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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 CNY Festive Street Bazaar @ Chinatown

Chinese New Year is never the same without bringing the kids down to Chinatown for a walk and experience the festive mood. Sometimes I ponder how many more years will our kiddos follow us to squeeze through the crowd during this period of time. :)


The streets are always buzzling with people especially during the weekends but it is also the best time of the year to witness how vibrant and exciting Chinatown is! Surprising Denver and Gladys did not complain about the heat and jostling among the crowd. On the contrary, they pretty much enjoyed scanning through the CNY goodies with us and had some rounds of food-tasting along the way.


In less than 2 weeks, we will be welcoming the Year of the Water Snake. Snake sculptures, decorated with lanterns, can be found along New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. Personally, I preferred the cuter snake (formed by about 850 yellow sky lanterns) that was looming above my head. Didn't really get a chance to walk to the front and grab a nice photo shot of the snake, so I can only view from the back.


It is uplifting to hear the stall owners and assistants yelling at the top of their voice to bring in more sales, to see the crowd choosing and grabbing their CNY goodies and to feel the sea of red once more.

We spotted a pretty Happy plant on sale. It looks really interesting and easy to maintain. Unfortunately, this little green bag is a bit too pricy that we have to give it a miss.
Hubby bought some yummy candies for Denver and Gladys to replenish their 'sugar' that they might have lost during the long walk. ^_^ It always works to increase their happiness level.


As for myself, I always enjoy looking at the flowers and hope to bring home a pot of Pussy Willows this year. ^_^ Visiting Chinatown is the mark of our CNY celebrations.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

~ Lunar New Year 2013 Events ~

Chinese New Year is only 2 weeks away before we welcome the Year of the Snake. During this period, many household will be busy spring cleaning, buying CNY goodies and decorating their homes to celebrate the Spring!

This is a very important festival for the Chinese and there will be a couple of events lined up to get you soak into the Chinese New Year mood if you have not feel the heat yet. So where are the places you and your family can look out for this CNY?

Sentosa Flowers 2013 - Joys of Spring
9 - 17 February 2013 (10am - 7pm) 
Palawan Beach
*Ticketing applies

Sentosa Flowers is back again setting at a different location ~ Palawan Beach. We have been visitors to this event for the past 2 years and looking forward to see thousands of tropical and spring flowers blooming by the sea. It will be a great photography spot for families and friends.
Check out our previous visits to the Sentosa Flowers


Photo source (flowers.sentosa.com.sg)

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River Hongbao 2013
8 - 16 February 2013 (12pm - 1130pm)
The Float @ Marina Bay
Free admission

River Hongbao seems like a must go venue for our family over the years. If you have followed through our blog, you will notice we did not fail to take pictures with our Chinese Zodiac and check out our fortune for the New Year as part of the CNY celebration. Visitors can expect more lanterns display and foreign delicacies from Guangdong. There will also be daily shows and games to entertain the crowd.


If you like to catch some Fireworks Display, be there on 8th Feb (Fri) - 8pm or 9th Feb (Sat) - 12 midnight.


Photo source (www.riverhongbao.sg)

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Chinatown CNY Celebration
18th January - 9 February (Festive Street Bazaar)
19th January - 9 February (Nightly Stage Shows) 

Official light-up and opening ceremony has already kicked off on 19th Jan 2013 and the CNY eve party will commence on 9th February from 930pm - 1230am (New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street).

Chinatown is exceptionally vibrant during the CNY period. Huge crowd swamped the streets especially during the weekends to make their purchases of CNY goodies, clothings, flowers and deco.

The nightly performances at Kreta Ayer Square is a popular spot where many Chinese gather to enjoy a series of song, dance, music and cultural performances by various local and foreign troupes.




http://www.chinatownfestivals.sg/









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Chingay 2013 - Fire in Snow
22 - 23 February 2013
F1 Pit Building
* Ticketing applies

(Photo source : www.chingay.org.sg/)

We have never been to Chingay before and can only catch parts of the parade through photos and on television. Usually held at the end of CNY holiday, Chingay is an annual street parade, famous for its beautiful and colourful floats and multi-cultural local and international performances. There are also times where the floats go through the Heartlands and we may catch a glimpse of the extravaganza.


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Singapore Art Museum Open House
10 & 11 February

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, SAM will be opening its door to the public! Free entry to all galleries at SAM from 10am. On 11th February, there will also be a series of hands-on activities for everyone from 11am to 6pm.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum Open House
10 & 11 February (930am - 7pm)

Singapore Philatelic Museum will have its Open House on Chinese New Year day with a full day of fun-filled activities on 11th February. There will be guided tour, cooking demostration and "Snakes & Ladders" Exhibition. For more information on the programme list, visit the SPM website

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Istana Open House
11 February 

The Istana grounds is open to the public on the 2nd day of CNY. Admission is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance free of $1 per person. Usually there will be performances and Istana souvenirs will be on sale at the Open House.
http://www.istana.gov.sg/

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There are also other CNY celebrations held within the heartlands where there will be lion dance, stage shows and stalls setup to bring more joy to the residents during this Spring Festival. It is the busiest time for most of us since we will be occupied getting new clothings, buying goodies and spring cleaning our homes. Despite being tied up with so many things on our minds to complete, nothing beats having a nice reunion dinner on CNY eve, praying at the temples for a good health and year ahead and visiting our friends and relatives as we snack from home to home. ^_^

Wishing all a Happy Lunar New Year!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

~ Hong Kong 2012 - Day 3 (Part 1) Ocean Park ~

3 September 2012 - Ocean Park (香港海洋公園)

Our 3rd day in Hong Kong and our children have been waiting for this day to come since we arrived. We will be having loads of fun at Ocean Park! We geared ourselves to a heavy breakfast and load up our haversacks with bread and drinks for our trip.


Taking the MTR down to Admiralty station, we hopped on Citybus - 629 which runs daily to Ocean Park.


It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the children were excited to visit the theme park!

For hubby and I, it was a moment to re-visit the memory lane which we took almost 10 years ago.

Our first stop is The Grand Aquarium.

Denver and Gladys got the opportunity to touch the starfish at the touch pool. We marvelled at the fishes in the aquarium and the gigantic swirl tank.


It was our first time catching the showcase of birds in 'The Emperors of the Sky' show at the Amazing Bird Theatre.


Our kiddos get to take photos and did a little donation to help preserving the wildlife animals.



We were a little dissappointed that the cable car was down for maintenance during our visit. :( Nevertheless, we got to take the train at the Ocean Express Waterfront Station (which was also our first ride) as an alternative.

While waiting, we scent a fragant smell nearby and could not resist buying a packet of grilled squid for our snack. Simply delicious!

We have reached the Summit and here is where the adventure lies. If you crave for thrilling rides, this is the place not to be missed.  

Since we have a 'weaker' heart, we prefer to say "Hi" to the animals from the Arctic.

Entering the South Pole Spectacular, we were delighted to see the little penguins wading their way on the icy grounds and diving into the waters for their morning exercise rounds.

Moving to the North Pole Encounter, we felt the coldness biting into our bones. The temperature needs to be low throughout the year so that our arctic friends can feel happy and comfortable.

We spotted walruses, seals and snowly owl here! :)

Before we end our polar adventure tour, we saw the cute, little arctic foxes in the Artic Fox Den.

There was a vast difference in temperature upon exiting Polarland. Time to take off our jackets and put on our hats. Fortunately, we were able to hide in the shelter as we await for our Ocean Park Tower ride.

Seated comfortably in the viewing room which rotates gently, we soar through 72 metres into the air and got a magnicient view of the park, Hong Kong and its outlying islands.



As we made our way down from the tower, Pacific Pier - (home of the seals and sea lions) was our next destination.


Apart from hopping from land to land, we love to make our way into the souvenior shops to try out their beautifully-designed furry, animals hats! 
Are we cute?? :p

Part 2 continues....
 
Places of Interest
Ocean Park (香港海洋公園)
Address: Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong Island
How to Get there: MTR, Admiralty Station, Exit B. Take Bus 629

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

~ NEW Crizal UV Lens - Ultra Protection against UV ~


It is the start of a New Year and I got myself a new pair of spectacles! My current pair of glasses has been serving me well for the past 2 years but there are scratches on the lens and the coat on the frame is beginning to fade off. It is time to give myself a refreshing new look for the upcoming Chinese New Year!

I have read many good reviews about the Crizal lens with its complete protection for your eyes, combating against the 5 enemies of vision (Reflection, scratches, smudges, dust and water drops) and am definitely delighted to be able to try out the NEW Crizal UV Lens by Essilor which provides an addition front and back UV protection and improved scratch resistance which enhances the clarity of vision further! 

We know that ultraviolet (UV) rays is harmful to our skin but do you know that it is also equally harmful to our eyes, accelerating eye aging and the apperance of cataracts. Crizal UV lenses are equipped with Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) 25, meaning the wearer is 25 times more protected against UV than without any lens. Most of the eyewear lenses are able to block harmful UV light from the front but the new Crizal UV coating minimises visible and UV reflection from the back, providing 360 degree UV protection against harmful UV rays that assault eyes from the front and the back. Sounds really interesting!


I headed down to the nearest Capitol Optical shop to hunt for a nice frame and there was an on-going frame+lenses package during the festive period. Too bad I could not get a further waiver on top of the existing discount for the frames. :)

Personally, I have a special liking for Charmant as I find their frames trendy, light and durable. I did not hesitate expressing my requirements to the salesman upon entering the shop which saved a lot of time.


I waited for about 2 weeks before I got a call from Capitol Optical that my new spectacles is ready for collection!


I LOVE my new spectacles! The frame is so light and the lens are so CLEAR!


 
Comparing my new and old pair of glasses. The Crizal lens is very much thinner even though there are no changes to my degree.

I have been wearing my new glasses for a few days now, exposing it to the heat during the day. The sun has been scorching hot since Sunday but I do not feel too much discomfort on the eyes. I love the clarity, lightness and transparency of the Crizal lens.  Hopefully this will continue to give me the total protection of my vision.


Disclosure: Complimentary Crizal UV lens are sponsored and frames are not included. All comments and opinions are personal.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

~ Wishes for the New Year - 2013! ~

HAPPY 2013! Our first blog post for the year! Last month, we penned our wishes down on the Wishing Spheres and these little white balls, together with our wishes are floating on the waters of Marina Bay as we catch the countdown yesterday in the comfort of our new home.


2012 was a very busy and tiring year for our family. After a major decision to move to a new unit, we spent most of the months packing, moving and unpacking. It was a Year of many Changes and Challenges. Change of environment, lifestyle as well as a mix feeling of emotions.

We have finally settled down and spent our December holidays, Christmas and New Year Eve counting down in our lovely nest. Our kiddos are as happy and excited as ever as they prepare and get ready to start school tomorrow! ^_^

Here's our wishes for the New Year! :)

Gladys - Our Guardian Angel

Denver - Aspiring Scientist-to-be

 Hubby - Forever Caring and Helping

Myself

BPDGTravels looks forward to another EXCITING 2013 with lots of FUN and Family Bonding. May your New Year be filled with 12 Months of Happiness, 52 Weeks of Joy and 365 Days of Good Health.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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