island as well, 약속해요!
My cousin recently got hitched at a beautiful tropical destination… BALI! It really is an amazing place. The last time I was in Bali was for our honeymoon 6 years ago, and it seems that aside from the Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) having underwent major improvement works, Bali itself has not aged with time. The taxi drivers will still swamp you at the arrival gates each offering differing rates to get you to your destination. We took a taxi which cost us 100,000IDR to Best Western Kuta Villa (10min away from airport), and my brother who arrived the next day was quoted 150,000IDR!
To avoid nasty surprises, always negotiate for a better rate and make it clear that there should be “no extras” charged at the end of the journey… and pull your luggage yourself lest they try to charge you for baggage handling fee. Traffic is pretty bad in the city i.e. Kuta. There are few or no traffic lights – vehicles rely on traffic wardens to signal stop/go only at major intersections. Still, it is not as bad as the unforgiving traffic in Ho Chih Minh, Vietnam. We had a great time nonetheless 🙂
Say hello to Tirtha Uluwatu Bridal!
This place is breathtaking. From the moment we alighted from the coach which shuttled us from the hotel (it was a bumpy 1 hour bus ride), it kinda felt like we were on a movie set. Simply surreal landscapes were beneath our feet. From the littlest detail of frangipani and bougainvillea trees entwined, the clear turquoise pools, the vast Indian Ocean seemingly endless from the top of Bali’s southern-most cliff. More pictures below…
I did not get a chance to take a proper picture inside the wedding chapel. There were 6 official photographers prancing about to capture memories of the day, I did not want to wave my iPhone around like a tourist so this is the one and only glimpse we have of the chapel’s interiors. Delicately adorned with butterflies, complete with a lovely view of the sea. The chapel sits about 60 guests comfortably. There was a choir serenading love songs which the newlyweds had artfully picked. It was hard not to fall in love with this place!
European wedding table arrangements. I squealed, “FAIRY LIGHTS!” and sobbed in my husband’s arms because this was the set-up we had dreamed of for our own wedding but did not accomplish. We both agreed we could do this for our renewal of vows at our 10th year anniversary… perhaps on a ship?
Absorbed by the amazing views (and accented with a lack of wifi) we neglected to take any pictures of the 5 course dinner. Meals were served fine dining style, very elaborate. We laughed that between every course the waiters served bread rolls to deliberately fill us up. I felt that the meal portions were just nice though, unlike our Singapore wedding banquets lavishly designed to make your tummies explode with 8 courses. It seems like the owners of the bridal establishment are from Japan and they might have had Japanese chefs in the kitchen, so the wedding cake had a light chiffon texture and was easy on the palate.
The latest generation of cousins. Amelie and Miko was supposed to be born the same week (imagine that!), but Amelie arrived 5 weeks early and Miko 1 week late. We thought putting the babies together on the lawn would make a nice picture, but Miko was tired from the long day. I wish they could play together more but Miko lives in the Netherlands. Maybe we should make a trip to Holland next year to visit our relatives. By then the kids will be older and can hang out together!
Thanks for inviting us to the most beautiful wedding. Wishing you many blessed loving years to come, Jun Yong & Tammy! ♥︎